Mornings Part 4: Breakfast to boost your mood
Here we are, part 4 of Walking on Mom Mornings, the final post sharing tips to start your day with less stress, and today we’re talking breakfast. If you’ve been following along with the rest of the series, you’ve generated a lot of great progress with yoga, meditation and gratitude journaling. Today you’ll see how a solid breakfast can help you keep going with that progress. Then we’ll show you that breakfast doesn’t have to be time consuming or sticky sweet.
I’m excited to share some great thoughts on breakfast with Caitlin Ball, a holistic health coach and food blogger (teaspoonliving.com), whose whole motivation is to help women live healthy naturally. She used to be a baker and said that it became so easy to turn to baking or baked goods during difficult or stressful times. But eventually, as healthy living grew more prominent in her life, she realized she didn’t need baking or baked goods to make her happy.
Read on to see what she’s talking about. At the end, she’ll share with you three tasty, simple, filling breakfasts that will have you feeling strong and healthy and ready to take on anything your kids throw at you.
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Breakfast for less stress
Somehow, the first meal of the day has become a bit controversial. Eat it or don’t eat it, big meal with lots of calories or coffee and (ugh) butter. I think we all can agree on the fact that donuts are not ideal, but still, the questions come down to time and taste and really, just how important is it anyway? Is it merely a giant scheme from the egg and bacon and cereal box industries?
Breakfast or no
Walking on Mom: So what’s your take, is breakfast important or is it all good to skip it?
Caitlin: My philosophy on breakfast is that, yes, it’s the most important meal of the day. It sets you off on the right foot. One of the most important things is that it stabilizes your blood sugar. People who skip breakfast are typically reaching for that croissant. Plus, if you eat a healthy breakfast you’re on the right path to eating healthier the rest of the day.
If you eat a healthy breakfast you’re on the right path to eating healthier the rest of the day. (tweet)
Walking on Mom: But it’s hard, it takes a lot of time and the mornings are busy for moms with little ones demanding a lot right out of the gate
Caitlin: I talk a lot with women in my health programs about planning for breakfast the night before. You may not know what time your child is waking up. Having all the prep ready the night before or on the weekend, is a huge help.
In general, in health, people don’t take the time for themselves and they think that it’s ok because they’re taking care of their children first. But in reality, taking care of yourself first is going to be better off for the whole family. As soon as you let your own health go, it affects everyone around you. Nutrition is the beginning.
Walking on Mom: What would you say to convince me that it is worth it to make a meal (however big or small) to take the extra 10 minutes out of the morning?
It’s really about setting your day off on the right foot. If your day starts off overwhelmed, it’s just going to ripple into everything else. For my clients who talk to me about bad days, I try to get them to notice what happens differently if they do have a healthy breakfast.
It’s kind of like making your bed, it starts the process of feeling more productive. It’s sitting down and eating and starting your day in a nice way. Then the nutrition, if you have that croissant, you’re going to crash later, it’s not going to keep you full till lunch, and then you might be even more annoyed at your kids for something.
Walking on Mom: So the croissant’s not great. Why is it important to consider not only that we’ve eaten but also what we’ve eaten?
Caitlin: Stabilizing your blood sugar. Say you have a really sugary breakfast, by ten or eleven you are going to crash, you get cranky and you’re not going to want to be doing all those things in your day. You’re going to want to nap when your kids nap instead of working on your passion. The nutrition of something that will keep you full until lunch will allow you to do the things you want to do. It’s going to keep your energy and mood stable so you can enjoy the things you want.
Enjoy the things you want
So, there you have it, a full package that can help you reduce your stress and start your day with more calm and strength. I hope you’ve found something to think about and to try for yourself.
We really do owe it to ourselves to take a bit of time and get our minds and bodies ready for the insane demands placed on us, by ourselves or by our families and jobs. You can start small, give yourself permission to take a few minutes of your day and explore these powerful ways to protect your health and your mental health.
If you missed any of the series, you can find them all here:
If you’ve already begun to make some changes, please tell me how it’s going in the comments below.
by Caitlin Ball of Teaspoon Living
Mornings as a mom are rough. Between getting the kids up and fed, getting showered and dressed, getting them dressed, and trying to breathe, it seems that breakfast gets lost in the shuffle. But, as easy as it is to skip breakfast, it’s not the best way to start your day. Everyone needs something to eat in order to have the energy to deal with whatever the day throws at you. I’ve shared a few recipes that I think are a perfect way for anyone to start their day, but the best part is they can all either be prepared in advance, or made very quickly…perfect for a busy mom. Take note that each breakfast has a serving of protein, because you will need it to tackle the busy life that moms lead!
- 1 cup // 100 grams frozen or fresh mixed berries
- ½ of an avocado
- ½ cup - 1 cup // 125-250 mL non-dairy milk
- 1-2 dates
- 2 handfuls of spinach or other leafy green
- Toppings of choice: cacao nibs, flax seeds, chia seeds, nuts
- Place everything except the toppings into your blender and blend until smooth. Add more or less milk, depending on how thick you like your smoothie. Serve in a bowl or large cup. Add your favorite toppings.
- This berry avocado smoothie is my favorite way to start the morning. I make it with less milk so I can eat it with a spoon. I top it with cacao nibs so it tastes like chocolate for breakfast 😉 I find that avocados are a great source of energy, seeing as they have a good amount of protein and are a healthy fat. They also give the smoothie a creaminess that you normally get from a banana, but without the added sugar.
- 1.5 cups // 275g cups cooked quinoa
- 1 teaspoon ghee or coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 cup // 250mL almond, rice, or coconut milk
- Chopped pistachios
- Spoonful of chia seeds
- Maple syrup or honey if needed
- In a small pot, melt the coconut oil or ghee with the cinnamon. Once melted, add in the quinoa, cardamom pods, and milk. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
- Discard the cardamom pods and scoop the quinoa into your bowl. Add a bit more milk if desired, and top with raspberries, chia seeds, pistachios, and some sweetener if needed. Put half of the quinoa in the refrigerator for tomorrow.
- Quinoa is the key ingredient in this porridge. Quinoa is a seed rather than a grain, and it is a complete protein. So this porridge differs from other oat-based porridges because I find it keeps me full for so much longer. I also love the bit of crunch that normal porridges don’t offer.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 organic eggs
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ bunch of parsley, destemmed and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350F // 175C. Boil the broccoli in a bit of water for about five minutes, or until bright green. Meanwhile, in a cast iron pan*, sauté the onion in the ghee for about five minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for one minute more. Add in a bit more ghee or olive oil to grease the pan, then add the eggs, broccoli, salt and parsley to the pan and lightly stir. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Cut in wedges and serve with a sprinkle of more chopped parsley.
- *If you don’t have a cast iron pan, transfer the mixture to a greased pie pan or small square pan.
- Frittatas are great because you can make them on Sunday and reheat them throughout the week. You could also bake the mixture in muffin tins if you prefer, as well as switch up the veggie combos. Eggs are a great way to start your day because of the protein, and baking them in frittata form is an easy way to get veggies in first thing in the morning without realizing it.