Want to really wake up – and stay alert? Drop the bagel. Forget the drive-thru. And don’t even think about that muffin. To be brutally honest with you, if that’s how you’re starting your day, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.
Simple carbohydrates and sugars provide a quick pick-me-up. Thus, the subsequent crash. When your morning energy spike turns into an energy slump, ask yourself, “Am I choosing the right foods?” If high-fiber items are not on the menu, you’ve got your answer.
Fiber is the smart way to fuel up for your day. It’s how I start my mine. If I’ve ever chosen otherwise, I’ve paid for it by feeling like I haven’t fully woken up. In my line of work, I can’t afford to feel that way – and I bet you can’t either.
I love steel-cut oatmeal, with just a touch of honey. I load it up with chopped walnuts, some ground flax, and top it off with either sliced bananas or blueberries, depending on my mood. Bonus: By adding berries, which are also high in fiber, you also benefit from their protective and restorative antioxidant powers.
High-fiber foods, like whole grains, fruits, veggies and legumes, fill you up longer and control your blood sugar levels – so there is no spike, and there is no crash. Additionally, fiber keeps you regular and boosts colon health. A recent study even found that people who consumed a great amount of fiber actually lived longer.
Going high-fiber, and this applies to all your meals now, makes you feel full and light at the same time. Now, that’s a novel idea worth sharing, isn’t it? (It'd be selfish not to.) That’s how fiber’s designed to work. There is no rock in your stomach, not to mention, no room for regret.
So, start packing breakfast not only for yourself, but for the mouths you feed. If you’ve had a hard time convincing your kids or spouse to make wiser food choices, this time, pack it up and put it in their hands. If, when you make it to work, you find yourself tempted by what your coworkers are eating for breakfast, tell them about the new foods you’re trying. If you find that you’re still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by lunch, make it known. It’ll reinforce the fact that you’ve made the better choice, and inspire those around you to do the same. Imagine a workplace where everyone’s performing optimally. It doesn’t have to be a dream. If you eat for energy, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
And I won’t forget to remind you that those that eat breakfast daily are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.
Moral of the story: There's a reason they say breakfast is your most important meal of the day. Think twice about it and double your efforts to get the 20-35 grams you need a day (for context, a cup of quinoa is 8 grams, a pear provides 5 grams, and a cup of navy beans gives you 19 grams). It's your job to make sure you get there and show others why it's worth doing it too.