Hi Sweet Friend!
Recently I was in Greece visiting my mother and had an opportunity to host a workshop on digestive health and how inflammatory foods such as gluten and dairy can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Easier said than done… bread and bread like products are abundant and a staple in most European countries – so asking someone in Europe to go gluten-free is like asking them to go to bed at 6pm on a summer July evening – it’s just not going to happen (in Greece, we go out to dinner at around 9-10pm)!
The big question then was ”what can I eat for breakfast if I can’t have gluten?”
This is actually an extremely common question. We’re never stumped when it comes to lunch or dinner, but breakfast can leave us in complete darkness. What will we do without our cereals, toast, croissants, and donuts – right?!
First let me give you my philosophy on breakfast. I do not believe it is efficient or productive for your body to eat a big breakfast. That’s right, I’m going against conventional wisdom – eating a big breakfast will leave you feeling tired, heavy, and can be totally counterproductive. Studies have shown that working out on an empty stomach is much more efficient and leads to weight loss (if that’s your goal) – plus, you’ll have a lot more energy. The body has plenty of stored fuel and energy from the day before, and most of us do not need to eat again before a morning workout. Just make sure you are well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids such as raw & organic coconut water.
By the way – good time to eat high glycemic food is after exercise because it aids recovery and slows down the breakdown of muscle protein. You can eat something like watermelon or a banana, instead of a candy bar or a protein bar (my protein balls are an excellent choice here and you can find a recipe on my website: www.cynyoga.com).
To help solve the breakfast dilemma, I gave my workshop participants over 10 suggestions to show them it’s not as difficult as it might appear, and I’ve included them below for YOU as well. Countries like Greece, unfortunately, are still new to the super foods that are now common in grocery stores across the U.S. such as quinoa, for example, (in Athens you can only find quinoa in select homeopathic pharmacies) – but the word is spreading – and I’m hoping that the next time I visit Greece I’ll be able to purchase quinoa at a regular grocery store!
So here you are, my breakfast suggestions for everyone:
Start your day with a whole foods meal that is packed with the nutrients to fuel you through the morning (and remember, you can eat these nutrient packed breakfast suggestions after your morning workout).
• organic coconut yogurt and fruit smoothie (serve with a straw!); try adding nut butters
• fried egg with lightly steamed veggies such as spinach, baby kale or bok choy
• granola or muesli with coconut milk and chopped apple
• organic, free range eggs prepared in any fashion in ghee or organic butter with sprouted warmed corn tortillas; spread tortillas with ghee or coconut butter and sprinkle with sea salt (try adding veggies to the scramble and/or include nitrate free bacon, ham, or turkey).
• quiche or frittata—prepare the night before and have it ready to go
• cooked quinoa or millet (prepared the night before and rewarm) with coconut oil or ghee, nut milk (sugar-free), a drizzle of raw honey, chopped nuts and fruit
• fresh organic apple or pear slices with nut or seed butter and good quality GF bread toasted with ghee or coconut butter and unsweetened apple butter
• sweet congee: leftover whole grains (brown rice, millet, amaranth) re-cooked with coconut milk, sectioned orange or chopped apple, cinnamon, salt, and chopped nuts
• GF toasted bread and topped with ghee, mashed avocado, salmon (smoked or not), and tomato (optional)
• GF granola with choice of nuts, seeds, dried fruits (goji berries are actually a great source of protein), coconut flakes, and coconut oil in a food processor (have your kids help add the ingredients); add select sweetener and salt to taste, or organic cacao nibs; serve with coconut yogurt or your favorite nut milk
• mashed sweet potatoes with almond butter & a glass of warm homemade nut milk
• don’t be afraid to eat foods that you might have at other meals for breakfast, like miso soup, tempeh hash, or beans or sardines spread on toast.
• high fiber GF pancakes served with grade B maple syrup
• Chia pudding (check out my delicious recipe on my website: www.cynyoga.com).
NOTE: For added fiber, 1 Tbs freshly ground flax meal can be added /hidden in smoothies, muesli, and other cereals after cooking.
If you feel like you need a bit more help with your diet or are having digestive issues/concerns, please do not hesitate to send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To Your Health!