My Top 5 High Energy Breakfasts
Hello my powerful Plante Lifers!
“What I really want is a breakfast that keeps my energy level on an all-day, malfunctioning elevator between focused, famished and fatigued,” said no one ever!
We have lofty goals for our breakfast. We seem perpetually on the hunt for the perfect combination of healthy and delicious that leaves us feeling full, happy and energetic well past noon. And because breakfast is so versatile (breakfast for dinner fan, right here!), if the meal helps burn fat too, you won’t hear any complaints.
So, today, I’m going to share with you my favorite recipes to start your day off right. Originally, this was going to be a gluten-free report, but in reality, eating carbs in the morning isn’t so bad.
It’s the quality of carbs that you’re eating that’s important.
Simple carbs made from white or wheat flour, like pancakes, bagels, toast, pastries, and muffins, can get you into a lot of trouble first thing in the morning. You can almost smell the sugar packed in those breakfast breads. I know that is exactly what makes them seem super enticing, but I encourage you to back away from the bakery display!
These carbs almost instantly turn into sugar in your gut, and they trigger your body to store that sugar as fat rather than burning it off properly. This fast-acting sugar rush spikes your insulin and tricks you into thinking you have much more energy stored up than you really do. And guess what, Isaac Newton? Yup, what goes up must come down. In this case, crashing down. Then the cycle continues with you chowing down more sugar (hello 9AM soda) or caffeine (aka your third cup of coffee) to bring yourself back up to just feeling normal.
This is no way to make it through your day, let alone enjoy it.
So make friends with complex carbs instead, like brown rice. It’s naturally gluten-free, nutrient dense, high in fiber and breaks down slower in your body, which leads to longer lasting energy without those crashes. Gluten free oats and quinoa are great options too.
Like I always encourage my clients—listen to your body, and feel free to experiment to see what foods work best for you in the a.m.
For example, higher protein breakfasts are my fav for sure!
There is lots of chatter among paleo experts that you should eat your carbs at night because it’s a myth that your metabolism slows down when you’re sleeping. A study published in the Obesity Journal showed that participants who shifted their carb consumption to the evening had higher leptin levels as a result, an indication of increased metabolism, fat burning and weight loss. While you’re fasting during the night, your body is also working to balance out your blood sugar. You wake with more stable insulin levels, and to maintain that, many paleo diets recommend starting your day off with a high protein breakfast.
That method works for my body type, but that doesn’t mean it will be right for you.
So if you’re still crushing on carbs being an integral part of your morning menu, here are my Top 5 High Energy Breakfast choices, so you can indulge without wreaking havoc on your whole day.
1) Chia Seed Pudding
These are made just like overnight oats. These tiny ‘whole grains’ are usually grown organically, are non-GMO and naturally gluten-free. Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients plus a ton of antioxidants. ‘Nuff said.
3 Tbsp chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 banana, chopped into small pieces
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
drizzle of pure maple syrup
Mix all your ingredients all together in small mason jar. You can puree it in a blender if you prefer, but I like the chunkiness of the seeds, so I just mix by hand. Put in the fridge overnight.
Top with hemp seeds, walnuts, soaked almonds, berries, mango chunks or coconut flakes.
2) Simple Sauteed Greens and Eggs
Get your greens with every meal! That is your new mantra.
1 large handful of greens (kale, collards, spinach, dandelion greens or a mixture)
1 Tbsp of coconut oil
garlic to taste
salt and pepper
dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
Wash and dry your greens. Tear them into smaller bite-sized pieces. Remove any chunky stalks.
Saute in coconut oil until wilted and bright green.
Top with fried egg and sliced avocado.
I like to make crispy kale with a sunny side up egg, avocado and sauerkraut too. (Bubbies is the best!)
3) Soft-boiled Egg & Avocado (Hot Sauce Approved!)
I like to make 4 eggs at a time, so I can save two for the next day.
Hot sauce of your choice or red pepper flakes
Add 4 eggs to boiling water. Boil for 6-7 minutes max.
As soon as the time is up, immediately transfer the eggs to a bowl with ice water.
Wait 5 minutes.
Carefully peel your eggs under running water.
Slice avocado and season with salt and pepper.
Lay the egg (or eggs) on top of the avocado and cut open to release the gooey center.
Add in some heat with a few dashes of hot sauce or chili flakes.
4) Paleo Pancakes
These babies won’t fluff up like regular pancakes, but they still taste delicious. And you cannot beat a 3-ingredient recipe!
1 ripe banana
2 Tbsp almond butter
Mash banana in a large bowl.
Add eggs and almond butter. Whisk until mixture becomes a thick batter.
Pour batter onto a pan on medium to low heat with coconut oil or ghee.
Flip as they begin to brown.
Top with berries, banana slices, coconut flakes, walnuts.
If you’re going to use syrup, make sure it’s 100% pure organic maple syrup or just use raw honey.
5) Glorious Green Smoothie
Greens are one the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and the number one food missing from the standard American diet. You get the picture!
(All ingredients are organic if possible!)
1 1/2 cups of water (or use almond, rice or coconut milk for a creamier texture)
1/2 head of Romaine Lettuce (roughly chopped)
2-3 large leaves or 2 handfuls of pre-chopped Kale (leaves only, stalks removed)
1/2 large Cucumber (roughly chopped)
3 Celery stalks (roughly chopped)
1/2 Avocado (when in season)
1/2 – 1 lemon (if you don’t love lemon like me, you can use 1/2 – use knife to roughly peel the lemon, it’s ok if a bit of the white/peel is still on, seeds are okay)
1 medium apple (cored and roughly cut up)
1/2-1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp hemp oil (this will keep the greens from oxidizing quickly + a good healthy fat)
Add water/milk to blender with romaine and blend on medium until mixed together.
Add in kale, cucumber and celery – a bit at a time if your blender is a bit slow, otherwise it will be angry. 😉
Then add lemon, apple and banana with hemp oil. Blend on med/high.
You may need to add more liquid depending on how thick or thin you like it. I sometimes add in a few ice cubes for a more smoothie texture, plus it’s way, way better when it’s really cold.
I interchange the apple portion depending on what I’m in the mood for – frozen mango, frozen pineapple, frozen blueberries etc. Use about 1/2 – 3/4 cups. Keep the fruit to a minimum though, so this stays a low sugar smoothie!
If you want it a little sweeter, add a few drops of Vanilla Stevia (with the lemon, it will taste like a lemon creamsicle!) or 1 Tbsp raw honey or organic maple syrup.
Store in glass mason jars in fridge, and it will last for 2 days. (3 days is pushing it, but I’ve done it.) Transfer to smaller jars for a glorious grab and go snack option! You can also store this in the freezer.
So now that you’ve got some easy-peasy alternatives to sugar n’ carb-laden breakfasts, I want to hear which are your favorites! Are you a little too attached to your morning danish? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll help you out with more tips on curbing your carb addiction.
LOVE and paleo pancakes!