Long gone are the days of cold cereal. It was a step I had to take given that I discovered in my early thirties that I was having insulin problems and came from a family of diabetics with a lot of health problems. As an endurance athlete, trying to limit grain intake can really complicate a breakfast where oatmeal reigned supreme. My initial concerns were: how do you meet your carb needs when they are high? Is protein at breakfast really necessary? Should I have fat if I am trying to lose fat? After much research and study, I came to the conclusion that breakfast really is extremely important and if you do it right, your body will do a better job at performing well, feeling well, and looking well.
My first 2 changes were adding a full protein serving to my breakfast as well as using fruit as my main source of carbohydrate. Protein is just a must to give your body the amino acids it needs to repair and to create an even insulin pattern. Whole fruit is a perfect choice for a low to moderate glycemic carbs that will stick with you longer than you think when combined with whey protein or eggs and some fat. Even on my early swim days when I am really hungry by breakfast, I totally look forward to my fruit and protein breakfast. As long as I have had my recovery drink immediately following my swim, then I am cool with using fruit as my solid food choice. I do protein shakes quite often in the morning if I haven’t worked out yet. The recipe I use is on mysaltlakerunningco.com. And yes, I do use 2-3 tablespoons of flax oil a day in those shakes. But on those days when I want a “real” breakfast, my favorite breakfast by far is a scrambled egg omelet with TONS of onions (a great antiviral and blood clarifier,) spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese. I then add good sized pear to that and I am ready to rock. No headaches, no 10am crashes or energy swings, just feeling good, feeling full and properly fueled. To top it off, this is how all 5 of my kids eat too. The rare organic Shredded Wheat with no added sugar is a treat for them. Lucky kids, ehh?
½ onion chopped
1 cup baby spinach
¼ cup chopped tomato
1 TB feta cheese
3-5 egg whites–depending on body weight.
1-2 egg yolks
Fresh ground pepper
In a bowl, scramble eggs, salt, pepper and feta. Set aside. In a non-stick pan, cook onion until translucent and then add spinach and tomato. Cook for only 30 seconds or so. The spinach should still be unwilted. Make sure heat is now only on medium and then pour egg mixture over the top. Cook it slow enough so the eggs don’t ever brown. Stir every minute or two. It should take about 4-5 minutes to slowly cook the eggs. The spinach will wilt by the end. Dump onto a plate, add plenty of fruit and you are ready for a breakfast fit for a champion!