Let’s face it, we really are what we eat. We’re all aware of how important it is to properly fuel our body for sustained energy throughout the day. A nutritious breakfast or first meal is critical to this way of thinking. Choosing healthy food options can do wonders for both our mind and body. When taken optimally, meaning, food quantity and meal timing, food fuels our brain and muscles like nothing else. No meal is more important, however, than that first meal of the day. This is your first food option in the morning or at noon if you’re into intermittent fasting (IF). How you initially fuel your body after waking, from a fasted state, will set the tone for the rest of the day.
You may have been like me in the past where you were focused on consuming food every 3-4 hours. It may have been important to eat healthy and often to build lean muscle and/or maintain blood sugar levels. As the body ages, eating habits may however change. Some people have a tendency to change eating habits, spacing their meal frequency farther apart. Not eating for longer periods of time (12+ hours) has been shown through research to be a positive change. The body uses a combination of macronutrients to fuel the brain and body (carbohydrates, fats and some protein). Not eating for longer periods of time will adjust the ratio of how the body burns carbohydrates and fats for fuel. A higher percentage of fat (instead of more carbs) will get utilized.
What Are Macronutrients vs. Micronutrients?
Macronutrients are large molecules that our bodies need to function optimally. The big three are carbohydrates, fats and protein. Water and fiber are also considered macronutrients. Conversely, micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, are molecules that we need but in much smaller quantities. Both are very important and all are needed to help the human body function properly.
A Nutritious Breakfast Option
Eating eggs or egg whites in the morning may be your thing. Maybe its cold cereal or a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana. All, other than the cold cereal, are healthy, nutritious breakfast options. A combination of macronutrients in a breakfast or snack are important to fuel the body for long periods of time. One key macronutrient is fiber. Many breakfast options, like cold cereal, have minimal or no fiber. Eating fiber helps with gut health, it keeps us feeling satiated and will help reduce the sugar and fat cravings.
A healthy, nutritious breakfast option to give a try is oatmeal. Where not talking instant oat meal out of a package either. Try the type that you cook on the stove (for 5-minutes). It’s loaded with all the macronutrients including fiber. You can add things like nuts and fruit that will increase total calories but also the amount of fiber and protein. The following is a calorie breakdown of a typical bowl of oatmeal that I typically eat. Following that, are additional add-ons like fruit and nuts.
Old Fashion Oats Calorie Breakdown
|1 Cup Oatmeal||150 calories/27 grams CHO/4 grams Fiber/5 grams Protein|
|1 Cup Almond Milk||40 calories/1.5 grams CHO/3.5 g Fat/1.5 g Protein|
|1/2 Cup Walnuts||392 calories/8 grams CHO/39 grams Fat/4 grams Fiber/9 grams of Protein|
|1/2 small Banana||45 calories/11 grams CHO/1 gram Protein/6 grams natural sugar|
|1/2 Cup Blueberries||41 calories/10.5 grams CHO/1.7 grams Fiber/0.54 grams Protein/7 grams natural sugar|
|TOTAL||668 calories/58 grams CHO/9.7 grams Fiber/17 grams Protein|
There is sugar in this breakfast option, yes, but its natural occurring sugar found in fruit, as opposed to added sugar. Most of the fat comes from the walnuts, this can be optional, but keep in mind it’s from healthy fat. The big takeaway is – it contains about 10 grams of healthy fiber and 17 grams of protein. Bonus, adding in a scoop of healthy peanut butter (like this morning) will bring that protein number to 24 grams. Eat healthy, fuel up for your day and workout with smart, nutritious food choices like this one. Stay strong with Jefit.