Guest Blog: Cooking Light – Your Guide to A Healthy Breakfast by Cat Smiley
Cooking Light – Your Guide to A Healthy Breakfast
This article was authored by body transformation specialist and owner of a weight loss retreat for women, Cat Smiley.
Is breakfast a frantic grab of coffee-spilling rush as you run out the door in the morning? Relax – skimping on the most important meal of the day is often due to lack of knowledge, not lack of time.
The past decade has seen a gigantic amount of controversy over these low-fat but high carbohydrate ‘perfect breakfasts’. Many foods could be labeled mistakenly ‘healthy’ just because they are low in fat. The reality is, if you meal fails to contain a balance of fat/carbohydrate and protein, you may hit hunger over-drive and energy slumps far before you need to.
The main point is that there is nothing vastly different about breakfast than any other meal, and a balanced meal contains approximately 20-30% fat, 40-50% carbohydrate and 20-30% protein. For example; you probably would not aim to eat potatoes alone for dinner, but include meat and vegetables. Eating a bagel with a slab of cream cheese with your coffee is pretty much equivalent, nutritionally speaking, as eating potatoes alone for dinner…
The challenge is not about subtracting from your morning bagel or cereal, it is about adding to it. Expand your dietary patterns – eat your bagel whole-grain instead of white, with an apple instead of orange juice, use low-fat nut butter or a small handful of trail mix to balance your protein count. Mix your regular Cheerio’s with some old fashioned oatmeal, mixed with real fruit, soymilk or yogurt and almonds. Top your whole-grain English muffin with some low-fat cheese, and splurge on expensive out of season fruit like melon or grapes, before enjoying a latte on the gondola. Spending money on the little things that you enjoy in your diet can help avoid over spending later on weight loss and cover-up clothes – resulting from over-eating because your palette wasn’t satisfied.
Smoothies are great and quick – remember that fruits contain a surprising amount of ‘good’ carbohydrates. Add yogurt, skim milk and perhaps a protein powder with fresh fruit – you have breakfast in less than two minutes! Or take eggs on multi-grain toast, (limit the butter) add spinach or sautéed vegetables and low fat cheese, with an orange or apple. If all else fails, left over dinner can be the most balanced breakfast you can have – providing it covers all the major food groups. Experts suggest a breakfast consisting of excess bread and cereal may be far too low in protein, fiber and good fat – the ingredients needed to stabilize the blood sugar and insulin levels.
You don’t have to eat a lot of food to make it work for you; you just have to make the right choices. Breakfast needs to be as balanced nutritionally as any other meal, so get with the modern way of eating and break your high carbohydrate/low protein breakfast habits to keep your morning blood sugar levels under control. Think quality over quantity, start your day with a good breakfast and mornings will become as high-energy as the rest of the day.
About Cat Smiley
Cat Smiley is an award-winning personal trainer and nutritionist. She has been named Canada’s top trainer three times by the International Sports Science Association, recognized most by her work pioneering the nation’s first fitness boot camp, The Original Boot Camp in 2001. She was a professional skier for 12 years (top 5 results in World Cup, Global X Games and US Open), which she pursued while gaining international recognition as a celebrity fitness trainer and weight loss retreat expert (her story landed her a starring character in a reality show on the LIFE network, Whistler Stories).