why BREAKFAST?

why BREAKFAST?

Breakfast is a key start to every single day....  The word literally means “breaking the fast” after 8-12 hours without food or liquids.  Breakfast is a regularly skipped meal with common excuses like, “I am not hungry, I am rushed, or I feel nauseated after breakfast.” While there can be many reasons for not wanting breakfast, it is common that digestion is sluggish, cold, or just not functioning properly.  Americans are accustomed to fairly limited ideas of what breakfast consists of, and may be depriving themselves of vital nutrients, proteins, and proper warmth that aids the digestive process.  TRY THIS: Have warm soup in the morning. A cup of organic broth will do.  Soup is simple to make or reheat and stimulates digestion, igniting your "digestive fire" and prepares your digestive tract for later meals. Soup has a lot of proteins, minerals, and nutrients with a high water content that will help rehydrate your body after sleeping.  When time is a factor, start waking up 5-10 minutes earlier to prevent eating on the go.  Limit distractions while you eat.  Start small and keep it simple. 

the B I G G E R WHY?

Digestion is strongest in the morning and weakest in the evening.  Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes the rhythm of energy movement between organs and has identified 7-9am as the most active time for digestion (7-9pm being the least active). Modern studies have supported this finding by showing how the habit of eating breakfast contributes to more regulated weight, more stable blood sugar, and better energy levels through the day.  

Breakfast does not have to be massive in size.  The stomach is not a very large organ, and the quality of food we eat is far more important than the quantity.  Starting the day with a cup of broth-based soup that contains a variety of vegetables, meats, and seasonings will provide many essential nutrients needed for the body to function well.  Incorporating seasonal foods (produce that is "in season") will enhance this quality.  Adjusting the temperature and density of your breakfast by the seasons is also valuable.  Cold winter days invite a mug of steaming hot soup, but mid-summer heat may require fresh, mildly warm, cooling foods or chilled soups.  

Digestion is a warm process that is easily influenced by the thermal properties of food, beverages, and environmental conditions.  Healthy eating includes respecting this need for heat in the digestive process.  Eating mostly warm, cooked foods supports this need for heat. If we are eating cold, raw foods in the cold winter months we are weakening this digestive fire and creating sluggish, weak, cold digestion.  Many people start the day with a smoothie- which is fine- if adding a warming property to the list of ingredients.  Some warming elements to throw into a smoothie (if your body is not always feeling overheated or showing redness in the face) include: ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne.  Eating raw (cold) foods can also be aided with the use of warming ingredients such as mustard, black pepper, horseradish, vinegar, and warming ginger or green tea after a meal.  

So... BREAKFAST. Stoke that digestive fire at the start of every day.  Think quality over quantity- but always keep that stomach warm so you can get the most from the foods you eat all day.