Pump up you breakfast!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


How are you all today? I'm enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee as I write this post. Since I'm working a bit this weekend, I have the luxury of going in a little bit later today! :) What a nice treat for hump day.

So today, I want to talk about my all time favorite meal of the day - breakfast! By now, we all know how important it is to eat a healthy breakfast to fire up your metabolism first thing in the morning and help prevent over eating later in the day. Although eating breakfast is a good start, making protein an integral part of your breakfast can take you nutrition to a new level. Protein is a building block for the trillions of cells in your body. It is necessary for healthy skin, nails, muscles, cartilage, and blood. Protein also helps to build and repair bodily tissues (especially after you tear them down working out), and it is even used to produce hormones and enzymes. Including breakfast in your morning meal will help you feel more energized throughout the day, more satisfied, and can even lead to healthier eating habits and possibly weight loss. A happy full tummy is a healthy tummy right?

If you’ve been reading my blog long, you know I am a HUGE oatmeal/hot cereal fan. My typical breakfast would include oatmeal, blueberries, 1 packet of stevia, and 1 tbsp nut butter and look a little something like this.

Although this breakfast was perfectly healthy, I always felt hungry a few hours later and was normally longing for my mid-morning snack way before mid-morning. Not good! Sure I was getting some protein from the oats and nut butter, but was it enough? I decided to switch things up, and see if I felt any different. I swapped my oatmeal for 1 egg + 2 egg whites, and a gluten free buckwheat waffle topped with blueberries (each breakfast had around the same number of calories). The eggs are full of protein to keep me satisfied longer and the waffle and blueberries provide me with healthy carbs for some quick energy in the morning. This breakfast is definitely delicious, but would it keep my full for longer than my oats? After a few days of eating my new breakfast (yes, I’m a creature of habit), I started to notice that I was no longer hungry by 9:30am (I eat breakfast pretty early), and some days I would not even think about my tummy or my snack until 11:30 or so right before I went to teach my noon class. This is a pretty big change if you ask me!

You don’t just have to take my word for it. The University of Missouri did a research study and found that eating a healthy breakfast; especially one high in protein, increases satiety and reduces hunger throughout the day. Utilizing functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) the Missouri researchers discovered that eating a protein-rich breakfast reduces the brain signals controlling food motivation and reward-driven eating behavior.

Check out the breakdown of the experiment: “For three weeks, the teens either continued to skip breakfast or consumed 500-calorie breakfast meals containing cereal and milk (which contained normal quantities of protein) or higher protein meals prepared as Belgium waffles, syrup and yogurt. At the end of each week, the volunteers completed appetite and satiety questionnaires. Right before lunch, the volunteers completed a brain scan, using fMRI, to identify brain activation responses.

Compared to breakfast skipping, both breakfast meals led to increased fullness and reductions in hunger throughout morning. fMRI results showed that brain activation in regions controlling food motivation and reward was reduced prior to lunch time when breakfast was consumed in the morning. Additionally, the higher protein breakfast led to even greater changes in appetite, satiety and reward-driven eating behavior compared to the normal protein breakfast.”

So what do you think? Do you already include a good bit of protein in your breakfast? Although I still LOVE my oats, I'm loving how full I feel after eating eggs for breakfast.

Alrighty, I'm off to work. I hope you all have a fantastic Wednesday!

In health,

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