I’m obsessed with breakfast – mostly about getting it right – because when I get it wrong, I get my whole day wrong. And my whole day being wrong often affects the next day (at least), and my husband’s day, because of my resulting erratic energy levels and moods (at best).
I just want a breakfast that keeps me full – or not totally starving for 2.5 hours. I need it to start my energy levels off right for the day. I need to be mentally sharp. I don’t want my blood sugar to crash and I don’t want to crave sweets later in the day. Is that too much to ask?
I have major breakfast envy. I follow way too many beautiful fruit smoothie breakfast bowl makers on Instagram. At work I see people in my office building casually indulging in their acai bowls or coworkers bring in delicious hearty fruit and vegetable juices. None of which I can have for breakfast and still be a normal, fully-functioning human.
When I was a young teenager one of my aunt’s was the first to mention to me how important eating more protein in the morning is. That was echoed further through the years by doctors, nutritionists and just about everyone since the low-fast craze switched to high protein obsession. That protein first mantra has guided my breakfast evolution over the years.
Earlier this year my main breakfast was hard boiled egg whites and my homemade chia pudding. Talk about boring. I would try to jazz up the chia pudding as much as I could, and change up the recipe a bit, sometimes add oats, sometimes add hemp seeds, but I couldn’t make it too sweet. Sometimes I would add collagen protein. But the eggs – ugh the eggs- became so monotonous and sickening. I was eating a lot of them and I had to – on days when I would try to have one less than normal I wouldn’t have the right balance with my chia pudding and I would be starving within and hour.
Something had to change. I can’t even look at eggs now. Then I remembered Alan Christianson’s suggestion in his book The Adrenal Reset diet: consider having non-breakfast foods for breakfast!
This was something I could get behind because at the very least I love leftovers and can easily eat my dinner leftovers for breakfast. But I needed something that I could recreate daily to save time and effort.
- Avocado was a no-brainer in the equation – I would sneak it into most breakfasts anyway.
- I need some sort of protein – eggs were out for me. I overdid chicken sausage previously too so that was a no-go. I settled on smoked salmon which I generally always like.
- For my one or so servings of carbs at first I did like a Ryveta rye crispbread. But after a few weeks that wasn’t filling enough and I wanted less of a process food. Then I thought it would be a great idea – somehow – to make my own crackers out of something. What about lentils! I love lentils! That was a partial disaster. Then I just realized, I SHOULD JUST EAT LENTILS. I make a big batch of lentils to eat throughout the week anyway – often with carrots, celery, some sauteed red onion and lemon.
So there you have it. Every day for breakfast I have braised lentils, smoked salmon and avocado. I wouldn’t say my portions are perfectly adrenal-reset-diet ratio, but they are my ideal ratio. I eat about 1/4 cup (ARD amount) to 1/2 cup of lentils depending on how I’m feeling. I warm them up – I don’t like to eat cold things. I eat 1/4 of a large avocado or 1/2 of a small avocado. And then I really only eat about 1 or 1.5oz of wild caught smoked salmon – I can’t force feed my self that stuff.
And that’s it! It seems to keep my blood sugar stable, keeps me alert but relaxed and full. Which to me is an adrenal/insulin/hormonal recipe for success. I’ll often had just a few berries or something to mix – often as I’m preparing breakfast. I’m starving when I wake up so I need a little something to hold me over through the breakfast prep.
I also feel good knowing how many nutrients I get packed into the morning.
- Organic Lentils – plenty of B vitamin, fiber, protein, iron, zinc, potassium and other minerals. I get extra nutrients from the sauteed veggies I add into the lentils as well. Lentils only have about a 28 glycemic index. I like Timeless Natural Food brand Black Beluga organic lentils. In a serving there are a whopping 12 grams of protein and only 15 grams of net carbs.
- Organic Avocado – multiple B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber and plenty of minerals.
- Wild Caught Smoked Salmon – lots of B vitamins, Vitamin D, protein, and lots of Omega-3s
This breakfast is about 31% Carb and Protein / 38% Good Fats. At a little under 200 calories, this low-glycemic breakfast has about 14 grams over protein and 15 grams of carbs.
This breakfast is fairly doable while traveling. Lentils can be hard to make in a hotel – obvi – but if your hotel has a microwave you can whip up some Trader Joe’s pre-cooked lentils (or eat them cold?) or a carton of Whole Foods brand organic lentil soup.
On the weekends I occasionally shake things up – I’ll grab insanely delicious avocado toast from our favorite cafe or eat a smoked salmon platter from a neighborhood bakery.