The past month, I’ve switched completely from sweet and grain based breakfasts to savory ones. All of a sudden I had this flip of the switch where I was intensely craving greens and beans early in the morning. This is pretty unusual for me on two counts:
- I’ve basically never eaten breakfast my entire life, even as a kid- it always made me feel nauseated to eat within 2 hours or more of waking up. I usually wouldn’t eat an actual meal until lunchtime.
- My first meal of the day had always been sweet- junky stuff like frozen turnovers and pastries and cereal when I was young, and after I reclaimed my health in my mid 20s, fruit or sweetened oatmeal or smoothies.
But, in the past couple years, I’ve really embraced intuitive and conscious eating, and honoring my bodys innate knowings that it communicates to me through cravings/desires for specific foods. Without feeling the need to label, judge, restrict, binge, or any other extreme. To just honor myself quietly in this way, letting my body lead and my mind fall in line. Tuning out outside noise so that I can be open to receiving from inside.
So, when I felt that intuitive ping to eat more hearty and vegetable based meals for breakfast, I went for it. And let me tell you, I have felt nothing short of amazing doing this. Here’s some things I’ve experienced:
- major reduction in sweet cravings. I have a giant sweet tooth- literally I used to eat heaps of Twix, pints of Ben+Jerrys, Reese’s, entire symphony bars, and routinely would put back an entire bag of milk chocolate guittard chips in one sitting. I remember walking home from bartending and stopping ritualistically at the corner liquor store to load up on a few different kinds of candies and 2 pints of ice cream- which I’d binge on while watching TV. Sharing to let you know I’ve been a really poor eater most of my life. If I can change to love and crave healthy foods, anyone can. As I’ve eaten healthier and healthier over the years, my craving for sugar has naturally diminished. But here and there I’ll feel and strong pull for lots of sweets even if I’m super full. When eating an early savory breakfast, I just don’t get that anymore. I got my period a week or two into this and for salty I had homemade popcorn and for sweet, some super dark chocolate (I enjoy 70-90%+ personally) and was totally satisfied.
- more energy/no 3 pm crash. With fruit/oat based breakfasts, I felt like I would always get this 3 pm slump where I needed some more fruit or a piece of chocolate or something to push through. Now I don’t get that. I make sure to eat a snack that includes fruit, but also some kind of vegetable or nut to balance it out. For example, I’ll eat red grapes with celery (sweet + salty and combines the simple sugars with lots of fiber and minerals from the celery which makes my digestion stronger too) or apple + almond butter, dates + tahini, a fruit smoothie but with a big handful of greens.
- Better digestion. Oats especially tend to sit heavily in my stomach and make it hurt, which makes sense as they can trigger a similar immune reaction in those sensitive to gluten (me!). It’s just something I noticed in my body, oats are great for most people and for me they’re ok occasionally. Best grains for me are rice, quinoa and buckwheat, well soaked before cooking. Having the beans instead of grains sits really well in my stomach, personally, and since they’re packed with fiber and protein and have carbohydrates, they fuel you beautifully through the morning. Legumes are associated with lowering the risk of stroke, depression, and colon cancer.
If you’re interested, here’s my method for putting together these type of balanced breakfasts:
the formula // sautéed or raw green + legume + whole food fat + ferment + something crunchy + fresh herbs + spices
the process // sauté the greens in a little oil with garlic or shallot. add in the legumes to warm them up, scoop into your bowl and top with your desired additions!
pictured at the top of the post : tofu scramble + arugula + cumin/smoked paprika/fennel + cherry tomatoes + avocado + jalapeño
sautéed spinach + green onions + sesame seeds + kimchi + watermelon radish + shredded carrots + roasted butternut + cilantro + leftover lentil meatballs
sautéed long beans + watermelon radish + avocado + sesame seeds + cilantro + tamari
corn tortillas + cumin black beans + sautéed spinach + kraut + sesame seeds + avocado
sautéed garlic savoy cabbage + chickpeas + almond ricotta + toasted pumpkin seeds + parsley and pepper
curly kale with smoked paprika and tamari + kraut + sesame seeds + chickpeas