Three Game Changing Morning Recipes for Sustained Energy
There are so many diet books, health coaches, and options out there that sometimes we forget the basics we once learned in school. So before I dive into my 3 secret morning game changers, here’s a crash course in food + energy:
First, Let's break down the three currencies of the energy system and give ourselves a quick refresher.
- Sugars - which break down to glucose
- Proteins - which break down to amino acids
- Fats - which break down to glycerol and fatty acids
Sugar is made of small molecules bound in a chain. Once you consume sugar, the body breaks it down. Different sugars have different chains. These chains can be simple or complex. The simple one’s breakdown easily into individual components and the body converts these to glucose or fructose for getting the energy.
[The simple sugars convert to glucose fast and easy. These give you a rush of energy, but after initial use for energy, all the remaining glucose converts to fat and stored by the body for future use!]
Now that we’ve had that short refresher, let’s dive into why eating a Hershey bar for breakfast will make you crash and burn over a breakfast filled with healthy sugars.
Two spoons of raw sugar or a hershey bar-- exhausts and metabolizes really fast because it doesn't have to break down those chains and after the initial surge, it goes back to fat and you have a huge crash.
Complex carbs, like whole grain bread/oatmeal, act like fuel and your body takes a while to break it down which is signaling more energy - its like you filling up your car with fuel!
What we saw in was brown rice and complex and millets and ancient grains
- Instead of buying oatmeal from a box which has pure sugar, try making your own overnight oats! All you need are pure oats and apple juice. Make sure the apple juice only contains “apples” and no added sugar or additives. Soak the oats overnight with the apple juice and the natural sugars from the juice make the oats nice and soft. Top with cinnamon, nutmeg and fruit!
- Almond butter toast is the perfect breakfast for anyone who wants fuel driven energy the next few hours. Just like above, make sure the almond butter only contains almonds and not any added sugars, and it’s best to use a whole grain piece of bread to get the most “energy” bang for your buck with this breakfast. Top with sea salt and a dash of honey!
- This meal was inspired by what we call “ancient grains” where hundreds of thousands of years ago, people were eating these very complex carbs that were so good for you - one of them being millet which is becoming even more popular today. Millet has a chewy texture when cooked and a mild, nutty flavor similar to brown rice. I would use the same ingredients as the oatmeal above but replace the apple juice with water. Boil the water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and millet until the water is absorbed. Then, add frozen blueberries and let them melt in the mix for about 3 minutes.