Do you eat toast, cereals, fruit, bars, oatmeal, pancakes or muffins for breakfast? This way of eating creates three hormonal and metabolic problems:
Problem #1: Too many carbs
All these foods are very high in simple carbohydrates and sugar. When you consume too many carbs and sugars for breakfast at say 8am, you will experience a sugar dip and by 11am you will feel hungry or even shaky, moody, anxious and unfocused.
So what do you do? You reach out for something sweet again, like a bar, fruit or coffee to
“rebalance your sugar,” or to “pick you up.” This way you add more and more sugar to your life and that creates a sugar addiction.
Many people who come to me to work privately eat as much as 30 teaspoons-equivalent of
sugar without even realizing it and, mind you, they are not women who drink sodas and eat waffles for breakfast!
Problem #2: Sugar spikes = cortisol release
The sugar dip I described just now creates STRESS to the body which calls for the release of
cortisol by the adrenal glands to rebalance your sugar levels. Yes, apart from managing stress, the other function of your adrenals is to rebalance your sugar levels.
But, guess what – when you suffer from adrenal exhaustion, the sugar dip makes your adrenal fatigue even worse. If you have problems with anxiety, sugar dips will make it worse too.
Problem #3: Poor Sleep = hormonal depletion
I see it over and over again that carbohydrate-rich breakfasts and sugar dips are big contributors to insomnia, poor sleep and waking in the middle of the night.
I too was told that cereals and strawberry yogurt were the “healthy” food even though I never felt “healthy” and energetic after eating them.
I would also drink coffee on an empty stomach which is another formula for setting yourself up for a total sugar disaster as coffee too, especially on an empty stomach, can create that sugar crash.
3 Tips to Good Breakfasts
Tip #1: Protein, Fat, and Fiber Breakfast
Protein, Fat, and Fiber. Yes, this means you should be loading up your breakfasts with protein, fat, and fiber. Why? Because they will guarantee you no sugar dips. They will sustain your sugar levels so you don’t exhaust your adrenals and they
will curb sugar cravings. Proteins are also full of amino acids which are the building blocks of your hormones. So what proteins am I talking about? Proteins can come from fish, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, tempeh (if you can tolerate soy), and coconut but also from moderate amounts of preferably pre-soaked nuts and seeds.
I know it might sound a bit unusual to be talking about dinner food for breakfast, right?
If you think about it, all global cuisines start the day with savoury breakfasts. The Turks have plenty of salami and cheese, the Chinese enjoy dim sum which is fat and protein rich, and a traditional Japanese breakfast will have some miso soup and fish which are also savoury and rich in protein and fats.
Tip#2: Real Food Only (put the Protein Powders aside)
When I said “protein” just now, you might be thinking: “protein powder.” No, actually this is not what I meant. I’m a big proponent of balancing your hormones with real food. As humans we were designed to eat, metabolize and absorb real food.
Tip #3: Intentional Breakfast (the mind-body connection)
Many people mindlessly chomp down their breakfast. I want to invite you to turn your breakfast into 5 to 10 minutes of quiet time (even if it’s done with your family) to set clear intentions and mood for the day ahead.
Try it and then tell me how breakfast has changed your hormonal health, energy and mood.
Till then, join our Women’s Hormonal Health Support Group for more information