We all know that eating breakfast is important, but what if I told you that there are foods you should never eat for breakfast? Breakfast is intended to provide your body with vitamins and minerals and crucial phytonutrients needed to waken the body and feel vibrant.
A lot of the time, people stuff themselves with foods that are empty in nutrients and too dense to digest, leaving them feeling tired and cranky. Breakfast literally means “breaking the fast,” because when we sleep, we are fasting, repairing, and regenerating. When we wake up, our body is still technically fasting and detoxing, and this process ends with the first bite of food we put in our mouth. This is why it is so crucial that we consume light, easy digesting foods (fruit and vegetables) instead of dense, hard-to-digest foods (meat, eggs, dairy and wheat).
What should you be eating for breakfast?
I typically don’t start eating until 11am or 12pm, because I often do yoga in the mornings and it brings me to that time (I don’t like practicing on a full stomach). When I wake up, I drink 1 litre of water, then sometimes before a yoga session I will drink a few cups of freshly cracked young thai coconut water. By the time 11am/12pm rolls around, I am ready for a freshly pressed green juice that I make, often composed of apples, celery, lemon, ginger and cilantro.
If you’re a breakfast person, then good options for “breaking the fast” would be light items like fruit, smoothies or juices. I often recommend green smoothies, or one of the many juice recipes I prepare day in, day out. One of the best foods that could be eaten for breakfast, however, is melon! Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, you name it! These guys are incredibly alkaline, and one of the fastest and easiest digesting fruits out there.
Here are 20 foods you should never eat for breakfast!
Donuts and Danishes
If there is one thing police officers have wrong, it’s their donut breakfast. Donuts and danishes and other pastries are made with refined white flour, along with a whole lot of sugar and little fibre – this means a rapid rise in blood sugar without sustained, slow-release energy. Ditch the donut, grab a banana instead!
Including unhealthy ingredients in your smoothie will make it a less-than-optimal breakfast food. Adding things like sugar-laden fruit juices, ice cream, chocolate syrups and powders, agave nectar, cheap protein powders, or highly-processed non-organic peanut butters like Skippy or Jif, aren’t doing your body a whole lotta good. Try these tasty smoothie recipes for some healthy breakfast inspiration!
Bagels and Croissants
If you want to zap your energy and trigger inflammation, then eat a bagel for breakfast. Bagels and cream cheese used to be my favourite morning meal, but it only left me feeling tired, constipated and hungry for more. Bagels are low in vitamins, minerals and fibre (yes, even the whole wheat ones), which may give you an initial burst of energy, but it will not be sustained energy.
Boxed Sugary Cereals
This is one of the worst culprits for poor breakfast choice. Those supermarket cereals by General Mills, Post or Kellogs are loaded with sugar, artificial flavourings, colour, chemicals and preservatives. I’m talking Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Honey Nut Cheerios, you name it! Stay far away. Opt for healthier organic cereals with minimal ingredients (make sure sugar isn’t the second or third ingredient – more like the last), and high fibre content!
Muffins and Scones
Muffins and scones are basically cake disguised as breakfast food. They are usually packed with things you don’t need like white flour, oil or butter, and a ridiculous amount of sugar. If you must eat muffins for breakfast, make your own with gluten-free flour, and use applesauce or bananas as the sweetener.
Eggs, Bacon and Sausage
I cannot express how bad these foods are for breaking your fast. They are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal-protein, all of which wreak havoc on our digestive system, and leave us feeling slow, moody, and achey. Processed meats also contain nitrates, which has been directly associated with colorectal cancer. Do your body a favour and stay far away from animal products for breakfast – try it out for a week and feel the difference!
Granola and Granola Bars
You may think that granola is healthy, but unless you make it on your own so that you know what’s going into it, then you should be wary. Granola bars and granola are often laced with a ton of unhealthy (cooked) fats and refined sugar. I like making my own raw granola bars, or making a fruity-based granola with dried mulberries, unsweetened dried cranberries, dehydrated banana chunks, goji berries, coconut flakes and some chia seeds!
Pancakes and Artificial Maple Syrup
I used to be a pancake freak when I was a kid and teenager, but I never felt good after eating them. I remember the feeling, just as if it were yesterday – I’d get tired, cough up phlegm due to their mucus-causing properties and would usually take a nap shortly after, sometime in the afternoon. Pancakes are slow-digesting and hard for the body to process so early in the day. Artificial maple syrup usually has a sweetener derived of corn, too, which can lead to abdominal obesity and visceral fat, which is stored between the organs. This fat is the fat that leads to cancer.
If you need to pick up breakfast on the go, do not opt for fast-food breakfast sandwiches. They are stripped of fibre and nutrients, and are incredibly high in fat, sodium and sugar. Plus, they usually contain an animal-based product, which, again, slows down our digestion and doesn’t allow for an easy exit for last nights meal (which is just waiting to be eliminated).
Dairy in the morning isn’t the best option for activating your brain and staying alert throughout the day. In fact, it will trigger the release of mucus from your body, manifesting as phlegmy coughs and runny noses. Flavoured yogurt is also loaded with artificial sweeteners, flavours and colours. Instead, make some coconut or almond yogurt yourself and add fruit to it like berries, mango, or other fruit!
Don’t get me wrong – I love making my own fresh, cold-pressed fruit juices at home. I am talking about that fruit juice in the store that contains a generous serving of refined sugar, artificial flavours and colours. Make sure your juice is highly un-processed, and un-pasteurized. Cooked fruit juice (pasteurized juice) isn’t as recognizable by the body, and can spike blood sugar, leaving us feeling “sugar-high” in the moment, but then tired an hour or so later.
I always had toast for breakfast as a kid. Hot chocolate and peanut butter toast on white, refined bread. A breakfast for champions! Or not. Swap out your toast routine with a smoothie every morning! Try this for a week and you will notice how much more stable your moods are, and how long you can go without getting hungry again. If you must eat your toast, choose a gluten-free, minimal ingredient bread from a local bakery.
Be sure you choose rolled oats, or steel-cut oats next time you want some oatmeal for breakfast. Instant oatmeal is a cheap knock-off of the real deal, and is highly processed, fibre-less, and often has a host of added sugars, and flavours. Not the best breakfast option.