The missing ingredient in your breakfast

Breakfast is not what it used to be.

Something went missing since the food companies took over our first meal of the day.

The (1)

Can you guess what it is?

Think about some of the most common breakfasts:

  • Typical Breakfast #1: breakfast cereals with milk, a banana and OJ
  • Typical Breakfast #2: low-fat muffin + fruit-flavored yogurt
  • Typical Breakfast #3: toasts with margarine and jam with a coffee

What are most of these breakfasts made of?

A. Wheat? B. Gluten? C. Carbs? D. Sugar? E. Processed foods? F. All of the above?

The answer is (unfortunately) F

But I especially want to focus on the C part of it.

As a no-nonsense registered dietitian & nutritionist, I see this ALL THE TIME!

What is wrong with carbs at breakfast?

The answer is NOTHING. Carbs are not the ennemy if you get them from the right foods and in the right amount.The problem with these breakfasts is that they are pretty much ALL carbs… and these causes these 3 common (but definitely not normal) problems:

  1. You feel hungry within 1-2 hours of having breakfast 
      (and usually crave more and more carbs all morning)
  2. Your energy levels go up and down like a roller coaster
      (making it difficult to be productive and get things done)

The fatigue and low energy levels that come from eating too many carbs (and almost only carbs) for breakfast comes from 2 directions, making it a double whammy.

In the short-term, it comes from the blood sugar crash that comes within 1-2 hours hours of a carb hit. In the long-term, it comes from the nutritional deficiencies the lack of more nutritious foods at a meal that should provide a third of your energy requirements (but isn’t!).

And no, fortified cereals and flours do NOT qualify as nutritious foods.

So what is the missing ingredient in your breakfast?

If you want to feel strong and energetic, feel satiated until lunch and not crave carbs and sugar for the rest of the day, adding a protein-rich food could make all the difference. 

And I promise you won’t have to eat steak for breakfast!

Yes, it might feel a bit strange at first to eat some of these foods but it does get easier within a a few days as it becomes an habit and as you experience how much better it helps you to feel for the rest of the day.

Here are my favorite protein foods for breakfast:

  • eggs (ideally organic and/or from pastured hens)
      and please don’t EVER throw away the yolk!
       – it’s the most nutritious part!
  • breakfast sausages (check the ingredients!)
  • protein powder (with quality ingredients and no sugar)
       here’s my favorite right now that I use with berries and
       coconut milk to make a delicious breakfast smoothie
  • smoked salmon (wild-caught)
  • canned sardines (wild-caught and in a BPA-free can)
  • leftover meat (some chicken, pork or beef work very well!)
  • prosciutto or ham (ideally organic from pastured animals)
  • Greek plain yogurt (ideally organic)
       please do NOT buy low fat, especially if you buy organic!
       full-fat dairy is better for your weight and health (read more here)!
  • Cottage cheese (ideally organic and/or from grass-fed cows)
  • Nuts (almonds, macadamia, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts…)
  • Nuts & seed butters (without added oils and sugar)
       almond butter, cashew butter, sunbutter…
  • Protein bars (check the ingredients to find the best quality possible)
       I like these ones and these ones right now
  • Steel cut oats (properly soaked and ideally gluten-free
       serve with some yogurt, nuts and berries

Make your breakfast better starting tomorrow morning!

Try a frittata, omelet or some fried eggs tomorrow morning.

Or a bowl of Greek plain yogurt with berries and nuts.

Or a smoothie with a quality protein powder that you like combined with coconut milk, a banana, raspberries and an avocado for an extra dose of nourishing satiating and energy-stabilizing fats.

I also like rolling smoked salmon with slices of avocado and some nori sheets to make rice-less breakfast sushis.

Or I often reheat leftovers. It felt very strange at first but my body now craves these kinds of breakfasts.

What you can expect after adding protein at your breakfast

For me and many and my clients, here are the many benefits we observe when we include a serving of protein at our first meal of the day (and no, the 2-3 g of protein in your toasts or breakfast cereals do NOT count!).

  • Stabilize your blood sugar levels for the whole day
  • Boost your energy all morning and for the rest of the day
  • Make you feel fuller longer (via the hormone ghrelin) so you:
    • aren’t starving by 10 am
    • don’t waste time looking for something to eat and
    • don’t waste energy with your cravings (and preserve your relationships by not getting hangry!).
  • Reach and maintain a healthier body weight that makes you feel good in your own skin!
  • Make you feel stronger and unstoppable!
  • Allow you to: 
    • think more clearly,
    • optimize your productivity and
    • boost your performances with everything you wish and decide to undertake.

Ready to get started with protein at breakfast?

Click here to download your FREE guide
with a list of breakfast protein foods and breakfast ideas.

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Your no-nonsense registered dietitian & nutritionist,signature

p.s. What is your favorite breakfast and how could you make it better? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂 And follow me on Instagram to see some of my breakfasts!

6 thoughts on “The missing ingredient in your breakfast

  • YES, this is true. Carbs are not bad, they are just as essential as fats and protein. I tried very low carb and it just doesn’t( work for me, I NEED carbs. I LOVE carbs BUT they need to be balanced with fat and protein to make them work beautifully. I used to have fruit for breakfast (no fat and no protein and i felt like being an a roller coaster and usually be hungry in 2,5-3 hours). Now that I balance carbs, fat and protein i can go MUCH longer without food – 4 to 5 hours! Plus I do not experience high and lows but a steady level of energy and well being! (fat and carbs alone already worksalot better but adding the protein really ads the long term fuel = perfect combination) I found that I can eat quite a large amount of carbs this way, without all the negatives (blood sugar issues, hypoglycemia, and running out of energy quickly) BTW, THANKS FOR YOUR WONDERFULL BLOG! Keep up the nice work!!!

    • Thank you so much Kristof! It is so true. I have experienced myself with all levels of carbs and do best with a moderate amount. The quality of these carbs is what makes all the difference. 😉
      Best health to you!

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