Starting the Day Right: A Bevy of Breakfast Ideas
“The best thing we can do is choose the most nutrient dense foods that are high in fibre and low in calories. … By eating nutrient dense food you create a solid foundation on which the rest of your day can be built.”
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, 30 Day Vegan Challenge
Physiologically it’s important. You haven’t eaten for hours. Your blood sugar is low; your metabolism has slowed down; you need food to get going.
In my early adult years I was terrible about regular eating. I skipped breakfast most of the time. I wouldn’t feel like eating in the morning, probably because I was eating most of my food late at night. During the day I had no regular eating schedule.
In my thirties, I made a conscious decision to eat breakfast and it makes a noticeable difference. When I eat breakfast, I eat better and feel better for the rest of the day. I am able to concentrate more throughout the morning, and I don’t start craving food. If I eat breakfast, I consume less junk overall. Once I start wanting food something primal takes over and eating is all I can think about, so I grab the first available thing I can find to satisfy the craving. Usually, this is something I wouldn’t choose to eat if the the more rational part of my brain was engaged. When I eat regularly throughout the day, I tend to make better choices. It starts with the right breakfast.
Eating well at breakfast also seems to have a psychological effect. I started right, so I’m more inclined to keep doing it better for the rest of the day.
Day 8 is a wonderful chapter; a huge list of vegan breakfast ideas to suit just about every taste and lifestyle, from super healthy to the not so healthy, from quick, easy grab-it-and-go ideas to great suggestions for Sunday brunch, from light and snacky to hearty and substantial.
Here are my ten favourite ideas from Day 8:
1. Fruit smoothies: we have started making these in the morning. They are an easy, delicious way to pack a lot of nutrition into one meal. Bananas and freshly squeezed orange juice are the base, and then we experiment with whatever fruit looks good at the fruit shop or is available from the fruit farms. We also add ground flaxseed and LSA or other ground up nuts. I make them without milk. Colleen has a recipe – Green Machine Smoothie – looks delicious and I plan to try soon.
2, Fresh fruit: just chop up whatever fresh fruit is around. At the moment, it’s watermelon. I find, like the vegetables, if it is already cut up I will snack on it. My nephew cuts a water melon in half and eats it with a spoon. I thought he was mad, but I tried it and it really does make a great summer meal. Best of all it comes with its own bowl! Other fruit we are eating include all the stone fruit around at this time of year – plums, apricots, peaches, the melons – ockmelon and honeydew, and blueberries are still going strong.
3. Banana with a handful of nuts: when you are really pushed for time bananas and nuts are easy to eat on the go, they require no preparation and are very filling.
4. Porridge: perfect in winter, cheap and very versatile. I have never liked milk so always eat it with fruit juice, but I do like almond milk, so might try it with that this winter.
5. Scramble: tofu, tempeh or mushroom. I love tofu scramble, but never thought to try it with tempeh (steam it first); the mushrooms with a little olive oil and handfuls of fresh herbs – delicious.
6. Breakfast burrito: love this idea, scrambled tofu, tempeh, mushroom or polenta with tomato, lettuce and avocado rolled up in a wrap.
7. Hashbrowns from shredded potatoes. I need to find some vegan recipes. Love hash browns with a good ‘fry up’ style brunch – tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, vege sausages.
8. Blueberry pancakes and crepes – I have found several different vegan recipes that work great from the thick, wholemeal types to light and fluffy. Delicious with fruit and real Canadian maple syrup. Perfect weekend breakfast.
9. Bagels: these are my backup if I go out for brunch; not something I do much these days, but every cafe sells them and is happy to serve with tomato, avocado and sometimes a few lettuce or micro-greens.
10. Apple breakfast cake: who ever heard of cake for breakfast? There is a recipe in the book and I just couldn’t resist. I made it yesterday morning – quick and easy diced sweet apple in a spice cake batter with lashings of brown sugar. I took it to work for the lunch room table. It was well received.