Updated: Sep 26
**The Morning Myth: Why "Wake and Wait" Isn't Always Wise**
Do you ever just roll out of bed, spend the first few moments submerged in your phone, and then chug down some black coffee before diving head-first into work, while pushing that first meal of the day further and further away? If that sounds like your typical morning, stay with me. You might have heard how skipping breakfast and embracing fasting is the latest health fad. But what if I told you this approach might not be the golden ticket, especially for women?
We ladies are unique creatures. Our bodies yearn for regular and consistent nourishment. It's what keeps our bodies thriving, if our bodies feel safe, everything can function optimally, and more importantly, we can actually feel our BEST! Sadly, many of us are already underfeeding ourselves, pushing too hard with extreme workouts, and juggling a kaleidoscope of stresses from work, home, and life in general. And if the idea of resting or placing ourselves first is accompanied by pangs of guilt, you're not alone, however all of these just ADD to our already stressful states of being...
Combine our existing stress-filled lives with skipping vital morning nourishment aka BREAKFAST, and you’re basically inviting trouble. Morning hunger? This is actually a GOOD thing, something to honour and listen to. It's actually a body's healthy cry for sustenance. If you find yourself not feeling that hunger for hours after you wake up, it’s likely your body is surviving on stress hormones. Although, so many of us have just gotten used to not feeling hungry in the morning, it can maybe sound or feel weird to hear that morning hunger is actually something we WANT.
Think about it: a morning without hunger is like your body running a marathon without proper fuel. Over time, relying on this stress mechanism can wear us out. And though initially, you might feel invincible, that energy is deceptive. It's like being chased by a bear and ignoring a twisted ankle because of the adrenaline rush. Of course, your body is trying to save you from that bear, so if you twisted on a long and broke your ankle, you'll be able to keep running because of the jolt of adrenaline to keep you alive and running. Once the threat is gone, and the bear is out of sight, the pain from that broken ankle is going to hit hard. Similarly, when you rely on stress-induced energy in daily life, eventually it’s going to take a toll. Eventually, it is going to feel really terrible and you will wonder what went wrong.
I speak from experience. After years of breakfast-skipping, thinking it would help me lose weight (because I was so body focused), while also helping me eat less throughout the day (which also backfired because I was in the cycle of binging at night), I realized I was instead shedding my overall well-being, I was a shell of myself and eventually suffered from terrible repercussions like constantly feeling dizzy, prone to headaches, irritable and fixated on food. The initial adrenaline boost? It's just a mirage in a desert of nutritional neglect.
Now, you might argue, "But I’m full of energy in the mornings without breakfast, so why change? If I'm not hungry, why would I eat?" Remember, your body is a marvel at adaptation. It’s designed to keep you going even under high stress and turbulence. But like any machine, if it's not cared for and fed the right fuel, it will start showing wear and tear, and you will start to feel it.
Experiencing dizziness, mood swings, frequent headaches, and low tolerance to stress? Maybe digestive issues, bloating, hyper fixation on food and a hard time resting or slowing down? Believe me, it's not a rite of passage for a busy lifestyle. It's your body’s loud cry for help.
**Breaking the Fast: A Path to True Energy**
Re-introducing breakfast (quite literally "BREAKING FAST") might feel daunting, especially if you’ve avoided it for so long. However, it's going to be so crucial to you getting back to an energized, abundant and vibrant you. It's actually your birthright to nourish your body, it's never something you need to earn. Here's how to get started if this is something you're not used to:
1. **Begin with Baby Steps**: Even a simple fruit or an egg makes a difference. Consider yogurt with berries or a banana. A glass of orange juice is great too. It’s a gentle nudge towards nourishment. From here, overtime you can begin to eat a more balanced meal.
2. **Protein Power-Up**: As you progress, aim for 20-30g of protein in your breakfast. It’s your ticket to hormone health, stable metabolism, and sustained energy throughout the day. You can do so with 3-4 eggs, or 2 eggs and 1/2 cup cottage cheese. Breakfast patties (ground turkey or chicken), or even some protein in your oats, smoothie or breakfast muffins.
3. **Affirmation & Acceptance**: Understand that nourishment is your right. You deserve it! Something to keep in mind is if you find yourself drawn to midnight snacks or sweets, a solid breakfast can balance those cravings. Because usually if were binging or overindulging at night, this is a clear sign our body does not have what it needs energy and fuel wise throughout the day!
4. **Ditch the Deprivation**: Ensure you're eating adequately all day. Your body needs to trust that it won't be starved. It needs to know it doesn't need to resort to survival mode. Once that trust is restored, your stress levels will naturally reduce.
5. **Food BEFORE Coffee*: A very crucial note to make, is that you can absolutely still enjoy some coffee (you can also add cream or sugar to it, you can totally drink it how you like it!), but ensure you have some food in you before
Time and time again, I've seen women flourish when they reintroduce breakfast into their lives. The surge in genuine energy, mood stabilization, and improved relationship with food? It’s truly transformative! It's something we all deserve!
It's easy to get lost in the endless sea of information, with research endorsing the "fasting is fantastic" mantra. But remember, many such studies focus on men and overlook the unique needs of women.
So here's my final word: Life's too short to live in fear of food. Embrace nourishment, embrace breakfast, and embrace a healthier, happier you.
I'm curious about your breakfast rituals! Do you have any questions or insights? Share them in the comments below. Let's make mornings truly marvelous!