If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you will already know my thoughts on the link between our food and our mood. Plenty of research abounds about the food-mood connection, the gut-brain connection, and the link between the food we eat and the state of our mental, emotional and physical health. We GET it: We Are What We Eat!

At any given moment, we have choices to make. Humans make over 2,000 decisions a day and research suggests about 200 of those are food-related. When it comes to my own food choices, I tend to keep it pretty simple: I simply ask myself how I want to FEEL after I finish eating.

If I choose to have a full blown junk food meal, great! I have “fast forwarded the tape” and I am prepared for the dragged down energy, the heavy feeling in my body, the bloating and gas I will likely experience, and the fatigue that will no doubt result in sugar cravings (that I’ll have to manage) designed to boost me back up. I refuse to allow any feelings of guilt and shame and, with eyes wide open, I live with the consequences of my decision.

More often than not, though, when I fast forward that tape, I remind myself of the things I’d like to do that day, and knowing that I’d like to feel good while getting those things done, I tend to make food choices that leave me feeling light and energized, hopeful and happy.

I like feeling proud of myself for making choices that leave my body feeling loved, supported and nourished. To me, there is really nothing that tastes as good as that feeling! And, as often as possible, I like to start my day with that feeling.

What we eat for breakfast sets us up for the entire rest of the day. And “breakfast” simply means to “break the fast”, so if you are someone who skips breakfast or is doing Intermittent Fasting, that’s cool! But, you still eat a breakfast… it’s whatever you are choosing to eat as your first meal of the day.

What I choose for my first meal has to check a few boxes if I want to set myself up for a day free of strong food cravings, sugar spikes and crashes, energy dips, and mood fluctuations. I want to feel satisfied and I am seeking stable energy, increased focus and improved mental health.

So, what do I look for?

#1: Protein. Protein is a powerhouse when it comes to stabilizing our blood sugar, and blood sugar fluctuations are at the heart of food cravings. We want to get a decent amount to stabilize our blood sugar, keep us satisfied, and leave us feeling grounded. I like a morning smoothie with 4-5 tablespoons of hemp hearts as the protein source. Other options are 1/2-3/4 cup of plain, organic Greek yogurt, 3 ounces leftover meat from last night’s dinner, 2-3 eggs, or one or two of my tasty turkey breakfast sausages.

#2. Vegetables: We receive our vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and fruits we eat (not from pills we take!). I make sure my first meal contains at least 2 servings of veggies and it also tends to include 1 serving of fruit in the form of berries. I avoid high sugar fruits (like bananas, mangoes, pineapple, etc.) in the morning to keep my blood sugar from rising, and the fibre in vegetables helps slow the release of insulin, further helping us avoid sugar spikes.

#3. Fat: I also like to make sure I get a serving of healthy fat in my first meal as it’s satiating, nourishing to the brain and body and is highly satisfying. For me, that comes in the form of 1/4 of a frozen avocado blended into my smoothie. Other ideas are eggs cooked in coconut oil or butter served with a side of veggies or else a veggie omelette. Another fav is a piece of grilled salmon. You can also add flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds to overnight oats. Full fat coconut milk is another nice source of healthy fat (and it’s a medium chain triglyceride, which we don’t find easily), so try doing oats in coconut milk, cooking quinoa porridge with it or using it as the liquid in a smoothie.

#4. Water: Before I even get to my first meal, I like to hydrate with 16 ounces of warm lemon water within a few minutes of waking. I simply warm up the kettle, pour warm water into a large mug, add in the juice of half a lemon and enjoy while making my breakfast. Often, we start our day with coffee (which is dehydrating) or nothing at all, and after a night of sleep, drinking water is a great way to wake up our digestive tract and ensure we are hydrating our bodies (and brains!) first thing in the morning.

Staying mindful of the connection between what we eat and how we feel has the capacity to transform your entire life. When we treat our bodies with dignity and respect, they return the favour in myriad ways! They feel lighter and more energized. Our skin is brighter and more clear. Our brains are less foggy and better able to think clearly. We enjoy feelings of confidence and pride in our choices to love and nurture these precious gifts and the list goes on.

If you haven’t thought much about the impact your breakfast choices (whenever you choose to “break the fast”) have on your mental, emotional and physical health, consider this a nudge to begin! Perhaps use a “Food-Mood Journal” (comment below and I will send you mine) and track how various food choices make you feel (at breakfast and also other meal times) to continue raising your awareness about this transformational connection.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

P.S. If you’d like to experience your own transformation and work on your relationship with food, sugar, weight, and body image, I’ve put together a 12 week ONLINE program that gets to the root of our worthiness issues and we develop a plan together that will help you to treat your body with greater compassion, love and respect. It’s awesome. And I’d love for you to experience it. One Bite At A Time. Visit OBAATCoaching.com to learn more. 

P.P.S. If you’d like to learn a little more about me and the things we focus on, I did a live training recently called:“The Truth About Sugar and How To Live A Life Of Freedom Around Food.” 

P.P.P.S. If you’d like to prioritize your health for 14 days, I’d love for you to sign up for my 14 Days of Wellness. Simply enter your name and email address up on the right to begin receiving the messages today. It’s FREE, with no diets, products, challenges or catches…just a chance to remember how amazing you are…for 14 days.

P.P.P.P.S. Let’s be friends! I’d love to connect on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. Plus, if you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you should! That way, you won’t miss anything. Plus, as a thank you for joining, you will receive my 14 Days of Wellness. 

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