Six gluten free breakfast ideas for sustained energy balance
I decided to write this post as this is one question that I get asked all the time. What do I eat for breakfast? We are often told that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day”. Well is it? Maybe not for everyone. This is where I should mention biochemical individuality- yes, that’s right we are all different. So what works well for me, might not work for you. You may find that you don’t have the urge to eat anything until at least 11am. It is beneficial to fast at least 12 hours to give your pancreas and liver a break. I do recommend drinking a large glass of warm water with a fresh lemon squeeze/slice, or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar when you wake up to both stimulate stomach acid and bile flow. This will prepare the body for food and support the digestive process.
Blood sugar balance
Whatever time you decide to eat- the ‘right’ breakfast can help stabilise your blood sugar levels later in the morning. It should also see you all the way through to your next meal without the need for snacking so the pancreas doesn’t get overworked. With every nutritional intake, the pancreas produces digestive enzymes. According to psychoneuroimmunologist Leo Pruimboom, an increase in meal frequency produces a related increase in damage to the pancreas, which is particularly relevant when we reach our 40’s and beyond. We really should be looking after our organs so they can continue doing their job and see us into old age! So for breakfast I’d recommend keeping your carbohydrate intake moderate and fill up on protein and healthy fats. If our blood sugar rises too steeply, insulin is secreted and can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar, which can trigger undesirable symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, dizziness or shakiness and cravings for more carbohydrates. This process can set your day up on a roller coaster of blood sugar peaks and troughs.
I’m definitely not suggesting you give up your morning coffee- although that’s best consumed after your breakfast for slower absorption so it doesn’t whip your adrenals up into a frenzy. But instead of having a carbohydrate-heavy breakfast that includes breakfast cereals, fruit juices, toast, pastries and jams, check out some of my breakfast alternatives.
Balanced breakfast ideas
- Overnight oats- in a jar or bowl combine 40g of oats with a tsp of ground linseed and 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds for added minerals, almond/hemp milk, Greek yogurt or CoYo coconut yogurt. Soak over night. In the morning top with berries, pineapple or desiccated coconut. Oats are slow releasing complex carbohydrates which helps you sustain energy levels through til lunch. For extra protein I stir in a tablespoon of grass fed collagen powder or an egg yolk after turning off the heat. The complex carbohydrates also stabilise blood sugar levels. I love linseed- it helps lower bad cholesterol, it’s very high in soluble and non-soluble fibre, and adding a tablespoon to your breakfast will encourage movement in a sluggish bowel.
- Blueberry pancake- ingredients: quarter banana, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp coconut flour, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp hemp/almond milk, pinch cinnamon, pinch salt, combine in Blender, pour into small pancake pan heated with coconut oil and pop in 5 blueberries. Cover with a lid to speed process and flip half way through. Makes 2 small pancakes.
- Eggs scrambled with spinach- or fried egg fried in a little ghee/grass-fed butter with tomato, served with oatcakes, avocado and a little Celtic salt or on gluten free bread (or organic spelt sourdough bread if just omitting wheat). The fermenting process of sourdough bread results in the bread being far easier to digest for those of us who have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
- Porridge- Oats with linseed, black sesame seeds (for their cholesterol lowering properties and perfect copper zinc balance) and pumpkin/sunflower seeds soaked overnight in 2 inches of water to increase digestibility. Drain then cook on hob with Almond/oat milk, coconut oil and 1/4 a banana. In the place of banana, I add dried orange peel whizzed up in the Nutribullet (or Vitamix if you have one) for a lovely orangey flavour. I dry my peel in the sun (or on the radiator in Winter).
- Chia pudding- soaked in coconut milk overnight. Add fruit and CoYo coconut yogurt in the morning. High in protein, contains minerals phosphorus, calcium and zinc and omega 3 Essential Fatty acids. (Perfect vegan breakfast!).
- Grain free banana bread- spread with butter or nut butter. Check out my recipe here.
Okay to add- cinnamon (1 tsp is recommended for blood sugar balancing), ½ tsp raw honey (rich in anti- microbial enzymes), vanilla extract. Freshly milled linseed is a good natural laxative and source of omega 3 EFA.
Pruimboom, L, (2011) “The real story on Insulin: reinventing the pancreas” CAM September 2011 (please email me if you’d like a copy of this brilliant article on the pancreas sent to you)
“Why is it that I can digest sourdough bread and not commercial bread” www.sourdough.co.uk
Patrick Holford- The low GL diet