As a Health Coach I hear people’s struggles over what foods to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, how often to eat etc. and one of the big complaints is breakfast. “I can’t eat first thing in the morning”, “I can’t eat sweet stuff in the morning”, “It is so carb heavy”, It is so fatty”, it goes on and on. The key is to eat well and learn to listen to your body. Gradually you will learn to eat when you need to eat, for you breakfast might be 11:00 am, but for your friend it might be 6:00 am. Learning to be aware and mindful while also choosing healthy foods will help your body get in the swing of the right timing for you.
As far as what to eat, sky’s the limit, be creative and think outside the box. If you live in America you may feel obligated to bacon and eggs, pancakes, or cereal; there is a whole world of foods awaiting you. I give you permission to eat what you enjoy and not what the “rules” say you have to eat. Well, within reason, I am still a health coach!
Here is a selection of options from around the world, note that it doesn’t represent all of the regions, just some general ideas. It is good to note that not many countries eat a particularly “healthy” breakfast, but most countries eat in moderation which helps balance things out.
- America – Biscuits, I have to start here because I have a weakness for them! My favorite is to have a day old biscuit split and buttered, then broiled until golden brown on the edges! The obvious companion to biscuits is eggs and bacon, and maybe even a pancake.
- Israel – Fresh bread, a variety of cheeses, olives, jam (jelly), herring, tomatoes, cucumbers, and juice. This breakfast can be easily customized, try adding tahini, other vegetables, meats and sauces.
- Iceland – Oatmeal, called hafragrautur. according Serious Eats. Try using raisins, dried cranberry or dates as your sweetener. If it isn’t sweet enough add a little brown or natural sugar and gradually reduce the amount. Top with fresh fruits and nuts and a very, very strong cup of coffee!
- France – A piece of croissant, toast, or buttered bread and a cup of Café Cremè.
- Netherlands – Apple pancakes and stroop, a syrup.
- China – Wuhan- Hot and Dry Noodles.
- Korea – Doenjang Soup
- Wales – Bacon and eggs, cockles and laverbead, which is not a bread, it is seaweed and you should give a try.
- Mozambique – Hot tea and a sandwich of eggs and fish
Whatever you choose remember to take a minute to set the tone for your day and enjoy your meal. Be aware of the food and don’t just scarf it down. This is a good time to set your attitude for the day as well and think of the positive things you’d like to accomplish, take a moment to breathe, meditate or pray, focus of something good before you start your day. It will be just as important as the food that fueled you body, you can fuel your mind too!