And why you should include them in your rotation:
You need to break your fast with breakfast - ideally within 30 minutes or so from waking up and starting your day. But how you break your fast is also very important. Americans get it all wrong with pancakes, bagels, waffles, French toast and processed cereals. Just typing that makes me want to give myself some insulin! Here's the problem with carb heavy breakfasts - they cause a surge in blood sugar requiring a surge of insulin to keep your blood sugar in range. This up and down creates a roller coaster with blood sugar levels that result in eating more, sweet cravings, fatigue, brain fog and for some, irritability and general malaise. Carbs also increase the production of serotonin and melatonin and thus, induce sleepiness.
What's the solution? Protein for breakfast!
Eggs, chicken and turkey sausage, protein smoothies, even leftovers from dinner like meatballs - all wake your brain up and get you ready for the day.
But sometimes we want something easy, quick, creamy, comforting, tasty AND healthy. So I give you...
High-protein Overnight Oats & Chia
Speaking of protein; this is a great high-protein, high-fiber breakfast option. I love using fewer oats and more chia to lower the carbs and increase the fiber from typical overnight oats recipes. And, ready for this, soaking oats instead of cooking them makes them a resistant starch. Resistant starch is a carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine and ferments in colon. As the fibers ferment they act as prebiotics and feed the good, healthy bacteria in your gut. So not only are you feeding your microbiome, you're also helping balance your blood sugar by not cooking the oats which causes them to break down into into glucose rapidly.
And healthy gut bacteria can also help improve blood sugar - but that's for another post!
Here's the ingredients for the base to start with:
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 scoop protein powder (vanilla flavor or unflavored)
1 tablespoon chia seeds or psyllium husk powder (maybe both - your microbiome will love you)
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
Fun and Flavor ideas:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract with a couple diced strawberries or
Sprinkle of cinnamon with crushed walnuts or
Top your oats with a dollop of nut butter and jam or
Use chocolate protein powder, add some raw cacao nibs and a few raspberries or
1/4 grated apple with a few pecans and sprinkle of cinnamon or
Some shredded coconut, sprinkle of almonds and raw cacao or
You can also do overnight oats savory rather than sweet. Here's a link to Cooking Light Magazine's article with recipes called "6 Savory Overnight Oats Recipes That Will Rock Your Morning!"
The point here is that your options are fairly limitless.
Give them a try - so many great healthy benefits!