Break the fast?

In many nutrition books from my studies, I've always read that the first meal of the day is very important to kick start the metabolism process and to "break the fast".

Those who know me really well, already know that I love waking up early, it's just an automatic trend that I've started since I was very little. Waking up early is such a nice way to start your day, especially when the sun rises through your bedroom window on a cold sunny day and you just can't wait to get out of bed and make a nice hot breakfast.

How do I break my fast?

Oatmeal! This is not just your plain oats and water though. I have come to master my oatmeals, this winter, I went through a phase of eating this almost 4 times a week. 

First, I cook 1/2 cup of rolled oats with 3/4 cups of milk on medium heat in a pot. I love the way milk gives the oatmeal a creamy flavour, it tastes so good and gives additional nutritional benefits such as calcium, vitamin D and protein. 

The oats also bring great benefits in terms of fibre and hearth health. Oats can help reduce cholesterol in the way that the fat binds to the fibre from the oats and is excreted from the body through the digestive tract.

Afterwards, I add cinnamon and salt to enhance the flavours. After about 10 -15 minutes when the oats start to boil, bubbles start to form and that's when I add a whole apple (peeled and grated). I stir the apple in the heated mixture for 5 minutes on low heat to help bring out the apple flavour. 

 Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds

 Once the oatmeal is ready, I put it in a bowl and then add a few more beneficial ingredients such as chia seeds and flax seeds. I like to top it off with a touch of natural clover honey, which I get from my father who finds the best honey from an apiculturalist in a small town in Quebec. It tastes like heaven.

Sometimes I feel bad for those who tell me they are not hungry in the morning. I just can't seem to grasp that sensation, it really shocks me every time I hear it from a different person. I, on the other hand, wake up starving!!! There is the odd morning where I am not as hungry, but because I have accustomed myself to the habit of eating breakfast, whether it be at 6 am or 9 am, no matter what, I do not leave the house without my fuel for the morning. Breakfast gives me that little energy, especially when I get to my 8 am class, breakfast is what keeps me awake and attentive. Just a heads up, when I mean fuel, I mean good fuel, not the "source of energy" for example that Nutella claims to provide. Yes, Nutella is tasty, but this will definitely bring you down if you're looking for a healthy way to start your day.  

Some may think that skipping the first meal of the day may also help with weight loss, but this has been proven to be wrong. In class, we have discussed multiple times about the benefits of breakfast and many studies show a correlation with skipping breakfast and obesity.

In addition, when looking at the digestive system, the digestive process begins in the mouth. The first step to digestion is the moment we see food, without even tasting it, our brain sends messages and signals to the pituitary gland which will activate the salivary glands to produce saliva. The saliva is mainly composed of water, but also contains enzymes that will contribute to breaking down the fats, proteins and carbohydrates from foods. This is also known as the chemical digestion, as opposed to the mechanical digestion which is the process of chewing.

I will not go more in detail about the digestive system because it may get a little long, but this is to give you an idea of what happens when we consume our first meal of the day, you help kick start that digestive process and you get your body to function properly. As a dietitian I admire says, even if it's a little cracker in the morning, just chew that cracker to at least get that salivary process started, it's what begins the metabolism process.

Even if you don't love breakfast, give it a try! Don't like regular oatmeal? Then you may just love my alternative, a warm and creamy apple cinnamon oatmeal. The sweet natural flavours of the apple almost make it taste like a dessert!

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