Lani is a regular guest contributor to the Engine 2 blog, and has helped a lot of you! If you have a question you’d like Lani to tackle, just leave it in the comments!
Question of the day:
What’s for breakfast? Q & A with Plant-Based Fitness Expert Lani Muelrath
Seabrook asks: Lani, what are you doing for breakfast?
Ah, a question with few words yet mighty impact! Breakfast matters big time.
My go-to breakfast Seabrook is hot wholegrain cereal with fruit and a sprinkle of flax seed. Sometimes cinnamon. This is breakfast for me 99% of the time. On occasion I’ll have waffles or hotcakes, or potatoes in some form. That doesn’t mean you can’t get uber creative with your first meal of the day. Just be sure it’s got some of this good stuff goin’ on:
3 elements of the good breakfast, aka a ‘gusto brekkie’
1) It’s jammed with whole food fiber.
- Whole grain cereal, rolled oats, rice cream, quinoa, whole brown rice, 9-grain cereal. Mix ‘em up. Let your imagination go wild. Soak ‘em the night before or cook them up in the a.m. Eat ‘em cold as leftovers. Heap fruit on top. Sprinkle on some flax seed or chopped walnuts on top for an omega 3 hit.
- Breakfast burritos: Whole grain or sprouted tortilla shells or chapati jammed with beans, rice, salsa.
- Soup: vegetable soup with whole grains, pasta, and legumes. Lentil soup. Some people just don’t like “breakfast” foods. Foods don’t inherently have a time of day, it’s just what we’re used to. This is probably why I love pinto beans and tortillas for breakfast when traveling in Mexico, but just can’t pull it off once I’m back in the mountains in Northern California. Go figure.
- Wholegrain pancakes, waffles, and good grainy breads. Operative is whole grain, not partial whole grain or “wheat flour” which can be as processed and refined as they come. Use a little nut butter and jam. Have a bowl of fruit.
- Potatoes: hash browns or any other form you like!
- Some have taken to the habit of a smoothie breakfast that allows them to grab and go. Smoothies are not advised on a regular basis, though, as blending and whirring does disrupt the fiber in whole foods and has a diminishing effect on satiety. See To smoothie or not to smoothie? The skinny on blending your fruits and greens.
2) It’s low in fat
Here’s the thing. All plant foods have fat in them, even though we may not think of it that way. As a matter of fact, even with NO added expelled oils and high fat foods through the day, we easily consume about 10% fat in our diets. Add in some high fat foods and that percentage can jump fast. As in all meals throughout the day, to stay slim and energized, we are looking for low calorie density. That means volumes of fibrous food with low calorie count per pound of same.
3) It’s got some color
This is a great time of the day for fruit. The whole kind, avoid juices which bump up the calorie density and have no impact, research shows, on satiety. You can do this with fruit on the top or side of whatever else you are having.
A quality breakfast stabilizes your energy for the entire day, even affecting blood sugar responses after meals that take place hours later. And an extra word of precaution. If you aren’t hungry first thing in the morning and end up dashing out the door before you’ve fueled up, take some high quality eats with you! What you have is what you’ll eat and if you head out into the big beautiful world without being prepared with good fuel to eat, when hunger hits – as it eventually will – what you have is what you’ll eat. And if you don’t have it with you, well, it’s risky business!
Tell us about YOUR ‘gusto brekkie’ solutions in comments below.
Thanks again Lani! If you’d like to see some of Lani’s work and check out her great fitness programs, check out her website: http://lanimuelrath.com/
Lani Muelrath is a plant-strong fitness expert! Lani is the creator of The Body Transformation Formula and Fit Quickies™ 5 Minute Workouts. She has a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and over 30 years of experience as a teacher, coach, and trainer. She has received awards for her instruction, created and starred in her own CBS TV Show, and her expertise in the area of health and fitness is called upon by examiner.com, as Fitness Expert for Dr. John McDougall’s Health and Medical Center, coach, Dr. Neal Barnard’s 21-Day Kickstart program, and Health and Fitness Lifestyle Expert for Vegan Mainstream.com. She is Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University.