#KingfieldStrong Challenge participants have been snapping pictures of their eggs, berries, protein smoothies, sausages, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, kale, bell pepper, and cauliflower-laden breakfasts. Not only are they showing up to morning workouts more fueled, they are able to approach the day with more energy and mental clarity than if they opted for sugar-laden bars and beverages. Or worse, if they opted to skip it all together. Here's what we recommend as necessities when considering your morning meal:
1. Start with a Hearty Serving of Protein
If you’re participating in the #KingfieldStrong Challenge, you’re already aware that starting your day with refined carbohydrates like cereal, fat-free yogurt, or granola bars can lead to a blood sugar roller coaster. That roller coaster of spikes and dips that causes you to chase chocolate, coffee or even a nap come 2:00 PM.
Start your day with at least 20 grams of protein - that’s three eggs and some breakfast sausage or a heaping cup of Greek yogurt or heck, live a little, eat last night’s pulled pork and sweet potato fries. Filling up on protein in the morning sets you up for consistent energy throughout the day - not sharp peaks and dips.
2. Add Healthy Fat
Healthy fat is essential for SO many body processes. It’s a crying shame that as a country, we’ve banned fat from nearly every food group and have largely become fat-phobic. Fat buffers the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, leading us to have less dramatic spikes in blood sugar and therefore, sustainable, level energy for a longer period of time. Consider eating full-fat yogurt, avocados or whole eggs with the yolks on a regular basis. You could start today by adding grass-fed butter or heavy cream to foods and drinks you already enjoy at breakfast.
3. Load up on deeply colored fruits or vegetables
Robust health from the inside out is not attainable without an abundance of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Period. You could have a chiseled chest or back squat 2 times your body weight, but that means nothing for the health of your gut, brain and cardiovascular system. Research consistently shows that the number ONE indicator of health and longevity is in the micronutrients and phytonutrients - the magic sauce, if you will - of whole fruits and vegetables.
It might not feel like whole vegetables belong in breakfast foods. But I encourage you to try adding leafy greens to your bacon pan during the last few minutes of cook time. Add dark colored mixed berries to your yogurt or smoothie. You could even throw last night’s stir fry vegetables in with your eggs.
Mix it up. You might find gold in your experimentation. More motivational than the flavor, though, might be the way it makes you feel. Sustained energy throughout the day? Improved performance in your morning, noon OR night workout? We'd say that broccoli in your scrambled eggs (with the yolks!) is well worth it.