If you don’t know me, then I’ll tell you this… I’m OBSESSED with breakfast food. You could literally wake me up in the middle of the night, say “wanna go get breakfast?” and I’d be down. And it honestly doesn’t matter what the breakfast food is, I’d probably like it: french toast, pancakes, omelets, smoothies, biscuits and gravy, toast, fruit, breakfast burritos, oatmeal, cereal, YOU NAME IT. I love it all. And on top of that, it doesn’t matter what meal of the day it is, breakfast food always sounds appropriate to eat. It drives my coworkers crazy when we get to choose where we order lunch from and I choose the breakfast place. *shrug*
That being said, breakfast is usually the meal I have the least amount of time for in my day. Driving from central Oahu to downtown Honolulu is no small feat, and with an arrival time of 7:00 am…I’ve got an early morning on my hands every day. This leaves little time between when I roll out of bed and throw on my scrubs and when I’ve got to be out the door. Quick breakfasts are my solution!
Now for one more hurdle. When you have goals to reach, you can’t just eat anything for breakfast. The first meal of your day is very important, so avoiding loading up on starch, fat and sugar first thing in the morning is imperative! In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism±, it is established that our cortisol levels (a stress hormone that causes breakdown of muscle protein and fat) are highest in the early morning before we have eaten. This causes the amino acids that come from this protein breakdown to be taken to the liver and converted into glucose to counteract the low amount of glucose in our blood stream. If appropriate nutrient intervention is not given when we wake up, these continued high levels of cortisol can result in prolonged breakdown of muscle, which can significantly impact our goals and our metabolism! The long term affects of avoiding breakfast or feeding our bodies the wrong things for breakfast involve weight gain, muscle loss, decreased metabolic rate, and fatigue, while at the same time, increased cortisol levels directly increase our risk for developing obesity, diabetes and coronary artery disease.
To put it all together, having a hearty, healthy breakfast is SO vital to our health! If you’ve been trying to lose weight/tone up/control digestive regularity/increase energy levels, maybe it’s time to change how you eat the most important meal of the day. Luckily, I’ve found a delicious recipe that helps me accomplish this while letting me sleep in a little at the same time ….AND it tastes like dessert!
Overnight Oats — Lemon Meringue Pie
- 1/3 cup rolled oats (Bob’s Red Mill are my fave!)
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (FAGE all natural strained greek yogurt is the best! I get mine at Costco)
- 1/4 cup almond milk (plain or vanilla)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 rind of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (Isagenix makes a great creamy french vanilla, with dairy free options too)
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
Mix everything up in a 12 oz. mason jar and screw the lid on tight! Store in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours. Tomorrow morning, open up, top with granola and enjoy!
Calories: Approximately 300-350 (depending upon which brands of the ingredients that you use)
On Sunday nights, I usually make several of these at a time for the following week to further cut down on the time I’m spending making my meals throughout the week. They keep well in the fridge for about 5-7 days.
Feel free to play around with the ratios of oatmeal:greek yogurt:almond milk. You can make your oats more creamy by increasing the greek yogurt or more hearty by adding more oats, but also make sure you add a little more almond milk too so that the oats aren’t too dry.
The IsaLean Creamy French Vanilla shake powder has an amazing amount of nutrients in just one scoop! What a quick and easy way to start your morning off right. If you want to know more or how to try IsaLean shakes, feel free to contact me on Instagram (mrs_bethhamby), Facebook (Bethany Hamby) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
±Anagnostis P, Athyros VG, Tziomalos K, Karagiannis A, Mikhailidis DP. The pathogenetic role of cortisol in the metabolic syndrome: a hypothesis. J Clin Endocriol Metab 2009;94:2692-2701.