In honour of this year’s Nutrition Month theme, our next five articles will focus on healthy, digestive-friendly eating for the work day. This week we’ll focus on the first meal of the day. Whether you’re employed with the typical 9-5, or your schedule is all over the place (like mine!), we can all agree that breakfast is important to the start to our day.
Many people rush out the door in the morning, leading them to neglect the most important start to their day – their first meal! Or what I do in working at home, is get started on the computer checking my email and starting work – then I realize it’s 10:30 and I haven’t eaten. Does this happen to you? We’ve all had these days and for some of us they are more frequent than they ought to be.
Why exactly is breakfast so important? The answer is in the name itself. It literally “breaks” your “fast” from the night before – think about how undernourished your body is when you wake up. You haven’t eaten or drank anything for about 8 hours, and properly refuelling your body within 1-2 hours of waking up will kick-start your metabolism and provide you with a great amount of balanced energy that will last until your next snack or meal.
How to Build a Low FODMAP Breakfast
To keep things simple, all meals should consist of three basic components: Carbohydrates, Protein, and a Vegetable and/or Fruit.
Carbohydrates are an essential part of every meal, as they are the main source of energy for your body and brain. They work to keep your blood sugar levels steady, meaning you won’t be experiencing that dreadful mid-day crash! A few carbohydrate-containing low FODMAP breakfast staples include: oats, potatoes, gluten-free bread, berries, bananas, kiwi, and cantaloupe.
Protein, on the other hand, isn’t used as an instant energy source, but works hard in your body build to repair muscle, bones, and skin. Think of how weak and sluggish our bodies would feel if we don’t have healthy muscles and bones. Some great high-protein breakfast foods include: eggs, lactose-free yogurt, lactose-free cottage cheese, peanut butter, walnuts and pecans.
Incorporating vegetables or fruits into your breakfast meal will also provide you with fiber to keep you full until your next meal. For those of use with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or other digestive issues, we want to focus on finding soluble fiber sources, as they work as a bulking agent, decreasing the time it takes food to move through your gut. Soluble fibre forms a gel in the gut and moves through the system much easier than insoluble fibre. To learn more about fibre and IBS, check out our article What’s all the Fuss About Fibre?
These three components, in combination, will work to keep you feeling full and energized, so do you best to plan your meals this way.
Quick Low FODMAP Breakfast Ideas
I absolutely love breakfast ideas that can be prepared ahead of time – it saves me from rushed mornings when I have to get ready and leave early. Plus it helps me to make sure I’m getting food good for my gut and to boost my energy.
Low FODMAP Recipe: Overnight Oats
Makes: 1 serving
Time: 5 minutes prep
2 tsp brown sugar or maple syrup *as desired
1 tsp cocoa
½ cup instant rolled oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
1.5 cups almond milk
In a bowl, mash ¾ of the banana with brown sugar and cocoa until a paste is created.
Stir the oats and chia seeds inside the mixture. Add milk while stirring continuously.
Place the mixture in a storage container or mason jar, and place it in the fridge overnight. Simply take it out of the fridge and enjoy the next morning! Slice up the remaining ¼ of your banana to use as garnish. Alternatively, add 2 tbsp chopped walnuts or pecans to make sure you have enough protein to get your day started.
*For those who would like to enjoy warm oats, simply prepare this recipe in a microwave safe container and pop it in the microwave for a minute or so when you are ready to eat in the morning.
For more breakfast meals that can be conveniently pre-made, try these out:
- Trail mix + low FODMAP fruit
- Smoothies – portion out ingredients and freeze them in individual bags to make smoothies even quicker!
Simple Morning Meal Ideas
If you have a few minutes in the mornings and want to use that time to make breakfast, try these quick, low FODMAP meal ideas:
- 2 slices gluten-free toast with peanut butter and a small smoothie with 1/2 banana, lactose-free yogurt and flax seeds
- ½ cup lactose-free Greek yogurt with 4 tbsp granola and ½ cup low FODMAP berries
- 2 eggs in a gluten-free wrap with grated cheddar cheese, freshly diced tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and lettuce
So take some time to think about your mornings to make sure you properly nourish your body before you head off for a busy day.
Much love & good eating,
Stephanie & the Team