It seems like a cliche phrase, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It also tends to be the most skipped meal of the day. According to several studies, approximately a quarter of the U.S. population skips breakfast each day. A statistic that basically matches the number of clients who tell me they forgo breakfast. The reasons vary from not feeling hungry to not having time in the morning, to not feeling it is a priority. These same people will also have a desire to achieve better energy, balance their blood sugar, and break free of their brain fog. Guess what I tell them is a good first step to achieving their goals? Bingo! Breakfast.
Fueling yourself after crawling out of bed is one of the best ways to rev up your metabolism, maintain your circadian rhythm (go to bed and get out of bed with ease), regulate your blood sugar, and prevent cravings throughout the day. Research associates breakfast skipping with increased risk of chronic inflammation, as well as increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes*.
So what is a busy person to do? There are so many easy, make-ahead meals to combat the seemingly epidemic problem of rushed mornings. One of those meals is known as overnight oats. You may have heard of this trendy breakfast dish, and I am here to tell you it is as easy and scrumptious as all those recipe blogs make it out to be. You probably have oats hanging out in your pantry already, and all you need is your liquid of choice (almond milk, coconut milk, water, brewed tea, oat milk, dairy milk), and whatever added ingredients you want to spice up this delightful dish. Examples of additional ingredients include ground flax, chia seeds, shredded coconut, fruits, spices, or superfoods (maca, cacao, acai, etc.).
Oats contain a type of soluble fiber that is known as beta-glucan. This soluble fiber increases the viscosity of the food content of our stomach, which increases our sense of fullness during a meal, and allows for a slower increase in blood sugar after a meal. In addition to the health benefits of oats, adding a variety of ingredients like fruit, seeds, spices, coconut flakes, and protein powder, will boost your nutrient intake in a tasty way.
A basic base for overnight oats is one part oats for every two parts liquid. You will need additional liquid if you add a protein powder, or if you like your oatmeals a little soupier. You can put all your ingredients in a mason jar, or any closed container, close the container and shake it to mix—no cooking required. From there just place it in the refrigerator overnight, then in the morning you can grab it and enjoy!
Vanilla Cinnamon Overnight Oats
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Place all ingredients in a jar or container
- Shake the container to mix ingredients
- Place in the refrigerator overnight
The truth is, it is totally understandable to feel overwhelmed by all that is needed to be done in the morning, on top of making sure you are taking care of yourself. If you are in need of streamlining your breakfast or finding inspiration in the ingredients in your pantry, a nutritionist can help with this!
Interested in learning more? Schedule an appointment with us to get support on your journey to holistic and kind health.
|Written by Starkel Nutrition provider, Emmilia Smith, MS, RDN|
*Impact of breakfast skipping compared with dinner skipping on regulation of energy balance and metabolic risk | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
Breakfast Skipping Is Associated with Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes among Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic (oup.com)