Time and time again, we’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’re told that if we start with a healthy breakfast, it will take care of our eating behaviours for the rest of the day. Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve been able to drink a large healthy smoothie in the morning, only to feel hungry again by the time I get to work. I used to think to myself “how can such a large amount of a nutrient-dense food not satisfy me?” and “how do I fix this to avoid overeating and in the lead up to lunchtime?”. If you can relate to this, then read on for the reason that this might be happening to you too.
Cortisol or coffee?
In the morning, approximately 30-90 minutes before waking, your body begins to secrete
a high amount of cortisol to wake you up. After 20-30 minutes of waking, your blood cortisol levels increase by about 50%. This morning peak in cortisol is known as the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR), primally engineers us to quickly move from a state of rest to a state of alertness. Basically, it gets us up and going for the day #whoneedscoffee.
Something to note, is high cortisol levels tend to coincide with increased insulin levels (the hormone that allows the body to use sugar and carbohydrates as energy, or to store it for future use in the muscle or as body fat). This is a key concept because insulin controls your blood sugar levels, which in turn affects your hunger patterns, particularly in the morning.
Coconut & Flaxseed Bircher
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus overnight soaking
Makes 7 cups, approx. 7 – 9 servings
– 1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
– 1/2 cup chia seeds
– 1/2 cup roughly chopped raw macadamias
– 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
– 1/3 cup hemp seeds
– 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder (optional)
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
– 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 2 tsp of vanilla extract)
– 1 litre coconut drinking milk
– 1/2 cup MCT oil or liquid coconut oil
– 2 apples, grated
– 1 cup full-fat coconut or natural yoghurt
– 1 cup mixed berries, to serve.
1. Place the flaxseeds, chia seeds, macadamia, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, protein powder, cinnamon and cardamom into a large mixing bowl. Stir the dry ingredients to combine.
2. Add the coconut milk and vanilla bean, mix well to combine. After 10 minutes,
mix again, cover and place in the fridge overnight to thicken.
3. The next day, grate the apple and place into bircher mix along with the MCT oil and stir well to combine. To serve, place about 3/4 of a cup or bircher in a
bowl or jar, add a dollop of yoghurt and top with fresh berries.
by Keiarna Kerr
Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional & Dietetic Medicine)