In my experience, the meal that seems to give folks the most problem, when eschewing grains and reducing their carbohydrate intake, is breakfast. At first, especially if one has just been enlightened on the truth about saturated fat and cholesterol, eggs and bacon become a morning staple. Then the novelty wears off and the need for variety creeps in.
Enter today’s healthy recipe for Super Food Cereal, made with coconut flakes, sliced almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao nibs and wild blueberries. Each of these ingredients are superstars when it comes to nutrient density and the nutrition they provide.
However, before I get to sharing this recipe, there is one caveat, while this recipe meets all my healthy requirements, grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and low-carb, it is also a “little” low in protein for my liking. We can negate this and still enjoy the variety it brings to our morning meal, by making this the star and accompanying it with perhaps a side of homemade sausage or really any protein you prefer. I never tire of eggs, so that is usually what I have on the side.
3 Reasons for Powering up with Protein
When it comes to having a healthy body composition, protein plays a very important role. It improves satiety, increases thermogenesis and ensures maintenance of lean body mass.
Of the three macronutrients, protein, fat and carbohydrates, protein takes the longest to make its way through our digestive system. This is important, as that means hunger will stay at bay longer after we eat a meal with an appropriate amount of protein.
Thermogenesis or “the thermic effect of food” refers to the calories the body burns or wastes to digest the food we eat. The body burns more calories when digesting protein, 3-4 times more, when compared to carbohydrates and fats.
3. Muscle Maintenance
Protein provides the building blocks for muscle tissue. Our need for protein increases under stress, when calories are reduced, when we are sick and when we exercise. Adequate amounts of protein ensure we maintain lean body mass.
How much protein do you need? Check out this article, The Power of Protein: Amounts & Sources, for your answer.