Breakfast as self-care

By Chef Ann Nunziata

“How you start your day is how you live your day. How you live your day is how you live your life.” Louse L. Hay

If you are looking to eat more healthfully, but don’t know where to start, why not start from the moment you wake up? Eating a nutritious breakfast is a simple yet powerful way to take care of yourself.

Tips for adding a self-care breakfast to your routine:

  1. Plan ahead: Decide what your breakfast will be before you go to bed. The night before, have your kitchen clean and check that you have your ingredients on hand. You can rest easy knowing that everything is ready. The last thing we need in the morning is another problem to solve.
  2. Start hydrated: Just upon getting up, have a glass of water. We all wake up experiencing some level of dehydration. During sleep, our bodies are busy repairing muscles and other tissues,working hard for 7-8 hours without a drink. A tall glass of water is the first thing our bodies need. It can be room temperature, warm, or cool, depending on whichever is the most appealing to you. If you had a heavy meal the night before, add a splash of lemon juice to refresh your system. After finishing your water, wait at least fifteen minutes before having breakfast.
  3. Make it count: A nourishing breakfast will put us on the right track for the whole day. If you find yourself polishing off a glazed donut, or skipping breakfast altogether, you may find it impossible to resist cravings for sweet or rich foods throughout the rest of the day. A balanced, whole-foods meal should include carbohydrates (from fruit or whole grains), plus protein and fat (from eggs, nuts, or seeds). Check the labels of many cold cereals and pastries which can be mostly refined carbohydrates; their high sugar content will give you a quick surge of energy followed by a plummeting crash an hour or so later.
  4. Keep it simple: Toast, eggs, smoothies, and oatmeal are all quick and easy to make. You can also always use leftovers from last night’s dinner. Warm up brown rice with some milk, ginger, and a spoon of honey for an instant rice pudding; or add leftover roasted vegetables to your omelets.
  5. Make it fun: Eat something that makes you happy. We are all in a bit of a vulnerable state in the morning, so pick something that brings you comfort. Serve it in your favorite bowl or buy yourself a pretty mug. Eat outside or by a big window to get some natural light. Avoid checking email or social media. Instead, crack open an inspirational book or listen to a favorite podcast.

Enjoy these nourishing Sweet Potato Pancakes on a cozy weekend morning. Make a double batch and freeze the rest for a quick weekday breakfast treat.

SWEET POTATO PANCAKES – Vegan and Gluten-Free

Yield: about eighteen 4-inch cakes

1 cup buckwheat flour
6 tablespoons sorghum flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon maple sugar

½ cup mashed sweet potatoes
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt
1 ¾ cup almond milk
1 tablespoon kuzu mixed with 2 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

To Serve:
Toasted pecans, chopped
Chopped peaches
Grade-A Maple Syrup

Procedure

  1. In medium bowl, sift buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and maple crystals. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, combine mashed sweet potato, coconut yogurt, almond milk, kuzu, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Whisk batter only until blended. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Heat an 8-inch nonstick pan, or a griddle, until hot.
  5. Using 1-ounce ladle, pour batter onto griddle. Cook cakes over low heat until bubbles in batter break on surface, about 1-2 minutes per side; flip and cook until golden-browned.
  6. If pancakes are sticking, lightly coat pan with oil before pouring batter.
  7. Serve warm with pecans, peaches, and maple syrup.
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