Updated: Nov 4, 2019
As so many people would say - don't skip breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day!
Well yes, it is an important meal but also, like everything else, it should be tailored to suit you and your individual health needs. I so often hear my clients report that breakfast can make them feel sick, that they don't really feel like eating but do because they think they should, or they simply don't eat at all. The key to getting your day started in the best possible way is to prepare and consume a meal that digests easily, makes you feel light internally but also nourished and fuelled up.
Ayurveda has some really easy guidelines that will assist you in understanding how and what to eat at breakfast time:
1. Try not to eat before 7 am. Ayurvedically, it is the understanding that no body type is up and running properly before 7 in the morning, and eating too early can put strain on a sleepy digestive system.
2. Please don't eat until you're hungry. Eating because you think you should is one of the biggest pitfalls of our modern dietary understandings. Every one has a unique digestive functioning with its own metabolic processes. If you are Vata inclined your appetite is likely to be erratic, if you are a Pitta it can be strong and needs to be tended to immediately and if you are a Kapha type, you might not be hungry for a while as their digestive fires can be a bit low and slow. So as a general rule, respond to what your body is telling you. If you have an urge to eat, that is your body telling you it is ready to digest some food and you will likely get the most out of it too.
3. Try and have a warm drink with your breakfast if you can as this again, aids the digestion and helps it to get kick started in morning. A warm water or herbal tea is ideal.
4. Eat quietly if you can - too much chatter and distraction will slow the digestion down also.
BREAKFAST FOR THE BODY TYPES
A Vata person or imbalance is always needing to be grounded and nourished with heavier, well cooked and moist foods. Coffee is not a great choice for a Vata person as the bitter taste in the coffee bean can escalate the flighty nature of the dosha making the person feel extra light, scattered and the digestion will likely suffer also. If you are going to have a coffee, keep it milky with minimal coffee and add a sprinkle of cinnamon and cardamom to aid the digestive process. Ideal breakfast recipes for Vata would be porridge or a kheer (both of these recipes are available on the blog under the category "Breakfast").
Ah, the Pitta types. If you are a Pitta person or have a Pitta imbalance you are likely to have a pretty ferocious appetite and need to be fed and watered about 30 minutes after waking up. Coffee is ok for a Pitta type but again, not too strong and potentially without cows milk as this can be too heating for a Pitta person. Try your coffee with coconut milk as an alternative. As Pittas have a strong metabolism and strength, a hearty breakfast is a good choice. The porridge and kheer above would work well, in addition to some pancakes occasionally or some eggs on toast with greens (avoid too many egg yolks as they are heating also).
If you are a Kapha type or struggling with a Kapha imbalance, your digestion and appetite can be slower than others and needs a good kick start in the morning. Kapha types would travel well with a stronger, black coffee or black chai tea. Milky coffees and teas are just too heavy for the Kapha gut, however rice milk can be a good choice if you are going to add any. Kaphas need to be a bit light on with their portion sizes and stick to foods that are easy to digest. For example, some stewed fruit (see recipe on the blog) or some grainy, dark toast with a hint of almond butter or ghee would be good choices for breakfast.
If you are not a breakfast fan, maybe it is because you haven't tailored it quite right to your needs. So after you have completed the rest of your morning routine, I urge you try a few suggestions mentioned above. You never know, breakfast might not just become your most important meal of the day, but your favourite one too!
With love and light,