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If you are like me, you have probably wondered what the heck am I supposed to eat? In my Longevity Series which is a 10-part series starting at episode 40 to 49, I mentioned a specific breakfast we can all have that is going to have a big impact on our health. You can hear that full episode at iamnickbroadhurst.com/44, Get Your Antioxidants.
I wanted to really shine the spotlight on this breakfast because it is so easy to do, it’s so yummy, you will love it, and if you have kids, they will love it too.
I am always super hesitant to ever suggest what people ‘should’ be eating, because let’s face it, you don’t want me shoulding all over you, but since I get asked this question so much, I wanted to dive a little deeper.
According to ayurveda, there are different times of the day which are governed by the three different doshas; vata, pitta and kapha:
Vata – 2:00 to 6:00 am and pm
Pitta – 10:00 to 2:00 am and pm
Kapha – 6:00 to 10:00 am and pm
First, to set us up for the day we want to ideally be waking up before 6:00am which is during the vata time of day where the elements of air and ether dominate. This is a time of meditation and spiritual practice. If you wake up after 6:00am, you are now into the kapha time of day, the energy of water and earth, which can be felt as heavy and sluggish. Waking up during the kapha time means these qualities will increase within you. This is where we can get that feeling of, “Damn, I have overslept”.
With that baseline of understanding that means we are generally eating breakfast between the kapha hours of 6:00am and 10:00am. The heavy and sluggish hours. That means your digestion will be more heavy and sluggish, as will be your detoxification systems. So, how is it that somewhere along the way we bought into the idea that breakfast is ‘the most important meal of the day’ and therefore should be the biggest? Think about it, if your digestion in the morning is generally weaker, heavy and sluggish, as well as your detox pathways, does it make sense to be throwing a whole bunch of fat into your belly in the form of bacon and eggs?
Breakfast needs to perform a few important actions:
- It needs to be very hydrating because our bodies have just gone 7, 8 or even 12 hours (if you have kids) without water. We want to be supporting the liver to flush all the accumulated toxins out of the body.
- It needs to be full of antioxidants, again to support the detoxification process and to also set us up for the day with a good baseline level of nourishment
- It needs to have a healthy mix of carbohydrates, fat and protein, according to your unique body type
- It needs to be high in fiber
- It needs to be light, warm and easy to digest
- It needs to ideally cover a full spectrum of colours from different types of plants and vegetables
- It needs to taste freaking great so everyone looks forward to their beautiful bright morning smoothie
So how do we get all this in one smoothie? Easy. No matter what your body type, the basis of the ultimate breakfast smoothie is always going to be:
- Plant based protein
- Plant based fat
But it does need to be tweaked according to your unique dosha or body type. If you don’t know what your body type is, check out my Ayurveda Series 1, from episodes 21 to 24.
Vata is unique in that this body type can really benefit from something grounding and warming before the smoothie. Upon waking you have already have had a big glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon or lime and pinch of sea salt to kick start the detoxification process and rehydrate the body (this is great for all body types).
This is not essential but about an hour after waking and after your lemon or lime water, you can have a small bowl of oats. The benefits of oats are just way too huge to ignore. The science is all there and I will dive into that in another episode. These need to be soaked overnight. For me, it’s 1/2 a cup rolled oats, or ¼ of a cup of steel cut oats. Rinse them off, cook them very well to reduce lectin content, until most of the water content is gon, and eat with a small amount of maple syrup to get glucose into your system. Remember the vata body type does very well on glucose and carbs. Don’t be afraid of natural sugars like maple syrup that won’t feed candida and bacterial overgrowth if eaten responsibly.
I usually have my oats before I do my morning exercise and then I come back for my big beautiful berry smoothie, in which I put:
1 cup of wild frozen blueberries
½ cup of activated almond milk
Pinch sea salt
That’s the basis of my vata berry breakfast shake. I don’t add fresh greens because it’s too much for my digestion in the morning. Same goes for fat. I find that the small amount of fat in the almond milk is just right for me. I same animal fats in the form of ghee for my dinner when I am in more of a parasympathetic state and can digest better. Vata’s may also like to try a pinch of warming spices like cardamom, ginger or cinnamon.
- Blend your smoothie until warm. Do not drink cold. Unless you are very pitta imbalanced, you should never eat or drink anything cold. A simple rule to live by.
- Rotate your berries every now and then to a mix of berrie so you don’t develop an allergy to blueberries. Same goes for all your meals. Make sure you eat from the rainbow of colours and try new vegetables every week.
- If you are wondering about seasonal vs frozen fruit, I hear you. Seasonal is always better. But berries must be organic as they are a heavily sprayed crop, and this can get very expensive. The benefits of berries are just so massive, that in this case I am waiving my preference for eating seasonally, just to make sure we get one meal every day that packs a nutritional punch.
- Drink your smoothie over a 1 hour period to allow for proper digestion and assimilation
Take the same base ingredients of berries, water, greens, plant based fat and plant based protein, and experiment with what works for you. Melissa skips the berries in her shake and replaces it with more cooling vegetables that help balance her pitta, such as cucumber, cilantro and romaine lettuce. Then she eats her berries afterwards with some of the protein because she loves the taste so much.
I am placing emphasis on plant based protein and fats because they are easier to digest and won’t increase your pitta like animal based products can. Save these for dinner time when you have time to relax and digest.
No matter what your body type, can also play around with the amount and types of fruit. Vata can try berries and banana to help make it more grounding. Pitta can add in cooling vegetables and two cups of berries since they generally have stronger digestion. Pitta may also like some bitter dandelion greens and turmeric.
Kapha have to take it easy on the amount of natural sugars, so sticking with high fiber low glycemic fruit like berries is a must. Again play around with the basic ingredients and see what feels good for you. You may like adding even more water in and drinking it over 2 hours to support your more sluggish kapha system. A handful of spinach, pinch of pungent dry ginger or cinnamon, cilantro which is astringent, or bitter dandelion greens may work for you, or it may not. Skipping the sea salt may also be better for you.
I will link to the Equilibrium products in today’s show notes at iam/92 . I recommend these products because they have been formulated by my friend and mentor Dr Stephen Cabral using a mix of functional and ayurvedic medicine, and in my opinion are the best products on the market. I amo not paid a cent to recommend these products. And I do want to say thank you to Dr Stephen Cabral for opening my eyes to so many life changing concepts. For berries, just make sure they are 100% organic.
My friend, it’s all about balance and common sense. Ayurveda is about bringing the body back into a natural state of dynamic equilibrium. And this beautiful big ultimate berry breakfast smoothie not only kicks decades of dietary dogma to the curb, but is a great daily insurance policy that you can easily start right now.
I would love to hear from you, so please tag me @iamnickbroadhurst on social media. Please also leave me a comment below (I read every single one!). And if you could take a minute to leave me a review on iTunes I would be very grateful. Tell me what you want more of! I am at your service.
P.S. Always listen to your intuition (and your doctor or practitioner) before trying any new health practice.