I am a breakfast person.
When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is, “breakfast.”
That’s why, when C. and I attempted intermittent fasting, I found it especially difficult. For those who don’t know, intermittent fasting is a way of scheduling your day so that you only eat within a certain period. There’s another version of intermittent fasting where you fast for one day entirely and another where you calorie cycle, cutting your calories significantly a few days a week.
The idea behind intermittent fasting as a weight-loss strategy (though it’s more of a nutrition pattern than a diet as it doesn’t include restricting calories) is that it promotes fat loss, rather than burning through the carbohydrates you’ve already eaten. It’s also said to improve cellular repair and increase HGH (human growth hormone) levels that help promote fat loss and muscle gain. I’m definitely not a dietician and definitely not explaining this entirely, so read this for more: Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss.
Our version was only eating between the hours of about 10:30 and 6:30. After three days, I was miserable and sneaking bites of my yogurt around 9 AM.
I found my hunger distracted me from my work. I have a desk job and am unfortunately sedentary for a lot of my day. Intermittent fasting should work best for this group because they aren’t expending energy and calories. But, I’m also a walker. I walk about 25 minutes, briskly, every morning and evening to get to and from work. That doesn’t include the walking I do for exercise. I usually log about 35-40 kilometres a week in total.
My workouts are built around HIIT cardio on machines like the stationary bike, elliptical and treadmill and weight training.
If you’re just getting into fitness, you’ll soon realize that exercise makes you HUNGRY. Like, really hungry. Even when you’re not exercising. Regular exercise, especially weight training, helps you burn more calories around the clock.
With all of these factors at play, I was just too damn hungry to fast.
However, it did make me realize that eating my breakfast as early as I was (6 AM), was too early. I always found myself starving around 10 AM, ready for another meal.
Now, I pack my breakfast alongside my lunch and eat at work. I’ve pushed my breakfast time back from 6 AM to about 8-8:30 and I found it has been a huge help.
I also came to realize that my morning oatmeal wasn’t filling me up enough. It has fibre, but I need more protein in the morning. I was also topping my oatmeal with a banana. Though delicious and certainly not bad for you, bananas are higher on the glycemic index than most fruits and aren’t ideal if you’re looking to cut down on carbs like me!
I switched to plain Greek yogurt (do yourself a favour and never buy sweetened yogurt again), sliced almonds and blueberries. But, I still found myself craving a little something extra to make my breakfast special.
I have always loved granola, but anything you buy from the grocery store is packed with sugar and saturated fat. So, I decided to make my own.
The goal of this recipe was to make a high-protein, high-fibre granola with just enough sweetness to keep me excited for breakfast.
I’m so happy with the result. Now, I just scoop 1/4 cup of this onto my morning yogurt or my smoothie bowl and I’m all set for the kind of breakfast people wake up for.
I’d love to know if you’ve tried intermittent fasting or a new eating pattern that works!
Low Sugar Almond Butter Granola (Vegan)
Makes 24 1/4 cup servings
- 1 cup almond butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 1/2 cups oats
- 1 cup puffed brown rice
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of cinnamon (or to taste)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix almond butter, maple syrup and melted coconut oil. Stir in oats, puffed rice, coconut and almonds. Stir again and add pinches of seasoning. Taste to see if you want more of a cinnamon kick!
- Spread your granola out flat on your cookie sheet. If you can’t spread it flat, prepare in two batches.
- Bake for 25 minutes and cool before storing in a large, tightly sealed container.