Many patients always ask me what I eat for breakfast. Before I get into this topic, let’s talk about what a not-so-ideal breakfast is. I am just going to tell you as it is. Whether you believe in what I say, is up to you. If you eat cereal, bagels, donuts, fruit loops, power bars, granola bars...etc., you are feeding your body processed food. It doesn’t matter whether they are made of the best healthiest ingredients. These things don’t nourish your body right. Let’s take a look at what other things people eat for breakfast also. Protein shakes, milk shakes, smoothies, green juices...What else? Worse: a glass of cold milk, cold water, iced tea. I know I know. Please allow me to explain why these things are not healthy for you, especially in the morning.
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), 7am to 9am is the time when the stomach energy is flowing vigorously. And 9am to 11am is when the spleen energy is powerful. Usually people eat breakfast between that time frame. When you wake up, your body is so warm and cosy. Your stomach is like a cauldron, radiating healthy yang energy. In our body, we have yang and yin qi. Imbalance in either one of them will definitely cause trouble. Can you imagine dumping loads of cold drinks/food into your stomach at that time? It certainly won’t kill you overnight. However, if this happened daily, your yang energy would be depleted. I am not going to get into anther whole different topic on symptoms of imbalanced yang energy. You can probably google it. I used to teach at National University of Health Sciences. A student told me that she had IBS until she quit her cold drinks/food.
Always stick to things you can grow. You can’t grow bread, bagels, cookies, pizza (frozen, leftover ones are more disgusting). But you can grow grains. Nothing beats the most original and natural form of food. And it is easier to digest and your stomach would thank you.
Some would ask me why not green juices and smoothies (made of fruits and veggies). Morning is yin time. Fruits and veggies are yin food (most of them). Yin + yin = too much cold energy. So what if you warm up the green juices or smoothies? Still yin. Sorry. Nothing to do with the temperature. It is the yin ELEMENT. Fruits and raw veggies should be consumed during very yang hours. Noon to before sunset. The closer it is to sunset, the more yin the environment becomes.
Protein shakes? You think the protein ingredients in your protein shakes are whole foods? Not at all. Why eat processed protein while you could eat natural protein?
Many people would scream at me now, “It takes too much time to prepare. I am too busy. I have no time in the morning...” I am amazed at people who trade their health for convenience. Taking short cuts. I always think wow you really don’t love yourself enough. You totally deserve way better than this. You work so hard. Is that how you treat your body? Not just your physical body. Eating the wrong kind of food affects your mind and soul. People wonder why they need coffee to “boost their energy” or feel perpetually unwell or stressed out. If your body is not getting the proper nutrients how can you feel content? Scientists already discovered that our mood is directly affected by our inner ecosystem. I have seen numerous people are under anti-depressants. And I have seen many of them already cut out their medication by simply changing what they eat. When you have time, please read these articles:
I love crock pots. Everybody is busy nowadays. A crock pot helps you to cook your breakfast when you are snoozing. Breakfast should be warm and easy to digest. I like hot stew/soup, porridge and hot tea in the morning. Here is a very simple recipe for everyone.
1 cup of grains (brown rice / red rice / purple rice / sorghum / quinoa or a combination of all of them)
10 cups of water / chicken broth / veggie broth (homemade broth preferably, of course)
Add everything into your crock pot and cook overnight under low heat.
The next morning, in your own bowl, add in some goji berries (optional), salt, pepper, roasted sesame oil (Kadoya brand is the best), scallion, chopped ginger and serve. If you have tea eggs you could add them into the porridge as well.
You can make a bunch of tea eggs and store them in the refrigerator. All you have to do is to slice them up and add them into your porridge. Delicious!!
A dozen of eggs
A cup of tea leaves (dragon pearl is my favorite. Wrapped in a gauze/tea bag)
A handful of star anise
A cup of five spice powder
3 heads of garlic (whole)
A cup of salt (Don’t panic. You don’t drink the liquid). Also depends on how big the pot you use. The more water you add in the more diluted it is.
Add water into a pot. Stir in five spice powder and salt until dissolved. Add in eggs, the bag of tea leaves, star anise and garlic. Bring to a boil on high heat and then simmer in medium low heat for 2 hours. (Optional: In between simmering, after an hour or so, it would be best to use a spoon to crack the eggshells a bit so the eggs absorb the flavor more thoroughly)
These are just the basics. I also eat my porridge with sauteed chives and mu er (black fungus) or steamed white radish seasoned with sesame oil and ginger or steamed taro roots etc.. It varies in different seasons.
Let me know what you think after you’ve tried it out!I believe after some time you would feel much lighter and more energetic.