As much as we all love the fabled bacon and eggs in the morning, it may not exactly be the best thing to eat when we first wake up.
Mornings are a crucial part of your day.
There’s a reason people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Whatever we expose ourselves to, consume and think about in the first 30-60 minutes after waking up determines the path the rest of our day follows.
(See our Morning Gratitude post for more on that.)
Think of it as a slingshot aiming to hit a target.
The first few seconds are taken to take aim and position where sling should go.
This is your morning.
Even though no actual movement is being made, it is being set up so that progress (the trajectory) can be made in the right direction.
And that’s exactly what mornings are for. Aiming yourself to go down the right path for the rest of the day, physically and mentally.
What you think about, eat, do and say for these first 60 minutes is key.
So you can see the importance of stuffing your gut with only what’s good for you.
Fill it with enough food and drink that are proven to be “good” for you in those first crucial minutes can make or break the rest of your day.
Introducing the Vegan breakfast diet.
The infamous part time vegan.
Now before you close your browser and go back to watching funny cat videos, there is SCIENCE behind the vegan claims.
Vegan food is much easier on the stomach which means faster and more comfortable digestion.
As well as cleaner and more sustainable energy.
As well it often contains the nutrients and vitamins crucial for our brain health.
“But what about my protein? I need mah proteinzz!!”
Yes, meats and animal products are rich in protein, iron and other vitamins but they also take more processing power to get broken down by our stomach acids.
Eating plant based foods when your stomach is empty helps clear up your digestive tract with minimal energy.
Which, when we’re trying to get our day started on the right note, works in our favour.
So I’ve been trying this vegan breakfast diet recently, to see how it affects my performance.
And I gotta say, something is definitely DIFFERENT.
Instead of binging on eggs, sausage, milk and butter I try to go for a more plant-based morning.
In hopes of priming my brain with clarity and clean wakefulness, as the vegan diet proclaims.
Rather than the stomach bloating obsession of animal based foods.
So here’s how my diet consists of, mixing and matching the following meals depending on my morning:
Wake Up Mix (green drink, chia seeds, cocoa)
Right when I wake up. I take this a little bit to the extreme by filling a glass with green powder (I go with 1st Phorm’s Optigreen’s 50 - not an advertisement just my personal choice), chia seeds and cocoa powder on my night stand before I sleep.
When I wake up I immediately fill it with water and chug the chunky beverage before I can convince myself out of it.
Doesn’t taste bad but the texture needs some getting used to.
Everything plays an important part. The green powder obviously gives you a kick of super dense nutrients right from the get go.
The chia seeds are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids to get your digestive track moving.
And the cocoa powder provides a burst of wakeful energy rich in antioxidants.
Yep. I did the math.
Veganproof Coffee w/L theanine
A lot of people have been swearing by the bulletproof coffee as a great source of sustainable energy in the morning. So I vegan’d it up by swapping the regular unsalted butter with virgin coconut oil.
1 cup of coffee
A splash of cashew milk
A scoop of virgin coconut oil
All blended up in a mixer. Super frothy and very creamy.
Top it off with an L-theanine supplement which is supposed to promote a more longer lasting caffeine buzz (instead of the traditional spike and crash) and you’ve got yourself a winner.
The Classic Morning Shake
The main course. The morning shake.
Nothing too special here. Just fill a blender with your choice of frozen and non-frozen fruits, cashews, almonds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, spinach, kale, avocado, organic peanut butter, cocoa powder, and so on with a cashew or almond milk base.
This is an extensive list that I choose from so get creative and pick what you like as long as you keep it plant-friendly.
For experts: The Vegan Keto
Now if you really want to get intense with this, I sometimes substitute the above shake with a high-fat low-carb “keto” style breakfast.
So it isn’t ACTUAL keto since our bodies don’t go into ketosis if we are eating more than about 30 grams of carbs a day, but I’ve just named it so as a meal to avoid excess carbs in the morning.
Fair warning: it’s not for everyone.
1 whole mashed up avocado
Chopped up spinach
A clove of garlic (brush your teeth after!)
Bit of lemon juice
Salt & pepper
All mixed around in a bowl. Yep that’s it. Eat it with a spoon or served on a leaf of lettuce as your “bread”.
Nuts and berries to carry on
And lastly a bowl of nuts and berries to carry me through the rest of the morning. Again, usually a mix of cashews, almonds, brasil nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dried goji berries.
And once again you can go nuts (haha lame) with whatever nuts and berries you prefer, just giving you my personal take.
Here’s is what I’ve noticed about on the days I opt in for this diet. As always it can potentially be a sort of placebo effect, but hey that works for me:
1. Not as Full After
A “normal” breakfast has me feeling a little too bloated after almost like I want to go back to sleep.
Not the case with the vegan breaky.
2. No Early Afternoon slouch
Ever feel a little too tired a short while after breakfast? Not anymore I don’t.
I put this to the test by ditching the vegan b-fast one morning for 2 slices of leftover meat lover’s pizza from the night before.
I literally fell asleep within 30 minutes of eating it.
Placebo? Maybe. But it happened.
3. Clearer Thinking
The good ol' brain feels just a little steadier and focused when I start my first bit of work for the day with some plants and healthy fats in my stomach.
4. Better Mood
This carries on to a happier and more positive mood that starts my day off on a good note and continues on into the afternoon.
5. More of a gradual rise of energy than a quick spike
Especially with the coffee. No more quick spike of energy that quickly subsides into a crash but instead a more level rise that sustains itself.
6. Higher tendency to eat better for the rest of the day
Self explanatory. Eating super healthy in the morning makes me more motivated to eat healthier for the rest of the day.
7. More motivation to go to the gym
More motivation in healthy eating = more willpower to do stuff. Like go to the gym.
8. Enjoy my meats more at the end of the day
Real vegans look away. As much as I try to eat healthy I still enjoy some juicy tender meats once in a while.
And that ooey gooey cheddar glazed chicken tastes so much better at the end of the day when I’ve avoided it all day. Probably not the best point to mention if we are trying to transition into full vegan, but hey I warned you.
And that’s what it is - the Vegan breakfast. I’ve been trying it for a little while now and I gotta say my mornings do feel a lot better.
If you already are vegan, great! Here’s a breakfast meal plan you can follow or get inspiration from.
If not who knows, eventually this sort of diet may transition the rest of us into full vegan.
Even if the sound of “vegan” makes you cringe, give this a shot if you want to experience more wholesome, healthy and uplifting mornings.