Nutrition Highlights: Breakfast, Fuelling for Success

By: Paul Dupuis

Breakfast. Mom always said it’s the most important meal of the day. However, many of us neglected this meaningful piece of wisdom and continued eating our Waffles suffocating in Maple Syrup and sugar filled cereal promising a colorful toy at the bottom of the box. Although it’s occasionally fine to consume more Nutella then toast, or eat enough bacon to put a Sumo wrestler into Submission, we should focus on fuelling our bodies with high quality foods that will keep our engines roaring throughout the day.  As athletes, we burn through copious amounts of Calorie rich foods every day. But when you’re heading out for a 3 hour ski, the crappy high glycemic foods will no longer sustain you throughout your workout. After lots of experimentation, and many “Bonks” along the way, I have found a fairly good and simple breakfast routine that I use on a daily basis. Enjoy, and share with others who want that extra morning kick.

I find that in our culture, we simply load up on carbohydrates in the morning. Cereal, Oatmeal, toast, waffles, pancakes, and so on. After all, Carbs= primary source of energy. on the other hand, by neglecting the important fats, proteins, and veggie/ fruits, the simple morning Carbo-load will leave us feeling empty and tired within a short amount of time. This all sound great on paper, but in our fast paced “I want it now World” who really has time to prepare a gourmet breakfast with all the nutrients needed? Although it’s easy to preach and read about nutrition over the Internet, what are some practical strategies we can use to ensure we start our day on a high note?

Morning Glory: piecing it together

So, on the most basic level, we need to focus on consuming our Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates, and Vitamins and Minerals. Although this sounds like a fair amount of work, I came across a recipe that tackles most of these elements in a single loaf of bread.

Quinoa Breakfast Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
8- by 4-inch (20 by 10 cm) glass or ceramic loaf pan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray
1-1/3 cups        quinoa flour     325 mL
2 tsp    gluten-free baking powder (regular if you are not following GF diet)     10 mL
1/2 tsp fine sea salt     2 mL
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon        2 mL
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg            2 mL
1          large egg          1
1 cup   mashed ripe bananas (the blacker the skin, the better–and naturally sweeter!)   250 mL
1 cup   plain yogurt     250 mL
1/2 cup             packed light brown sugar           125 mL
1/4 cup            unrefined virgin coconut oil, melted     60 mL
1/2 cup            Mixed nuts (optional)           125 mL

1.         In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
2.         In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, bananas, yogurt, brown sugar and oil until blended.
3.         Add the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently mix in walnuts, if using.
4.         Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
5.         Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.

Storage Tip: Store the cooled bread, wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Alternatively, wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil, completely enclosing bread, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

Recipe by:

What you’re getting from this recipe:

Protein from: Quinoa Flour, Egg, Yogurt, Mixed Nuts
Carbohydrates from:  Quinoa Flour, Bananas
Fats from: Coconut oil, mixed nuts
Fruits/ veg from: Bananas, However I would also suggest having a side of fruits and Veggies with this bread.

Another important aspect of morning nutrition to consider is hydration. Most of us always wake up slightly dehydrated, and it’s extremely important to re-hydrate our bodies asap. Here are the top 5 reason to consider drinking at least 16 ounces of water on an empty stomach.

  1. Drinking water on an empty stomach purifies the colon making it easier to absorb nutrients.
  2. Increases the production of new blood and muscle cells.
  3. Drinking 16 ounces of chilled water can boost your metabolism by 24% in the morning
  4. Helps to purge toxins from the blood
  5. Balances your lymph System. These glands help you perform your daily functions, Balance your body fluids and Fight infections.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and tips on creating a healthy breakfast. I would also encourage you to further explore the benefits of eating a wholesome nutritious breakfast.


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