Breaking The Fast
I’m often asked by friends, family, and colleagues what is the first and most important recommendation I have to those who wish to improve their overall health. The answer comes easy and quick: change their breakfast! The path to health is found by tapping into the body’s innate abilities to clean and heal and, unfortunately, most of what we do on a daily basis works against those important functions. My suggestion is to start the day right and build from there!
Considerable information circulates today claiming breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. I could not agree more, but for very different reasons than what is usually reported. Be aware the loudest messages are promoted by industries which will benefit financially from your choice of breakfast so proceed with caution! I’m going to present to you a perspective you will never see promoted by the American dairy board or egg board who, by the way, fund an incredible amount of research to back their claims. My breakfast viewpoint on the other hand comes from a place of reality instead of hype.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that while you sleep away the night, many of your organs are hosting clean up parties! If you have trouble sleeping through certain hours of the night this may be of particular interest as you can discover what organ is having to clean to the degree it is waking you during those specific hours.
You can see in the Traditional Chinese Medicine clock above that your body is actually hard at work during the night cleaning and restoring the gall bladder, liver, lung, large intestine, and finally stomach. The waste product from this clean-athon should exit the body first thing each morning. When this cleaning does not occur in an efficient and effective manner we may experience a foggy head, stiffness, achiness, and a sour disposition.
How do we work with the body to clear the waste from the previous night’s cleaning in order to be alert, sharp, and even cheerful? The goal is to eat a cleansing meal that alkalizes the highly acidic state your body wakes up in and encourage the lymphatic system to clean and promote efficient and effective elimination.
What’s the perfect cleansing meal to break the fast from sleep?
Nature’s perfect alkalizing product is fruit.
Are there better fruits to choose?
Actually, yes, there are some fruits that are more effective. The fruits that are the most cleansing are: apples, berries, citrus, grapes, mangoes, and melons. You don’t need them all or even a blend every day. Pick one that you enjoy, eat a nice bowlful, and switch out when you are ready for something different.
Wait! What about all that sugar first thing in the morning?
If it’s the sweet taste you struggle with and you prefer something more savory first thing in the morning, I suggest cucumbers, celery, greens, or sweet peppers. They are all good choices for breaking your fast. However, if it’s really the sugar that scares you, here is some great research to dispel those myths.
If you currently struggle with glycemic symptoms, you need to know that spikes or drops in blood sugar is not a primary symptom caused by the food you are eating at the moment. Rather, it is secondary symptom caused by the food you ate over a lifetime that resulted in a fatty liver. Check out this series of videos from Michael Greger that goes into this subject in great detail. (I’ll be sharing more on that subject and how I work with clients who experience this symptom in a future post.)
How can fruit be the most nutritious breakfast?
If we are comparing nutrients and calories, fruit is not going to compare to traditional western breakfast. But that’s not the goal here. The goal of eating a fruit meal in the morning is to:
- Break our fast from the night before.
- Stimulate the lymphatic system to eliminate the waste product produced.
- Start the day fresh, alert, and ready for what lies ahead.
How will a fruit meal sustain me?
If you are used to a cooked breakfast, or even muesli or toast, the fruit breakfast will feel different but for very good reasons. The meal you were eating before can take up to 2-3 hours to digest depending on the ingredients and it has been sitting on top of what was cleaned the night before giving a sensation of fullness. Fruit in contrast will feel light and refreshing because it digests and provides the body with energy in as fast as 15-20 minutes!
Important to note: When you are just getting started- you will feel hungry. The first solution is to eat what you would have normally eaten for breakfast later in the morning, or at least not sooner than 30-45 minutes after consuming the fruit. Keep in mind that over time the goal would be to drop and replace that second “breakfast” with more whole fruit or a fruit and veggie smoothie.
What about coffee?
Besides that fact that it is a ritual and you love it, most adults continue the coffee habit because it helps them out of the morning fog they experience from their body not cleaning in the first place. It also provides a false boost to overworked and exhausted adrenal glands. Additionally, the acid level of coffee often produces a quick bowel movement which many see as healthy elimination, but it’s not.
Here’s what I ask my coffee drinking clients to do, eat their fruit meal on an empty stomach and hold the coffee for a minimum of 30 minutes. Over time, most will admit they no longer need the coffee because of the positive impact of the fruit or they are able to switch to tea. Do you have to give up the coffee completely? Well, that is another article altogether. For now let’s say No, but limit it to one cup and time it well away from your fruit meal to break your fast.
So, what’s holding you back? Your body deserves to start the day clean and refreshed and you will reap the benefits all day long. Have some questions? I’d be delighted to answer them here or in an email.