Hanger is defined in Urban Dictionary as: ‘A lethal combination of hunger and anger, the result of waiting so long to eat that your blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels, impairing both your mood and your judgment. Particularly manifests itself when you are with a significant other and trying to make decisions about where to eat now that you’re both starving’.
I admittedly suffer from hanger on a somewhat regular basis. Well, I try to avoid it because I know how unpleasant I can be. I have actually named my hanger monster in my stomach Gosover, and boy does he get angry!
When I miss a meal it’s not a pretty sight and my husband knows it’s time to find a snack stat, before someone gets hurt and Gosover gets out of control!
Years ago when I didn’t pay as much attention to my nutrition I would often miss a meal or be without a snack. My body would progress from hunger pains to irritability, to clamminess and sometimes I would even feel lightheaded, dizzy and nauseous. These are the actual symptoms of my blood sugar dipping too low and my body giving me some very intense signals that I need nourishment immediately. Of course it’s way more entertaining to refer to these initial signals as a food-crazed monster living in my gut, but not recognizing your body’s needs (either too little food or too much!) can have serious effects on your body.
Of meals that I have missed in my life, breakfast isn’t one of them. I was never one of those people who can forego the first glorious meal of the day and wait until lunch for my first chance to dig into some real food. You would’ve seen my face on the morning news by now if I even tried to dabble in that practice. I typically wake up hungry, and that’s fine with me because breakfast just happens to be my favourite meal. There are so many delicious options, you can go savory, or sweet, grab something quick or take your time to prepare a nice warm breakfast. It’s the second best meal of the day….sliding in closely behind brunch.
What is the Most Effective Way to Start the Day?:
Breakfast vs. Working out Fasted
There have been various research articles over the years highlighting both sides of the coin. Some insist that this early morning meal is necessity for setting your day (and
diet nutrition habits) up for success and ensuring you don’t overeat at other meals. Other articles counteract these points and say that breakfast isn’t essential and actually doing a workout (specifically cardio) in a fasted state can be beneficial, and there are all those who support intermittent fasting. Just like everything in health and fitness, there are 50 articles supporting each point of view.
My personal opinion is in favour of breakfast. A healthy, well-rounded breakfast helps me think clearer, focus on morning tasks, perform better when doing a workout or going for a run and does in fact keep me from eating everything in site when 11 or 12 o’clock rolls around. My body likes consistency and that means 3 meals throughout the day, along with some healthy snacks.
Given that I have such a love of breakfast I thought I would share my three favourite breakfast options. These all have a good combination of protein, healthy fats and fibre – all essential ingredients to keep your Gosover at bay until lunch time.
9-Spice Avocado Hummus Toast
from the Oh She Glows Everyday cookbook
1-2 slices of bread – whole grain with lots of seeds is my favourite
- Garlic clove
- 2 Tbsp of hummus
- 1/3 avocado
- 1/4 lemon
- 9 spice mix – (mix together the following spices:(1tsp paprika; 1 tsp garlic powder; 1 tsp minced onion; 3/4 tsp sea salt; 1/2 tsp pepper; 1/2 dried oregano; 1/4 tsp ground turmeric; 1/4 dried thyme; 1/4 smoked paprika). Combine all the spices in a small jar. This will make a fair bit that you can use for a while!
Toast a slice of your favourite bread (make sure you toast it until it’s fairly crisp otherwise it will get soggy from the ingredients). Rub the sliced garlic, cut side down over the toast (this infuses the bread without giving it an overpowering flavour). Spread the hummus over the toast and then top with sliced avocado. Sprinkle the 9-spice mix over the avocado and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
I know the 9-spice mix doesn’t sounds that revolutionary, but please promise me you’ll try it. I am certain you will be surprised at how amazing this tastes on the avocado toast!
I’ll often eat one slice of this avocado toast along with some scrambled eggs.
- 1/2 cup of oats
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup of almond milk *or other milk you prefer
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- Berries, peaches, other fresh fruit
- Optional: Pecans, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts or other for toppings
- Optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder *I personally like ‘Garden of Life’
The night before mash up the banana with the almond milk and add in the chia seeds. If you are using protein powder add it to the milk mixture and mix well. Put the oats into a mason jar (or bowl or tupperware container) and add in the milk mixture. Add vanilla and cinnamon and stir until combined. Place container in fridge overnight, which will let the oats soften and the chia seeds expand. In the morning add some fresh fruit and any toppings you may like and grab on your way out the door.
You can make a few containers at once and have breakfast ready for the whole week.
Green Goodness Smoothie
- 1-2 cups of fresh spinach (or other greens)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 banana frozen *tip – peel & freeze bananas in chunks for easy addition to smoothies
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 6-8 ice cubes (depending how thick you like your smoothie)
Add all ingredients into a high powered blender until smooth. This is the base recipe I use, often I will add a Tbsp of peanut or almond butter. Adding some frozen berries and fresh mint makes for a refreshing summer smoothie. Swap out the almond milk for coconut water and add in some pineapple for a tropical smoothie drink. A Tbsp of cocoa and some mint leaves (or mint extract) makes for a delicious chocolate mint variation. The flavour combinations are endless!
Marisa is BCRPA personal trainer and a fun-fitness-fanatic living the active dream in beautiful Vancouver, BC. She hikes, swims, runs, bikes, bootcamps & yoga's as much as possible, outdoors when possible, and believes everything is possible. Find her on the web at www.motivatedmovementpt.com and on Facebook and Instagram.