**Interrupting today’s previous planned post to explain a bit more in detail as to why I am recommending we all “SHAKE UP NOVEMBER.”**

While some of you may eat perfectly, balanced breakfasts and do not need to replace it with a shake; others may believe they are eating well and making great choices, when in fact they aren’t, and lastly some may start their day with an “A+” breakfast and then two hours later reach for the candy jar at the office, the cookies in the break room, or a bag of chips from the vending machine.  Here’s where I would recommend to still join in on the challenge and “Shake Up Your Snack” instead!  

Below I have taken traditional American breakfasts and am illustrating the nutritional facts – not just the calories. We’ve all seen 100 times in magazines the line “It takes running up and down a football field 200 times to burn off a bag of M&Ms.” What does that mean to us? Does it matter at all?  To better understand what we are eating in terms of the balance of nutrients vs. what we are eating in terms of calories, sheds more light on hormonal responses; controlling hunger, controlling cravings, and keeping your metabolism running efficiently as possible.

Breakfast Case 1: Starbucks “What’s the harm in a skinny latte and a blueberry scone? At least it’s not a muffin or the donut in the case, right?”

1 Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte
1 Blueberry Scone

~22 grams of fat
~75 grams of carbs
~30 grams of sugar (suggested daily limit)
~16 grams of protein
~ Total of 562 calories
*Where’s the protein, bro? You carb loading to ride up that elevator to the office?”

Breakfast Case 2: The Classics at Home
“At least I’m using sugar free creamer and eating whole wheat toast and I’m having fruit; too!”

Black Coffee with 2 Tbsp sugar free caramel macchiato creamer
2 Eggs scrambled (no oil)
2 Slices pork bacon
100% whole wheat toast
1 Banana

~22 grams of fat
~44 grams of carbs
~14 grams of sugar
~23 grams of protein
~Total of 466 calories

*This one isn’t completely a lost cause, but still low on the protein in comparison to the fat.

Breakfast Case 3: Cereal Eaters’ Delight

“Raisin Bran and orange juice. What can possibly be so bad about that?”

1 cup Raisin Bran cereal
1 cup 1% low fat milk
8 oz 100% orange juice
1 slice whole wheat toast
2 Tbsp Jif creamy peanut butter

~21 grams of fat
~110 grams of carbs
~57 grams of sugar (already over the daily recommended intake)
~26 grams of protein
~733 total calories
*Click, click, BOOM – sugar coma carb bomb*

Breakfast Case 4: McDonald’s

1 Breakfast sausage biscuit 
1 hashbrown
1 large Dr. Pepper (because people have that for breakfast for real; crazy I know)

~36 grams of fat
~121 grams of carbs
~72 grams of sugar
~12 grams of protein
~856 total calories

*Holy lawd; where do I begin? Adding the soda may have been a stretch, but I know for a fact people drink them before 7am.**

Breakfast Case 5: Dunkin Donuts Dreamland
2 Original glazed donuts
1 Iced Coffee with skim milk (16 ounces)

~28 grams of fat
~65 grams of carbs
~24 grams of sugar
~8 grams of protein
~544 total calories
*This breakdown is more upsetting than the Sarah McLachan abused animal commercial; seriously…”

What you will notice in most of the cases above is that the macronutrient percentages are hardly balanced; with most of the total calories being contributed from carbs and fat; little protein and an abundance of sugar. 

Without going into too much detail in this post; here’s what you need to know to make sense of all these pie charts and numbers:

When you eat high amounts of carbs (starches) and fats (especially saturated) in one sitting; your body goes into overtime insulin production – > and when insulin is raised beyond levels it can control (repeatedly) at one time it has a hard time doing the job it’s supposed to do. Therefore, instead of doing it’s primary job which is to lower our blood sugar and get into the cell where it can be used for energy; it does the opposite of what we want: it becomes resistant and leads to increased fat storage and blocks fat breakdown.

When we send our body on an insulin roller coaster it interrupts many of the hormones that control our mood, energy, cravings, hunger.  All of which can be controlled by what and how often we eat.  

So, what do you do from here? First, all of the above scenarios need to significantly increase their consumption of protein, fiber, reduce their sugar intake and swap out the fat for heart-healthy omegas instead.  This will blunt the dramatic increase of insulin vs. eating high amounts of starch and fats together (as illustrated above).  A more appropriate balanced breakfast would look something like this:

It’s a bit higher on the protein side but that’s a much better alternative than the meager 6-12% that you’ve seen from the above meals.  This breakdown comes from the following 
Breakfast Blueberry Shake:
1 serving of whey protein
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup blueberries
1 Tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
Blend with ice
To be eaten with 10 almonds or can be mixed in as well.
~9 grams of fat
~21 grams of carbs
~8 grams of sugar
~31 grams of protein
~281 total calories

Remember; we have all month long for me to go into more detail about all of this.  I’m just trying to provide you with small solutions each day.