Breakfast VS Snacking: 5 Steps To Intuitive Eating

“What should I eat for breakfast?”

That’s the question I get asked every day once people find out that I’m the founder of Breakfast Criminals. I get it: after seeing @breakastcriminals Instagram, it’s natural to assume that I eat only the most delectable, Instagrammable, wellness trend-approved dishes.

Matcha latte and siggi's

Want to know a secret?

My everyday reality couldn’t be further from it.

That’s why I decided to write this post on the power of intuitive eating.

Ever since butter coffee entered my life, I often swap breakfast for protein-rich coffee, and start eating later in the day. 

SIDE NOTE:

I get a lot of messages from you asking if you should force yourself to eat breakfast if you’re not hungry when you wake up. And while I do think that in most cases, breakfast makes you a better person, this should be looked at case by case. There’s no one-size-fits all answer when it comes to eating.

That’s where intuitive eating comes in. For example, The Slow Down Diet  shows how forceful or anxious eating robs us of the joy of nourishment, activates fight-or-flight response in your body, and slows down metabolism.

All this to say that there’s no need to force yourself to eat before your system is ready to take in the food. As a compromise, you can either bring a breakfast/snack to-go, or start with a nutrient dense drink before you get to food. 

More recently I’m taking a break from butter coffee, and starting my day with a frothy latte (like this matcha latte or this cashew milk maca latte!), followed by a delicious snack.

Matcha latte and siggi's

It’s about to get interesting.

Let me tell you a secret: while I don’t eat a lot of dairy (because of the low quality of most dairy products in the US), I’ve been intuitively drawn to incorporate some of it into my diet after my trip to Russia. You see, I grew up eating very traditional Russian foods, which included dairy with every meal. My body sees comfort and familiarity in high-quality, probiotic-rich dairy products like yogurt and kefir. Somehow a tub of creamy yogurt just hits the spot as my morning post-coffee snack.

My yogurt of choice lately has been siggi’s. For one, because I admire its tall, kind Icelandic founder whom I’ve had a chance to meet in New York (yes people, Siggi is an actual human, and not just a fictional brand character!)

But more importantly, because it’s made with simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar (only 5 grams per serving!). With up to 25 grams of protein in one cup, it’s powerful brain fuel to feel full and productive.

Matcha latte and siggi's

Wait, but what’s skyr? It’s simply thick strained yogurt. It’s traditionally made from skim milk, with cream added back into it later to make it more rich and creamy.

Back to intuitive eating: while the Internet and Instagram are great places to get ideas and inspiration to optimize your life, the truth is that there is absolutely no one in the world who knows what your body needs but YOU.

You’re the only human who has inhabited your body since the day you were born up until this moment. You have full access to all the guidance you need. All you need to do is tune inside.

Matcha latte and siggi's I’d like to offer you this mindful eating practice inspired by various teachers including Elise Museles and Marc David. These are the questions that guide me in my eating choices almost every day.

  1. How am I feeling right now? What’s my stress level?
  2. What’s my energy level? When you’re tired, hunger-controlling hormones can deceive you into cravings.
  3. Am I well-hydrated? If the answer is no, drink a glass of water before continuing.
  4. What’s my hunger level?
  5. What am I craving – is it actually food? Or something else that’s not food?

When I go through the questions above, I often find that what my body actually needs is a nap… or a cup of herbal tea. When you’re fully present for how you’re feeling – whether you’re hungry or not – you’re empowered to make decisions that will nourish you physically and emotionally. Commit to doing this practice once a day for 10 days, and you’ll be blown away by the results. Don’t be surprised if you feel light, energized, clear headed, and connected to your body.

If you’re ready to take it to the next level, here are four mindful eating practices I invite you to try:

  1. Make sure you sit down for every meal so that you can be present and dedicate this time to nourishment.
  2. How do you want to feel? Set the intention of how you want to feel, and let your body receive it through food.
  3. Put away your phone! There’s no way you can be checking Instagram and actually enjoying your every bite of your food at the same time.
  4. Chew your food!  Chewing make it easier to digest and helps your intestines to absorb nutrients and energy from the food.

Are you ready to give your inner guidance a little more attention, and your meals – mindful presence? Let me know how it goes by sharing your stories on Instagram and tagging #breakfastcriminals

Matcha latte and siggi's This post is in collaboration with and sponsored by siggi’s dairy. All opinions, as always, are my own.