This post is for you if an hour or two after eating breakfast, you feel hungry or sluggish or both. For most of us, breakfast is really the most important meal of the day because it helps shape the entire rest of the day. If we eat something nourishing that makes us feel satiated and full of energy, then we can go light the world on fire. If we eat something that leaves us feeling hungry or tired an hour later, then we can't be alert or productive or engaged in our lives. I lead a self-care seminar for women. One of the ideas we visit over and over again is the idea that how you begin your day, what you eat, and whether you do things daily that bring you joy, can positively impact not only the rest of your day, but your life in general.
I love breakfast. It is easily my favorite meal of the day. My favorite date is to go out to breakfast. I am very aware that what I eat for breakfast has a profound effect on how I feel the rest of the day. Oatmeal and I had to break up because an hour after eating it, I am starving again. After a lot of experimentation, as well as listening to my body, I know I need a good combination of protein, carbohydrates, fat, plus green veggies. That combination gives me steady energy all the way until lunch. There's no crash, which is what happens when I have toast with Nutella or jam. For me, breakfast is a huge part of having a good day. And spinach breakfast hash is one of the reasons I have consistent energy throughout the morning.
I have had health coaching clients who have resisted spending time on breakfast. Here's how I look at the time I invest in breakfast. I spend about 15-20 minutes cooking breakfast. I sit down to eat so there's another 20 minutes. Breakfast is easily a 40-minute commitment. What do I receive from that commitment? Well, I am not searching for food at 10:00 a.m. because I ate a breakfast that gives me good energy until lunch. So there is time saved. And because my energy levels are good and not dropping or on a rollercoaster, I can focus more easily for longer periods of time on what I need to get done. Those rewards are worth the time. I am worth making breakfast for. In fact, we all are! So if grabbing a granola bar in the morning is leaving you unsatisfied, it's time to reconsider breakfast.
I am sharing this breakfast hash recipe because it works for me, and because friends and family who have eaten it really enjoy it. I also recognize that a big breakfast is not for everyone. If you are ready to reconsider breakfast, my invitation to you is to look at what you traditionally eat in the morning. Do you eat what your parents fed you as kid? Do you eat out of convenience? Do you eat something because food marketing has done a good job convincing you this is what you should have for breakfast? Once you answer the question of why you eat what you eat for breakfast, then look at your energy levels after breakfast. Do you have sustained energy all morning long? Are you famished an hour after eating? From determining how your current breakfast makes you feel, you can either keep doing what you're doing or you can start to experiment with foods that give you your desired levels of energy and focus for the morning. And you can be really open-minded to the point where you reconsider what is a breakfast food. I know someone who enjoys sautéed chicken cutlets at breakfast. There's no right answer except for which food is right for you at breakfast.
Spinach Breakfast Hash
3/4 - 1 cup shredded potatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
2 handfuls of baby spinach, washed and dried
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Swirl olive oil one time around the pan, and then lift the pan to coat it with the oil. Add the shredded potatoes and stir to coat them with the oil. Sauté for three to four minutes, just until the underside is light brown. Flip and stir the potatoes so that the uncooked sides are exposed to the heat. Cook for another three to four minutes until most of the potatoes have a nice golden brown color on them. Flip and stir them again. Cook for another few minutes and then add the spinach. Stir a bit so that the spinach is evenly covering the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and let the spinach cook down. This will take approximately two to three minutes.
Add the beaten egg and stir it around so it coats the spinach and potatoes. Cook until the egg is no longer liquid and the whites are solid. Transfer the hash from the pan to a plate, season with freshly ground salt and pepper, and enjoy.
One way I make this more flavorful is I mash one-fourth of an avocado with a couple of tablespoons of my favorite salsa and serve that with this delicious hash!
Nutritional awesomeness: Eggs are a very good source of protein, some B vitamins, and vitamin D. Spinach is an excellent source of iron and vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for good bone health.
I'd love to hear from you. What do you eat for breakfast that makes you feel great all morning long?