I’ve always struggled with maintaining my energy throughout the day. No matter how much I slept or how healthy I ate, I’d always find myself reaching for a second, third, fourth cup of coffee, or craving something sweet halfway through my morning.
I was fed up. Tired of feeling drained all the time, I decided to turn to Ayurveda.
For a while, I’d been incorporating Ayurveda into my life here and there; with little things like using ghee instead of vegetable oil when I cook, and doing my very best to eat seasonally and for my body type.
But I’d never really committed to it. I wanted learn more because I’m always reading about all the amazing benefits of Ayurveda, so I got online and began my research.
In Ayurveda, there’s a lot of emphasis put on Agni, or digestive fires. Agni is the metabolic energy that helps the body absorb nutrients, eliminate waste, it generates heat, and transforms our food into energy that the body needs to thrive.
If our Agni is healthy and burning hot, we’ll have more energy throughout the day; as our Agni cools off, our body starts to move more slowly and we begin to feel sluggish.
When we first wake up in the morning, our digestive fires naturally run a little cooler. This makes it more difficult to digest food first thing in the morning. What this means is we need to eat food that is easy to digest and also ignites our inner fire, from the get go.
Eating warm, spiced foods is a great way to do this. Whether it’s cooked fruit or vegetables, warm spiced cereal or hot lentil soup; there are many ways to create heat in those early hours each morning.
And I tried a lot of them.
I started with stewed apples topped with cinnamon and cardamom. It was delicious, but it wasn’t something I wanted to eat every morning. It also didn’t fill me up enough, so I didn’t feel it’d be a sustainable choice.
From there, I decided to try cream of rice soup and then lentil soup—still not quite right for me. These both take a little more preparation to make and I wanted to keep my breakfast as simple as possible so it’d be easy to maintain.
So I decided to go back to basics: oats. I don’t know why I didn’t just start here. I’ve always loved oats and they have some great health benefits, if you get the right kind. I went with steel cut.
I found a recipe from Joyful Belly for Oatmeal with Cloves, Cardamom & Maple Syrup, and the rest is history.
I added ginger tea to my repertoire to have before my coffee—it’s made a huge difference in my digestion and feels really nice on the stomach first thing in the morning. I make the tea from fresh ginger, which makes a huge difference in taste.
You can find the recipe I use here.
The combination of spices—in the tea and the oats—mixed with the sweetness of maple syrup hits the spot. Not only that, but it’s so easy to make!
I’ve never been a big eater first thing in the morning, but this oatmeal is light enough on my stomach that I don’t feel as if I’m stuffing myself full. And the high fiber in the oats keeps me full much longer than if I was to start my day with a cold cereal.
It’s satisfying, delicious and perfect for the fall, when things are starting to slow down and cool off. Knowing I’m going to have something that’ll warm me up makes getting out of bed in the morning so much easier.
But the point of all this was to feel better. And I do.
I have energy throughout the day. I’ve cut down on my obsessive coffee intake (although I still have a cup in the mornings—I am human, after all), and I don’t drag all day long.
I’ve noticed a difference in my digestion and I don’t crave a sweet treat halfway through the morning.
I no longer wake up wondering what to eat for breakfast, and I definitely don’t wonder about how I’m going to feel all day long—and now that I’ve tried a few different options, I know what I like and what works for me.
Sometimes that’s key. We can read about what’s healthy for us all day long but we’ll never know what works until we actually try it out.
So give it a go, what breakfast will change your life?