By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
August 14, 2015
- Are you eating your meals upside down?
- Why you should eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper
- Experience a more energetic day…and a more restful night
You know what you’re supposed to eat, but do you know when you should eat it?
This is an important concept, because eating certain foods at the wrong time of the day can leave you feeling fatigued during the day and sleepless when bedtime rolls around.
This is especially true if you eat light meals early in the day, and heavier meals later in the afternoon or evening.
For example, maybe you grab a piece of fruit and a glass of orange juice in the morning.
Or worse, a bagel and a cup of coffee.
Perhaps you don’t even eat breakfast.
In any of these instances, you won’t just be hungry within the next couple of hours. You’ll also start losing both your mental and physical energy. And unless you have a healthy snack, you’ll be starving when lunchtime rolls around.
Guess what happens then?
Most likely you’ll eat a bigger meal at lunch, hoping it will hold you until dinner time when you can sit down to a full meal.
But there’s an inherent problem in that: You’re eating upside down!
If this is how you eat, you’re most likely eating your low-energy foods in the morning and your high-energy foods in the evening.
And this is exactly the opposite of what you need to do for an action-packed day and sleep-filled night.
Morning is when you really need to energize your cells, kick up your brainpower and get your energy stores in place for the day. Night-time is when you want to slow things down.
To live your life with gusto and sleep with passion, here’s what I suggest…
Start your day with a full breakfast. Include a high-quality protein along with plant-based carbohydrates. But make the protein the focal point.
This will give you an energy boost that will keep you going all day long.
High-protein foods contain an amino acid called tyrosine that triggers the release of dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are stimulants that you want fueling your body early in the day, not just hours before you go to sleep. That’s because they promote alertness and activity.
There are other bonuses, too.
Starting your day with a high quality breakfast will keep you from getting hungry throughout the day, and prevent sugar highs and lows that can leave you feeling wiped-out.
Some high-tyrosine proteins include eggs, wild-caught fish, plain Greek yogurt, almonds, avocado, pasture-raised poultry, beans, sesame and pumpkin seeds, and grass-fed beef.
Plant-based carbohydrates – which will also support your fiber needs – include most fruits and vegetables.
This leaves the door wide open for your morning food choices.
You could go for an egg scramble with spinach, peppers, onions and other veggies. Or maybe a plain Greek yogurt topped with fruits, berries and nuts. Even a small grass-fed steak with eggs-over-easy and a bowl of fruit will do the trick.
At lunchtime, go for a smaller meal.
But you’ll still need your protein and plant-based carbs to keep you fueled and steady throughout the day. It’s not hard to create an enjoyable blend that will keep your energy levels soaring.
And what about dinner?
Load your plate with non-starchy veggies from any and all colors of the rainbow. These foods are absorbed slowly since they’re high in fiber. That means they’ll help control your blood sugar and hunger while you sleep – and help keep you sleeping all night long.
Dinner is also a great time to throw in some high magnesium foods like broccoli, peas, spinach and other greens. Magnesium helps soothe you, which can lead to a better night’s sleep.
Throw in a little protein at dinner time, but keep it to a minimum and think about the health benefits. It’s much better to add a little fish that’s filled with omega-3 fatty acids than to get more saturated fat in your diet with beef.
There’s an old saying: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.
And I heartily agree.
If you follow this advice, you’ll most certainly experience a more energetic day…and a more restful night.
Ratliff J, et al. Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men. Nutr Res. 2010 Feb;30(2):96-103.
Fallaize R, et al. Variation in the effects of three different breakfast meals on subjective satiety and subsequent intake of energy at lunch and evening meal. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Jun;52(4):1353-9.
Abbasi B, et al. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9