Why brunch on the weekends?
I am a sucker for a good brunch on the weekends. Waking up slow, enjoying the company of my family, fixing a large meal with all the sides… it’s almost therapeutic. Easy weekends are such a contrast to the busy weekday mornings of hurriedly throwing a breakfast together and scarfing it down alone in a dark kitchen or even a car. Maybe that’s why they are my favorite part of the week, or maybe it’s because good brunch food is hard to beat! Hearty whole grain waffles, fruit and nut filled crepes, or delicious egg and avocado dishes are some of my favorite foods, no matter the time of day!
Health benefits to eating a good brunch?
According to the most recent announcement by the American Heart Association, when you eat is almost as important as what you eat. Your body has an internal clock according to Marie-Pierre St-Onge, an associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University who helped issue the statement. According to research, people who eat breakfast and allocate more calories to the beginning of their day have a lower heart disease risk. Your metabolism slows towards the end of the day. Skipping breakfast and making up for the calories later in the day is associated with more obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure among other things (1). The solution; feed that burning metabolism when it’s running at its peak. Could you get a better reason to enjoy a delicious, healthy brunch?
It wouldn’t be fair to talk about the benefits of brunch for your health without talking about food choices. Eating a brunch of rich donuts, pastries, cinnamon rolls, and bacon isn’t necessarily the kind of meal you want to be eating for optimal health. The good news is that there are many healthier, and equally delicious ways to enjoy this meal without going overboard on sugar or calories. There are many alternative recipes out there to help you think outside the “donut” box. Things like scones, banana bread, even wholegrain pancakes from scratch can be made with whole food ingredients such as fresh whole grain flours, oats, eggs, or even alternative flours such as almond or coconut. There are many ways to avoid processed flour as well by instead making a crustless quiche, vegetable omelet, or making an oatmeal bar with a big pot of steel cut oats and all the fix-ins (like dried or fresh fruit, nut butters, or even cocoa powder)! Try adding whole food ingredients like mashed sweet potato, pumpkin, berries, or banana in your waffle or pancake batter. Make your own hash browns, fruit compotes, or fruit salads for side dishes. Opt for recipes that use ingredients closest to their form in nature for example, top your waffles with freshly whipped cream and strawberry slices instead of strawberry-flavored jam and cool whip.
Lastly, you should practice a little mindful eating and enjoy brunch for what it is; a gentle, delicious way to wake up and spend time with people you love. A hurried meal at a noisy restaurant doesn’t qualify. Invite friends, family, and other good company, or take the time to thumb through a magazine and listen to soft music alone in your dining room. Be mindful of each delicious bite and make the most of your morning by eating your meal slowly and enjoying some quality time with others or yourself. We don’t have enough weekends in this world, so make the most of each one with a hearty, healthy brunch!
1. St-Onge MP, Ard J, Baskin ML, Chiuve ST, Johnson HM. Et al. Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association originally published January 30, 2017.