Being a registered dietitian has its perks. For one, people are always interested in hearing what you have to say about food, especially when it comes to the food you eat. I can’t tell you the number of times friends, family and clients have asked me about my own personal dietary choices. Luckily for me, sharing this information with them never gets old.
Of all the personal dietary habits that I tend to divulge, the fact that I usually eat four or five bananas for breakfast always gets people curious so I figured I’d take a couple hundred words here today to explain why this breakfast makes a world of sense for me and why a similar version might be worth considering for all of you.
As a dietitian, you better believe that skipping breakfast is never an option for me. They call it the most important meal of the day for a reason. In my younger years, I was a pretty standard cereal and milk guy, but I eventually began to desire something a little hardier. I moved on to oatmeal and eggs, which certainly fit that bill, but also forced me to wake up much earlier for work just to have time for my breakfast. I needed a solution that was nutritious, quick and easy, and that I could easily modify to fit my hunger levels.
This is where my bananas come in (FYI- I don’t eat JUST bananas for breakfast; I eat them with nuts, usually almonds). Bananas and nuts was the perfect breakfast solution for me.
Bananas and nuts are extremely nutritious, highly portable, require no preparation time and could be easily adjusted to my hunger levels on any given day. Personally, my hunger levels usually dictate that I eat 4-5 medium sized bananas with an uncounted number of almonds (sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts and others also work here too!). Keep in mind that I am a relatively active individual and so I do need to consume more calories than the “average” person.
With that being said, I believe that this breakfast “trend” has a lot of value for the average Canadian.
Here are five reasons why I think you should consider trying it too:
1. It is hassle free: We all live busy lives and I can tell you firsthand how nice it is not to have to spend more than a few seconds preparing breakfast in the morning. For commuters, this breakfast can easily be consumed in transit or at your desk while you work .No toasters or microwaves, no cutlery, no mess.
2. It is adjustable to your hunger levels: Just because I bring five bananas to work doesn’t mean I need to eat all five. On days where you are hungrier, you can eat more bananas and nuts and vice versa.
3. It is an easy way to boost your fruit intake: Most Canadian’s do not eat anywhere near enough fruits and vegetables. The good news is that each medium banana you eat for breakfast is equivalent to a Canadian Food Guide serving of fruit, so why not knock a few servings off the list to start your day?
4. It is rich in many of the nutrients you may be lacking in: If you don’t currently eat a balanced and varied diet, there is a pretty reasonable chance you are not consuming adequate amounts of potassium, dietary fibre and magnesium. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, these are relatively common problem nutrients in the Canadian population. The good news is that a daily breakfast of bananas and nuts will go a long way to fixing this problem for you.
5. It is animal free: I love my meat and dairy but I can honestly say it feels really nice to be able to eat at least one meal a day that is completely free of animal products. Even though it may be the only animal free meal I will eat all day, it does give me a somewhat undeserved sense of accomplishment. Hopefully it will do the same for you.
There you have it folks. I hope I have provided you with a compelling and entertaining account of how and why I eat the breakfast that I eat and why you might consider doing the same. Perhaps you won’t end up eating the four to five bananas a day that I do, but don’t let that stop you from giving this awesome breakfast idea a shot.
Andy De Santis RD MPH