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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions

28 Comments

  1. Your breakfast looks like mine, except I just do pastured chicken eggs. And I usually have them on top of some leftover veggies from the night before. The collagen and coconut oil blended into my coffee is such a treat in the am…I really look forward to it. Having plenty of protein and fat early in the day really keeps me energized and focused. I completely agree about the snacking thing. I find when I am not getting enough sleep is when I really want to snack. I never really thought about the digestive system regenerating, but that makes perfect sense. Also, I just feel so much more satisfied eating an actual meal.

  2. When did you start incorporating coffee back into your diet? I find that out of all the cheats I have, coffee is the worst. I’m scared to even try it again. And is the collagen for hair strength and growth? The medications and very long-lasting UC flare has caused me to loose like 50%+ of my hair :(. Girl I wish I had the extreme self-control that you have regarding diet. I only have that control when I’m feeling sick or flaring in a desperate attempt to get better. But once I’m feeling well again for a few months like I am right now…I eat almost everything again and somehow lie to myself that just because I don’t eat eggs and dairy in their pure states (sensitive to both), that I’ll be fine. But yet I’ll have so much sugar and carbs…I need to stop.

  3. I think theoretically you have a good point about snacking but maybe you or one of your readers would be able to give me some advice on my situation. I have a very similar breakfast to you. Often I have 2 eggs and some chicken liver pate with butter. I find that I’m starving by mid-morning, to the point where if I don’t have a snack I’m shaking like a leaf, anxious and short of breath. If I did not have a snack I wouldn’t be able to work because I’d be so shaky and anxious. I have been busy sometimes and late getting my snack and once I get my snack I feel a little better but the blood sugar crash was so dramatic in the morning that I feel exhausted for the rest of the day. I don’t think I would be able to function without my morning snack. Your suggestions?

    Thank you,

    Madeline

    • Madeline,

      Try having some greens with your eggs and pate, the minerals potassium, magnesium, calcium that comes with a healthy portion of say, sautéed arugula with ghee/oil of choice could be the missing profile from your otherwise healthy breakfast. Also consider when breakfast is, have you been hungry for a while and ignoring it before you ate? How was dinner before, did you wake starving? If you woke starving maybe the dinner ratios of fat:protein:carbs needs to be adjusted. If you woke not hungry, don’t force food until you are ready to eat. And taking in what Lauren mentions about “showing up” to your food, be focused, be with it. And if you leave that meal not satisfied, keep adding healthy veggies/fats until you feel full. Feeling faint, light headed sounds like a blood sugar response and your breakfast sounds very low carb which leads me to believe that dinner/lunch are fairly higher carb? Explore the right amount of carbs for your lifestyle, age, not too much or too little. Avocado, coconut oil, greens and proteins are my favorite go to, but mostly because I thrive on lower carb fare. Good luck to you!!

    • I found that I get that shaking and sweating business, too – not pleasant. In my case, it’s a sensitivity to eggs. I have to space eating them pretty far apart to avoid that.

    • Madeline, you need some good fat with your eggs to hold you until lunch. Try a half of an avacado, with some good unrefined sea salt! Coconut oil in coffee is another way to get some more fat. We need the most fat at breakfast !

  4. While I agree with nearly everything in this post, there are some who unfortunately who could not adhere to eating 3 meals daily. For example, I had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass many moons ago (roughly 15 years). Sitting down eating larger quantities is an impossibility for me. I have to eat 5-6 very small meals daily and in addition, my breakfast is a smoothie. It is filled with green vibrance powder, organic pea protien (vanilla), chia seeds, coconut milk and oil, 2 cups of spinach, and a cup of berries (usually blueberries/blackberries/raspberries). I sadly cannot reverse this surgery (or time) but these smoothies literally have saved my life, and I do mean literally because the nutrition deficit became critically severe. My vitamin D, B, and iron were nearly 100% depleted because my stomach no longer absorbs nutrients as it should. It is astounding to me how much ground we have covered in proper nutrition even in just the past year! I would advise anyone needing major weight loss to read your blog prior to doing something so drastic. It is something everyday I regret doing but at that time my physical health was declining and I was scared and unsure what to do, it seemed the answer.
    You struck a chord and I agree so much that families today do not sit down together, bond together, or learn from one another at the dinner table. They want to eat junk foods and go play games or sit on the phone and its rather unfortunate. Processed foods are so incredibly dangerous and yet people eat them because it might take 30 minutes out of their day to fix a nice meal.
    I love your posts, please keep doing what your doing!

    • Hi Chibi! I agree that life requires different strokes for different folks. In general, I don’t recommend snacking but of course there are exceptions. I’m glad to hear that you have found a nutrition protocol which supports you! It’s a cultural loss that families eat face-to-technology instead of face-to-face. I am grateful my family had strict rules around eating dinner together.

  5. I can see your point about mindless eating, but like Chibi above, having three large meals does not work for me. I have IBS and can control it IF I eat many small meals instead of three large. I’ve worked this out over many years, it’s not new to me, and it works for me. I also work out in the middle of the day and this means having a pre-workout snack. Heavy weights and HIIT require more nutrition and energy in me beforehand, and after. While I’m sure you mean well, asking people to eat mindfully instead of imposing a “no snacking” rule might be better. We can’t all eat the same way. However… I agree that kids should eat what their parents give them and not be asked what they want! LOL

  6. The caffeine in coffee or tea can cause a blood sugar surge followed by an insulin surge and then a drop in blood sugar. No fun. Terrible headache. That happens to me when I eat eggs and coffee for breakfast.

  7. What if you don’t drink coffee and are allergic to coconut? How do you recommend ingesting the collagen protein especially since you seem so against smoothies? Btw I love your site!

    • I just add the collagen protein to my water every morning (I hate coffee!) – it adds great protein and helps digestion – it has no flavor and dissolves well in room temperature water (it will clump in cold water)

    • Herbal tea, Miso, such as is commonly used in Japan. I love Miso, and even though it’s a soy base, if you get a natural one, it’s fermented for many months. the soy is converted into digestable proteins and probiotics and is not detrimental to your health like the forms of soy that are so common these days. I don’t do fresh soy, no soy milk, no tofu, no edamame. but miso and naturally fermented soy are healthy. for the fats, use olive oil, or butter or bacon grease to cook your veggies and eggs in if that’s a better solution for you.

  8. An interesting article! I’m in the minority that hates eating and socialising at the same time. I need a calm, quiet environment that allowes me to eat in peace – especially for the early meals of the day. I’ve always become incredibly tense when someone was keeping up idle conversation during a meal, and wasn’t able to relax even afterwards.

    I’m introverted, which may have something to do with this. Social occasions are a time of energy exertion for me, and I need alone time to compensate.

    Just wanted to throw this out there 🙂 I’m entirely sure there are folks who actually need social interaction to digest properly, but then there are people like me who need to avoid it:

    • Gertie, I absolutely understand your point about eating alone. I too find that I feel more satisfied after consuming a meal by myself. It can be hard to converse with others and eat at the same time. Besides often conversations can evoke negative emotions within, which is certainly not good for digestion, as I have discovered many times. I find that many people often rush through their meals and I end up trying to match their pace so no one is waiting on me or leaves me behind. It is interesting that everyone has a unique experience, as well as individual needs when it comes to nutrition. I think it is always worth mentioning that you must do what works for you.

  9. An interesting article! I’m in the minority that hates eating and socialising at the same time. I need a calm, quiet environment that allows me to eat in peace – especially for the early meals of the day. I’ve always become incredibly tense when someone was keeping up idle conversation during a meal, and wasn’t able to relax even afterwards.

    I’m introverted, which may have something to do with this. Social occasions are a time of energy exertion for me, and I need alone time to recover.

    Just wanted to throw this out there 🙂 I’m sure there are folks who actually need social interaction to digest properly, but then there are people like me who need to avoid it.

  10. Awesome info! I loved reading this, as well as your article on how the French eat.

    I have to admit, I am struggling though. I live alone, and while I dream of a family one day I can sit down and discuss/laugh with over nice hearty meals, I don’t have that right now. Lauren, on occasions when you have to eat alone, do you have a particular ritual that helps you relax and get “happy” about sitting down to eat alone? I’m guessing TV probably isn’t in the mix? Any tips you can give me?

    Secondly, I have to ask about your breakfast. Do you not recommend switching foods up to avoid developing food intolerance? Breakfast is by FAR the most difficult meal of the day for me, as with candida/adrenal issues I struggle to get out of bed in the morning and crave carbs to “fuel” me. I want to switch out for more protein, but– especially since eggs are a potentially “allergenic” food– is it really a good idea to eat them every single morning? Thank you!!

    • Chloe, I, too, often find myself dining alone. One thing I’ve found helpful is to think about what I am grateful for and what enriches my life. Listening to music also helps me be more present in the moment.

  11. Hi!

    What do you mean when you say “I recommend eggs and sausage, or some of the other breakfast recipes available in my free Steps for Sustenance.”?
    I’m Brazilian and the most common ‘sausage’ here is the thing that goes inside hot dogs and I don’t think we are talking about the same thing hehehe.
    Could you show me what is this ‘sausage’?

  12. Hello Lauren,
    I just wanted to say that reading this post was the final thing that convinced me to not to snack between meals, and it has made an enormous difference.
    I tend to get cravings during the day, especially in the afternoon. I always had one or two snacks between lunch and dinner thinking they helped decrease them, even if they always left me hungrier than I was before eating them. The only thing that has always worked for me was to maintain a very low carb diet, which would make them disappear within three days. However, I often find myself in social situations where I eat a lot more carbs that I am used to, and the following day they always came back.
    Since I stopped snacking I find myself having significantly less cravings, even after upping my carbohydrate intake. I do not measure my blood sugar, but I assume that doing this has helped stabilize it. I´m thrilled as butternut squash is one of my favorite foods but I always tried to avoid it, now I know I can enjoy it and still be craving free the next day 🙂

  13. Hi Lauren,
    I always try and link these ideas back to our ancestors and how they lived, and this post made me think of hunter-gatherer societies. I have never been in a true hunter-gatherer culture but I always pictured them as grazing throughout the day as they moved around and gathered food. I know when I find a berry bush or other edible things I just naturally start eating them. Wouldn’t this mean that we are possibly still programmed for a similar eating style? Maybe not every day, because I’m sure there were scarcer periods of food, but at least a good amount of the time? What are your thoughts on this?

  14. Hey, great article. I think your reasoning was well-rounded and addressed not just nutritional needs, but emotional ones as well. I live in China and have noticed an interesting difference here in that they don’t usually snack, unless it’s a social thing, such as their occasional “night snack” when they go out to eat street-food late at night, usually as a celebration of a festival or when they finish exams. Unfortunately Western customs and foods are coming into the society here and changing that, and you can see that people are struggling more with health, weight, and being too independent, but their traditional culture is still to sit down and have meal with someone else, and it’s one of the most important aspects of their social culture. I’ve wondered for a while if part of the link to their ability to eat so much but stay so thin has been that they don’t snack. I find that when I’m in someone’s hometown with their family, and I can’t control what I eat, but have to eat what they do, I usually end up losing weight, despite feeling overfed the whole time from their giant family meals. So, I think I’m going to try this no-snacking thing, but I am glad you pointed out that it takes some planning, to eat the right things at meals, so that hunger doesn’t get you later. 🙂 Thanks for your article. It gave me the little push I needed to try this out!

  15. I’ve lived in Korea for over 10 years now and Korean children snack all the time. They even have this thing called a “snack-party” where they pool their snacks all together after school and eat like crazy. Cafe culture has also taken over so you see adults munching on cake and lattes in the middle of the afternoon. As a result, Koreans as a whole are getting fatter just like North Americans. Snack food and convenience stores are everywhere here.

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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