I’ve you’ve read “Born to Run,” eating salad for breakfast isn’t a new topic for you. Eating salad for breakfast was noted in the book as a way for runners to increase their energy and eat a more filling meal.
I have always struggled with being full after eating breakfast during the week. I don’t have enough time to make a substantial breakfast with eggs, nor would I want to eat eggs every day. I usually eat cereal, and once in awhile will make oatmeal. I eat breakfast at 8 a.m. or so, and by 9:30 or 10 a.m. I am always starving. No matter how much cereal I eat, it doesn’t fill me up! I started thinking about the whole eating salad for breakfast thing, and wanted to test it out.
So I did it. This week, I ate a salad for breakfast. Each morning, I took a picture and a few hours later, wrote down how I felt post-salad:
Monday: Day one. Today was kind of an epic fail in the experiment. 1) I think I made my salad too small because I was hungry before I even left the house. 2) I think my body is adjusting to not having carbs for breakfast because I had a half hungry, half sick stomach. 3) I finally gave in by 10:30 and snacked on some raisins, followed by Combos (bad!). Lessons learned: Bigger salad = better.
Monday night: I did notice that I was quite grumpy this evening, but I’m not sure if it’s from carb withdrawals or if it was just a bad day through and through. When I realized how crabby I was (on my walk back from Target to our apartment in the rain), I had an “ah ha!” moment when I connected the dots that it might be from carb withdrawals. Hmmm…
Tuesday: Today went much better than yesterday. I decided to eat a huge salad – probably about twice as big as the one I had yesterday. I not only doubled the amount of lettuce, but doubled the amount of tofu. I added in cucumber instead of carrots, and stuck with the grape tomatoes. I will not buy that garden mix again because there was some, uh, interesting leaves in it. I still had a weird feeling afterwards, like I was on the verge of turning into Pukey McPukester. It went away faster than it did yesterday. I stayed full until noon, and found that I didn’t need as much food to fill me up at lunch (I had a peanut butter sandwich, carrots and animal crackers and felt stuffed).
Wednesday: Today was the first day that I didn’t get the sick feeling after eating my salad! I feel like I have more energy in the morning, even after waking up today at 6 a.m. after not doing so for nearly two weeks. I also feel like I stay full longer (no morning snack today) and am more full after eating my lunch. I also switched up the dressing and did Italian instead of the raspberry vinaigrette. It tasted fine, but left me with an Italian dressing aftertaste all day. Tomorrow I will be switching it up as I’m all out of tofu! Hardboiled egg, anyone? Ooh! Or what about turkey bacon? Decisions, decisions!
Thursday: The hard-boiled egg was a great addition to my salad! Along with the cottage cheese. I calculated the approximate calories in the salad, and came up with 420 calories… and that’s of good, solid food. Not processed sugars that my body has no use for. I have had a headache since yesterday afternoon and I’m wondering if it’s because I’ve drastically cut my carb intake? I’m still eating carbs for lunch and dinner, but this is one headache I can’t shake. I did a little research online and it sounds like that is common when you cut out some carbs. However, I still feel better in general.
Friday: Today, I felt like I had been eating salad for breakfast for years. It just seemed so normal. I think the combination of the egg and the cottage cheese fills me up a lot. I also think I ate two really filling meals yesterday, which meant that I wasn’t extremely hungry when I woke up this morning. I am excited to try this for a few more weeks to see that the long-term effects are on my body and on my training.
My body took a few days to adjust to the new salad diet, but I really enjoy eating salads for breakfast. I think it’s something that I’ll try to continue for a few more weeks just to see what happens. Will I maintain — or improve — my current level? Will I lose weight? Will it positively impact my training? I feel that by focusing on having a solid protein (egg, spinach, tofu, etc.) with my salad, which is naturally filled with tons of nutrients, I am providing my body with the food it needs to start the day. A healthy start, rather than an empty-calorie sugar-filled breakfast.
Would you ever try eating salad for breakfast? Do you think I will experience awesome long-term benefits if I continue?
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