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The 3 Breakfasts that Destroy Productivity

We’ve been sold a bill of goods…literally. We’ve been deceived into thinking certain breakfast items are good for us when, in fact, they are not. So, let’s dive into the three breakfasts that destroy productivity.

1. Sugar – Yeah, I know…this seems obvious. But the truth is people are consuming foods containing sugar without even realizing it. Orange juice, for example, is a common breakfast beverage because of its vitamin C content. Unfortunately, it also contains a massive amount of sugar…almost as much as a can of soda. At around 21 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving (that’s 4.5 teaspoons), orange juice lacks the fiber the body needs to properly manage the sugar. Therefore, you get a ‘high’ followed by a crash, which will negatively affect productivity.

Refined grains like breads, pastries and quick-cook oats are considered ‘simple carbohydrates,’ quickly turning to sugar in the body. Even whole-grain bread lacks the fiber needed to properly manage blood sugar. Sugar is also hidden in many processed breakfast foods like protein bars and cereal. Any refined sugars should be off the table for breakfast.

BOTTOM LINE: Excess sugar is hard on the pancreas, which must produce extra insulin to uptake and utilize the sugar. Excess sugar is also more likely to be stored as fat versus fuel and can cause a ‘crash’ with the sudden drop in blood glucose. This sugar crash can create a myriad of negative symptoms like fatigue, jitters, irritability, headaches and lack of focus that all lead to decreased productivity.

2. Cereal – This is ultimate fake food. With all the beautifully illustrated boxes and clever marketing, it’s no wonder cereal is the #1 choice for Americans. It’s quick and easy and ‘fortified’ to make us think we’re getting what we need when we really are not. First of all, the vitamins used are often cheap, synthetic nutrients that the body can not adequately uptake and utilize. Second, cereal often contains harmful additives like artificial colorings, flavorings and preservatives. General rule is that if it’s not an ingredient you could have in your cupboard, it shouldn’t be going into your body. Additionally, cereal often contains refined sugar, which can cause you to crash later.

BOTTOM LINE: If you start your day with fake food, you’re not getting the fuel you need to be on top of your game. Lack of real nutrients equals lack of productivity.

3. Bacon and eggs – Sorry all you traditional breakfast folks. But, this is a big no-no for productivity. Why? Well, keep in mind you are breaking a fast (“break-fast”) and your digestive system is just getting woken up. Feeding it heavy, protein-laden food that takes longer to digest can make your digestion sluggish the rest of the day. Poor digestion means you may not uptake and utilize your nutrients properly. And, remember, lack of nutrition equals lack of productivity.

BOTTOM LINE: Animal proteins are difficult to digest and lack the fiber needed for healthy digestion. It also lacks many of the nutrients your brain needs to stay focused and productive. While protein is needed for food mental function, keep it ‘light’ for breakfast.


Now that you know what NOT to eat, what DO you eat? The best way to feed your productivity is to build your ‘digestive fire’ throughout the day. Think of building a real fire with logs. Do you just dump all the big logs in a pile and light it up? No!!! If you do that, the big logs will be too much for the small flame and will squelch the fire. You must first build a tiny fire with kindling (small pieces of wood or brush) that will easily ignite. Once the fire is going, you slowly begin adding to it, making it bigger and bigger. The same goes for your digestion. Start in the morning with foods that are easily digestible, yet deliver nutrients, and slowly build throughout the day. Cooked vegetables are a great way to start your digestive fire. Why cooked? While raw veggies contain lots of natural enzymes, those enzymes may not be accessible to the human body. By slightly cooking then, the enzymes begin to break down, making the vegetables more easily digestible. But, choose what you feel works best for you. You can do your own breakfast experiment (something I do with my clients) to determine which foods work best for you.

Need help? Feel free to contact me to see how I can help you increase your productivity in a healthy way.

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