Baby Steps for Better Health: Start with Breakfast | Natural Gourmet Institute

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Baby Steps for Better Health: Start with Breakfast

Posted January 19, 2018

Welcome to our series, “Baby Steps for Better Health,” where we share small food, nutrition, and sustainability tips that go a long way. This month we are sharing tips on how we can add a delicious and nutritional breakfast to our daily routine.

“How you start your day is how you live your day. How you live your day is how you live your life.” Louse L. Hay

If you are looking to eat more healthfully, but don’t know where to start, why not start from the moment you wake up? Eating a nutritious breakfast is a simple yet powerful way to take care of yourself.

Tips for adding a self-care breakfast to your routine:

  1. Plan ahead: Decide what your breakfast will be before you go to bed. The night before, have your kitchen clean and check that you have your ingredients on hand. You can rest easy knowing that everything is ready. The last thing you need in the morning is another problem to solve.
  2. Start hydrated: Just upon getting up, have a glass of water. We all wake up experiencing some level of dehydration. During sleep, our bodies are busy repairing muscles and other tissues, working hard for 7-8 hours without a drink. A tall glass of water is the first thing our bodies need. It can be room temperature, warm, or cool, depending on whichever is the most appealing to you. If you had a heavy meal the night before, add a splash of lemon juice to refresh your system. After finishing your water, wait at least fifteen minutes before having breakfast.
  3. Make it count: A nourishing breakfast will put you on the right track for the whole day. If you find yourself polishing off a glazed donut, or skipping breakfast altogether, you may find it impossible to resist cravings for sweet or rich foods throughout the rest of the day. A balanced, whole-foods meal should include carbohydrates (from fruit or whole grains), plus protein and fat (from eggs, nuts, or seeds). Check the labels of many cold cereals and pastries which can be mostly refined carbohydrates; their high sugar content will give you a quick surge of energy followed by a plummeting crash an hour or so later.
  4. Keep it simple: Toast, eggs, smoothies, and oatmeal are all quick and easy to make. You can also always use leftovers from last night’s dinner. Warm up brown rice with some milk, ginger, and a spoon of honey for an instant rice pudding; or add leftover roasted vegetables to your omelets.
  5. Make it fun: Eat something that makes you happy. We are all in a bit of a vulnerable state in the morning, so pick something that brings you comfort. Serve it in your favorite bowl or buy yourself a pretty mug. Eat outside or by a big window to get some natural light. Avoid checking email or social media. Instead, crack open an inspirational book or listen to a favorite podcast.

Enjoy these nourishing Pumpkin Pancakes on a cozy weekend morning. Make a double batch and freeze the rest for a quick weekday breakfast treat.

PUMPKIN PANCAKES – Vegan and Gluten-Free
(Yield: about eighteen 4-inch cakes)


  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 6 tablespoons sorghum flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple crystals
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt
  • 1 ¾ cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon kuzu mixed with 2 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

To Serve:

  • Grade-A Maple Syrup


  • Coconut Whipped Cream
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Toasted Pecans


  1. In medium bowl, sift buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and maple crystals. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, combine pumpkin puree, coconut yogurt, almond milk, kuzu, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Whisk batter only until blended. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. If mixture is thin, add 1-2 tablespoons buckwheat flour.
  4. Heat an 8-inch nonstick pan, or a griddle, until hot.
  5. Using 1-ounce ladle, pour batter onto griddle. Cook cakes over low heat until bubbles in batter break on surface, about 1-2 minutes per side; flip and cook until golden-browned.
  6. If pancakes are sticking, lightly coat pan with oil before pouring batter.
  7. Serve warm with maple syrup, and coconut whipped cream, sliced fruit, and pecans, if using.