Recently I've started posting a weekly "curious question" on the Journey with GP Facebook page, with thoughts on food choices, symptoms, remedies and so on. Over the weekend the following question was asked: "What do you tolerate best in the morning? Juicing, smoothies, eggs, coffee, yogurt, cereal, etc." It was nice to see such a variety of answers as well as some support for those who tend to have more nausea this time of day.
Something important focus on when making a breakfast choice is protein. Protein not only provides essential amino acids for our body (including the brain!) to function properly, it helps to stabilize blood sugar. When taking in a large amount of carbs alone, they are quickly converted to glucose causing a "sugar rush." This is even more intense when going for hours without eating, especially if not eating much the day before. Unfortunately in our situation, it's easy to get into this vicious cycle of not feeling well (sugar rush, nausea, energy drop) and eating less, not feeling well, and so on. Of course, sometimes we do our best and still have bad days; GP can be quite unpredictable. But striving to make good choices daily can possibly lead to better days. Below you will find ideas, both from myself and others with gastroparesis, for starting the day off right.
Eggs - surprisingly popular and an excellent source of protein, if you can tolerate them. 1 egg has about 5 grams of fat. Hardboiled may be best to reduce added fat or possibly scrambled with extra egg white(s). Some find it sits well with toast or small smoothie on the side.
Smoothie - something most can enjoy and a staple in the GP diet. As a meal consider adding nut butter or protein powder (I'm a fan of Plant Fusion). Keep it simple with with 1/2 banana, choice of milk (almond or rice are great) and a scoop of powder. A nutritious start if you want to try adding fresh juices: 1/2 cucumber and 1 leaf of romaine juiced and poured through mesh strainer 2x, then add 2-4 oz. to your favorite smoothie.
Hot Cereal - Cream of rice, quinoa flakes, cream of buckwheat, and my most recent favorite, Quinoa Rice and Shine. Other choices may include cream of wheat and oatmeal (avoid if gluten-free and low-FODMAP, watch amount of fiber in oatmeal). Add 1 Tbsp of nut butter or serve with yogurt for added protein. For added nutrients/flavor: add a spoonful of pumpkin or some pureed fruit such as Earth's Best Organic Strawberry and Banana, found in the baby food aisle.
Orgain - Tolerated my a number of GP'ers, this can be a great alternative to commercial protein drinks such as Boost and Ensure. It is made with organic ingredients, high in protein and low in sugar. However, if sensitive to dairy and/or FODMAP's, this may not be the best choice.
0% Greek yogurt or Green Valley Lactose Free Plain Yogurt - High in protein and a great start to the day or as a snack later. Similar to smoothies and hot cereal, try adding in some pureed fruit and/or nut butter for extra flavor and nutrient dense calories.
Toast or Pancakes - Add 1 Tbsp nutbutter and a dash of cinnamon. For a grain-free version, try my Pumpkin Pancake recipe here.
Congee - Soup for breakfast? Yes please! This is actually traditionally served in Chinese cultures and is a breakfast staple, kind of like miso soup in Japan. Nourishing, easy to digest, and can be versatile when it comes to what works and taste best for you. Recipe and ideas found here.
Have suggestions to share? Leave a comment below and let others know what works for you!