Thursday, August 21, 2008

The AD/HD Breakfast Plan: Feeding the Brain

This post has been a Tip Sheet in my brain for a long time now.

While I am not a nutritionist, I certainly have done my reading and study about AD/HD and diet. And I think most doctors who are up on this will back me up. I'm open to your opinions and suggestions.

After suggesting to a client that getting protein with breakfast is really important for the AD/HD brain (and for that matter, all brains), and helping with focus, she commented "But I don't really know what other protein other than egg I could eat?"

The tips I'm about to give are geared toward people who don't have much time or have a hard time organizing their time, and therefore, often skip breakfast altogether or usually eat whatever sugary carbohydratey (is that really a word? I think not) item they can lay their hands on.

Since I'm a vegan, my first tips will all be vegan in nature. This is what I know best because I live it and try it out all the time. I will offer some non-vegan (I know I will rot in vegan hell for this) suggestions at the end. Keep in mind that not all veg'n (I"ll use veg'n to mean both vegetarian and vegan) items, like veg'n sausage are equivalent to the meat version since the meat version will have other health consequences like cholesterol and more fat.

OK, here are some protein sources. I'll give some ideas on how to use them after the list. Don't forget to think outside the "BOX" of American-type breakfast items. There's no law that says you can't eat a peanut butter sandwich at 6 am.

And don't forget to drink lots of water! The brain needs to be kept moist. A dry brain is not a happy brain. And a dry AD/HD brain is just trouble waiting to happen!

The Vegan List
  • Tofu (You knew that was coming, right?) See my recipe on my Vegan blog for tofu omelettes--not exactly a quick meal, but scrambling it would be easier.
  • Tempeh (I linked it so you could figure out what it was)
  • Nuts or nut butter (Please don't eat anything you are allergic to!)
    • walnuts
    • peanuts
    • cashews
    • almonds

The Non-Vegan List
  • Meat
    • Chicken
    • Turkey
    • Sausage
    • Red meat
    • Etc.
  • Eggs (scrambled, fried or hard-boiled)
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt

So here are some ideas on how to put these items together:

Breakfast Burrito-Throw some beans, scrambled tofu (or egg) and some taco sauce and you have a meal to run out the door with. If you can't sit and eat like a human, that is. Thought: make a big batch of scrambled tofu (tofu, onion, herbs, curry or turmeric) mix with a can of flavored beans and/or some taco sauce and freeze small bags of it. Get this out and microwave inside a tortilla, (or spread on toast). Or just buy healthy frozen ones and keep them in the fridge.

Smoothie: Any combination you like of milk or milk alternative, fresh or frozen fruits, nuts or nut butter, yogurt or protein powder. A little vanilla maybe, a little agave nectar and whir that all up in a blender. Leave the raw egg to Rocky, though, OK?

The mega bowl of cereal: Involves no cooking whatsoever. Buy some nice healthy tasty cereal (low or no sugar of course), throw in a couple tablespoons of nuts, cut up a piece of fruit add your milk or milk alternative or yogurt/alternative and you have quite a hearty meal. I know–I do it every morning. My favorite right now is Kashi's Autumn Wheats with some almond milk or 1/2 container plain or vanilla coconut yogurt mixed with a little water, 2 tablespoons walnuts and whatever fruit is ripe in my yard or I have gotten from the store. This month it's peaches and blackberries.

Peanut butter on toast: a classic. If you are too rushed, just grab a spoonful of peanut butter. For fruit add some sliced bananas.

Waffle treats: Frozen waffles are not half bad! Try a topping to bump up the protein: cream cheese, peanut butter or some fruit or yogurt.

Outside the "breakfast box" ideas: a hot dog, whole wheat pasta with a little olive oil/butter/butter alternative and cheese/alternative. It's so easy to cook up a whole bag or box of pasta and then keep in the fridge all week to heat up for quick snacks. If you can't do wheat, then Trader Joe's carries a nice brown rice pasta that's pretty good. Whole grain pastas will have some protein in them.

OK, enough for now....

If you'd like a tip sheet of this information (which will probably be in a more legible format) just e-mail me and ask for it.

Liability notice: Readers should see their doctors before making any major dietary changes in their lives. I am not a nutritionist.

All posts on this blog are Copyright of Margaret Pearson Pinkham and Organize in Harmony. Text may be used without permission only with attribution to Margaret Pearson Pinkham and Organize in Harmony and for informational purposes only, not monetary gain. Of course I'd like to know how and when you are using my work. If there is going to be monetary gain, I'd like to be in on it. I believe in Karma. If you misuse my stuff, it will come back to haunt you.

No comments: