Victoria is the official Brunch Capital of Canada, yes, we are obsessed with brunch!
It is one of the best weekend activities to enjoy and Victoria’s brunch selection is really incredible. Over time, the Victoria brunch scene is getting better and diverse! More local options are available, which are really good and unique! But, how can we enjoy a good brunch without overeating?
Here are my simple tips to enjoy brunch in balance:
1. Have a nourishing warming tea to prepare your body to metabolize food
Have you heard about morning routines? having lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in hot water to improve digestion, reading your favorite book, doing a short meditation – I like to keep it simple and just make sure I am well hydrated before I have breakfast.
Before consuming any food in the morning, it is important that our body is not dehydrated and has secreted HCL and digestive enzymes to breakdown food properly into nutrients.
You can start the day with a room temperature glass of water, and then enjoy a warming herbal tea of your preference to get your digestive system moving and accelerate metabolism. A bitter tea would be a great option for people who don’t feel hungry in the morning to stimulate appetite such as; dandelion, fennel or tumeric. You can also make it as a latte with any unsweetened plant based milk, and if you want your drink to be more substantial and more nourishing you can add healthy fats like 1 tspoon of ghee or MCT oil.
By doing this little morning routine, you’re helping your body digest the food you order at your favorite restaurant more efficiently. Maintaining healthy digestion is very important for your overall health.
2. Breakfast high in Protein, Fats and full of Veggies
Avoid making brunch a dessert by choosing an entree with protein, filling fiber and healthy fats. Starting the day with a breakfast high in fat and protein has a lot of benefits! This will make you feel more satisfied during a longer period of time and your blood sugar levels will be more balanced during the rest of the day.
Look for these healthy options:
A salad with a side of chicken, eggs, wild salmon
An omelette with onions, mushrooms, spinach and avocado
Poached eggs with greens and yams/sweet potato
3. Split, Share and Enjoy
If you are craving a dessert or something you may not have during the week, like pancakes or pastries, order one meal for the table to share. Start with a more balanced meal and then you can have a few bites of your favorite dessert.
I am not promoting eating desserts frequently, I just don’t want to create fear around food. I highly recommend you to adopt a more sustainable diet, and still enjoy your favorite foods once in a while. Having a good relationship with food is as important as eating healthy.
If you decide to have some of it, don’t overthink or feel guilty, just make sure to enjoy what you’re eating. Having a little treat in moderation doesn’t affect your body as if you were eating them every single day; this is also part of living in balance.
4. Replace refined sugars in your beverages for healthier sweetener options
I know some people like to have alcoholic drinks during brunch. Here are some tips to avoid having drinks high in sugar:
ask for juice on the side so you can control a light “splash”
stay away from simple syrup or sweetener but ask for stevia, fresh mint or cucumbers to add flavor without the sugar.
usually they don’t come sweetened, just avoid too many, as they can often have a lot of sodium.
Keep it simple with a glass of rosé, champagne, or sparkling water with lime and fresh mint.
Just keep in mind that it’s better not to have high amounts of liquids while eating, this can disturb digestion.
5. Eat consciously in a safe, relaxed atmosphere
One of the benefits of eating out is the good company and a good experience.
The digestive system works much better when our bodies are in a relaxed state. Eating consciously, slowly, and chewing the food properly is also very beneficial to not overeat. It takes about 20 minutes to leptin, our “satiety hormone”, signal our brain that we are full already.
Enjoy the moment and avoid being stressed, angry or talking about things that make you feel anxious. Our emotions and feelings can also influence our digestion.
6. Support local restaurants
Local restaurants provide fresher and more nutritious food, full of vitamins and minerals!
Local food systems avoid the use of chemicals and pesticides. As we know, the use of these substances are harmful for the environment and also for our bodies. Its consumption in high amounts can potentially disturb our hormones, increase the risk of developing food allergies, plus other health conditions.
By eating local, you will be eating seasonally. In Ayurveda, eating by the season is essential to maintain health, and to strengthen our connection with nature. This philosophy focuses on eating and adopting a lifestyle according to what our body needs depending on the weather.
For example, let’s talk about winter, foods that are mostly available in BC at this time of the year are very dense and nutrient rich such as squash, potatoes, and carrots. This is the time of the year in which we should avoid having lots of juices or salads in our diet. In this season our bodies need more warming foods, rest and nourishment.
Enjoy, and be conscious about your food choices! Balance is key.