“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.”
Often, life can seem complicated, so why does our food need to be? I love cooking elaborate and well-balanced meals but sometimes quick, simple, and tasty is more realistic. Avocado toast is one of my go-to meals because of its simplicity! There is a caveat though. Because avocado is so dense in calories, it can be an easy way to amass more calories than we need in a day. Consuming calories above our daily needs can happen because we see avocado toast as a 'healthy' option, so we splurge on the 'non-healthy' and high-calorie options on the same day. If we aren't careful, we can be getting more calories than we need. Over time this could lead to sneaky weight gain. Here are three tricks to get the most out of your avocado toast. A bonus is that you may even start sleeping better!
1. Make the Most of Your Base
I love carbs in all their glory. Simultaneously, I am also mindful of the source of my carbs. My go-to avocado toast base is Ezekiel bread. Some go as far to propose the question, "Why Ezekiel Bread Is the Healthiest Bread You Can Eat." You do not have to use Ezekiel bread, but I invite you to consider an alternative to highly processed carbohydrates and the empty calories associated with them.
2. Practice Portion Control and Mindful Eating
One medium avocado can have 200-300 calories. If you are eating 1/3-1/2 of avocado on toast, then you are probably okay. If you eat the whole tub of guacamole, then be mindful of calories in your subsequent meals! Avocado is a great fruit to incorporate into your diet. Just be aware of how much and how often you are eating it.
3. Add Protein For A Balanced Meal
Avocado toast can be a great source of carbs and monounsaturated (good) fats. Protein is one more component to get the most of your toast! Your protein source could be lox, eggs, or whatever fits your taste! You can find some inspiration for other protein/tryptophan sources at Medical News Today.
The Importance of Protein
Protein in the morning can be crucial to a balanced day. Unfortunately, it is easy to overlook breakfast as well as protein when rushing to start our day. To understand this concept, let's consider the science of biochemistry and more importantly, The Molecular Basis of Sleep Regulation!
A simple explanation:
Protein is made up of amino acids.
Tryptophan is an amino acid.
Tryptophan is also a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Serotonin has a popular image as a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness, though its actual biological function is complex and multifaceted, modulating cognition, reward, learning, memory, and numerous physiological processes (Young, 2007).
Serotonin is a precursor to melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone in your body that plays a role in sleep.
The production and release of melatonin in the brain are connected to the time of day, increasing when it's dark and decreasing when it's light. Melatonin production declines with age (Mayo Clinic, 2018).
A biochemical pathway explanation:
Dive into the creamy and citrusy open faced avocado toast. Not only is it delicious, but when mindfully choosing your toast, controlling avocado portions, and adding protein, it can even be a trick in your wellness toolbox for feeling good and sleeping better!
- Prep Time: 3 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 8 minutes
Yields: 1 Servings -
- 1 slice of bread (I opt for Ezeikel)
- 1/3-1/2 medium avocado, diced
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro, minced
- 1 Teaspoon lime juice
- Red Pepper Flakes to top
- Toast bread to your desired crispiness
- While bread is toasting, add avocado, cilantro, and lime juice into a bowl.
- Stir mixture until well mixed and creamy.
- Once bread is toasted, top with avocado mixture.
- Garnish with cilantro, red pepper flakes and/or a protein of your choice (see above for suggestions)!
- Add Salt and Pepper to Taste