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What To Have For Breakfast?

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"What To Have For Breakfast?"
Dicken Weatherby, ND

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet many people I consult with are either skipping it or eating the wrong foods. The purpose of this article is to put breakfast into the context of what it does for your metabolism and to give you a great recipe for a power breakfast shake that will set your energy and blood sugar/cortisol levels right throughout the day.

Blood Sugar and Cortisol Swings Across a 24-hour Period

The purpose of a a good quality breakfast is to stabilize your blood sugar and cortisol levels and to avoid prolonged swings throughout the day. Cortisol is the stress hormone released from the adrenal glands and its job (among many of its functions) is to raise blood sugar levels when they start to fall below optimal levels. It does this my mobilizing stored sugar in the liver (a substance called glycogen) and from muscles. It is one of the biochemical opposites to the hormone insulin, which is released by the pancreas in response to rising blood sugar levels. Cortisol raises blood sugar by releasing sugar stores and insulin lowers blood sugar by storing it either as glycogen or more commonly as fat.

If you eat your last meal of the day at about 8:00 PM and don't eat anything until 8 o'clock the next morning you will undergo a 12 hour fast during the night. Now, the food you consumed in the evening will keep your sugar levels at an optimal level until early morning when they start to slowly drop below optimal. At some point your body will release cortisol to bring the dropping blood sugar levels up to optimal by the time you wake up. This is a very normal process. The problem starts when you skip breakfast or eat fruit and a bowl of yogurt thinking that this is the best thing for you to eat.

We know that increasing cortisol levels are very strongly implicated in weight gain so it is very important that you understand what happens when you either skip breakfast or choose a breakfast that is high in carbohydrates such as fruit, cereal, muesli, or yogurt.

The Morning Scenario

It's 8 o'clock in the morning and your blood sugar levels are low but functional. You decide that you will either skip breakfast because you think that it is the best option for weight loss or choose a breakfast of a banana, an apple, and a bowl of yogurt. Unfortunately both of these will play havoc with your metabolism. The fruit and yogurt are what I call fast burning foods and they will raise your blood sugar levels quite high. This stimulates the release of insulin, which will work to lower the blood sugar level. Because these are fast burning fuels your blood sugar levels will begin to drop quickly in response to the insulin to the point that it triggers a burst of cortisol from your adrenal glands to prop up the blood sugar levels. The roller coaster ride of rising and falling glucose and cortisol levels has just begun.

By mid morning you have a glucose level that is being propped up by cortisol rather than long burning fuel and you have adrenal glands that are being called upon again to rescue your body from plummeting blood sugar levels. This scenario is called reactive hypoglycemia. Your body is in a reaction mode to the artificially created hypoglycemia that has been caused by the consumption of a high carbohydrate breakfast.

The Afternoon Scenario

It doesn't stop there because most people choose a mid-morning snack that is sweet. Again the blood sugar rises, then drops, and the adrenal glands come to the rescue. This continues with lunch that usually consists of a salad with a small amount of protein or a pasta or baked potato. It is no wonder that you feel so tired and sleepy by mid afternoon because your blood sugar levels are dropping and your adrenal glands are so exhausted from pumping out cortisol that it takes a cup of tea or a chocolate biscuit to wake you up. The cycle begins again with supper and continues day in and day out until it is broken.

How to Break the Cycle

My recommendation is that you choose long burning fuels such as protein or a protein shake for breakfast and focus on eating smaller and more balanced meals across the day. The aim is to keep your blood sugar levels at an optimal level and to avoid the release of cortisol as much as possible. In my opinion this starts with eating correctly first thing in the morning.

Dr. Weatherby's Ultimate Protein Shake

I have put together the following recipe to provide good quality nutrition in an easy to prepare breakfast shake. It is designed as a replacement or as an adjunct to breakfast but may be used throughout the day to provide long lasting energy and to maintain optimal blood sugar and cortisol levels.

A shake provides a good way to add additional liquid or powdered nutrients to your diet. In this way your breakfast can become a powerful food based supplement.

The liquid portion of the shake can be varied according to taste and possible food allergies. I recommend rice milk because it is one of the least allergenic grains in the grain kingdom. Goat milk (raw, unpasteurized if possible) may be used instead of rice milk. Avoid soy milk because it is allergenic and it is almost impossible to assure that soy milk does not contain GMO soy. For some individuals diluted fruit smoothies such as Innocent or PJs may be used. If you can't find these an organic apple juice may be used.

1 cup of rice milk or ¾ cup of apple juice diluted with ¼ cup of filtered water or ½ cup of fruit smoothie diluted with ½ cup of water.
25 grams of protein powder

In US I recommend a rice or whey based protein powder. Nutribiotic rice protein or NOW whey protein (you need only ½ a scoop of the NOW) can be purchased from most health food stores.

In the UK I suggest that you use IsoPure whey protein powder from PerfectUK (See below for ordering details). You can use a good quality whey protein from your health food store but for value and great quality you can't go wrong with the above powder from PerfectUK.

½ teaspoon of powdered vitamin C This provides 2 grams of vitamin C. Buffered C powder may be used as well. Any good quality powdered vitamin C can be used.
1-2 tablespoons of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) I recommend an Omega-3 oil blend called Udo's Choice or a liquid oil from Nordic naturals. Both of these companies provide very clean EFAs.

Frozen berries such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries. Also frozen mango or pineapple. Colored fruits like this provide bioflavanoids and carotenes.


Yogurt Can help blunt the sweet taste of rice milk. Also an additional source of beneficial bacteria
Flax seed meal or ground nuts A good source of fiber and lignans which help balance hormones
Liquid L-Carnitine In the UK this can be purchased from perfectUK. L-Carnitine is a useful supplement for people who are trying to lose weight. It helps you achieve optimal energy levels while reducing fat deposits. Ordering info below.
Powdered greens Adding powdered chlorella, barley greens, or blue green algae can help with energy drops mid morning.
In the UK I recommend that you contact PerfectUK to get "IsoPure Protein Powder" the best quality protein powder available in the UK. They can be reached at or call 01638 662589. Tell them Dr. Weatherby sent you!

What are some other breakfast choices?

You can't go wrong with eating sardines or kippers for breakfast. I will often eat a can of sardines spread on a slice of rye toast. You can always choose slices of cheese on rye toast with mustard, which is a very European breakfast. The main thing is to choose foods that give you long term energy. Ask yourself whether or not the food you choose for breakfast is slow or fast burning. Another choice might be oatmeal or porridge. Make sure you choose slow cooking oats and have some ground nuts in with them and an egg or two on the side. I am also a big fan of eggs, which provide good amounts of protein and are a long burning fuel.

Protein/Carbohydrate Ratio Checklist

The only way to find the ideal breakfast for you is to use the protein/carbohydrate ratio checklist that is available on this website. Please click here to view this essential tool.

I hope you find this article helpful. Please feel free to print this article up, show it to your friends, or use it in your ezine or web site. All I ask is that you include this blurb with it: Dr. Dicken Weatherby is the author of the book "Naturally Raising Your HGH Levels". To learn more about his anti-aging work, and to sign up for his FREE Anti-Aging articles and FREE reports, visit

In Health,



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