Majid Ali, M.D.
A Breakfast for Insulin-Smart Eating and Healthful Aging
There is never a valid reason for missing breakfast. So strong is my conviction on the subjects of the need and the optimal type of breakfast that I seldom complete a visit with one of my patients without addressing it. Indeed, next to the subject of chronic anger I devote more time energy—and energy— to the matter of “Dr. Ali’s breakfast” than any other subject. In this chapter, I present information about what I consider to be a good breakfast and offer my reasons for my position on the subject.
Many patients tell me they missed their breakfast because they were not hungry. I explain that was so because their metabolic rhythm has been disrupted. Rising at 7 am following a dinner at 8 pm the evening before, of course, means a fasting of 11 hours. Fasting means hypoglycemia and acidosis. Extending that period for another two or three or more hours essentially sets a person up for major hypoglycemic-hyperglycemic shifts that trigger insulin and adrenergic roller coasters. In individuals with neurotransmitter volatility — persons with predisposition for anxiety, sadness, or depression — extension of fasting can trigger any or all of those symptoms. For others without such vulnerability, it is really a matter of time until they also succumb to undue tiredness or mood difficulties caused by glucose-insulin-adrenaline-neurotransmitter shifts.
During the mid-1960s, as a house surgeon in Pakistan and later in England, I seldom ate a breakfast. I am not sure why that was so. Perhaps it was a macho thing — the real surgeons had to begin their mornings with something better than merely engaging Pakistani Praathas (heavily oiled and salted fried pita bread) or English porridge. More often than not, lunch was missed as well. By noon, I was nearly always in the midst of struggle with excising tissues soaked with bloody fluids. Sometimes there was a quick cup of coffee during the midday hours. At other times, I devoured a doughnut or a piece of pastry in the early afternoon hours. Now when I recall those days, I shudder to think who might have paid what price for the lack of any sense of nutrition — appalling ignorance, to be precise — of a driven, hypoglycemic, and inexperienced surgeon.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF A GOOD BREAKFAST
A wholesome breakfast — in my view — should serve the following goals:
1. It should set the stage for an active, vigorous, and healthful day with sustained energy.
2. It should support the functions of the bowel, liver, hormone organs, brain, and other tissue.
3. It should sustain the long-term goals of healthful aging and preventing degeneratory disorders, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and others.
With those goals in mind, the following objectives of a breakfast seem desirable to me:
1. Overhydration of cells throughout the body during the morning hours;
2. Maintenance of the blood glucose levels within a narrow healthful zone to avoid rapid hypoglycemic- hyperglycemic shifts, and to prevent insulin-adrenergic roller coasters initiated by those shifts;
3. Tonification of the bowel musculature and stimulation of the emptying reflexes;
4. Provision of special support for the hepatic redox-restorative detoxification pathways;
5. Provision of restorative oils for optimal biomembrane functions, especially in the brain;
6. Provision of raw material for structural and functional proteins, especially for generating oxystatic enzymes; and
7. Avoidance of toxic trans fatty acids, which are common in the standard American breakfasts.
Below, I describe my own breakfast, which seeks to meet the above goals and objectives of an optimal breakfast.
My Own Breakfast 3-4 Days a Week
I consider missing my breakfast a violation of the sacred temple that houses my spirit — an insult to my physical frame. I learned that crucial lesson the hard way. Earlier I referred to the absence of breakfast during my surgical days. That mistake was continued during two decades of my pathology work as well. My clinical experience and review of literature has convinced me that the single best:
1. That the premium nutrient for the brain is flaxseed oil;
2. That the single best nutrient for the liver is lecithin;
3. That the most desirable prescription for the integrity of bowel ecology is organic vegetable juice;
4. That the ideal formulation for the prevention of sugar-insulin-adrenaline roller coasters is a good protein powder, comprising 85 to 90% partially digested proteins; and
5. That the nutrient of choice for invigorating all the cells in the body is abundant water.
In view of those considerations, I prepare my own breakfast (within two to three minutes) on five or six days a week as follows:
1. I begin with a 28-ounce mug filled with spring water and one ounce of seltzer water (seltzer water is unnecessary for those who prefer plain water).
2. I drink the above-mentioned fluid volume in portions of five to seven ounces at intervals, doing limbic exercise — non-competitive exercise—between drinking. I take my probiotic protocol (Bifidobacterium and Acidophilus) when I begin to drink water.
3. I continue drinking that amount of water, taking additional supplements, until the mug is empty.
4. Next, I prepare a 30-ounce protein drink as shown in Table 1.
5. I begin drinking the above protein protocol, again consume five to seven ounces at a time, continuing my limbic exercise and taking additional supplements until both the complement of supplements and the protein formula is finished.
6. On weekends, my wife and I commonly take an egg breakfast with some fruit.
At the Institute, my colleagues and I use the following four P&P (partially digested protein) protocols: (1) #1 containing %90% mixture of proteins derived from eggs and milk; (2) # 2 containing 90% soy proteins; (3) # 3 containing 75 to 80 % rice protein; and (4) # 4 containing about 90% of whey protein. Proteins derived from other sources, such as vegetables, may be substituted for one or the other of the above choices. In Table 2, I make some recommendations for the choice of vegetables for preparing fresh juices:
The flaxseed oil in the protein drink may be replaced by one of the following oils: olive, safflower, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, avocado, and almond. Additional comments on this subject are included in the next section.
I use the Very Veggie brand of bottled organic vegetable juice produced by Knudson Co. For those who can find the time, freshly squeezed vegetable juice is clearly preferable.
Table 1. Dr. Ali’s Breakfast
Five Days of the Weeks
Protein Two heaping tablespoons
Flaxseed Two heaping tablespoons
Lecithin (all natural) One heaping tablespoon
Vegetable juice, organic 15 ounces
Water 15 ounces
Insulin-Smart Omelettes and Other Insulin-Smart Breakfasts for Insulin-Smart eating
When we do what is right, habit makes it agreeable. That certainly is true of eating choices. Taste is an acquired faculty. Organic vegetable juice added to my protein drink now appeals to me much more than any fruit juice. It was not so when I began. (Fried brain is not a delicacy for me now as it once was in my childhood in Pakistan.) The habit one grows into for one’s breakfast is as much a part of the life’s track as any other. I explain those basic aspects of a wholesome breakfast to every patient who consults me.
Some patients readily follow my breakfast plan closely, begin to savor it soon, and report good results within weeks. Others take a slower approach, adopting my plan partially. Some patients initially find my prescription for breakfast unappetizing. The majority of them settle into them nicely weeks or months later. Yet others ask if they can replace organic vegetable juice with milk (cow’s, goats, rice or soy). Others wish to add one-half of a banana or peach or other types of fruit for enhanced taste. Except in patients with disturbing symptomatology related to rapid hypoglycemic-hyperglycemic shifts, I accept their modifications.
I do wholeheartedly endorse an egg breakfast. Eggs have been maligned for decades by practitioners of pharmacologic medicine on the grounds that eggs raise blood cholesterol levels. I dismiss that as non-sense coming from ill-informed individuals. Not a single study has shown that eggs increase the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Indeed, some reports suggest that eggs — an excellent source of high-quality liver-friendly lecithin —actually lower blood cholesterol levels.
Plain yogurt with freshly ground flaxseed makes for an excellent breakfast. Some fruit may be added to that for persons without immune disorders. Other good breakfast options are soy products commonly recommended by macrobiotic enthusiasts.
Oatmeal breakfast used to be a favorite of nutritionists of bygone eras. Nearly all nutritionists that I have discussed this subject with in recent years told me they now do not recommend oatmeal or any other starch breakfasts anymore. I believe that is because the abuse of antibiotics and massive sugar overload in the general public has so stressed the bowel ecosystem that even so-called healthy starches now carry the hazard of further feeding the sugar- eaters in the gut and so contribute to ongoing disruption of the bowel ecology.
In some cultures, fish, poultry, and various meats are consumed for breakfast. Those items are very desirable as sources of proteins. The important point here is that such meats should not be highly processed, nitrated, or otherwise contain high contents of oxidized fats.