The Meal that Changed my Business

Everyone’s looking for a magic bullet. The ONE thing you can do to improve your health or make you a better mom or shift your business into high gear. What if I told you I found one thing that has changed all three?



That’s right. One meal changed my attitude towards life and has had positive repercussions everywhere. Let me tell you how.

About a year ago, it became quite clear to me that I needed a bit of a reboot: I was starving for lunch by 10am, craving cookies at 3pm, and ready for bed before my 8-yr-old. What’s more, I couldn’t get any ideas off the ground for my holistic health business and felt like a failure all around. Definitely a case of the shoemaker needing a dose of her own medicine! (See, even my metaphors were mixed.)

Enter an online breakfast challenge: 5 days of a solid morning meal and some life wisdom to get me back on track. Seemed like a good a place as any to start.

I’ll admit, it took a few days of resistance to get me through the initial commitment, but the difference it made to my day was INSTANTLY remarkable.



• Being so satiated, you can put your head down and focus on your work all morning.

• Your blood sugar stable enough to prevent a meltdown when your project hits a major roadblock.

• No mid-afternoon slump

• No sugar cravings

• AND you’re still awake enough after the kids are in bed to hang out with your sweetie.


In the last 6 months, my productivity has improved (aka my income increasing), I have time and energy for more exercise, and I’m more present for the whole family.

This wasn’t about creating some strict regimen that I’ve I had to stick to religiously. It was about taking the time to make myself a wonderfully nourishing meal. And through the experience, a whole spectrum of life lessons opened before me.

First, was the reality of taking 15 minutes every morning to prepare the meal. To introduce a new habit into your day, you need to take the time, make the time for it. (Yes, you may have to get up 15 minutes earlier.)

When you’ve made that effort to cook a beautiful breakfast, you’ll want to sit down and enjoy it fully. I’m always getting on my clients to sit down and enjoy their meals. This includes breakfast. We’re all so stressed and rushed and needing to get places that the very basic concept of filling the fuel tank before hitting the road becomes an afterthought.

I also saw the effect my breakfast had on the family. My youngest has never been one to eat much before school. I always chalked it up to his not being hungry so early or school day nerves. Last year, as I continued the habits I’d instilled in the summer, I would sit and eat with him, rather than flit around packing lunches and throwing the laundry into the dryer. Wouldn’t you know, he sat and ate a proper breakfast too. How could I have expected him to sit and eat when I wasn’t?

Another long-term effect has been better food choices throughout the day. Having started the day with a good dose of protein, minerals, vitamins and complex carbohydrates, I’m more inspired to continue with more of the same through the day, be it lunch, snack, or supper.

But the biggest shift for me has been the attitude of commitment and forgiveness that now permeates all aspects of my life.

There are days when I go back to a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast, when I dip into the bag of cookies, when I graze my way from teatime to bedtime. There are days when I want the fries with that.

By starting the day with a nourishing breakfast, I’m wiping the slate clean.

>>It sends a message of being worth the time and energy to every cell in my body.

>>It reminds me that if I fall off the focus wagon in my work – a day lost to Facebook or “just one more episode” of The Mindy Project – I can start fresh in the morning.

>>It’s removed my need for perfection and reignited by belief in commitment.

It all starts with breakfast.


Here's What You Need:

1. At least 25% of your daily caloric intake

After 12 hours (in theory!) of not eating, your stores of brain-food (glucose) are depleted + you need enough energy to get you fully functional for the day.

2. Protein

Even if you’re trying to cut down on animal protein, this is the meal to eat it! The nutrients you eat in the morning need to be easily accessible. Ready to use. The BEST source in terms of assimilation? Eggs.

Bonus: Eggs also contain some of the good fats your brain needs and the lecithin to ensure they flow easily through your arteries.

3. Complex (whole) carbohydrates

I’m not talking flour-based products. I mean whole grains and starchy vegetables. Carbohydrates are your main energy source; that’s where the starch in things like sweet potato or brown rice are a good thing.
You’re also looking for sustainable energy. The high fiber in these choices means that energy will be released slowly through the morning.

4. Green vegetables

Leafy greens nourish you with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to effectively use the protein, fats & glucose.

5. Lacto-fermented food

This is a condiment: a spoonful of sauerkraut or a dollop of miso. Other than add zing to your meal, it feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut and stimulates digestion…and elimination.
Play around with it to see which foods work best for YOU.


Click here to grab a free, colorful PDF to pin to your fridge.

What healthy habits help you kick start your day?


Cathy Cochrane

Cathy Cochrane is a holistic nourishment consultant, teacher and speaker who helps professional women at odds with their bodies, make more aligned choices for their care so they can nourish this busy chapter of life with peace & flow rather than beat themselves up out of fear that what they’re doing is wrong. She believes a woman should not just survive life’s stresses, but thrive and even blossom into her most colourful & alive self because of them.




  1. april

    i confess, cathy. i have never been a breakfast eater. but i work at home and am able to ease into my day. though my first meal typically occurs a few hours after rising, i take the time to prepare it mindfully and to eat it with care. and i am usually able to dine with my husband and sons. i appreciate your food suggestions – i especially love eggs, tuna fish, green smoothies, hummus, watermelon, blueberries, and pineapple.

    • Cathy

      There’s a lot to be said for mindfulness at a meal. There’s no rule that says you have to eat the moment you get up – just as there’s no rule that breakfast is defined by certain foods. Your morning sounds very nourishing indeed, April.

  2. Michelle

    Is it morning yet? 🙂

    I am guilty of grabbing a slice of toast or a bowl of cereal. I am excited about experimenting with this!

    • Melissa Bolton

      I’m so happy you enjoyed Cathy’s article. Make sure you grab her awesome PDF from the link at the bottom if you haven’t done so already. Lots of good stuff there, too!

  3. Cathy Sykora

    I love this! It is so easy to start the day out rushing and completely forget about breakfast. This is one of those habits that once you have, you can’t imagine how you ever did without. It is funny how it sets the stage for the entire day. Thank you for sharing and for details on what is best to include in the meal!

    • Melissa Bolton

      I agree, Cathy! I’m guilty of hustling off without breakfast myself more often than I’d like to admit. When Cathy sent this article in, I knew the readers would love it- and her detailed, actionable tips are great, too. So glad it resonated.

  4. Maria

    so inspirational Cathy – loved reading this blog and so so true – it is the most amazing meal of the day – a privilege and honour for the body to fuel with quality and nourishment xx

    • Cathy

      “A privilege and honour” – I love that attitude towards nourishing meals, Maria.

  5. Lori

    Cathy, this is wonderful information. I love a good omelet filled with veggies, but I must admit that I would rather have someone else cook it for me. At the very least, I can boil up some eggs for breakfast mornings and add some other good stuff on the side. By the way, I participated in your Veggie Challenge and learned so much. You are a both a knowledgeable as well as reliable source of great health info. Much appreciated!

    • Cathy

      Thank you, Lori! It warms my heart to hear you say that. If only we could all have someone else cook for us on occasion – sounds like you’re doing what you can. Appreciating that time we take for ourselves is a big step in itself.

  6. farah

    I know when you are rushing off, breakfast often gets skipped, only to be hurriedly replaced with a sugary commercial fruit juice, pastry or something grab and go..
    I love making a lazy Sunday breakfast, grilled mushrooms with asparagus, with some sort of bread topped with egg or mackerel or tomato. Not tried the lacto-fermented foods for breakfast yet- thans for the tip Cathy!

    • Cathy

      Ah yes, the Sunday breakfast! If only we had time for the Sunday pace all week. Maybe there’s some element of it that you can add to the daily meal – even if you have to boil an egg ahead for the days you rush off.


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