How many times have you heard it? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The thing is, it really is. In fact, in an ideal world, breakfast would be your largest meal of the day, lunch next and then a miniature supper. This handy little pic says it all…
However that pattern just doesn’t fit in with our modern lives. We’re all so darn tired these days that we’d take an extra 10 minutes in bed over and above hauling our arses into the kitchen to prepare a giant breakfast…or even just to grab a yogurt. Most people don’t take a lunch break either, and grab a sandwich at their desks, so really the only time of day to kick back and relax with a nice hot meal is at night. And exactly how hungry are you by the time you get home? Close to starvation right? So it’s just too easy to end up having seconds, thirds or finishing whatever is left in the pan. And then you start to feel hideously full and frankly, guilty. Well honestly, starting the day the right way can prevent you sliding down this horrible slippery slope. I’m not suggesting you give up that lovely hot meal you’ve looked forward to all day, and of course for many of us it’s also prime time to catch up with partners, friends or children. I’m just saying that starting your day with a good healthy breakfast will prevent the free fall into the empty calorie pattern.
When you wake up from a good sleep, your body is all out of energy – it’s been working all night to repair and replenish your body – therefore your metabolism is running at an all time low. In fact, after only three hours of no food (day or night) your body starts to slip into starvation mode, which means that your metabolism slows right down and begins store fat in case it’s needs to access it as a reserve if starvation continues. This is why so many celebs swear by the diet that sees them eating 5 meals a day – it’s so that your metabolism stays active constantly, thus making you a fat burning machine. So imagine how slow everything is moving after a good eight hour kip. And if you skip your first meal of the day, imagine how slowly it’s running by lunchtime. And imagine how much fat your body is preparing to store now that it’s been about 15 hours since your last meal. If the body starts to store fat after three hours, then by lunchtime you have multiplied that fat store by five. PLUS, on the topic of fat, if you’ve had a good and filling breakfast you’re not so insanely hungry by lunchtime and can thus make healthier food choices. The knock on effect is then that you’ve already had two decent meals by the time you get home for supper so you wont be tempted to have multiple helpings. It’ll also prevent you craving sugary snacks through the day. So there you go….and your metabolism will be rattling through the calories and fat all day long keeping you super energised and trim.
Here are a few quick, healthy and delicious breakfast ideas….
I make mine with water as i find it too rich with milk, but obviously you can use skimmed or semi skimmed, almond, or whatever you fancy.
Then snazz it up with a load of toppings – I love a sliced banana and a sprinkling of toasted cashews. (I toast a ton of cashews in one go and keep them in a jam jar for freshness. They last forever and this means you don’t have to waste extra time toasting in the morning)
Yogurt and Granola:
Possibly one of my favourite things in all the world. I use greek yogurt because it’s nice and thick, and then sprinkle it with banana, granola and a dollop of honey.
WARNING: be careful of your granola choice. Most are pumped full of crazy amounts of sugar – ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. I love to make my own but if not then I would choose Dorset Cereal Oat Granola – it’s sweetened with honey so it’s natural. It’s quite expensive but it probably lasts me a month if I have it a couple of times a week. Also be mindful of the amount of dried fruit you get in some granolas. A little is fine but too much increases the sugar content hugely. Again the Dorset Cerela doesn’t have any dried fruit which I personally prefer anyway.
Rye Bread and Avocado:
This is also an easy one to have at your desk. Toast the bread, smash on the avo, jobs a good’un. This is so yummy and also pretty darn filling. If you want to jazz it up a bit add a squeeze of lemon, some chilli flakes or a sprinkling of mixed seeds. If you’re at home this is delicious with a poached egg.
Eggs Eggs Eggs:
Poached, scrambled or boiled, whack it on some granary toast – done. Add a little avocado if you like. Or some smoked salmon if you’re feeling fancy. Even a strip or two of bacon won’t hurt…tho preferably NOT the streaky kind.