The best idea for breakfast is something — anything!
Science, our parents, the media, everyone tells you to eat breakfast, and it’s well documented to be one of the major elements of weight loss. The Heart Foundation tells us that around a quarter of adults (and 10% of children) skip breakfast.
If you’re eating dinner at 6pm and then eating breakfast at 7am, you have gone a long time without food. Your body has drawn on its stores and fueled you through sleep, and now’s the time to add something wonderful to start the new day on. If you can find something that you like (ideally low in sugar and high in protein), it doesn’t matter if you eat it every single day for the rest of your life! Make it a meal. Set the table the night before, have a fruit bowl in the middle of the table and the cereals there if that’s what you’re going to have.
Eating breakfast reduces the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, gets you a head start on the “eat more fruits and vegetables” mantra and sets a life-long example to your kids and gives them a definite head start for learning.
Let’s focus on our weight loss goals and breaking that fast. Here’s a half dozen ideas for following the old adage of “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” and getting a great start for the day.
1. Breakfast cereals
Breakfast cereals are a great option as a carrier for fruits and milk – not just a bowl of shredded wheat. Find a cereal that’s low in sugar and salt, and be mindful of serving sizes. Don’t add sugar to them but rather use tinned, fresh or cooked fruits.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be “breakfast” food. If you feel like leftovers from the night with a piece of toast, then do it. If you feel like a roast vegetable salad with tuna first thing in the day, go for it. It is a great chance to eat extra veggies and protein for a great start to the day. Pair it with a low GI, high fibre bread or toast and you’re set.
Put ah egg in d’er… breakfast. As the (Muppets) Chef would say at least, eggs are a great breakfast. There are so many ways to make them that you won’t get bored. Boiled, scrambled, poached, omelette or fried (in a little coconut oil), with spinach or mushrooms or tomato, perhaps a small addition of cheese and herbs, and you have a very varied breakfast option. You could branch out and make frittata with stacks of vegetables, fritters with frozen veggies or chopped fruit (no added sugar required), mini quiches which freeze really well, leftovers for bubble and squeak –the list goes on.
UP Personal Trainer Russel Lee says despite what you may have heard, cholesterol from eggs will not raise your unhealthy LDL and may, in fact, improve your cholesterol levels and other important factors for heart disease. They are also extremely nutrient dense, providing you with essential proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals you need to support a healthy lifestyle.
4. Chia seeds
Add a super food to the morning. A teaspoon of chia seeds in a small amount of water (50mL) left for 10 minutes and drunk will give you a shot in the arm for the day – just that tiny serve gives you omega-3, iron and magnesium, calcium, trace elements, potassium and fibre. It also swells in that cup of water, filling your stomach and giving your bowels a sweep out, softening your bowel motions and reducing constipation, improving your hydration and giving you an air of smug as you start the day with a super food! Bragging rights help you lose weight too, right? Or gives you a simple goal to achieve and something to tick off your list.
5. Fruit salad
Focus on feeling full. Fruit salad is a cheap, accessible and virtuous way to start the day but it’s going to take a lot of melon to fill your tummy and you’re going to be starving by morning tea time – or earlier. Add yoghurt with a sprinkle of nuts and seeds to the fruit salad, or fill a wholemeal pita with the salad and yoghurt to make a unique wrap. Make porridge while you’re showering, or put Bircher muesli on to soak the night before. Oats are especially filling, help with reducing cholesterol and improving heart health, look after your bowels and are a perfect base for stewed fruit, tinned peaches or sliced banana.
6. Good fats
Add some good fats. The fats in nuts, avocado, coconut, fish and tahini are good for you so add them to your breakfast. Make hummus and eat with fresh vegetables or a poached egg; put avocado and smoked salmon on toast; add nuts and coconut to your yoghurt.
I’m not the most functional of humans first thing in the morning so I’m not going to be cooking or creating or planning a creation at sparrow’s fart. So I’d love some more ideas!
What’s your go-to meal for breaking that’s fast? Can you eat it in the car on the way to kindy/school/work?