BREAKFAST IS THE MEAL OF CHAMPIONS
This age-old saying was coined for a reason—eating wisely in the morning gives your brain and body the fuel it needs to function for the day. While sleeping you are actually fasting (which is awesome...more about this next week) so once you wake up and have exercised (and even if you haven’t) you need to replenish the glucose and nutrients lost overnight or during exercise. Breakfast is not a carbohydrate-loaded breakfast (unless you run marathons or you are Michael Phelps, check what he eats here) or a bowl of cereal or low-fat yoghurt and granola, it needs to be a nutritious meal, high in good fats which fuels not only your body, but your brain as well, setting you up for the day.
As your brain is about 60% fat, it needs the good nutrients found in good fats and carbohydrates to function properly. So wherever possible, buy certified organic or organic GMO-free foods, eat whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, and eat meat where the animals roam free and are not fed hormones.
What’s not good at breakfast
Processed food such as doughnuts, croissants, or pancakes are not nutritious, and will not have you ruling your routine. Neither is toast and jam or the old favourites, Weetbix or muesli or another favourite granola (unless a paleo granola with only the natural sugars from the mix) as they contain large amounts of sugar, trans-fats, unhealthy saturated fats, preservatives, and additives, none of which are good for you, period.
1. Beware of these slogans: Fat-free and reduced-fat dairy. While good quality yoghurt is a good source of calcium, protein, and probiotics (healthy bacteria which maintain a healthy gut), not all yoghurts are created equal. Make sure you read the label and be wary of the claims on the packaging. Instead of your usual big brand yoghurts, look for alternatives which do not have any additives, preservatives, thickeners, or stabilisers: for example, look for “pot-set” yoghurt, which means no stabilisers and thickeners are added, as the ingredients to make the yoghurt are all added in the “pot”, or container.
2. White bread—If you can scrunch the bread into a ball with your hand, then it is bad for you—full of preservatives and additives. The harder to scrunch into a ball the better the bread is for you, so make sure the bread you choose is fresh, whole-grain bread full of seeds and grains you can actually see.
3. Added nutrients and vitamins—When you see food such as cereal, dairy, bread, or breakfast bars which say added niacin and iron for example, stay away! Choose whole foods instead where the nutrients are naturally forming. Breakfast bars are popular with slick marketing and packaging, and are easy to grab on the run, but most are full of additives and sugar. Instead, grab a packet of almonds or mixed nuts and/or some fruit like an apple instead. There are some great “paleo” bars available made of only 5 ingredients like nuts, coconut oil, and dates to sweeten them up. So choose wisely.
4. Skip the margarine and choose the butter, which is simply churned cow’s milk, as opposed to margarine which is an artificial spread using hydrogenated vegetable oils, plus other additives to give it the butter colour.
What is a good breakfast
Whole foods and good fats such as Bacon and Eggs and Avocado (I told you why avocado's are awesome in last weeks post, click the back link below re-read) —The quality of the bacon and the eggs is very important, use organic nitrate free bacon. Eggs are great brain fuel: they are loaded with protein, vitamins and omega-3s, they also contain tryptophan, the amino acid that helps create the “happiness molecule” serotonin. Eggs also contain choline, which aids with memory and learning. When and if you can buy organic, cage- free, pasture raised eggs which are the best.
Don’t skimp on the butter, and buy grass-fed organic butter that, while a saturated fat, is a great source of vitamin K2 (also found in egg yolks), that assist in reducing heart disease and osteoporosis. But as you now know what’s even better is that grass-fed organic butter, which contains the fatty acid butyrate, which is a short-chain fatty acid (meaning it’s easily digestible) and aids in fighting inflammation.
Next week I talk about coffee, butter and fasting.. so keep an eye out..
Bread, but this comes with a caveat! If you eat bread, make sure it is organic wholegrain where you can actually see the seeds. Even better, my suggestion is to eat organic sourdough, which is bread made the traditional way used thousands of years ago, where the dough is fermented. Sourdough is easier to digest than normal bread as it is low GI, and has naturally-formed nutrients. Choose this over standard bread.
PS. I love pancakes and you can make healthy ones with only 2 ingredients, eggs and a ripe banana.. check it out here..
WELCOME to Hughies Kitchen on my new YouTube Channel..
If you are like me and your time is precious, here is what I make for myself most mornings that sets me up for the day, and why. Even if you adopt only some of these options into your morning breakfast routine, you will start the day o on the right foot. In less than 5 minutes you will be fuelling yourself right...