Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
I say it’s the most important meal to get right.
Sadly, years of mis-information, marketing and confusion mean it’s often the worst meal of the day consisting of little more than processed carbohydrate (here’s why that’s bad).
The trick is to find things you know will last you through to lunchtime. That’s very unlikely to be breakfast cereal or jam on toast which can set you up for rapid hunger, unhealthy snacking later on, and weight gain. Eating no breakfast can be preferable to bad breakfast.
Some of my clients have improved their weight and health simply by changing their breakfast habits.
Here are some ideas that might suit you better. They use the principle that every meals should contain plants, proteins and fats.
Some people do well on porridge made from natural oats. (Beware the type in sachets as some contain loads of sugar.) To add some protein and fat, top with nuts and seeds and a dollop of cream. For plants sprinkle on a spoonful of berries.
Boost your weight loss with low-carb porridge. It doesn’t have any oats! Mix ground flax seed, chia seed, desiccated coconut and protein powder with some coconut milk and warm until thick. Top with a bit of fruit, some full-fat plain yoghurt and a few flaked almonds.
Muesli can be good – choose one with plenty of nuts and not much dried fruit. Again, top with full-fat plain yoghurt.
Granola is less good as it’s generally sweetened and cooked in vegetable oil. If you enjoy it, it’s definitely worth making your own using coconut oil.
Smoothies are quick to make and easy to consume and with the right ingredients can keep you satisfied for 5 or 6 hours.
Base them on coconut milk, avocado, ground almonds, flax, spinach, protein powder, peanut butter, cream, eggs, yoghurt etc.
Add just a little fruit for sweetness eg ¼ apple, 1” banana or a spoonful of berries. (Fruit is sugar so an all-fruit smoothie (bought or home-made) is not a healthy option.)
To save time, you can batch up any dry ingredients in advance so that in the morning you just tip them into the glass with your veg, fruit and milk choice, whizz with a stick blender and drink straight from the glass.
Fry-ups can sustain you for ages. For traditional Full English, choose from bacon, egg, black pudding, sausage, mushroom, tomato. Another favourite of mine is the Aussie classic – steak and egg – fab with wilted spinach.
Fancy something a little lighter? Go continental with boiled eggs, ham and cheese (you can save time by hard boiling an egg the night before).
Dip avocado or buttered, wholemeal toast ‘soldiers’ in soft-boiled eggs.
In the summer, Jon Gabriel’s light but satisfying plain yoghurt mixed with nuts, seeds, protein powder and fruit is hard to beat.
For a change, go fishy with a tin of mackerel plus half a pear and some seeds or indulge in smoked salmon, delicious teamed with scrambled eggs and courgette.
Top tip: To have a good day, eat a good breakfast.