Although a little cliche, breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. A wholesome, nourishing breakfast of nutrient dense foods will kick start your metabolism and stabilise your blood sugar levels. This provides sustained energy, clarity, focus and a stable mood throughout the day. A nutritious breakfast consisting of complex carbohydrates, protein and fats constitutes a nourishing start to the day. Unfortunately, toast and Vegemite or a commercial breakfast cereal is quite simply inadequate and you need to explore other breakfast ideas.
If you have children, breakfast becomes increasingly important once they go to school. Especially if you have a child who’s lunch box contents takes a back seat to schoolyard activity. If lunch is a battle and largely out of your control, the best you can do is make sure the bookends to school hours, that is breakfast and afternoon tea, are nourishing and sustaining.
Apart from the obvious sin of skipping breakfast altogether, the other major issue with breakfast is poor variety. How many of you have the same breakfast day after day? If this is the case, I’d encourage you to let go of convention with breakfast. If eating a bowl of leftover soup from the night before means you’ll get a good start to the day, then soup it is! Just because it’s breakfast doesn’t mean it has to be cereal or toast. Or much worse still, some of the breakfast bars or drinks currently on the market. These have massive amounts of sugar and vegetable oil and set you up for a disastrous day – think energy slumps, mood swings and poor concentration along with cravings for more and more sugar.
If time is an issue for you in the morning, then choose a breakfast option that requires little preparation (like muesli or bircher), and no more excuses! Find the time and use breakfast as a meal to nourish and set you up for an energy fuelled, focused day. In fact, research has proven that adults and children who skip breakfast or have an inadequate breakfast are more likely to-
- Make poor food choices throughout the day and in the long term generally. People who eat well at breakfast tend to have much more nutritious diets overall.
- Be more prone obesity and the diseases associated with being overweight. Eating a nourishing breakfast reduces snacking, improves eating habits and prevents weight gain.
- Have a poor mental capacity and performance and experience more fatigue generally. Eating a nourishing breakfast improves concentration, focus, rate of learning and overall energy levels.
So here are some breakfast ideas to get you thinking.
Toasted muesli – make your own nourishing toasted muesli. This should become a staple in your pantry for the whole family. It can be tailored to suit your individual taste and nutritional requirements, and if like me, you improvise each time you make it, each batch will taste a little different keeping it interesting. I always make enough to fill a big pouring cereal container.
Bircher muesli – throw together before bed for a yummy, sustaining start to the day. Like the toasted muesli, it can be tailored to suit your taste and made in a big (dry) batch to soak when required. You can also make enough for a few days and keep in the fridge in an airtight container (I like to use the glass pyrex dishes).
Eggs (however you like them) – are by far the most nutritious start to the day. They are also a great snack or quick lunch or dinner option. Whether boiled, poached, steamed, scrambled or in an omelette or frittata, they will provide a sustained energy source. I will be sharing some amazing ways to eat eggs besides the ‘norm’ soon.
Porridge – chose your grain from oats to quinoa to millet or brown rice. Oats are great but they are not the only choice when making porridge. Try to top porridge with nuts and seeds to improve the protein content of this popular breakfast. Cinnamon is a wonderful nutritious addition too. Also, forget the popular flavoured varieties- the massive levels of sugar negate the benefits of the oats.
French toast – so quick and easy, this is a nice wholesome weekend treat. Make sure you use a good whole grain sourdough and real organic maple syrup (not the flavoured syrup) or better still brown rice syrup or fresh berries for sweetness.
Power smoothie – Check out my version of a chocolate breakfast drink, recipe here. Yes, you read right you can have this chocolatey drink for breakfast!
Leftovers – like I said, let go of convention at breakfast and eat what makes you feel good. How about spaghetti Bolognese on wholegrain toast, dhal and rice (delicious with a chopped boiled egg), curry on wholegrain toast. The limit is your imagination.
For all of the recipes and guidance you need to change your morning meal, check out my fabulous ebook ‘Rise and Shine’, click HERE