Rise and shine! Morning is here.
Are you anything like me and feel ravished early in the morning? Or do you never eat breakfast and prefer eating later in the day?
Ever since I remember myself, I would wake up and feel starved. Research says that could be because:
- I’ve eaten too much at dinner
- I’ve eaten dinner too late
Now, I can’t agree to a 100% with the correctness of the research but the fact is: I wake up and must eat. At least soon after that.
When I started exercising first thing in the morning, my biggest issue was the rumbling sounds my stomach would make as soon as it felt the food’s got to wait. But I trained myself to eat after my workout because we all know eating before a workout is no good.
But when the time for breakfast came, what did I choose to indulge in?
For years, I, like everyone else probably, assumed cereal was the healthiest option to start your day. Full of fibre and vital vitamins and minerals, the pack would usually claim.
I remember when my baby was only 6 months old, the doctor recommended introducing bran cereal in her diet because ‘all babies need fibre.’ Wait, what? I thought humans and especially little humans, had to eat a diet that’s close to what Earth produces. You know fruits and vegetables, some legumes, etc. But my doctor was convinced all humans need fibre and specifically, the one that a certain brand offered.
I never followed his advice in regards to my baby. But it got me thinking.
Are packed cereals really that good for you? And if they’re not, what constitutes the perfectly healthy breakfast most people would like to follow?
Preferably one with a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and some vitamin C thrown in it.
I began researching on the topic and apart from the research’s findings totally putting me off cereal for life, I found out other interesting facts.
Most packed cereal is really, really bad for you
Take any commercial brand and check the ingredients at the back of the pack. Do you see sugar listed up there in the very beginning of the list? Yep, thought so. Apart from sugar, most cereals are guilty of packing a wide variety of additives and all that nasty stuff we want to avoid. Usually, advertised as some of the healthiest products in the market, most of them require anyone to please steer clear.
Store-bought? A big no-no. Or you browse online checking for some breakfast recipes and find out a great one for ‘healthy’ zucchini muffins. Great, one of your five-a-day, you say. Erm, not so much. Most types of muffins are packed with sugar and flour, ingredients you’d like to stay away from if you want to follow a healthy diet. Of course, not all recipes were made equal. If you must have muffins, search for something along the lines of ‘muffins for toddlers’ or ‘healthy sugar-free’ muffins. Somehow, it’s widely accepted kids cannot come anywhere near sugar. So why do us adults need that stuff? We don’t.
Protein bars and shakes
You know the ones you get in a powdered form. Now, I’m not saying some of these brands don’t offer a good mixture of proteins and other vital substances but do you really want to consume your breakfast in a powdered form? And what about these bars, have you checked the ingredient list again? Seek the good ones from the bad. Some organic shops do offer a great natural variety. But is a protein bar going to keep you full for long? And who says processed powder is good for you? I’m a firm believer in eating real food and eating a real portion of it. So this doesn’t cut it for me.
That really depends on how the sandwich was made. If you bought it in the café where you get your coffee every morning, expect it to be laden with unwanted fats and other nasties. Even if it says ‘low-fat’ or ‘healthy’. You’re better off stopping at a health store or making one at home.
What do I choose to eat for breakfast now?
Something that’s good for you and keeps you fuller for longer. My favourite breakfast choices are:
- Eggs, toast and grilled tomatoes
Poached or boiled egg, a toasted wholemeal toast with a little butter and some grilled tomato make the perfect festive breakfast for me. Feel free to add some lean meat or a fruit.
- Oats with loads of fruit, honey and some seeds
I’d usually get the most basic oat flake that would need to be cooked first. That way, I ensure it doesn’t contain sugar or any other additives. I add any choice of fruit I have handy and sprinkle a generous amount of chia or sunflower, or any other seeds with honey. Or in some cases, a banana oat cookie made of only two ingredients… banana and oats. Yum!
- The brunchy treat
Whenever I have more time, I’d make some pancakes made of two-ingredients – banana and eggs. Maybe add a little vanilla in the mixture.
- Wholemeal club sandwich
When I shop, I usually get the most unprocessed bread option also filled with a variety of seeds. I’d put some olive oil spread and fill it with vegetables and some good cheese. Then cut it in cubes. Voila! Healthy club sandwich to indulge in. Or just add some peanut butter and you’re good to go. Or some cooked or grilled chicken. The choice is all yours.
These are my personal favourite breakfast options and ones I look forward to after my morning exercise routine.
There are probably many other healthy breakfast options that I’ve never heard of or tried. But these work for me like a charm.
You can also have a natural yogurt with fruits and seeds and honey, etc. I haven’t included that on the list because just looking at the yogurt would make me hungrier than ever.
What are your personal favourite breakfast bits and pieces? What gives you that ready-to-fly-off energy first thing in the morning?