“EATING BREAKFAST HAS LONG TERM HEALTH BENEFITS. IT CAN REDUCE OBESITY, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, HEART DISEASE AND DIABETES”- National Health Service
…On a more everyday level, it’s amazing how having a balanced breakfast can affect: how you think and feel, your energy levels, your cravings, and even your mood.
Literally meaning, ‘to break the overnight fast’, this meal should make up roughly 20-35% of your daily calories. Because the body is effectively in starvation mode at this time, it’s even more important that we get a good combination of healthy fats, complex carbs and protein from the start. In contrast, eating simple carbohydrates (i.e. a breakfast cereal or processed white bread) or no food at all, will spike insulin levels and consequently cause havoc in the body throughout the day, increasing fat storage, and causing fluctuations in energy levels and mood swings.
With this in mind, I thought I’d share three healthy breakfast menus I eat on a regular basis. These can either be made on the day, or prepared in advance to take with you wherever you are heading in the morning.
1.) COCONUT AND RASPBERRY OATS (to perk up chilly mornings)
It is commonly believed that the name ‘coconut’ was coined by Portuguese sailors in the 16th century because the three holes on the surface of the nut resemble a human face: “coco” meaning “laughing face”. They are a good source of calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as electrolytes (which you lose when you workout and sweat!)
- 40g Oats
- 100-150 ml Coconut milk
- Desiccated coconut (to taste)
- Frozen raspberries
- 1/2 tsp stevia
- Optional: stir in vanilla protein powder for a macro boost
- Topping ideas: banana, berries, mixed seeds or coconut yoghurt
Combine the oats and milk in a pan and cook gradually on a low-medium heat, stirring in the desiccated coconut towards the end. Meanwhile, add the frozen berries to a pan with a splash of boiling water and the stevia (sweeten to taste). Cook on a low heat until softened. Put the oats and berry compote together in a bowl, add your toppings and enjoy!
2.) EGG WHITE OMELETTE AND AVO (low carb, for those more sedentary days)
The avocado is an Aztec symbol of love and fertility. Avocados are technically a fruit, and contain a high amount of protein. Often considered a ‘superfood’, they are also great for lowering cholesterol.
- 2-3 Egg whites
- Cherry tomatoes
- Handful of spinach
- 1/2 Avocado
- Cooking oil of choice (I tend to use rapeseed oil as it has a higher smoking point than most others)
- Optional: serve with rye or sourdough toast for extra slow releasing energy, or smoked salmon for another source of healthy fat and protein.
On a low heat, put a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan. Cook the tomatoes and mushrooms first, adding the spinach in towards the end to wilt it without it going soggy. Pour in the eggs and cook until white. Serve with avo, seasoned with lemon, salt and pepper.
3.) CHOCOLATE AND BANANA PROTEIN PANCAKES (lazy Sunday brunch)
Meaning ‘food of the Gods’ in Greek, cacao is believed to be 40 times higher in antioxidants than blueberries, and is a high plant-based source of iron and magnesium. It has more calcium than cow’s milk and is a natural mood enhancer (all the more reason to smile!)
- 2 Eggs
- 100-120 ml Almond milk
- 1 Scoop of Chocolate protein powder
- 2 tsp Cacao powder
- 1 Banana
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Topping ideas: yoghurt, banana, nuts and seeds, berries
Mix all ingredients together in a blender. Spread a little oil round a frying pan and heat on a low to medium setting. Pour in the pancake mixture and cook on either side until brown. Serve with your choice of toppings and tuck in!