Easy breakfast recipes
Want to feel fired up, fuller for longer and whip-smart all day long? It’s time to break your fast the healthy way
There is an increasing amount of research highlighting the importance of a good, healthy breakfast in setting energy levels and mood for the rest of the day. Those who fill up first thing tend to be trimmer than non-breakfast eaters, and ditching brekkie is thought to impair decision making and has been linked to weight gain.
So what exactly should we be eating in the morning? A high-fibre breakfast has been shown to help to ward off diabetes, heart disease and unwanted pounds, whereas combining low-GI carbs with a source of lean protein helps to sustain fullness. ‘Breakfast essentially means “breaking the fast” – the period of time in between your last meal to your next meal – and the types of foods eaten can have significant effects on general health,’ explains nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed. Here are Charlotte’s top morning munchies to leave you feeling fuelled up, full and ready for the day ahead…
What: Homemade fruit smoothies or a medium-sized banana are great on-the-go fuelling foods.
Why: Making time for breakfast can be difficult; however, grabbing an often sugar-laden cereal bar on your way out won’t get you off to a good start as it will only result in a mid-morning energy crash. Pre-make a batch of homemade smoothies, pop in the freezer and defrost the night before. Blitz oats with plain yoghurt and a handful of frozen fruits for a delicious burst of energy, calcium and vitamins. Oatcakes and fresh fruits are also perfect on-the-go foods – ready to eat and easy to carry.
Best fat burner
What: Egg-white omelette with grilled vegetables or porridge with dried fruits will help whittle your waistline.
Why: Egg whites are low in calories but high in protein making them a low-GI food. Low-GI foods have little effect on our blood glucose levels and therefore help keep hunger at bay and reduce the likelihood of mid-morning snacking on high fat foods. Vegetables are also low in fat and calories but high in fibre, vitamins and minerals, resulting in a breakfast that is nutrient rich but at the same time low fat. Add a little chilli powder for an early kick-start!
Best post-party fix
What: Fresh fruit salad topped with plenty of seeds or a fresh juice made with lemon, ginger, dark green leafy veg, colourful fruit and a few drops of milk thistle tincture will fight fatigue and help beat that sluggish morning-after-the-night-before feeling.
Why: Fruit is packed with detoxifying vitamins and minerals and also contains high levels of fibre that help us to maintain a healthy gut and keep our bowels working smoothly. Dark green leafy veg also promotes liver health. Additionally, colourful fruit and veg contain antioxidants which protect body cells from free radical damage.
Best mental booster
What: Scrambled egg, sardines or beans on wholegrain toast will help see you through a busy day.
Why: Eggs, sardines and beans all contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin E, iron and protein that are all essential for a healthy brain and are thought to improve thinking power and possibly memory. Sardines also contain essential omega-3-fatty acids which have been linked to intelligence and improved brain function – just the thing to get you through that all-important job interview or morning meeting. Additionally, wholegrain toast contains plenty of B vitamins that help to release energy slowly from food, thus keeping us mentally alert and ready to go all day long.
Best pre-workout energiser
What: A small bowl of porridge, muesli or low-sugar wholegrain breakfast cereals will help you get the most out of your workout.
Why: Wholegrains and oats contain slow-release energy which help to keep your blood sugar levels stable and keep you fuller and energised for longer – just what you need before hitting the gym for an intense workout. Add your own fresh or dried fruits to cereal and porridge to boost sweetness and vitamins and mineral intake, and make sure you leave an hour gap between eating and working out to ensure proper digestion.