People often question what is the best thing to eat in the morning to fuel the day. This can be a complicated answer depending on your body type and how your body reacts to certain food. Since we are all different, we have different needs and not one type of breakfast will work for everyone. But, the simple answer is to definitely eat food in the morning that will nourish the body and sustain energy for several hours rather than skipping breakfast.
Eating a balanced breakfast will not only help you get through the day and kickstart the metabolism, it will improve your focus, memory, alertness and those afternoon sugar blues. So what does balanced mean anyway!? A balanced meal would contain some protein, slow carbs for sustained energy, good fats and nutrient-rich foods. Slow carbs are the craze these days, but it means having carbohydrates that aren't going to spike your blood sugar quickly and crashing with tiredness. Slow carbs consist of food that will give you a steady supply of energy - like drip feeding. Some examples of slow carbs are oats, quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice. Healthy fats will also aid in the slow release of sugars to sustain energy levels.
From my own experience, I have put together 5 recipes that have helped me start the day off right and allowed me to stay energised. Take a look at each option and see which one will work for you best based on your tastes, food sensitivities and so on.
5 breakfasts that will start your day off right:
1. Good ole porridge with toppings
Porridge using whole oats, quinoa or even left over brown rice is a great example of slow carbohydrates. This option may be a little higher in carbohydrates but it slowly releases the sugar into the bloodstream for a steady energy feed.
Use 1/2 cup/50 grams of whole oats or your choice of grains and place into a small saucepan (feel free to add more for more people). Cover your oats with 1.5 cup/350ml water or your choice of milk. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes stirring constantly. Cheat: heat in microwave for 2 minutes, put oats into a bowl with boiling water allowing to sit for 2 minutes or soak them overnight.
Add porridge to a large bowl and add your toppings. The toppings are key and I suggest a combination of
nuts/seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed
fruit: berries are best but you can also add a few apples while cooking or banana slices.
spices: nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon, which is a great flavour for sweetness and can help in maintaining blood sugar,
other: desiccated coconut, cocoa nibs, goji berries
2. Power pancakes
These pancakes are great for making ahead or saving to snack on later. You can be flexible with the binder if you prefer to use eggs or flaxseed egg. Both are good protein options.
Mash 2 bananas in a bowl
Make your flax eggs (or whisk regular eggs if substituted) and add to bananas along with 1 teaspoon of natural vanilla extract.
Add 2 tablespoons of ground chia seeds and 2 tablespoons of ground almonds to the mixture and stir together.
Fold in a handful of blueberries, blackberries or strawberries.
Add oil to frying pan over medium heat, when hot add about ¼ cup of the batter to the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes each side flipping when batter starts to bubble.
Serve with toppings like toasted almonds and shredded coconut and a small drizzle of maple syrup or almond butter.
3. Tofu scramble
Being a type 1 diabetic, mornings can be tricky. So, if you need a breakfast option that is low carb or vegan, this is the way to go. Giving it a Mexican-style flavour gets the taste buds going. Also, pairing it with some extra fibre like black beans and fermented food like sauerkraut helps the gut and reduces bloating.
Add a drop of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add a few slices of onion and sauté until soft.
Crumble a handful of firm tofu to the pan and heat for a couple of minutes. Next, add a good handful of chopped greens like kale and spinach sautéing for another 2 minutes.
Top with chopped tomatoes, avocado slices and fresh coriander.
4. Chia seed pudding with stewed fruit
Chia seeds are AMAZING. I love how they expand in liquid and provide this bubbly texture. Plus, chia seeds are super nutritious packed with fibre, omega-3s, protein, iron and manganese. This breakfast is pretty flexible and you can play around with the fruit and toppings. But I found this version nice with stewed fruit.
Basic recipe: Add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to bowl with 1/2 cup/120 ml of milk choice (preferred coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk or oat milk).
Stir together well so there is no clumping. Add mixture to a glass jar and cover with lid. Place into fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Add toppings of choice: berries, nuts, seeds, coconut
Banana recipe: Process together 1 small banana, 1/3 cup coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
Stewed fruit: layer chia seed pudding with stewed fruit such as rhubarb and apples.
Stir in options: nut butter, vanilla extract, spices, cocoa powder, stevia
5. Green shake
Smoothies are perfect for those on the go. You can play around with ingredients to get it exactly how you like.
Add each of the following to a blender or food processor and blend together:
Base: non-dairy milk of choice, coconut water or cooled tea
Healthy fats: 1 tablespoon of nut or seed butter like peanut butter, almond butter, 1/2 of avocado, 1 tablespoon of chia or flaxseeds
Sweet: 1 medium banana, handful of berries, 1 - 2 kiwis, small handful dates
Green: handful of greens like spinach, kale, chard
Extras: sprinkle of spirulina powder, maca powder, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cocoa powder, wheatgrass powder, chlorella powder, probiotics
Now when you wake up in the morning, you have some energising food to kickstart your day! If you need some extra support to feel energised, contact me for an intro consultation.