Healthy Breakfast Tips to Kickstart Your Day
Arnold famously quipped that; “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and frankly, his word is gospel around these parts. PhysioRoom’s resident lab rat (and former chef) Toby Cryne gives you his healthy breakfast tips to supercharge your day.
Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a pauper. Remember that old yarn? Well, as it turns out, the old healthy breakfast tips might well be the best as the world of health and fitness errs towards this ideal more and more.
Sadly however, the British breakfast paradigm has greatly let us down with regards to our first meal. Perhaps more famous for the fry up than any other culinary delight, which are, let’s be honest, few and far between, Britain is facing an obesity epidemic. Though Tony the Tiger has been banished from our television screens, high-sugar cereals are still plaguing the supermarket shelves. Worse still, they’re getting cheaper and we are consuming more of them than ever; 6.7kg of the stuff per person on average – the largest ratio in the world.
For those that shun the fry up and the cereal box, a host of high street chains, fast-food joints and drive-thru diabetes centres will all gladly satisfy your sweet tooth and growing waistline on the daily commute.
The breakfast has sadly become one of the lowest nutrition, yet highest calorie meals that the common Brit consumes.
A Starbucks Mocha Heart Attack for example will set you back a whopping 247kcal of sugar, caffeine and fat – and that’s before you have really eaten anything. When coupled with an almond croissant at 503kcal your on-the-go breakfast could set you back almost 800kcal – nearly half of your daily allowance. Lacking any real nutritional density, fibre or essential dietary fundamentals, these on-the-go breakfast options are big business on both the pocket and the waistline.
Naturally with such hefty doses of sugar and fat, these nutrients are practically useless energy sources. Causing a sugar high and consequent heavy sugar crash shortly afterwards, the common British breakfast will lead you crawling to the vending machine for an 11am pick me up, one that no doubt will contain, once more, a heavy dose of sugar – and so the cycle continues.
For those that commit the cardinal sin of skipping breakfast entirely, studies have shown that they are nearly 4.5 times more likely to be overweight due to often consuming higher calorie, fat laden calories later in the day as previously alluded to. Such a cycle has taken over the breakfasts of the nation, helping to assist in the rising figures of obesity in both children and adults.
So how does one achieve the seemingly impossible feat of a nutritious yet delicious breakfast that won’t take the majority of the morning to make? Check out our healthy breakfast tips below to supercharge your morning.
The Standard American Diet, aptly titled SAD, has largely been adopted in the UK in modern times. Linked to a host of health evils such as; cardiovascular disease, weight gain and immune system issues, the SAD contains high levels of acid forming foods such as fortified sugars, processed meats and dairy. This forces the body to draw minerals it needs from vital organs in order to rid itself of the heavily processed foods that it doesn’t like. As such organs, tissue and bones will, over time become weaker, making them more susceptible to difficulties further down the line. And that’s before the damage of high calorie, high fat and high sugar have even been registered.
Alkalizing the body is just as simple as acidifying it. Simply eating certain foods will enable your body to maintain a balanced ph throughout the day which allows the organs to preserve their vital minerals for proper function. Starting the day with an alkalizing meal featuring vegetables or with the PhysioRoom.com Green Smoothie is a great way of keeping the ph of the body in check.
Not all carbs are created equal. Fast acting sugars such as those found in fortified cereals, white flour foods and calorie laden coffees are just about the worst thing you can have for breakfast. The fast acting sugars cause a spike in blood sugar leading to a huge energy release. If this energy isn’t then used by the body, these sugars will be stored as excess body fat. Grabbing a coffee and a pastry when in sedentary office employment is a sure fire way to add inches to your waist line – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Low-gi breakfasts which contain a decent amount of protein and fat alongside wholegrain carbohydrates will keep you satiated and energised throughout the morning, allowing you to snack less and keep focused.
Keep it Rough
Adequate fibre intake is essential for all dietary aims. A non-digestible part of plants, fruits, vegetables and grains, fibre works like a piste-basher in the gut by keeping correct flow in the digestive tract. Including at least 5 grams with breakfast will help you feel fuller for longer and will keep you regular throughout the day. Fortunately, fibre can be found in every wholegrain and vegetable so simply switching to brown bread, porridge oats or adding a side of beans to your eggs on toast will provide enough of the stuff to keep you moving smoothly. Fibre also has the added benefit of keeping you satiated which will also prevent snacking on cookies and other useless nutrients.
Smoothies have become a bit of a buzz word in the world of health and fitness and can, if homemade, be a great way to get a hold of a tonne of essential nutrients in a hurry. Sadly, store bought smoothies are often rammed full of processed added sugars, flavourings and other unnecessary evils which are laden with calories and can be counterproductive. Try a homemade vegetable smoothie to cram all those yucky things that your mum made you eat (kale, spinach, broccoli) into a highly nutritious and exceptionally tasty drink. Blending greens with bananas, sweet fruits, seeds and yoghurt yields an exceptionally fibrous, nutritious and tasty slurp.
The British breakfast is a bit of a nutritious minefield. The full English may have a large quantity of protein from the meat and eggs and fibre from the beans and mushrooms, but the fact that the whole concoction is fried in butter and hydrogenated oils really nullifies any nutritious gain. Fortunately however, many other breakfasts across the world feature staples that are far above our own in terms of nutrition and taste.
Asia: Both Thailand and China’s offerings of Congee and Khao Tom Thai (rice soups) are staples across South-East Asia that have slowly found their way onto the British breakfast scene – you can thank city hipsters for that. Ingredients are easy to find and the low-calorie offerings can be tailored to feature protein and fats with the addition of animal protein – and they taste amazing! Check out these recipes for Congee and Khao Tom Thai here..
Greece: Yoghurt, honey, nuts and grapes are breakfast favourites in Greece – it doesn’t get much healthier than that. Healthy lashes of protein and fats in the nuts and yoghurt alongside natural sugars in the honey and grapes will keep you energised and satiated all morning, just err on the side of caution with regards to portion size.
Jamaica: Ackee and Saltfish is so good that it is Jamaica’s national dish. Blending ackee fruit with spiced vegetables, codfish and rice offers a good source of carbohydrate, dietary protein and fats that tastes, quite frankly, phenomenal.