We’ve heard it all a thousand times before breakfast is the most important meal of the day – but let me remind you just why and how it could be the ticket to better health and even shedding some of those Christmas mince pies (I should caveat at this stage that eating a decent breakfast doesn’t give you magical super-powers, but there are definite, proven benefits to eating well in the mornings).
Why you should big up your breakfast
Breakfast-skippers are known to binge and snack more throughout the day. You miss out on the chance to balance your blood sugars and energy levels first thing, which can lead to all kinds of ups and downs throughout the day, usually ending in reaching for late night snacks (and not the good kind).
You’re more likely to eat more moderately and reasonable for the rest of your meals during the day if you eat a balanced breakfast (full of fiber, protein and good fats). More often than not, if you’re not filling the gap with food you’re filling it with endless coffees, which can affect everything from your mood to your blood sugar and lots in between.
Ever heard the old adage ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper’? It’s true and it works for maintaining better energy levels and a healthy body weight.
Check out these 5 breakfast hacks to keep you on track:
1. Become a make-ahead master
A few minutes prepping a couple of times a week can save you all kinds of morning madness (and then you can also be smug at your desk while you tuck into your pre-made delight, double bonus). Overnight oats (with lots of added seeds, nuts and nut butter for extra protein and good fats) are a favourite in our house, and you can prep up to 4 days in advance. I divide the portions into glass jars and stash them in the fridge to grab and go in the mornings.
TRY: Chocolate and hazelnut overnight oats
2. Shake it up
Don’t tell me you don’t have 75 seconds in the morning to throw a smoothie or protein shake together? Try this for one of the best early morning kick-starts I know (serves 2): 1 frozen banana, 1 Tbs whey or pea protein powder, 1 Tbs chia seeds, a dash of vanilla if you have, 1 cup milk of your choice, a handful of ice cubes and blitz. Add extra milk or water to loosen if necessary. Try adding a dollop of peanut butter or nut butter of your choice to keep things interesting.
Or, if you prefer fruitier options, TRY THESE:
3. Cook once, eat twice
Batch Cooking is an essential survival tool in our house – if anything can be doubled and something stashed in the freezer for a rainy day, I grab the opportunity with both hands.
TRY: Spinach and smoked trout fritattas
4. Keep a healthy stash at the office
If mornings are not your thing, and you just can’t quite get there with breakfast at home, then make sure you keep smart snacks at the office or in your bag – power balls; granola bars with natural ingredients and no added junk; rye crackers or rice crackers with peanut butter; good quality yoghurt and good-for-you muesli are all great options.
5. When all else fails…avocado toast!
Whether you keep a sliced loaf in the freezer at home, or at the office, the only other thing you need in your breakfast arsenal is a ripe avo (and a sprinkling of salt and pepper) and your mornings will be that much merrier.
Sarah Graham is an award-winning South African food writer and TV cook and loves to prepare simple, honest, good-for-you food. Follow Sarah’s food journey via her blog, Instagram or Facebook.
ALSO READ: 5 Ways you can train yourself to eat more mindfully in 2018
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