Have you ever thought about the word ‘breakfast’ and what it means? If you take the word apart, it means to break your fast. You’ve been sleeping all night without food and now it’s time to refuel your body.
However 64 per cent of people don’t eat breakfast. They sacrifice their meal for extra time in bed, to organise the kids or to get to work earlier, despite knowing that breakfast is deemed the most important meal of the day by some nutritionists. Adelle Davis; a popular writer and lecturer on food and health during the 1950s, suggested we should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.
Thoughts around breakfast are contradictory, depending on which piece of research you follow. Some have found skipping breakfast is linked to eating more calories later in the day, decreased concentration, associated with greater weight and increased fatness over time. While others say intermittent fasting is a good thing, and that we shouldn’t eat until later in the day.
The key then is to monitor yourself and how YOU respond. If you’re someone who can’t function without breakfast then make sure you eat a healthy breakfast every day. If you’re someone who can’t, if you’ll excuse the pun, stomach breakfast in the morning, then carry healthy snacks to eat later in the day. But if you’re one of those who wants breakfast and doesn’t have time or would rather stay in bed or get to the workplace early, you probably would benefit from taking a look at your lifestyle and seeing how you could fit breakfast in.
Breakfast Week has been running since 2000 to raise awareness of the benefits of eating breakfast as part of a healthy balanced diet. The idea is to encourage us to make small changes to our daily routine to encourage us to take the time to have a healthy breakfast. Because all breakfasts are not created equal! Many cereals are loaded with sugar and do not provide much in terms of nutrition.
Personally I fall into the ‘can’t function without breakfast’ camp. Here are some of the things that help me eat a good breakfast when I’m in a rush in the morning:
Use a slow cooker
There’s nothing like coming downstairs to a prepared breakfast and you can do that with a slow cooker. I prepare porrage in mine the night before, plug it into a time switch and wake up to perfectly cooked porrage that I then add my toppings to.
One of the favourite breakfasts is to soak oats overnight in Greek yogurt. You’ll find the oats will swell and take on a delicious creamy texture that keeps you feeling full. Top with prepared fruit and it makes a satisfying start to the day.
It doesn’t take long to scramble a couple of eggs – it’s the washing up that takes the time. But hey, you can soak the saucepan in water until you get home later in the day ;). I like my scrambled eggs with tinned salmon or avocado.
When I have some spare time during the week I put together smoothie packs for the freezer. They might contain chopped avocado, blueberries or raspberries which I store in ‘smoothie sized’ packs. I add some concentrated Cherry Juice and spirulina powder along with some greens – a handful of parsley or spinach and I’m good to go.
Last nights dinner
I’m not one to follow convention – who says breakfast has to be cereal and toast or a fry up? I regularly make an extra portion of dinner and warm it up the following day for breakfast. I’ve eaten some strange things in my time, but eating a good breakfast sets me up for the day, so I’m not going to judge myself for eating curry or bubble and squeak first thing in the morning!
What about you – do you eat a regular breakfast?