Better breakfasts – Helping you to feel brighter, happier and full of energy!

If you every wake up drained, feeling tired or with brain fog and then, when you eventually get to work simply want to slump at your desk. Or maybe you have to sleep on the train commute in and are starving by 11am with a slight headache; then this may be for you. Or it could be that you simply want to get into the breakfast habit. Well then investigating how having better breakfasts can help you to feel brighter, is for you too.

As a child you may have been told that breakfast means to ‘Break the Fast’. Or maybe you were told that it’s the time that you should feast like a king (or queen)’.

Now both are relevant and of use to some extent, but what if you simply can’t stomach breakfast?? Or what if you’ve trained yourself out of having anything in the morning? Well, I think that this is one of the best places for us to start.

Why have breakfast?

Quite simply because, our body needs nutrients which produce energy and it’s not only to carry out our daily tasks. The body carries out so many bio-chemical actions to protect from injuries, traumas or prevent harmful microbes from causing the body to go awry. It’s also repairing tissue and ridding your body of toxins.

So, we always come back to the fact that, EVERY single cell in our body desperately needs energy. Energy to function, energy to fight infection, energy to develop our cells, energy to build our tissues and even to process stress.

And quite simply, whatever the latest fad or diet, humans still operate on an energy in, energy utilised and energy out model. We’re continually using energy. Have you ever thought how much energy you use throughout the day? We’re even using energy merely by thinking and breathing and when we’re sleeping.

So breakfast sets your body up to produce and utilise energy effectively throughout the day. It also allows your body to operate knowing that there’s a steady of nutrients coming and that it doesn’t have to go in to survival mode, desperately trying to break down glucose stores.

But, going back to that earlier question……. what if you simply can’t stomach breakfast?? Or never seem to have the time to make or eat anything first thing?…… But what if you also find that headaches, food cravings, feeling down, annoyed or even tearful can be part and parcel of your days? Read on.

What you can do if you don’t see the point

Consider this – Remember that breakfast is all about:

1) you having more energy and lessening those nightmare symptoms.

2) It’s also about making up for the energy that was lost through all of the processing that your body was carrying out throughout the night.

3) And it’s also about looking forward to the energy that you’ll need to process for those critical first few hours of the day.

What you can do if you want to think about it logically

Break it down. One thing to think is, what have I got coming up today? How much energy am I going to be using? When’s my next meal going to be?

The recommended daily calorie intake for women is about 2,000 calories. Obviously, this will change depending on the type of activity that you’re doing. But it’s important to note that we use copious amounts of energy throughout the day on seemingly small things. For example, did you know that you can use:

480 calories when sleeping for 8 hours

470 calories simply from sitting and eating

250 calories from walking for an hour

140 from an hour’s housework

(Adapted from Gaman and Sherrington, 1998)

So, we need to feed ourselves to sustain the energy that we’re going to be using.

What you can do if you don’t like breakfast

1) Start the day with a nutritious drink. If you can have it before you leave the house that’s great, but if not, get a beaker or flask so that you can have it on the go.

Get creative and try a few different combinations. And if you have a favourite supermarket smoothie, why not try and replicate it at home.

Some simple food options are:

Smoothies with a banana or avocado base

+ choose one, two or more vegetables: cucumber, celery, spinach, beetroot, mint.

And add

+ choose one, two or more fruit: apples, apricots, peaches, mango, raspberries, blue berries, pears.

+ choose one or two other ingredients: seeds, oats, nut milk, nut butter, shredded coconut, tofu, spirulina, yogurt

Vegetable juices (beetroot, carrot, tomato, mixed vegetable) with water and the option of a little fruit juice).

If you tend to feel nauseous when you first start, add water rather something milk based. It can make it easier on your stomach and you can then adapt as you go.

2) Train your mind to train your body. Remember as a child when you disliked eating a food that you now love? (for me it was spinach, but now I can’t get enough of it).

Try having breakfast for 3, 4 or 6 weeks if you can, link it to something that you will do at the end of that period. Although I hope it won’t, it could turn out to be, ‘I know that breakfast isn’t for me, so I’ll stop’. But you could say that as a little reward, you’ll go the cinema or to a class, or anything which helps you to focus on the outcome

3) Get creative. Breakfast doesn’t have to be cereal or toast.

One of the best things I’ve found about travelling is experiencing different cultures and their food. I’ve been to places where I’ve had potatoes, rice, beans and egg for breakfast or tacos with a massive salsa salad and guacamole or even banana bread and milky chai.

I also once heard Anthony Hayes (leading Nutritional Therapist) say that he has sweet potato for breakfast and I sometimes have smoothies with tofu. And you can too.

Be creative, have whatever you fancy. It doesn’t have to say ‘traditional breakfast’ on the packet.

What you can do if you don’t have time

Plan ahead. When you make your evening meal, also make your breakfast. If you fancy trying a smoothie, remember that it’ll keep for a couple of days. You can also add in some overnight soaked oats if you want to make it a little richer.

Or make a chia seed pot or two with yogurt, seeds and blueberries, goji berries or pineapple and papaya cubes and leave it in the fridge. You can then put aside some chopped nuts or seeds and add these to it in the morning.

Have a go to pot. Have a bowl with some ‘grab and go’ breakfast stuffs. It could contain fruit or good quality nut bars, a small tub of dried fruit and nut mix or even a pack of yogurt coated nuts or a pack of plantain chips.

What you can do if you’re not up early enough

You may find that simply by having something really small for breakfast that you start to have more energy and that you’re able to up a little earlier. Then there’s the option of setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier.

But failing that you could simply keep something in your bag, car or at work that you can have as soon as you get the chance.

Having breakfast shouldn’t be a chore. It may take time to get into a new routine, but by simply making a little effort, you could feel a whole lot better, not only in the morning, but throughout the day!

If you want support to help you feel well again contact me and see what nutrition can do.


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