Bringing breakfast back to life!

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Sunday, June 24th, 2012
Breakfast. Breaking the fast. Setting your body and mind up for the day. The meal most of us ignore/eat too late/grab on the go and do not give enough attention to. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper – probably sounds like Chinese to most of us. Our brains have been conditioned to crave carbohydrates for breakfast (and for most meals actually), be this the fault of the breakfast cereal companies and their media campaigns or the fact that as humans we are hard wired to crave, seek out and stock up on sugar rich carb foods to provide us with energy. Do you regularly eat breakfast? Studies have shown that school kids who had sugary cereals or skipped breakfast had poorer concentration than their porridge/egg on toast munching classmates. Do you eat breakfast within 30minutes of rising? Breakfast kick starts your metabolism, the sooner you eat, the longer it’s firing on all cylinders for you. Do you eat any of the following foods for breakfast on a regular basis? – Toast with butter and marmalade (sugar and fat) – Sugary cereals such as Coco Pops, Sugar Puffs, and other so called ‘healthy’ granola or muesli (sugar and fat) – Left overs from the take away the night before (sugar and fat) – Milky coffee’s and scones on the run (sugar and fat) If so, I bet you’re hungry again very soon after and craving sugary carbs all day long. For many of us half the problem is not knowing what to eat for breakfast and the other half is in our minds, we’re conditioned to eat the way we do. Most people will still be eating the same breakfast at 30 years of age that their parents served them at 10 years old to some degree. However, who said we should eat packaged cereals with milk, toast with butter and bacon butties for breakfast? Think of all the foods that are out there, and try and expand your breakfast routine to include some of the following: – Smoked salmon with avocado on wholegrain (not wholemeal, there is a difference) toast – Scrambled/poached/boiled eggs on wholegrain toast with grilled tomato – Porridge (unsweetened) with flaxseeds and nuts – Fruit salad with seeds and greek yogurt – Veggie omelet with oatcakes Or go completely wild and have your usual dinner for breakfast – try chicken, broccoli and brown rice! I bet most of you reading this will think this is unrealistic, but the reason for this is because it is out of the ‘norm’…  Perhaps the ‘norm’ is the reason our obesity levels have increased more than 10 times the levels they were at 50 years ago. Perhaps eating outside the ‘norm’ is better for your health. Perhaps the problem is advertising and packaging, promotion of the wrong foods and mis-leading the public. Perhaps your so called healthy granola contains more than 12g grams of sugar per bowl, the Daily Mail online in 2011 reported, ”That ‘healthy’ bowl of granola has more sugar than coke… and more fat than fries”, and don’t be fooled by the addition of honey either, it’s still sugar and can still make you fat. Perhaps the reason we find this change so difficult is that we’re constantly waking up to a ‘sugar hangover’ from the day before when we drank too much caffeine, consumed heavily processed sweetened foods and overnight our blood sugar crashed, leaving us feeling sleepy even upon waking. We hit the snooze button and battle with our alarm clocks before eventually dragging ourselves out of bed to flick on the kettle, top up the caffeine and sugar levels and we’re back to feeling ‘normal’  again. Now inagine feeling ‘normal’ without the need for coffee and bread, with small changes it is possible: 1. Drink plenty of water throughout the day 2. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep by avoiding caffeine after lunch 3. Drink a glass of water upon waking as you’ve not only been without food for 8+ hours, but also water 4. Have one of the above mentioned breakfast choices, even if at first it seems like a struggle, stick with it for just 2 weeks and I promise you will notice a dramatic and pleasing result in your energy and your weight 5. Instead of going out for dinner and consuming 50% of your calories at 9pm just before bed, try going out for breakfast instead and fill up on fruits, eggs, nuts and so on, there are so many good cafe’s in Newry nowadays, why not break your usual routine and make a meal of breakfast! LISA’S TIP: Avoiding refined and processed foods will save you money – a 1kg bag of porridge oats will last much longer than a box of cereal and is much cheaper, good for your purse and your weight!
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