Tiny tweaks. They’re the crux of my wellness coaching practice.
In my experience, unless your life is on the line or some event has whipped the carpet out from under you and forced you to redesign your life, real, lasting change is the product of many small changes knitted together.
And when I begin a coaching programme with a client, breakfast is often one of the first tweaks we make. 1. Because it’s so important. And 2. Because so many of us eat an either outright unhealthy breakfast, a breakfast that’s pretending to be healthy but isn’t, or nothing at all.
Let it be said, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Think about it. All your body has to run on is the sleep you had last night and the fuel you feed it. Ergo, it’s incredibly important to do that fuelling in the morning.
Forget this nonsense about breakfast being for wimps. As far as I’m concerned – and the entirety of the wellness community is concerned – breakfast is the meal of champions.
I used to row for Great Britain, my husband used to row for Great Britain, and let me tell you, you ain’t gonna find a single athlete out there who skips breakfast.
Question is, what to have. Here are my five top answers.
Soaked oats are awesome for summer. Grab a big jar, fill with oats, pour over milk (go for no-added-sugar almond if you can), and pimp it up with honey, nuts, seeds or berries. Pop in the fridge the night before or throw together in the morning. In winter, it’s porridge all the way. No expensive plastic tubs of dust, milk powder and sugar please – just oats and milk, and endless toppings. 5-ish mins on the hob or 3-ish in the microwave. Warming and filling for nippy days.
Perfect nutrition in a cute package. If your office has a hob, win. If not, turn the microwave to medium, mix a couple of organic eggs in a bowl, and fork through every 30 seconds until you have a scramble – about 3 minutes.Add a little salt, and pimp with anything – spinach (wilt it with the eggs for the last 30 secs), chopped peppers, cucumber, tomato or avocado. Or, for extra protein and omega-3s – smoked salmon, mackerel or shelled hemp.
Most people seem as obsessed with avocado as I am so I figure I have a good audience here. Have it on oatcakes (Rude Health do a damn fine oatcake), on rice cakes, on rye bread (less gluten), on sprouted bread, with eggs, with veggies, or even just with salt, olive oil and a spoon.
I don’t do a lot of dairy these days, but when I do, I make it full fat, super thick greek yogurt. Cultured dairy is easier on the digestive system, and full of protein and healthy fats that keep your body (especially your hormones) humming. Low fat is higher in sugar and incredibly unsatisfying to boot. Top the good stuff with berries, nuts, seeds, maybe a smattering of flax, and a swirl of honey.
Don’t go too heavy on the fruit (hello fructose). Instead, blend up a banana or green apple with a neutral-tasting leafy green like spinach, some nut or coconut milk, or coconut water. If you’re feeling more adventurous, add avocado, celery or cucumber (all tasteless in a smoothie), some brown rice, pea or hemp protein powder, half a lemon or lime (skin off), a slice of ginger, chia seeds or anything else you having hanging about. Pour into a jar (passata jars are awesome for this) and go.
And here’s a quick rundown of decidedly un-wonderful breakfasts:
- A cup of coffee
A good way to kick start a caffeine roller coaster – not your day.
- Pastries and croissants
Fat bombs. Unless you’re in Paris, in which case, bon appetit.
- Breakfast ‘biscuits’
More sugar and simple carbs than a digestive = the shittest breakfast ever.
- Cereal bars
Check the packet carefully. Many are as sugary as a Snickers.
- Sugary cereals
Even Special K is 17 per cent sugar, and sugar makes you fat. Way to go Kelloggs.
So there you have it. Weekday breakfasts and how to do them right.