Breakfast to Fuel You
We're guilty ourselves of waking up too late, feeling too busy and instead of nourishing our bodies for the day, simply grabbing a piece of toast and a coffee on the go; this my friends, does not equal breakfast. So we reached out to an expert, someone who knows what's up for some sound advice on all things breakfast.
My name is Mandy King and I’m a Holistic Nutritionist and the founder of HEAL - Healthy Eating And Living. At the risk of sounding like your parents, I cannot stress this enough: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is your opportunity to set the tone of the day and to fuel your brain. If you want to feel energized and capable, have a breakfast full of colourful, real foods.
Basic guidelines to follow for a breakfast that will fuel you:
Aim for 15-20g of protein. Good quality protein will help to slow down the digestion of the food to give you more sustained energy and keep you fuller, for longer. An easy way to make this happen, eat two eggs or add hemp seeds to your oatmeal.
Include healthy fats and fiber. These help to slow down the digestion of food. Fats, like those from avocado, almond butter and eggs, are amazing for you. They’re what we nutritionists like to call 'brain food'. Fiber is in vegetables, legumes (like beans, lentils, chickpeas) and whole grains.
Avoid added sugar. The World Health Organization's (the big dogs in nutrition) daily recommended sugar intake (aka the maximum amount of sugar you should have in one day) is 25 grams. Yet many typical breakfast options like cereal or even yogurt and granola can bring you over this level before noon. Many brands add sugar to seemingly healthy options, so to help lower your sugar intake at breakfast, either make your own breakfast or stick to unsweetened products. Fruit is a great sweetener to add to your cereal or oatmeal if it's feeling bland. The general rule of thumb is that if you don’t know what the ingredients are, steer clear.
Make your own breakfast. This is really the only way to have control over what you’re eating. Even seemingly healthy breakfast options like Booster Juice or Jugo Juice, yogurt parfaits or muffins at coffee shops are full of added sugar and low in protein and healthy fats.
Healthy breakfast options to hit these points:
- Oatmeal with nuts/nut butter and seeds
- Plain yogurt, berries and nuts and seeds
Without fail, my favourite breakfast is a smoothie because you can pack so many amazing nutrients in there. Not all smoothies are created equal though, so I’ve created a simple formula you can follow. I call this my 'Flawless Smoothie Formula'.
Choose your liquid (1-2 cups): some good options are coconut water, dairy-free milks like almond or cashew milk, and even water.
Add unlimited greens (1-2 handfuls is usually good): i.e. kale, spinach, romaine or cucumber.
Fruit (½-1 cup): Some good options include apple, pear, berries or some banana.
Protein (1 scoop): this one should not be missed and is what will keep you satisfied longer. I love adding some sort of vegan protein powder but you can also add a few tablespoons of hemp and chia seeds or even plain yogurt.
Healthy fats (1-2 tbsp): i.e. almond or peanut butter, avocado, hemp or flax seeds.
Supercharge it: add some cinnamon, ginger, cacao nibs or bee pollen for added benefits.