As a health coach, one of the biggest mistakes I see people making day in and day out is with their breakfast. I’ve lost count of the number of adults I come across who go to work on a bowl of sugary cereal, a bagel or a chocolate covered “meal-replacement” bar.
Their breakfast is sabotaging their health, their energy, their mood and their productivity – and leaving them feeling hungry and craving sugary snacks throughout the day and into the evening.
But it doesn’t need to be that way! A simple switch-up can transform your wellbeing and protect your health.
That’s why I’m sharing these four delicious, low-carb recipes that will keep you full until lunchtime.
WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID A SUGARY BREAKFAST
The standard carb bomb that we’ve all been brainwashed into eating for breakfast is actually the very last thing our body needs after fasting all night. It sends our blood sugar soaring and then crashing. This rollercoaster not only encourages the body to lay down fat but plays havoc with our energy levels and brain function. Not to mention our mood!
So many of us make the mistake of turning breakfast into a dessert. Often, this is done unwittingly by choosing a “breakfast bar” or one of those healthy-looking, low-fat fruit yoghurts. Don’t be fooled: these are loaded with sugar and are not much better than having an ice-cream sundae for breakfast. As it happens, yoghurt is one of my go-to breakfasts – but I always opt for a plain, full-fat, Greek-style, organic yoghurt, which I love for its creaminess. And I load it with a mix of seeds (such as flax and pumpkin) plus walnuts and frozen blueberries. It’s delicious and keeps me going for hours.
FOODS TO STABILISE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
Eating a protein-rich breakfast not only stabilises blood sugar levels but slashes cravings and cuts overeating throughout the day. It will help improve your cognition and reduce your risk of adding fat onto your belly.
So, whatever time you choose to have your first meal of the day, make sure it includes high-quality protein and some good fats.
To learn more the difference between good healthy fats and unhealthy fats, watch my video We need to talk about fat.
Again and again, I see the most extraordinary transformations in people (affecting not only their weight and energy levels but their mood, productivity and relationships) once they switch to a nutritious breakfast. Very often, I see these shifts come about within a matter of days.
Give it a try: switch up your breakfast and see what happens! Here are a few recipes to get you started
FOUR BREAKFAST RECIPES TO KEEP YOU FULL TILL LUNCHTIME
1. Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie
(you can watch me making this smoothie here)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup water
1 cup frozen organic blueberries
4 Brazil nuts
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon tahini paste
Put everything in a high-speed blender and blitz for about a minute. Enjoy!
2. Raspberry and Coconut Chia Seed Pot
This is the perfect breakfast to prepare the night before. If I’m travelling early in the morning, I’ll stick the jar in my bag, throw in a spoon and enjoy this creamy treat on the train. It’s a great breakfast option when you’re short on time, and doesn’t add any stress to your day.
40g chia seeds
200ml coconut milk (half a can)
One teaspoon ground cinnamon
A handful of frozen raspberries
A handful of chopped walnuts
1. Mix the chia seeds, coconut milk and cinnamon together in a lidded jar. Top with the frozen raspberries, put the lid on and let it set in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. It will take on the texture of a pudding.
2. Remove from the fridge and top with the chopped walnuts.
3. Smoked Salmon with Scrambled Eggs
Although this only takes fractionally longer than making bog-standard scrambled eggs, you’ll feel like royalty eating this for breakfast. It’s a classic combination that not only feels super-indulgent but is packed with protein and good fats to set up you up brilliantly for your day and have you motoring through your morning.
If you’d like to add in even more goodness, you could chop up an avocado on the side and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over it.
Half tablespoon of butter
30g chopped-up smoked salmon (about two tablespoons)
One tablespoon of cream cheese
10g of fresh chives, chopped (a small handful)
One teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Heat the butter in a frying pan.
2. Beat the eggs, mix the salmon in lightly with a fork and add in the other ingredients.
3.Cook the mixture, stirring until it’s just scrambled (you don’t want to make it rubbery!).
4. Add a couple more grinds of black pepper and a few more chives if you like. Eat straight away!
4. Goat’s Cheese Muffins with Rocket and Red Pepper
These are basically a healthy, filling frittata in a convenient muffin form, so are perfect for when you need to grab and go. They’re incredibly simple and quick to make and are equally delicious hot, warm or cold, so you can prepare a batch in advance. I’ve suggested rocket here because I like its peppery flavour with the goat’s cheese, but spinach works equally well.
Just use up whatever is knocking around in your vegetable drawer and ring the changes by adding in herbs such as chopped chives or rosemary. You can’t go wrong!
NB You may need to adjust the quantities (or the number of muffins this makes) depending on the size of your muffin tin – and also the size of your eggs (I get huge ones delivered from a guy who keeps hens).
You’ll need a muffin tray.
Half a red pepper
15g rocket (small handful)
40g goat’s cheese
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for greasing the tray
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Grease six of the holes in the tray with olive oil.
3. Chop up the goat’s cheese (you can leave the rind on), rocket and red pepper.
4. Whisk up the eggs and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
5. Put a little of each filling in the bottom of each hole.
6. Add the whisked egg so it fills up the hole.
7. Bake for around 15 minutes or until the muffins are just cooked all the way through.
Four quick and easy breakfasts to keep you full till lunchtime and help you avoid those mid-morning cravings for chocolate.
If you’d like to know more about how our blood sugar affects us, have a listen to my podcast Blood sugar shockers! What I learnt from wearing a blood glucose monitor.