The old dilemma – 10 min longer in bed and a little additional snooze time or being good and have a healthy breakfast to start the day?
Well, there is one side the old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I fully agree. Breakfast is setting you up for the day, provides you with good energy (assuming that you have a healthy breakfast – we’ll talk about this in a minute) and the ability to concentrate without wandering to the biscuit tin before lunch! We are living in busy times and I think it’s essential to feel good and being able to focus on the day ahead of you.
But there are a couple of things to consider:
- When did you have dinner? You may simply not be hungry early in the morning when you had your dinner late and especially when it was a big meal.
- Did you get enough sleep? If you are tired you may crave a coffee rather than anything to eat. Of course you don’t want to make this a habit and we all know that a good 7-8 hrs sleep is important but sometimes it is what it is.
- Are you an owl (read: do you consider getting up before 10:00am as torture?) Again, you may want to start your day with a cup of tea or coffee to ease into the day.
But then, we can’t get around it – breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. But not everybody needs to have theirs within 15 min of getting up.
Take for example my friend C who is going to the gym every morning. She gets up at 5:45am, grabs her bag and is off to the gym. She has water during her session and has a nutritious breakfast at her desk at around 9:30am. She pushes her body deliberately through the early morning without food to maximise the effect of her training. For us normal people who get up around 7:00 that would be a breakfast at 11:00!
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The important thing is to find your own timings. By all means, have breakfast! But eat when you are hungry and stop before you are full. When you have breakfast at 7:00 you may want a piece of fruit mid-morning to keep you going. If you have your porridge by 10:30 you should be fine until you have a late lunch at 14:00.
Be creative – prepare delicious egg muffins the evening before and take one or two with you. Since the wonderful chia seeds have arrived in our lives there is definitely no more excuse not to have breakfast because all you need to do is prepare a batch on Sunday and from Monday to Friday you take a couple of spoons, add some fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey and you’re good to go.I promise you won’t be hungry before lunchtime! For the super busy days simply have some oats in your drawer and wander to the microwave for a home-made porridge.
I’m a fan of early and light dinners so your stomach has enough time for digestion before I go to bed. And since I am unbearable when I’m tired I always aim for 8 hrs sleep. With all that in mind I am still not hungry when I get up. I need at least 1.5 hrs to warm up to the idea of having breakfast but then I am looking really forward to it.
I always try to have the majority of my daily carb intake for breakfast, always mix it with protein but have as little fat as possible. It gives me energy and the ability to focus and it keeps me going until lunch. I alternate between porridge with almond milk, fruit with yoghurt, wholemeal bread with a slice of pastrami or a slightly sweetened chia pudding. When I’m hungry during mid morning I have one or two of Ella Woodwards Energy Balls or some Nairns oatcakes, they are great!
What is your experience with or without breakfast? Let me know your thoughts.
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