In this week's Healthier Britain Blog, I would like to focus on breakfast. I’ve been talking and filming a lot around the subject over the past few weeks and certainly have written a lot about it in the past. Getting the start of your day right, is definitely an important step in reaching or exceeding your health potential.
Let me start with 3 thoughts...
- For most adults in Britain, having breakfast regularly is not necessary and certainly not what our ancient ancestors ever did. Regular breakfasts have only been a thing since they started marketing cereals a little over 100 years ago.
- More marketing and advertising money is spent on breakfast cereals than any other type of food. Yet, they are one of the most rapidly digestible carbohydrates of all, quickly turning into sugar once consumed.
- Have you ever stopped and thought about where breakfast gets its name? It is named after its function – it breaks the fast.
For more than 25 years I got annoyed with myself if on a hectic day, with a busy schedule, I skipped breakfast. After all, we have been taught that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We were taught that it sets us up properly for the day ahead; others told us that we can’t function without a good breakfast; while marketers of cereals told us that it kicks starts our metabolism; which turns out not to be the truth; like the often the opposite.
I have since learnt that those days of skipping breakfast weren’t doing me any harm - they were making me healthier. No longer are the low-fat yoghurts, cereals and large glass of orange juice the healthy breakfast option. They are in fact a recipe for disaster for many people living in Britain and preventing them from reaching their health potential.
While there are several reasons why breakfast may be unhealthy for some people (and quite possibly even dangerous), I am only going to touch lightly on the subject in this week’s Healthier Britain Blog and offer 3 simple approaches.
Note: do watch the video we filmed last week for healthresults.com below.
The key thing with breakfast is to understand, that regardless of the health messages they may contain on the side of the box, all grains and cereals are carbohydrates and all turn into sugar once eaten. That might be ok if you’re doing heaps of sport or are a very active child, but for the rest of us, it means we just pile on the pounds and send our insulin levels nuts in the morning.
Have a look at this chart below to discover the untold truth about where sugar is hiding or download our Primal Living App. It shows the equivalent effect on blood glucose (sugar levels) compared to eating teaspoons of table sugar. And in-case you missed it at school - I certainly did- , our 5 litres of blood can only suspend one teaspoon of sugar at any one time.
How to have a healthy breakfast
Approach 1: Colour in your breakfast!
Replace your cereals and toast for colourful foods (and no, I don’t mean colourful American candy!).
Last year I was once given some great health advice by a very forward-thinking doctor and that was to try and fill half of your plate with vegetables.
Now while that is great advice, because vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals and other beneficial compounds too, that said however, it’s not always practical, especially at breakfast time!
So, to help make it easier for you, I’ve come up with the “Colouring In Breakfast” concept! Don’t worry, no colouring pencils are required. Here’s how it works...
One day (let’s say Monday) you’ll make yourself a red smoothie, then the next day (Tuesday), you’ll make yourself a green smoothie, and the next day (Wednesday) you’ll make yourself a yellow smoothie and keep going. The idea is that by drinking a different colour each day, you’ll be consuming an array of different and nourishing ingredients.
If it helps, we have a clip on our YouTube channel showing the concept.
Here are a few I have made for my kids who still like to have breakfast...
- Handful of strawberries
- Handful of Raspberries mixed
- Coconut water
- 2cm piece of ginger
- 1 carrot
- ½ an orange
- Squeezed lime
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- Tsp stevia
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 2 cups ALMOND MILK
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tsp crushed peanuts
- Tbsp vanilla protein powder
- Tsp xylitol
Over the next week, set yourself the goal to try and eat the rainbow. Not only will you be providing your body with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, but you’ll also be consuming different phytonutrients, which are also super beneficial for your health.
One word of warning though is to make sure you know which fruit and vegetables are high in sugar and try and avoid those.
Approach 2: Eat your eggs!
Eat lots of them. They are packed full of protein and healthy fats, that will help keep you feeling full and satisfied, as well as contributing to the maintenance of muscle mass and normal bones, and normal growth and development of bone in children. They have also many vitamins and minerals. Take a look at our ideas below for the many different ways you can prepare them. Add bacon, salmon, mushrooms, spinach to make it a little different each day.
Approach 3: Skip breakfast and fast
I won’t go into this much here. Not because I cover it in my book and am trying to get you to buy it (just so you know, it’s available on Amazon, with £5 off using the code 'PRIMALEBOOK'), but because I am sure we will cover the health benefits of fasting a lot in upcoming Healthier Britain Blogs.
Intermittent fasting, skipping meals and going longer between feed times is now recognised globally as a healthy thing to do for your body, especially if weight loss is your goal.
But until you start moving to a diet based more on protein and fats and really cut down on the sugary carbohydrates, you will probably find it difficult to adjust to. Why? Because you’ll not be fuelling your body correctly. Sugar foods will only spike you blood sugar levels and leave you feeling hungry 2-3 hours later again.
But once you start to live more Primally, cutting down on processed foods, replacing the bread, pasta and rice for colourful alternatives, you wake up in the morning with no sense of hunger. This is exactly how my approach to skipping breakfast works. Personally, I like to start my day with a cup (or two) of coffee, my vitamins and minerals and then throw myself in to the day.
What made me happiest this week
The BBC put out some sensible messages about food, link to article can be found here.
What upset me most this week
The tragic floods in Germany and bush fires in Portugal which I captured on camera. We must convince our politicians to take global warming more seriously and then all play our part too.
Favourite customer testimonial this week
“Been on a few vitamins for 7/8 months. D3, vitamin C and multivitamin for over 60s. I am 65 and I can quite suddenly run like the wind. Had leukaemia 10 years and blood tests now prove white cells are down to 30. Excellent!” - Donna Boyd
Well done Donna! 65 and running like the wind gives us all lots of inspiration. Keep going.
Primal Living's latest performance
We are passionate to create the very best health products on the planet. Many thanks to everyone who kindly took time to submit a review this week; here is your latest statistics:
Favourite recipe this week
As we have been talking about breakfast, I thought it was appropriate to share a recipe featuring eggs. On our Primal Living app (also on our Health Results app), we literally have dozens (see what I did there) of recipes based on eggs.
But this one is my children’s favourite...
- One egg per muffin
Fry up some bacon rashes and towards the end add some sliced mushrooms. Just before you turn off the heat, add a little spinach and allow it to wilt. Chop everything up and add it into the muffin tray. Begin by pre-heating your oven to gas mark 4 (180 degrees Celsius)
Crack the eggs and whisk them until you have a foamy mixture. Pour the mixture into your well greased 12 hole muffin tray and be sure to fill each muffin hole halfway.
Once done, pop your breakfast egg muffins in the middle of the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Once your muffins start to rise, remove them from the oven to coo a little. Tip: For convenience make them in batches of 12, pop them in an airtight container in the fridge and consumer within 3-5 days. Enjoy!
Favourite food this week
You’ve probably guessed it.... eggs! When I was diagnosed with high cholesterol in my early forties, I was told to avoid eating egg yolks as they were high in cholesterol. So, for years, I would spend time painstakingly removing them before cooking. But now we understand that eggs yolks are full of goodness, and even if we are diagnosed with high levels of bad cholesterol, the yolk doesn’t actually increase it any further.
Eggs are full of goodness. They are loaded with quality proteins, in fact all nine essential amino acids, vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5 as well as lots of minerals. They are full of good fats and many traces of helpful nutrients, such as phosphorus and selenium. I guess when you think about it logically, an egg is full of the greatest ingredients nature could create.
After all, each shell must contain all of the essential elements to create new life. Nothing added, nothing taken away. Eggs are full of pure, healthy, life-giving goodness, and each one contains a small amount of almost every nutrient we need.
A healthier Britain
In everything we do, in everything we create, our purpose is to prevent and reverse health problems by helping people understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of their health and put them in charge of reaching or even exceeding their health potential.