What is a king's breakfast?
Answers to this question vary wildly in my household and are largely driven by Kellogg's very effective marketing strategy (oh, and my husband suggested I crown this egg with bacon to make it appear more regal...). My interpretation of this old adage is that you need to eat a breakfast that is nutrient dense and will keep you full until your next meal.
So, look for foods with protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre and beneficial fat (the best meal is one that combines all of these) as it is these components which mean a food will be slowly digested and absorbed by the body which will help keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the morning. Balanced blood sugar levels are vital if you want lots of energy, optimum mood and a focused mind. When blood sugar levels aren't balanced (e.g. due to eating a sugary cereal) your body is put through a roller coaster of hormones and associated emotions as it deals with the ride. Stressful.
There are so many brilliant breakfasts to choose from.
WHAT YOU WANT:
- Eggs in any form - accompany with avocado or spinach for extra nutrients;
- Porridge, granola, bircher muesli or full fat live yoghurt each topped with mixed nuts, seeds and low sugar fruit such as berries;
- Sardines on toast (think of all that vitamin D and omega-3 before their day has even begun!); or
- Nut butter on wholegrain, sourdough or rye toast. I particularly like Whole Earth peanut butter and Biona or Raw nut butters but just aim for zero/low salt and sugar varieties. This is a really quick and easy option so no more excuses for you to miss breakfast!
WHAT YOU DON'T WANT:
Avoid any high sugar or refined carbohydrate option (i.e your average supermarket cereal or white toast or a biscuit…). This type of food is rapidly digested by the body and so results in a peak in blood sugar levels which is swiftly followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar levels. This drop in blood sugar levels involves a release of hormones which can affect mood, hunger, concentration and memory: not ideal for an adult coping with morning stresses at home or at work or for a child’s behaviour or focus in class.
WHAT'S THE BEST SHOP BOUGHT CEREAL OPTION?
I often get asked this by clients. If you can tolerate gluten, wheat and dairy then Sugar Free Alpen is one of the best options I can find. It certainly doesn't have any added sugar and although it has salt listed among its ingredients it is present in a really small amount.
For those with intolerances Primrose's Kitchen may suit you as it's free from gluten, wheat and dairy. They have delicious combinations of ingredients. Watch out for nuts though.
Please write and tell me which breakfasts keep you full all morning. I'd love to know!