‘Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper’.
That is the ancient proverb, and it was a very good piece of sound advice. Unfortunately it is advice that these days most people sadly do not take.
An enormous number of people miss the most important meal of the day, either not eating anything at all, or by having a really unhealthy snack instead – crisps, chocolate bars and cold, leftover pizzas are a few examples from those I have spoken to!
Breakfast is exactly what it says, a breaking of the fast. It is at this point in the day when your body has probably been without food for at least ten to eleven hours, assuming you will have eaten dinner at around 8pm and got up at 7am. This means that your blood sugar will be very low (you will have been burning calories even in your sleep), and your energy level very low too. So to start the day without eating a good breakfast is a bit like trying to start your car without any petrol in it – it will not work!
And at some stage, when you blood sugar is at rock bottom, you will start to get irritable, will lose concentration and then reach for the biscuit tin or a sugary snack to try to get your energy back. And so starts the rollercoaster for the rest of the day.
Starting the day with a good breakfast means you will have a better chance at being alert, more energetic and, according to research, happier throughout the day!
And don’t be fooled by the sugary cereals on offer – these are no better than eating cake for breakfast. As with all meals and snacks, breakfast needs to include some good protein as well as carbohydrate, to ensure your blood sugar does not rise too rapidly, and to help sustain your energy levels throughout the morning.
The best protein breakfast includes eggs, so if you have the time to scramble or even boil a couple of eggs you will be doing yourself a big favour. If you are even more organised, making your own muesli is a great way to ensure you know exactly what is going into your body – mix a selection of oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruits together and store them in an air-tight container. Soak a bowl of your muesli overnight in apple juice or soya milk to assist the digestive process even further, and top with fresh berries to serve to increase your intake of antioxidants which may help fight against colds and infections.
And for those cold, dull mornings a bowl of porridge is hard to beat. Top it with fresh fruit, chopped nuts and a dollop of natural yoghurt, and you have the perfect start to your healthy day – B vitamins for energy, vitamin C for a healthy heart, and on top of that, it is low in fat!
Start your day the healthy way – break the fast each and every morning.