Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I know a lot of people cannot eat breakfast as soon as they get up, but for me it’s the first thing on my mind when I step out of bed (after completing the necessary mum duties of course!) Some sources say that eating breakfast ‘kick starts’ the metabolism, in actual fact the best thing to boost the metabolism in the morning is exercise. I try to get my HIIT done soon after I wake up (although it has to be after food, I don’t do fasted exercise, but if you can that’s even better.) Eating breakfast does however does start you bodies process of thermogenesis which is the metabolic process of digesting food. It’s also very important for anyone trying to build muscle and tone up because overnight your body is basically fasting and starting the day with a healthy breakfast with some protein is going to replenish that.
I am the kind of person who can eat the same three meals every day without getting bored! Which is a good thing because my cookery skills leave a lot to be desired. But breakfast for me always, always, always includes oats. Oats are a gluten free, wholegrain, vitamin, mineral, fibre and antioxidant rich grain. They are a great source of slow release energy as they are a complex carbohydrate and they have a greater protein content than most grains. They contain manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, vitamin B1 and vitamin B3. They also have a specific type of soluble fibre called ‘Beta Glucan’. This fibre is known to be good to reduce blood sugar levels as it forms a thick gel when consumed that delays the emptying of the stomach reducing the absorption of glucose into the blood. It also…er…keeps you regular and promotes healthy gut bacteria and healthy gut bacteria means improved digestion and less bloat! Now there’s no scientific evidence that I could find to back this up, but it is said that eating oats can increase milk supply for lactating mothers. Lactation experts often recommend it and the special lactation cookies etc that you can buy nearly always contain oats. All I can say is that I ate oats all through pregnancy and almost every morning since my son was born and I have been lucky enough to have been able to exclusively breastfeed all that time (he’s five months old now and we are still going strong!) without any supply issues.
I nearly always have porridge or ‘proats’ for my breakfast. Now when a lot of people think of porridge the image of a bowl of lumpy, grey, unappetising slop pops into their head. BUT porridge can taste good! My breakfast basically tastes like a dessert. Porridge is like a vessel you can add all kinds of ingredients to, to make it delicious and flavoursome. I personally make my porridge into ‘proats’ by adding protein powder. I use vegan protein powder because of my sons cows milk protein intolerance, so the flavour of my proats is usually chocolate or vanilla (there’s less flavour choices with vegan protein) but if you can eat whey then the flavour options are pretty limitless. With my pea protein I add a scoop to the dry ingredients and cook it with the porridge as it doesn’t mix quite aswell as whey, which you can add to cooked porridge. I also then usually add frozen or fresh mixed berries, chopped banana and 15g of peanut butter which further increases the protein content (and is delicious!) You can mix things up every day with porridge though, adding dried fruits will naturally sweeten it further, chopped nuts or Chai seeds or Flaxseeds are another great healthy addition you can make and will add texture and ‘crunch’! Another interesting breakfast you can make is ‘zoats’ which are basically proats except you cooked finely shredded zuccini in the porridge. This provides extra volume to the breakfast aswell as extra vitamins and minerals. It’s something I have yet to try so I cannot comment on the taste.
I have also blended oats with an egg, a scoop of vegan protein and coconut milk and banana to make great, healthy pancakes. These have even more protein thanks to the addition of egg and you can still add a great variety of toppings. Oats are a much healthier alternative to white flour. Unfortunately my son is also intolerant to eggs so it’s not something I can eat anymore but I would recommend it to anybody with a more varied palette than myself who would get bored eating the same breakfast day after day. I would cook mine in a non-stick pan with a little bit of coconut oil and add Waldens farm near zero syrup (which is also good with porridge) and whatever other toppings I wanted to use.
I personally believe starting the day with a healthy (and delicious) breakfast sets me up for the day and because my proats basically taste like a dessert they provide the sweet fix that I need. Also the slow release energy oats give me make it more likely that I can find the motivation to get my workout done and out of the way in the morning, and not be reaching for unhealthy snacks between breakfast and lunch. I am planning on including some recipes in later posts during this blog so I will put my proats recipe on with the nutritional values and macros.
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