Of course, when you're not leaving your bed before midday, skipping breakfast is not a particular issue. However, this changed very quickly upon finishing my degree (still a heartbreaking sentence to write!) and entering the world of work. When you're awake, or even starting work, at seven am waiting until one or two for your first meal of the day suddenly becomes a huge issue!
Now unfortunately for me, as I think I have made clear in previous posts, I am an avid lover of sleep. I would even venture that I am sleep's biggest fan. There is nothing that can come between me and my bed. Therefore, although I quickly learnt that I needed to eat in the morning, my first instinct on sourcing out breakfast was to find something that I could eat on the go. Something which would provide a fast energy source. Something which would be just enough to tide me over until my actual first meal of the day. For me, this, came in the form of Milky Way bars. Yummy, chocolatey, light Milky Ways. At only 192 calories for both bars in a Milky Way duo, and with a sugary rush to power me through those hours I had previously slept through, I was sure I was on to a winner.
However, despite my love for both chocolate and sleep, I pretty quickly had to admit to myself that eating a Milky Way on the way to work is not the most healthy of diets. There's very little goodness at all in it, and despite the initial sugar rush I soon found I was crashing a couple of hours before lunch and craving more sugar to regain that energy boost. Something had to be done.
Since leaving my student home and moving into my own little flat (such a scary, grown up thing to be able to say!) I have developed a new love for breakfast. I might even consider it my favourite meal of the day now! The sudden silence that accompanied nights in the flat meant that an early night, previously a luxury in a busy, social, student house, was now the norm. If you get a good nights sleep, and wake up rested, it's far easier to get out of bed and think about making a nutritious breakfast rather than blearily downing a coffee and running out of the door.
There is the old cliché that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it genuinely is. Breakfast is about ending the intermittent fast that we take over night, every night. If you haven't eaten since dinner at seven o clock the night before, and it's now one in the afternoon, you haven't eaten for a massive 18 hours! Not only will this make you feel run down, it will actually reduce your productivity and ability to concentrate at work. In essence, eat breakfast and you will perform better. Breakfast is also important to kick start your metabolism in the morning. Not only that, research has demonstrated that people who skip breakfast in the morning are more likely to overeat later in the day. Indeed, people who regularly eat breakfast are far more likely than those who skip it to maintain a healthy BMI and the American Heart Association found that breakfast eaters were significantly less likely to be obese! Therefore, if you're trying to lose weight, breakfast really is essential!
But of course, it's not just about eating breakfast but about eating the right breakfast. My milky way bar was clearly not the right breakfast to kick start my day. Sugary cereals are also not the best option, nor would a full English every day be particularly beneficial to maintaining a healthy weight! So what do I recommend?
My current favourite breakfast is:
Topped with strawberries:
And half a banana:
Finished off with a couple of spoons of 0% fat greek yoghurt:
And normally accompanied with the good old British staple- a mug of tea:
So there you go, a nutritious breakfast which will energise you through the morning. The high fibre cereal helps keep you fuller for longer, healthy bacteria in the greek yoghurt helps maintain a healthy gut (but make sure you choose the low fat option), and the fruit thrown in contributes to your five a day whilst providing plenty of vitamins. Not only is it healthy but it tastes amazing. Feel free to experiment with the fruit topping combinations. I'm also a big fan of cherries and banana (Cherries work out a cheaper option as well), however, I just could not resist those beautiful British strawberries in Tesco last time I went shopping.
Have a tasty healthy breakfast of your own? Please let me know!
15g Cornflakes: 54 calories
Half a banana: 60 calories (approx)
100g Strawberries: 30 calories
Onken Fat Free Natural Yoghurt (75g approx): 34 calories
Total: 178 calories
of which Sugars: 11g