Many people ask me what I eat for breakfast – well that’s a loaded question – all sorts of things! But I’ll get to that later. A good breakfast is really important in helping you to avoid the mid-morning crash most people feel after eating a less than healthy breakfast. It’s all about the secret of keeping your blood sugar stable. Here are some tips firstly of things not to do, and then ideas of how to have a great breakfast that keeps you feeling fabulous all day.
- Don’t eat fruit – it will lead to a blood sugar spike, and then a crash, leaving you irritable and hungry. Fruit is full of sugar, and sugar is something that will cause weight gain and play havoc with concentration – so if you really want fruit, have a few berries with your eggs or salmon. Avoiding fruit especially in the morning but if you really want a teeny bit – then having a few berries with protein and fat is the best way.
- Avoid all forms of sugar – and please don’t be scared of the salt. Your body needs sodium as much as it needs any other mineral, don’t deprive it of salt. But, use good salt, not the cheap supermarket equivalent which may have aluminium, cornstarch and/or fluoride in it to prevent clumping. Eliminating sugar and sugary foods is the best way to avoid the brain fog, mid-morning sugar cravings and subsequent weight gain and inflammation that sugary food brings with it.
- Avoid dairy products in the morning – they are also full of sugar. Pasturisation converts the sugar in milk (called lactose) into beta-lactose sugars which the body absorbs much faster and disproportionately, causing blood sugar spikes, weight gain and the associated problems of raised blood sugar. But you can have real pasture-fed butter – this doesn’t contain the harmful milk proteins or sugars and is an excellent addition to any breakfast.
- What about that morning cuppa? Well if you are using organic coffee beans, enjoy your coffee. Most coffee beans have an unseen mould which is really bad for us, so brew up some fresh organic coffee, and limit it to one or two cups a day. No “instant” coffee though – but that’s another story, just trust me on this one.
- Lose the breads, cereals, breakfast bars and pastries – eating grains or food made from grain is like eating sugar, as grains are quickly converted to sugar in the body and have the same effect as sugar, in fact sometimes worse, as they are converted to sugar even more quickly in most cases. Considering the dreadful effect gluten has on the body is yet another reason to avoid grains. And in fact (in case you didn’t know), grains which contain gluten are addictive! As addictive as sugar. The grains degrade into compounds known as gluteomorphins which trigger the same receptors in the brain as opiate drugs like heroin. It generally takes around 5 days to rid your body of this craving and the effects of the gluteomorphins. Grains cause gastric distress, provoke an inflammatory response, promote Leaky Gut, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and dozens of other disease states. They are just not worth it.
So then what can you eat? How about a hearty breakfast which will give you energy, a clear mind, great mood and prevent both cravings and even hunger for most of the day? If that’s what you are after, here are some tips:
- Eat healthy fats – a low fat diet has proved to be disastrous for both health and weight issues, but healthy fats are extremely beneficial and nutritious (think pasture-fed butter, pork lard, duck fat, coconut oil, olive oil and macadamia oil for a start). Did you know that the typical ‘low fat diet’ is in fact a very high ‘unhealthy fat’ diet packed with inflammatory vegetable oils and sugars to provide taste? No wonder it’s a fattening diet! Healthy fat won’t make you fat by the way.
- Treat yourself to some real food in the form of animal protein – such as eggs, chicken livers, salmon (smoked or freshly sautéed), steak – in other words some animal protein (plant protein and tofu just don’t cut it!) Fry gently in butter or coconut oil, and you will be set up for the day. Don’t be scared of having several eggs every single day – I have for 21 years and I’m still here and in good health! Studies show these are the most powerful foods we can eat. Steak and eggs is a great brekkie – with a few sprigs of rocket. Mmmmm…..
- Add in some vegetation like rocket, spinach, watercress, a slice or so of aubergine, asparagus even ½ an avocado – anything you fancy – and you will not even think about food again till between 2-5pm. Try it and see, don’t take my word for it.
- Have a cup of coffee if you wish, but try it black without sugar – put some salt into it to sweeten it and remove the bitter taste. Brew it at home yourself. Avoid tea directly after breakfast as the tannins will interfere with iron absorption – save that for tea time.
People often ask me what I have for breakfast, so here are MY favourite brekkies:
- Avo with smoked salmon or fresh sautéed salmon
- Rocket/watercress with scrambled eggs and sometimes a little slice of goat cheese
- Wilted spinach with scrambled eggs in butter (or homemade Hollandaise sauce)
- Eggs and bacon, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms – all done in pasture-fed butter
- Chicken livers sautéed in butter or coconut oil or both, with asparagus and mushrooms
- Baby mixed grill of a small pasture-fed charcuterie sausage, little piece of steak and an egg with asparagus and a few cherry tomatoes, maybe even fatty bacon and mushrooms. It’s not necessary to overeat by the way, just eat enough for a good brekkie.
But the variations are endless and you need to have what you feel like that day. I don’t usually eat again till supper time as it doesn’t occur to me to eat for that long. I have also been known to skip supper if I’ve had a late breakfast. We need to only eat to hunger, not routine or habit. However, don’t try to avoid food – eat when you are hungry and three good meals a day will give you a wonderful array of nutrients your body needs. Not eating often deprives you of much-needed nutrition, and it’s different for everyone. So just eat when you are hungry.