Sunday, 3 January 2016

WHERE'S MY BREAKFAST // sugar, gluten and dairy free ideas

First things first: HAPPY NEW YEAR! Now that's out of the way, onto my first post of the year.

I’m going to tell you, like many others with food blogs, that eating breakfast is very important. However, I’m also going to advocate that the type of foods you choose to eat can have a direct impact on your short and long term health.

Bad point number one: if you regularly skip breakfast you send signals to your brain that your body needs to conserve energy and not burn fat. Bad point number two: you may also feel so hungry by the time you eat that you choose foods based on your cravings, which are likely to be combinations of sugar and fat – doughnuts and sausage sandwich anyone? As soon as you this start carbohydrate and sugar binge, you may feel the need to top up every couple of hours, thus creating a downward spiral of crave, eat, crash…

Arguably, if you instead choose to eat healthy whole foods first thing you are more likely to create a good platform to springboard from for a day of healthy eating.

Official (and non-official) nutrition guidelines recommend Western ‘staples’ such as wholegrain bread and porridge for our first meal of the day. I like to call food stuffs such as these ‘beige foods’. Essentially, these are filler-uppers which, when you take away the tasty accompaniments, are not very appetising alone. Foods in this group include pasta, rice, white potatoes and processed grains. From personal experience I notice that when I eat a breakfast where the main ingredient is a complex carbohydrate, such as porridge oats, I am hungry again soon after eating. Why might this be? Here are a few reasons.

1. We often couple these foods with sugary toppings, such as jam, honey and sweetened nut butters. Sugar creates an insulin response (and that downward spiral), which will leaving you wanting more in just an hour or two after eating.

2. These foods are not very nutritionally dense, and are not easily digested, causing discomfort for many people and only short term satisfaction.

So, now that I’ve made my disdain for beige foods clear, let me show you real breakfasts. These are tried and tested, and guarantee a happy digestive system if you suffer from IBS like me; no bloating or sluggishness. When I eat these meals at any time of day I feel healthy, satisfied and satiated. What more could you ask for? Oh okay, they are also refined sugar free, grain free and nutritionally dense. You want more good news?

There’s bacon involved.

I like to make a batch of these on a Sunday night and eat two in the morning warmed up with some sauerkraut and tomatoes. Meffins are a nickname for meat muffins.
Option 1: roast tomatoes in butter and oregano for 15 minutes at gas mark 4, and serve with fried eggs and bacon.
Option 2: roast tomatoes as above and serve with salad, a fried egg and steak.
I hope everyone likes eggs! This omelette is a favourite of mine for when my resident mint plant needs harvesting and I have no meat or veggies around.
Check out my Pinterest page dedicated to drinks for tons of recipes. My favourite ones use kale or spinach with banana, berries and a hit of a superfood powder such as acai or chlorella. I like them served in bowls, with toppings such as food, GF cereal, seeds and Graze boxes.

Sometimes, with even the best intentions, you just don't have time to make breakfast. On these days I'll either skip breakfast (I know shock horror) or grab a green juice or protein shake/coffee. If you live in Newcastle I recommend drinks by The Naked Deli, either on Chillingham Road in Heaton or Fenwicks Food Hall in the city centre, or Love Lunch near Central Station.

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