Whether you are hustling to work early in the morning or dropping your children off to school, it is imperative to maintain a wholesome breakfast-consumption schedule. “We make better choices if we don’t skip breakfast” – Lael Dandan. Having a meal as you wake up is the most important food decision of your day. Here are a few reasons why:
- You are breaking an 8-hour (if not more) fast
The period between your last meal before going to bed and the meal as you wake up is the longest you go without daily fuel. The meal you have within two hours of waking up impacts your levels of blood sugar and insulin, which regulate the energy that your body provides. The right breakfast with a healthy mix of protein and fibre provides the much-needed energy boost for your day and also minimizes the need for unhealthy treats.
- It sets the tune for your daily schedule
The human brain is fed by the energy provided by your first meal of the day. Preparing your bowl of oatmeal or granola is as important as planning the day’s physically exerting activities. A study showed that those that have consumed more fibrous foods regularly for breakfast have exhibited remarkable memorizing abilities than those that did not pay attention to their breakfast meals.
- Fibre in the morning is the best idea
Whole grains and fruits are the main ingredients in a well-put morning meal – this automatically completes (or almost reaches) the daily fibre requirement for your body. The right mix of seeds and fruits in your breakfast will give you a boost of energy that will feed your metabolism the entire day while regulating blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of coronary heart diseases.
- A set protein count in the morning will help curb your mid-day desires
Breakfasts with the right proportion of protein ensure that you stay fuller for a longer period of time, eliminating the need for overeating or making poorer food choices later in the day. A professor at the University of Missouri, conducted an on-campus experiment to find that high-protein meals release “ghrelin”, a hunger hormone that increases your feelings of satiety and fullness. If your digestive system is satiated, you are more likely to make healthier food choices for the rest of the day too.
In simpler words, a nourishing breakfast packed with the right amounts of fibre and protein counts as the prime meal to boost your day. Whole grains, seeds (for example - melon, pumpkin, sunflower, flax, sesame) natural sugars and nuts constitute a well-proportioned breakfast meal. Here are a few recipes to give you an idea on how to make quick and nutrient-packed breakfasts:
Chia Seed Pudding
Loaded with fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and a completely vegan protein, just one tablespoon of chia seeds get you 5 grams of protein. Amp this up with 1 cup of soy milk and 4 crushed almonds to get the level up to 15 grams.
Twist – Gouri’s Dates & Chia Bar crushed into a cup of Soy Milk (8g protein) or eaten as it is will give you the energy boost you need packed with dates, almonds, rice crispies and a seed mix (watermelon, sesame, sunflower and chia); you have yourself a power-packed breakfast to-go in minutes!
Zesty Morning Yogurt Jars
Yoghurt parfaits are the perfect go-to breakfast ideas. Reason? They pack in almost 20 plus grams of protein per cup. All you need is 300 grams of full-fat yoghurt (14 grams of protein) topped with fruits of your choice along with 7 crushed walnuts (for 4 grams of protein), berries of your choice and a few servings of granola (for some crunch!) and a drizzle of honey for the sweetness!
Twist – Chop up a Belgian Dark Chocolate Orange Energy Bar – with a combination of oats, Belgian chocolate, orange rinds, nuts and seeds – covers the sweet, crunch and nutrition that your yoghurt parfait needs. Do not shy away from adding some more fruit if your palate needs it – berries are excellent anti-oxidants!
Overnight Oats with a Crunch
Oats as a whole-grain food pack in almost 20 grams of protein if prepared right. All you have to do is mix a cup of oats with a cup of almond milk overnight. Add a spoonful of honey and a pinch of cinnamon for some taste. As you wake up, give it a mix and stir in the fruit of your choice with some granola and nuts sprinkled on the top. Your carry-out breakfast is ready!
Twist – Gouri’s Mighty Oats Cereal can be soaked overnight too! Just 100 Grams will give you almost 12 Grams of Protein – Soak 2 Cups of the cereal overnight with a cup of almond milk (giving you a whopping 25 grams of protein!). Toss in some berries or chocolate shaving as per taste buds!
Power-Packed Hazelnut Porridge
Primarily oats with the punch of hazelnuts, coconut oil, almond milk and organic hazelnut spread, this breakfast idea is a wholesome meal to kickstart your day.
All you need:
1 tsp organic coconut oil
½ cup organic rolled oats (Try a crumble of Gouri’s Oats and Almond Bar)
50g organic hazelnuts (roasted and skinned)
+ extra to serve
1 ½ cups almond milk
Pinch of salt
Dash of organic maple syrup
For the Hazelnut Spread:
50g organic hazelnuts
1 tsp organic raw honey
1 ½ tsp organic cacao powder
1 tsp organic coconut oil
1 ½ tbsp almond milk
Pinch of salt
- Blend 100g of the hazelnuts in a food processor until they turn into smooth nut butter. Set aside.
- Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast for 2-3 minutes. Remove the oats from heat. Add half of the hazelnut butter to the saucepan with 1 cup of almond milk and salt, then whisk until combined.
- Add the other half of hazelnut butter to a small bowl with cacao, honey, coconut oil, almond milk and a small pinch of sea salt. Stir it all together with a fork and set aside.
- Put the oat mixture back on the stove over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk.
- Once the porridge looks creamy, serve it topped with the hazelnut spread and extra hazelnuts. Sit back and enjoy!
Twist – Replace the hazelnut spread preparation for a crumble of Gouri’s Belgian Chocolate Bars (You can choose from dark or milk, depending on your palate). Skip the maple syrup and choose organic honey.
Banana Split Smoothie
For this power-packed drink, all you need is 1 fresh banana and 3 cubes of ice, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of almond butter, a pitted date and a teaspoon of chia seeds or sesame seeds. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pour out the smooth mixture in your glass to-go!
Twist – Replace the cocoa powder, almond butter and date with a crushed mixture of Gouri’s energy bites (2 Belgian Milk Chocolate & 2 Dates & Chia) for a power mix into the banana and seed combination. Garnish with a handful of Gouri’s Rice Power Cereal Mix for a crunchy punch to your breakfast!
Ending with food for thought by Susan Albers, a New York Times best-selling author and clinical psychologist who specialises in eating-habits and mindfulness – “Mindful eating is about awareness. When you eat mindfully, you slow down, pay attention to the food you’re eating, and savour every bite”. While you experiment with various recipe ideas for breakfast, mid-meals or even a lunch alternative – do not forget that portions make a huge difference to the impact a healthy meal may have on your personal growth. Too much of anything is rarely a good thing!