What should you eat when you don't have much time in the morning? When we’re rushing to get out the door in the morning, often the first thing we skip is a good breakfast. But starting your day off with a proper, nutritious (and delicious) meal can not only be easy, but sets you up to flourish all day
Spring is officially here and Easter bank holiday weekend is on its way (not that we’re counting). While springtime in the UK doesn’t necessarily bring warm weather, it does bring brighter days, which means it’s a heck of a lot easier to wake up in the mornings – huzzah!
But other than sunshine, what else can put a spring in your step? You guessed it – breakfast.
Whether you’re a big breakfast kinda guy, or a grab ‘n’ go girl, eating something in the morning is a great way to start your day. Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast – that’s where the name comes from, “breaking the fast” – but that’s not all. Having something to eat in the morning is also thought to improve memory and concentration, boost our mood, and can even reduce stress levels.
Jamie Oliver's certainly a fan, having said: “Breakfast is back. Make it cool and colourful – it’s the best ticket to professional and physical success. It’s time to stop popping pills, stupid supplements, protein shakes etc. People are beginning to realise that having a good breakfast should not be a luxury but the way to start every day.”
In an ode to spring – and our sweet tooth – this recipe is the perfect way to start your long weekend. It can be eaten fresh from the hob, or stored overnight in a jar, ideal for on-the-go or time-limited mornings.
nutritional therapist Sarah Shakespeare says:
"We’ve heard that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, but with hectic lifestyles and time restraints, it seems many people just grab a coffee on the way to work.
Yet, unsurprisingly, this isn’t the most productive way to start your day. Drinking coffee first thing on an empty stomach sends our cortisol levels (the stress hormone) through the roof – leaving us feeling anxious and unable to focus. We inevitably experience a sudden energy crash and reach for a sugary pick-me-up.
Eating on-the-go switches on our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response), causing the digestive system to shut down. But sitting down and eating breakfast mindfully helps to switch on our parasympathetic nervous system, enabling our food to digest properly.
This recipe is a great example of a balanced, nutritious breakfast. The pecans and porridge contain protein (even more if you use quinoa oats and unsweetened oat or hemp milk), which coupled with cinnamon, balances your blood sugar levels, keeping you fuller for longer (alleviating the said sugar-fix). Rhubarb has vitamin K to help brain function, and B vitamins help metabolise your food. The pectin in apples is another great source of insoluble fibre, aiding healthy digestive function.
This balanced combination of complex carbohydrate, fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals and tasty sweetness is a great way to kick start your day – your body will thank you for it!
Rhubarb crumble porridge
1 cup rolled porridge oats
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1 cup chopped bramley apple
2 cups milk of choice or water
½ tsp cinnamon
For warm porridge
Chop the rhubarb and apple into small half-inch pieces. Add to a medium-sized saucepan and cook until tender. To the pan, combine the milk, oats and cinnamon. Mix well and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the oats and fruit are of a thick consistency. Serve in a bowl, top with a drizzle of honey and sprinkling of chopped pecans.
For overnight oats
Prepare fruit as described, cooking until tender. Remove from heat and leave to cool. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oats and cinnamon. When cooled, add the fruit. Divide into jars and chill in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add the honey and pecans and enjoy – wherever you are!
Sarah is a nutritional therapist and personal trainer. She takes a non-diet approach to help clients live a happy, balanced life.
Find a qualified professional: search nutritionist-resource.org.uk