I was looking at my Facebook page recently and noticed some photos of the cracking breakfasts I’ve served up this year. Even if I do say so myself.
I’m such a breakfast fan, I did little week long campaign called #camPayneforbetterbreakfast * groans at own pun*. Come on we all heard that old chestnut about breakfast being the most important meal of the day, right? And that saying that goes “breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, dine like Pauper”?
Then it’s surprising that so many (busy) people are still skipping breakfast.
And please don’t polish your halo if you’re snarfing down a coffee or grabbing a (sugar- laden) cereal bar and calling that breakfast.
So here’s why I’m a BIG fan of a big breakfast and what makes a breakfast of hormone-balancing champions….
Why Eat Breakfast?
1. For energy
If you skip breakfast, you could be going a LONG time without any food. Assuming you didn’t get up for a fridge raid in the night. And you need food for energy. The longer you go without eating, the less energy you have. Obvs.
To keep your energy levels good, eat a healthy breakfast each day.
2. For nutrition
Every time you shove something in your mouth, it’s a chance to fuel your body and heal your body. Yes, food is fuel and medicine.
So eat for nutrition. At least 80% of the time. If not more if you have some particular health goal.
If you skip breakfast you’re missing the chance to nourish yourself with all the good stuff – a variety of foods and loads of nutrients.
If you make poor breakfast choices you could be loading up on sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbs, additives and more – all of which can have negative effects on your body, mind and energy over time. That doesn’t sound like The Breakfast of Champions.
3. For weight management and happier hormones
Hands up who has ever been tempted to skip meals to save calories and lose weight. Me. In the past. When you are trying to lose or maintain weight, it can be tempting to skip meals.
But skipping breakfast can actually cause you to GAIN weight. Oh yes.
It goes something like this…
You spend all night in the Land of Nod. You skip breakfast. By mid morning you are so hungry (and your body is pumping grehlin, the hunger hormone) you could eat your own bodyweight in Chocolate Digestives, so you DO.
OR – with steely resolve – you survive on dust until lunchtime and you’re absolutely starving so order pizza and chips/fries instead of the salad you had planned at the canteen.
You actually scuppered your own your weight loss/management efforts with poor food choices AND you increased the production of insulin (the fat storing hormone) in your body, which can cause your body to well er … store more fat. Wasn’t the plan, eh?
4. For peak performance
When you’re really hungry it’s likely you feel weak, tired and even headachey. Hardly primed for peak performance.
Hunger also affects concentration, alertness and even mood. A Hungry Helen is not gong to be sharp, focussed, effective, efficient, productive or Happy Helen.
5. For yourself and your family
If you live alone, what better way to start the day with a little quiet time, mindfully eating your healthy breakfast, chewing it well and enjoying a break from distractions of your phone/computer/TV and life’s little challenges?
If you live with others or have kids it’s lovely to sit together mindfully eating etc etc AND connecting by talking to one another, really connecting. And if you do have children it’s great to set an example of how important breakfast is for energy, nutrition and performance. You’re teaching them life skills and good habits.
What is a healthy, hormone-friendly breakfast?
But not all breakfasts are created equal.
Many contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbs, processed fats and oils, additives …blah blah blah. And that’s not good news. Even breakfasts that look healthy could be pretty UNhealthy.
I once made a show of myself on a crowded morning train by gasping in horror at the granola bar I just bought in good faith – stuffed full of teeth rotting, waist expanding, hormone harming sugar and palm oil! People thought it was Murder on The Orient Express or something.
Anyway, for a great start to the day I suggest breakfasts that are :-
Energy and hormone balancing
Tasty and look fab.
No-one wants to eat muesli that looks and tastes like sawdust, do they? Least of all me.
My formula for a healthy breakfast is:-
Good protein + healthy fats + fibre = Breakfast Fit for a Queen
For example, if it’s a smoothie you’re after check out my ideas for making it super-dooper healthy and filling.
Or choose my chia seed pudding topped with coconut cream, fruit, nuts and seeds.
Even a full English can have a healthy twist if it’s great quality meat and grilled or cooked in ghee served with roasted veggies and wilted spinach? And eaten only on high days and holidays.
I’ve even made myself drool now.
So I hope I’ve made the breakfast dodgers, coffee grabbers and sugary cereal snarfers stop and think just little about the opportunity they are missing for fuel and medicine at breakfast.