Despite the majority of people recognising that skipping breakfast is unhealthy (63% in a recent poll), the chances are that eating first thing in the morning isn't always top of mind in our busy lives. But what if there was evidence to convince the non-believers that breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day and what you choose to eat can make a big difference? Breakfast and health The fact that eating breakfast is a positive part of a healthy and balanced diet isn't new news – in fact having a meal in the morning began as far back as the Stone Age! Breakfast as we know it (the first meal of the day, taken before starting the day) began probably in the 19th century when middle class men started to work regular hours in offices. The invention of Cornflakes by Mr Kellogg at the turn of the 20th century made breakfast popular and started the breakfast revolution that we know today. Breakfast is considered to be important as it breaks the overnight fast, replenishes your supply of energy and nutrients and gets your body ready for the day. Many studies have been conducted which highlight the negative impact of not having breakfast – lack of concentration, lethargy, mood swings, headaches... the list goes on! More recent research has shown that skipping breakfast may actually increase your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes – in fact missing just one breakfast per week was shown to increase the risk of diabetes by 20%. The type of breakfast you choose is also important – protein rich breakfasts may have a protective effect on blood sugars, with women eating high-protein breakfasts having better control over blood sugar and insulin levels than those having a carbohydrate rich breakfast. In the long term this could have a benefit against Type 2 Diabetes. Protein rich breakfasts also help to keep us fuller for longer, so they can really help with appetite control too. Breakfast and weight loss The evidence for eating breakfast when you are trying to lose weight or keep it off is pretty overwhelming. In fact, studies following people who have lost weight and kept it off for a year show that over 80% include breakfast in their eating plan. Breakfast eaters tend to consume less calories overall across the course of the day too – so making time for it really can reap rewards. By eating first thing you are getting your metabolism revved up for the day, making it more efficient to burn calories throughout the day. As well as that, eat a good breakfast and you're less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks mid morning when you feel starving! What's the best choice for breakfast? I'm a firm believer in breakfast, and to be honest ANY breakfast is better than nothing at all. So if you can manage to eat something in the morning – even if it's just a piece of fruit or a yogurt – that's better than nothing. A small amount of food is enough to kick start your metabolism and get things going for the day. In an ideal world, we'd all have more time and be able to enjoy leisurely breakfasts but in the real world we need quick options to get us up and out the door on time! Here is my take on some healthy breakfasts to get your taste buds going! Wholegrain breakfast cereal with fresh fruit and skimmed milk e.g. Shredded Wheat, Weetabix, Porridge Low fat yogurt with granola and berries Poached egg on a toasted wholemeal muffin Grilled bacon rashers with tomatoes Scrambled egg (made with skimmed milk) on wholemeal toast Pancakes with low fat crème fraiche and blueberries 2 egg omelette with as many veggies as you can cram in! So what are you waiting for? Make changes to introduce healthier starts to your day – I'm sure you'll soon notice the difference! And if you are a habitual breakfast eater already why not try and mix things up a bit. It's easy to have the same cereal every day and never make a change. Keep it interesting!
📷 Here are some simple recipe"s Smoked salmon risotto Serves 4 - 365 kcals per serving KcalsFatSat fatCarbsSugarProteinSalt3655.9g2.0g69.7g4.2g13.2g3.74g Ingredients Frylight 300g risotto rice 1 onion, chopped 100g mange tout, sliced 120g smoked salmon trimmings 1.2 litres of vegetable stock Juice of 1 lemon Method Fry the onion in the Frylight until browned. Add the rice and stir well, until the rice becomes translucent around the edges. Slowly add the stock, stir and bring to the boil, simmer for 15 minutes. Add the mange tout and salmon, simmer for a further 5 minutes, continuously stirring. Add the lemon juice, stir well and serve. 📷 Cod with chorizo Serves 4 - 220 kcals per serving KcalsFatSat fatCarbsSugarProteinSalt2209.6g2.9g4.4g4.1g27.5g1.75g Ingredients 80g Spanish chorizo 500g skinless and boneless cod loin 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 30g flat leaf parsley 5g sweet or smoked paprika 10ml extra virgin olive oil 10ml lemon juice Black pepper to season Method Season the cod with black pepper and sprinkle over the paprika and lemon juice. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake uncovered at 180°C for 15-20 minutes until the fish is just firm and opaque. Meanwhile heat remaining oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Chop up the chorizo, add to the pan and cook until the fat is rendered (about 2 minutes), drain off excess fat. Add the tomatoes to the pan and bring to a simmer, turn down the heat. Season with black pepper and stir in roughly chopped flat leaf parsley. Top fish with chorizo/tomato mixture and serve with vegetables of your choice. Just remember to add the extra calories. 📷 Spicy fish cakes Serves 6 - 134 kcals per serving KcalsFatSat fatCarbsSugarProteinSalt1343.1g0.4g8.8g7.1g18.0g1.19g Ingredients 600g skinless and boneless cod fillets 6 spring onions 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce Zest and juice of 1 lime 1 tbsp vegetable oil 6 tbsp sweet chilli dipping sauce Handful of coriander Method Place the cod fillets, spring onions, chilli powder, Thai fish sauce, lime juice and zest and a good handful of fresh coriander in a food processor and blend until smooth. Divide the mixture into 12 and shape into fish cakes. Place on a plate, cover and chill for 30 minutes. Heat a little oil in a shallow pan and cook the fish cakes, in batches, for about 5 minutes, turn and cook for a further 3 minutes or until firm. Serve with sweet chilli dipping sauce. 📷 Prawn madras Serves 2 - 301 kcals per serving KcalsFatSat fatCarbsSugarProteinSalt3014.0g0.7g22.9g17.8g43.3g4.67g Ingredients Frylight ¼ tsp mustard seeds ¼ tsp cumin seed ¼ tsp turmeric ¾ tsp garam masala 2 tsp chilli powder 4 cloves garlic, crushed 1 large onion, chopped 300g passata Handful of coriander, chopped 500g ready to eat prawns 2 tbsp fat free natural yogurt Method Spray the Frylight into a frying pan or wok. Add the mustard and cumin seeds until they start to pop a little after a few minutes. Add the onion and garlic and fry until brown. Add the passata, turmeric, garam masala, coriander and chilli powder. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, adding water as required. Add the prawns and heat through. Take off the heat, and stir in the yogurt. 📷 Alternative fish & chips Serves 2 - 571 kcals per serving KcalsFatSat fatCarbsSugarProteinSalt57111.7g2.1g77.0g3.5g42.8g0.87g Ingredients 300g skinless and boneless haddock fillets 400g potatoes, raw ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 medium egg 50g plain flour 80g fresh breadcrumbs 1 small lemon 100g garden peas, frozen Black pepper to season Method Peel the potatoes and slice into equal chunky chip sized portions. Cook in an Actifry with ½ tbsp of olive oil, as per the instructions.* Meanwhile, put the egg and breadcrumbs into 2 separate bowls. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the fish, then coat with the egg, then the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over some pepper. Bake the fish in the oven for 20 minutes at 200°C. When the fish and chips are almost cooked, boil the peas for 5 minutes. Serve the fish, chips and peas with a wedge of lemon. *If you don't have an Actifry, par boil the potatoes for around 4-5 minutes, then evenly spread on a baking tray with a little Frylight and cook for 30 minutes at 200°C.
Stress can be a large contributing factor to increased fat gain, heavily affecting your goals. Without boring you too much with the breakdown of stress, how cortisol and insulin are formed and work together to aid in your unexpected bodyfat increase we’ll hit you with some key points. When experiencing stress our body goes into ‘Fight or Flight’. Our bodies then produce cortisol (hormone produced by the adrenal glands) to help manage the increased energy we need to deal with the stress. Usually, when stressed, we don’t actually need the energy produced for anything strenuous such as working out, therefore the increased energy (insulin) is stored as fat. I’ll admit, I have always overlooked stress and it wasn’t up until learning how it aids in increased bodyfat levels and muscle tissue breakdown that I really paid more attention to it, not only in myself but heavily within clients. So what are some simple steps to help reduce stress? Supplementing Magnesium/ZMA before bed helps you to relax and promotes deep, peaceful sleep. Aim to get around 7-8 hours of peaceful sleep per night. Pinpoint where your stress stems from and have a plan in place on how you can reduce/remove it. Always have some ‘Me’ time each week. Time in which you can just relax, focus on yourself and do what makes you happy. Reassess what is important to you. Also, take a look at your attitudes and how you seem to react to any stressful situations. Not everyone shows signs of stress which is why it is so important to try and build a bond with in your fitness or lifestyle circle,its good to talk remind each other that every now and then you can chat about anything other than just fitness and getting summer ready!