One of the questions I am always asked is….
”What is the best breakfast cereal?”
My answer isn’t always popular. I am not a fan of breakfast cereals. Most cereals that come out of a box are highly processed and are loaded with either sugar, salt, preservatives, additives or all of the above. You may as well just eat the box it came in.
I get that it is often the quickest and most convenient breakfast choice for time poor people, especially if you also have to look after the little people in your life. But with a bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy a nutritious, well-balanced breakfast and still make it to work on time.
The ideal breakfast for most people should be focused on protein and healthy fats. The amount of carbohydrate added will depend on the individual’s requirements. This approach provides satiety and stabilizes blood sugars, avoiding starting the day on a blood sugar roller coaster. This means no 10am slump when you’re usually reaching for another coffee or sugary snack!
I am also a huge fan of having veggies at every meal, including breakfast! Although this might sound tricky to some, it can be as simple as throwing a handful of spinach into your banana berry smoothie. When you are reliant on breakfast cereals with milk, you are purely getting a big carbohydrate hit with minimal protein, fat and certainly no veggies.
To summarise, most breakfast cereals are:
· Highly processed
· High in sugar and refined carbohydrates
· Nutrient deficient
· Difficult to digest and contain inflammatory compounds such refined seed oils, gluten and sugars.
Here are some quick and easy, nutrient dense breakfast ideas that will give you the best start to an awesome day:
Eggs // Scramble some eggs and serve with avocado, fresh or sautéed greens (spinach, kale, bok choy, silverbeet etc) and some fermented vegetables for gut health (e.g sauerkraut or kimchi) - optional sourdough or sprouted toast. Another option is to make a quick frittata with veggies in it on Sunday and have it ready to go for the week, no further preparation required!
Smoothies // Smoothies are a quick and easy option to get all the protein, fats, carbohydrates and micronutrients you need, in just 5 minutes. They are perfect to drink on the way to work if you’re really running late.
An easy combo is banana, spinach, berries, almond milk, brazil nuts, clean protein powder or eggs and your choice of milk.
The above two are my favourite choices as they include some veg, but some other options are:
Bircher muesli or overnight oats // soaking oats breaks down compounds like Phytic acid, meaning they are much easier to digest. Adding nuts and seeds as well as serving with Greek yoghurt can add to the healthy fat and protein content. Top with berries for extra antioxidants. For a protein boost, mix some good quality vanilla protein powder with your milk of choice and use this to soak your oats. Make a big batch that can last a few days in the fridge.
Banana egg pancake // Mash a ripe banana and beat in an egg. Add a dash of vanilla and cinnamon. Pour the mixture into a fry pan and cook as you would a regular pancake. Serve with berries and yoghurt.
Make your own muesli // Mix up your own combo of nuts, seeds, oats, shredded coconut, goji berries etc or try my macadamia coconut granola as a treat. Serve with good quality yoghurt as well as fresh berries for antioxidants.
In saying the above, not ALL breakfast cereals are bad. Here are some better options for those times when you really can only think about throwing something into a bowl before dashing out the door. Just be sure to add some good quality Greek or natural yoghurt for extra protein (if you tolerate dairy), some nuts and seeds as well as berries to liven it up with nutrients!
Forage Cereal // This is nutrient dense and gluten free but still very reasonably priced (unlike some of those paleo mueslis out there! Choose from bircher, muesli, porridge or paleo. In most health food stores or buy online.
Supermarket brands // Dorset Fruit Free Muesli / Macro Organics Muesli with coconut
Carmen’s Fruit Free Muesli // this is low in sugar although it is toasted with sunflower oil
With just a little bit of thought and preparation, breakfast can become your most nutritious and enjoyable meal of the day. If you need help with working out the best breakfast option for you or you would like extra recipes, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org