Oliver McCabe Wholefood Chef
Author of The Fuel Food Cookbook
What he says about BREAKFAST:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and needs to be wholesome and filling. Breakfast sets you up for the entire day, so put some time into preparing and eating it in a relaxed way rather than rushing out the door. You will enjoy the experience more this way and breakfast will become a regular meal. This is vital for mental and physical health in times of stress.
Try taking some calming breaths before eating helps to digest a meal. A nutritious breakfast must be rich in nutrients and devoid of any refined or sugary foods.
Skipping breakfast or just having a coffee or sugary pastry can lead to weight problems and irritability. Refined sugar and caffeine may make you feel better temporarily, but your body soon ‘crashes’ from the high, leaving you exhausted or irritable. Refined Sugars & caffeine, they can also deplete vital nutrients from your system. When serotonin (happy hormones brain cells) levels are low in the brain, cravings for carbohydrates, such as cakes, sweets, chocolate and alcohol, can result, as the body uses insulin to trigger serotonin release in the brain. Eliminate these sugary substances from your diet if you can over time or you may be faced with brain exhaustion, which will be a complete ‘crash down’. The sudden raised levels of blood sugar you get from eating refined carbohydrates also leads to sudden slumps, which may then lead to fatigue and poor concentration.
Eating breakfast means you are more likely to get your recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Skipping breakfast means you are less likely to make up the lost nutrients at other meals of the day, plus you have a greater tendency to fill up on nutrient-poor sweet or savoury snacks, leaving fruit and vegetables out of the picture. Breakfast positively affects cognitive function and academic performance. It not only contributes to physical health, but it also supports emotional stability and mental alertness. Breakfast also helps promote regular meal patterns and consistent energy intake.
Skipping meals rarely helps with weight loss. Most people simply make up for a skipped meal by eating more at other meals. Breakfast is the most frequently skipped meal – usually because people say they’re too busy in the morning or they’re just not hungry. A simple remedy is to have something quick and light but satisfying. If you just can’t face food first thing in the morning, try easing into it. Sip on a homemade green smoothie throughout the morning or have your oat porridge natural yoghurt or egg first, then eat your fruit and hour or so later. A nutritious breakfast is important for everyone, no matter their age, but it is especially critical for children and teenagers. The first two decades of life are ones of remarkable growth and change, and proper nutrition is essential to fuel this transformation from child to adult. The ideal breakfast should have lots of fibre and whole grains, some protein and healthy fat, and as little added sugar as possible – in other words, a good balance of healthy carbohydrates, protein and essential fats.
Get Up and Go Green Smoothie
•4 small apples
•1 medium cucumber
•1 lime, peeled
•1/5 pineapple, peeled and cubed
•1 medium avocado, peeled and stoned
Juice the apples, cucumber and lime. Add the juice to a blender with the avocado and pineapple and blend for 10 seconds. Pour into a glass and serve.
No added Sugar, gluten, nut and dairy free Vegan
Turmeric Gold Smoothie
Gluten, dairy, nut and refined sugar free, contains sesame, vegan
Two of the main nutrients in this smoothie are calcium and magnesium: calcium in the form of the sesame seeds in the tahini and magnesium in the parsley. Both are vital for bone health and the fight against female osteoporosis. A good source of dietary fibre, calcium and magnesium. Low GL.
6 small apples
10g curly parsley
30g alfalfa sprouts
1 banana, peeled
¼ mango, peeled and stoned
1 tablespoon light or dark tahini
A pinch of organic ground turmeric or freshly grated turmeric
A pinch of black pepper
Juice the apples then add to a blender with the alfalfa, banana, mango, tahini, turmeric and black pepper. Blend for 15 seconds, then pour into a large glass and serve.