By EP Dietetics-Elda Pinto
8:00am, Friday 8 January 2016
A post for the breakfast skippers.
The Breakfast Club
So this post actually started off as a post about pancakes, yes because that's just the kind of dietitian I am. But then I thought , it is probably important to delve a little deeper, into a topic that is far more important than just pancakes- that's right breakfast. We will get to the pancakes later.
I have been practicing as a dietitian for 10 years now and I still cannot believe the amount of people who tell me they do not eat breakfast. Seriously, if I don't eat breakfast? Well let's just say you wouldn't want to even go near me that day. I'm hoping by the end of this post you will a) want to join my imaginary breakfast club and b)start eating breakfast:)
What's the big deal?
I am sure you have heard it a gazillion times before- "breakfast is the most important meal of the day'. I actually don't agree with that statement as I think every meal is of equal importance and value. Buuuut since breakfast is the first thing we should be putting into our bodies each day (and it is the whole point of this blog post!) I think it's important to understand what all of the fuss is about.
1. It breaks your overnight fast. Breaks the fast---breakfast--- get it?
2. Refuels your energy to keep you going throughout the day.
3. Wakes up your metabolism.
4. It's an opportunity to fit in a fair amount of your day's vital nutrition needs. When it comes to breakfast foods it's all about fibre, calcium, B vitamins, folate.
5. Helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels (crucial especially if skipping brekkie means you end up reaching for the sugary stuff in the afternoon, in an attempt to try and pick yourself up- yep there is a reason that Freddo frog looks so good at 3pm).
6. Improves memory and ability to concentrate- uber important if you're at school, work , uni or just a human trying to make it through the day;)
If it's so important, why do so many people skip i hear you ask...
Good question! Well I'm putting it out there- pure laziness is the number one reason! Other reasons include; lack of time, poor sleep patterns, prioritising a sleep- in over eating, poor meal planning leading to a lack of breakfast foods being readily available., lack of brekkie ideas.
A lot of my patients do try really hard to work on the breakfast thing and sometimes it just does not work for whatever reason. If that sounds like you, then my suggestion here would be to aim to have a nutrient dense snack at morning tea at least, to try and get you through until lunch. You never know, maybe once you get used to this eventually you can work it up to including breakfast. I admit, I was always one for skipping breakfast in my uni days. I would be up late at night studying (aka watching tv), would then struggle to get up in the morning and to make it worse I would have to leave really early, so breakfast never got factored in. Looking back I don't know how I led that lifestyle for so long, now I could not go a day without breakfast and it has actually become one of my favourite meals.
Some breakfast ideas
-Low GI, high fibre cereals- rolled oats, Weetbix, untoasted muesli (or toast it yourself), bran
-Multigrain or a dark rye bread or English muffins topped with spreads, baked beans, eggs, avocado, hommus, cheese...
-Natural Greek yoghurt with fruit
-Pancakes (see my recipe below) topped with yoghurt and fresh fruit
Tag me on Instagram with your breakfast creations #epdietetics
A word on pancakes...
Pancakes- who doesn't love them?!
Those who follow me on Instagram or in real life, know that I'm a pancake lover, they are one of the easiest things to make and usually contain pretty basic ingredients that most of us would have in the kitchen.
Despite common misconceptions, pancakes can actually be a healthy option (as long as you are clever about what ingredients you use), they are quick and easy, and they are a great base to add fresh fruit/nuts/yoghurt and lots of other nourishing, wholesome ingredients.
My usual recipe is one I think I got from Jamie Oliver back in the day- 1 cup flour + 1 cup milk + 1 egg. Basic as, never fails. The recipe I'm sharing today is a spin on the traditional type using rolled oats as a base instead of regular wheat flour (good for those tummies who are not so great with wheat) and using banana to sweeten instead of sugar. They also contain high protein ingredients- eggs and yoghurt. Simple, delicious and healthy.
BANANA, OAT AND YOGHURT PANCAKES (makes about 8)
spray oil, for cooking
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 medium size banana
1/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat a non- stick pan over medium heat. Use spray oil on pan to prevent pancakes from sticking.
Combine all ingredients until no lumps in batter and the oats have broken down (I use a blender).
Drop a dollop of batter onto the hot pan (I stick with pikelet size).
Cook until you see those little bubbles pop up, usually about a minute, flip over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side. Remove from heat.
Top with whatever you like, here i used some Greek yoghurt blended with fresh raspberries (when they didn't cost an arm and a leg!), chopped macadamias and fresh fruit.
Updated 2:48pm, Wednesday 20 January 2016