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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

What I Eat for Breakfast

Hi guys,
Seems my last post caused an event in my inbox unlike one I've seen for a very long time - I had an avalanche of emails from old friends and new friends, acquaintances and strangers, mummies, non-mummies, and to my great surprise - lots of men! I'm still trying to respond to all of you, so thanks for your patience!
On a positive note, someone's reading what I'm writing (thank you!)

The question asked forty-two times (to be precise) in the various emails was one that made me smile after a while; near or far, man or woman, black, white or brown, it's amazing how alike we all think. The question I got asked more than any other was: what I eat for breakfast.

So, I wanted to respond as soon as I could.
The answer, is that I eat many different things for breakfast.
Repetition bores me.
Variety and versatility excite me.
Excitement is better than boredom. Ergo, my breakfasts are creative and varied, much like the rest of my meals.

That breakfast is limited to high GI foods like toast and sugary cereals is a myth that really ought to be dispelled by now. The Kellog Company might have you believe that breakfast cereal is the healthiest way to kick-start your day, but hopefully by now we know that marketing is clever only because someone is a fool. Please don't be that fool.

I have gotten to the point where even the sight of breakfast cereal traumatises me - it's like trying to wolf down cardboard doused in sugar. The NHS considers over 15g total sugars in every 100g to be a high level. Kellogg's cornflakes run to 8g per 100g, Kellogg's Crunchy Nut cornflakes 35g. No one over the age of seven should be eating this stuff.  We are talking about breakfast here. This is not dessert.

So, what do I eat for breakfast?

Here's just one example. This might not be one for a grab-and-go, got-to-get-to-work-morning -- and I'll get to those, I promise -- but I wanted to start off with one of my favourites - so here goes!

Two fried eggs with a spinach, mushroom, jalapeño and cherry-tomato fry-up.

Here's what you need:

  • 2 eggs - I buy mine from a farm shop, rather than the supermarket - I cannot even begin to articulate the difference in taste 
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 brown onion, peeled and sliced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5-6 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 large handfuls of torn baby spinach leaves
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, halved, seeded and julienned
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • drizzle of lemon juice

Here's how you do it:

I'm not going to tell you how to fry an egg :)
But here's how you do the fry-up.

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and sauté mushrooms for 3-4 minutes until browned and cooked through. Remove and set aside.
In the same frying pan, sauté the onions until slightly translucent. Then add tomatoes, jalapeños
and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes and press tomatoes down with a spatula until smashed and the juices released.
Add the spinach at the end and stir through until the spinach is wilted. Season with a little more salt if you like and drizzle with some lemon juice right at the end.

Here's why:

This single amazing meal kick-starts your metabolism in just the right way. You've fuelled your body with protein plus your 4 (out of 5)-a day, and that's before you even get started with your day.

I cannot say enough about why eggs are such a great option for breakfast. Not only do they taste good and offer tremendous versatility in cooking options, but the protein and fat in eggs helps sustain your energy levels, keeping you fuller for much longer than that bagel or piece of toast and reducing the need to snack.

The side dish we just made? A nutritional slam-dunk! Spinach is full of vitamin K (one cup of cooked spinach yields more than 150% of your daily intake requirement), vitamins A & C and manganese. OK, Popeye is folklore, but there's no smoke without fire - Spinach is chock full of flavonoids and carotenoids – all which help to protect your body from diseases through cell signalling pathways and antioxidant effects. Add to that, tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic and some healthy fats from olive oil and you've done your body a tremendous favour - all within hours of waking.

Good morning? You bet your sweet bippy!

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