Helen BakerI’m a baker and a self confessed sugar addict. I also happen to be gluten intolerant. After many years of failed diets, food fads and broken New Year’s resolutions I think I have finally cracked it. Breakfast. And here’s why.

During sleep our metabolic rate slows down and runs conservatively, so when we wake up our bodies need to speed up and break out of its fasting metabolic mode.  However, time and lack of appetite first thing in the morning are two excuses most commonly used for skipping this important meal. I personally am used to getting up at the horrendous hour of 5am and rushing out to work, so usually by 6.15am I’m ‘testing’ the chocolate ganache by the tablespoon, or treating myself to the cake cut-offs.  Sugar feeds sugar so naturally by 12 o’clock I have consumed so much crap I feel exhausted, stomach cramping and crashing out after the sugar rush.
Last year I took up rowing and as our training schedule increased in intensity my body started to give up. I had to take stock. I forced myself to plan, and eat a decent, high fiber, low-carb breakfast first thing. This killed my morning cravings and kept hunger totally at bay until lunchtime.

Getting Started

I now start the day with a pint glass of warm water. (This gets the digestive system going).
My top three breakfast choices right now are:
  •  Homemade granola (without refined sugar), greek yoghurt, blueberries and raspberries
  •  Bircher muesli (see the recipe below)
  •  Chia seed porridge with millet and buckwheat flakes. Use unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
The chia porridge is my current favourite. Chia seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids making them great brain food. I top this with yoghurt and berries but actually the combination options are endless. If you feel you need a bit of a sweet kick mix in a bit of maple syrup or honey. There are hundreds of recipes online (Check the footer notes for some ideas! – Ed) and once you find a base you’re happy with you can throw all sorts together.
I add goji berries to everything as I like plenty of texture in my foods I also sprinkle on Lucuma powder, this is a fruit native to South America and has a biscuity vanilla flavour.  It’s also rich in vitamins, minerals and slow burning carbs. Raw cacao powder “food of the Gods” is also nutrient rich and adds a little variety to the chia seed porridge.
I buy blueberries and raspberries fresh and freeze them, this way you can have fresh berries throughout the winter and they make refreshing smoothies when mixed with soaked oats, chia seeds and unsweetned almond milk or coconut milk.
Here are four great reasons for getting a good breakfast into me:
  1. A peaceful start to the day
  2. Regulates blood sugar levels
  3. A high fiber low carb breakfast results in more energy throughout the day.
  4. A good way to consume more nutrients due to grains, fruits and dairy.

 

Top Tip: Some of these ingredients can be shockingly expensive! Supervalu and Dunnes are doing their own brand of goji berries, flaxseeds and chia seeds so its worth shopping around a bit.  

Bircher Muesli Recipe Base

This is my standard base for Bircher Muesli (a traditional muesli of rolled oats, soaked overnight)  Depending on the mood I top it with berries, cocoa nibs, banana, seeds, dried fruits or granola from the cupboard.
Ingredients
1 cup of oats
1 and half cups of almond milk
1/2 sweet apple grated
pinch of mixed spice
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, cover and put in the fridge overnight…
Simples!
Helen
  Stay fighting fit!
   xxx
#BitchMittens Helen

Notes from the Ed

No-one does knows Chia like Gwynnie knows Chia.
Here’s Goop’s take with her recipe for chia pudding.
Jamie Oliver’s better half, the lovely Jools has Granola nailed, though we found this recipe a little too sweet when we tried it. We say halve the maple syrup and treble the cinnamon levels for extra YUM.
More Tips To Cut Sugar
If you’re using dried fruit in your breakfast mix, even organic – they tend to be sweetened and dried. Give them a super quick dunk in almost boiling water before you throw them into your mix, to ‘wash off’ some of the excess sugar.
Why hot water at breakfast?
Here are 12 reasons why warm or hot water is great for the body, and not just first thing.
Last but not least – if you liked this post, you should get on over to Helen’s wonderful food blog – Hungry Baba Working Mama where you’ll find lots more beautiful, healthy recipes!