Monday, 1 April 2013

Breakfast!

I cannot stress the importance of breakfast enough! As an overweight person, I often skipped breakfast. As soon as I started eating healthy breakfasts, I lost weight. If you can incorporate this habit plus only drinking water, herbal tea and the occasional coffee (black no sugar if you can manage) and not change anything else, you will start to see an improvement in your daily productivity and hopefully in your weight. It is important to note that not all breakfast foods are equal. You want to aim for high protein, high fibre, low fat and low sugar. Start reading the labels on packaged foods to get the right serving sizes and nutrition content. For cereal/muesli make sure it is natural over toasted, has less than 10 grams of sugar per serve (unless there is dried fruit in it – but I like to add fresh fruit so I don’t like the ones with fruit already in them) and make sure your toast has loads of fibre and has lots of grainy goodness in it!

This link explains the importance of breakfast and the website has some great recipes too!

Oat meal (porridge) is a great low GI option that is great for keeping you full for longer. There are so many options with oatmeal, you can do just about anything! I try to use honey or sugar free sweeteners (Torani syrups) and avoid the oat singles as they are full of sugar. I love Pam's creamy oatmeal - but they are all really the same.

Here are some links to recipes that will spice up your morning oatmeal:


My favourite bread at the moment is Vogels; Toasted sesame and chia. I also love Molenburg’s balance toast. I also love Vogels All good muesli if you are not inclined to make your own.

Here is my favourite breakfast recipe, that feels like cheating but it’s so good for you! These are a great option for after a workout. This recipe is really flexible and I will link you two a couple of alternative oatmeal pancakes for you especially if you’re not so keen on the protein powder.

Oatmeal Protein Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  •  ½ scoop (6g) Vanilla whey protein powder – visit your health store and ask the sales person to help you find the right one for you
  • 35g Oats (blended into a flour for a lighter texture if you have time)
  •  ½ Tbsp Healtheries LSA (get from Countdown and New world in the health food section)
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ tsp baking soda/powder – baking soda has practically no calories which is why I prefer it, but some don’t like the taste, change to fit your preferences.
  • Approximately 50g pureed fruit or mashed banana

1 Tbsp of flax seed meal is quite good to add as well - adds heaps of good fats, fibre and protein. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties. There is some evidence that it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes! By them whole from the bulk bins, store them in airtight container - preferably refrigerated to stop them from going rancid - then you use a grinder (coffee grinder/bullet blender or pestle and mortar) just as you want to use the flax meal as the oils begin to deteriorate after grinding.

Just mix all together and then cook like you would any other pancake – try to use a non-stick pan and a light spray of canola oil – not a dollop of butter!
I top them with Queen sugar-free maple syrup which you can usually find at Countdown or New World. Fresh berries or a dollop of unsweetened plain yogurt – my favourite is Cyclops 1%.


Links to more recipes for healthy pancakes:



This is the recipe for my latest batch of Granola/muesli:
It serves 16 (50g or 1/2cup), has less than seven grams of fat (only 0.7 grams of saturated – the rest is healthy fats), low sodium, over seven grams of dietary fibre (approx. 30% of daily requirements), only three grams of sugar and nearly seven grams of protein in every serving.

Ingredients:
20g Sunflower seeds
15g Pumpkin seeds
½ cup sliced almonds
15g Chia seeds
1.5 tsp Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Ground flax seed
3 cups Whole grain oats
2 cups San Bran
40g Chopped raw hazelnuts
Optional: 85g Ceres super grain mix
1/8 cup Black strap molasses
1 Tbsp Honey
4 Tbsp Torani Sugar free vanilla syrup
60g Applesauce/pureed fruit (add 4 more Tbsp if you don’t have the sugar free syrup)

Instructions:

·         Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
·         Combine all dry ingredients (first 9 [10 if using quinoa mix] ingredients on the list).
·         Combine wet in separate bowl.
·         Stir wet into dry until all the dry ingredients are coated
·         Spread out on two baking trays lined with baking paper
·         Bake for about half an hour – until everything is dry golden and crunchy (but not burnt J)
·         Let cool then put in an air tight container


Here are some other great healthy granola/muesli recipes for you to try:


Eggs are another great option for breakfast as they are high in protein and keep you full for longer. I have an omelet with one whole egg and an egg white, to try and reduce the amount of cholesterol (even though it’s good cholesterol). Throw in bits and pieces from the fridge like mushrooms, spinach, and onion, even left over potato chopped into small chunks. A dollop of chutney or relish on top is awesome. I also make a frittata in my cast iron skillet that makes breakfast/brunch for two days - http://www.loveandlemons.com/2012/12/03/spinach-frittata/

A great idea is these muffins (gives you about 7 average sized muffins) baked on Sunday and then grab one with a cup of tea or coffee for an on-the-go breakfast for every day of that week. These are full of high fibre oats, fruit and healthy fats… I was inspired to bake these by my trip to Nelson for Easter where a managed to get a huge container of fresh berries. We also had some rhubarb (half a stalk) in the garden that I chopped finely and put in. You could swap in any chopped fruit fresh, frozen or dried in this recipe – if you are using frozen; don’t defrost before putting them in and a great tip is to coat them in a bit of flour before adding them to the mixture to stop them from all sinking to the bottom.

Berry Oat Muffins:

Ingredients
3/4 cup rolled oats (I used Pam’s wholegrain oats)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup skim milk with ½ tsp of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice - buttermilk substitute as we don't really have this in NZ
1/2 cup applesauce (I used low fat berry yogurt – about one pottle of live lite meadow fresh)
1/4 cup sugar in the raw (I used 3Tbsp of Xylitol – from Health 2000 store)
1 egg (or two egg whites if you’re watching your cholesterol)
1 tbsp grape seed/extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup fresh berries

Optional: top with a pinch of sliced almonds and a drizzle of runny honey just before putting them in the oven.

Instructions
Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 9 paper liners or spray with canola oil. Set aside.
In a food processor add the rolled oats and pulse few times. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and pulse one more time.
Add the buttermilk (milk plus vinegar/lemon juice), applesauce, sugar, egg and oil and pulse until just combined. Do not over mix!
With a rubber spatula, fold in the fruit.
Spoon the batter in the prepared baking pan and bake for about 18 minutes or until firm to touch.
Let cool completely before serving.

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