As a rower I eat my first breakfast just before 7am and then after our first training session, at about 10am I eat my second breakfast. Two breakfasts is one of the benefits of rowing all day every day! These are my five favourite ‘first’ breakfasts. We all need a good breakfast to get our metabolism going and to ensure we have the energy to start the day well. Some people skip first breakfast and think this is a good way to lose weight. The truth is the total opposite. We will have gone ten or more hours without food and overnight our metabolism will have slowed right down, eating a well-balanced breakfast is the best way to get it started again so we burn more energy throughout the day.
Yogurt, fruit and granola
This has all you need in a breakfast. The yogurt provides protein and the yogurt I use has no sugar in it. Be aware of ‘low fat’ yogurts as they are normally full of sugar and that’s exactly what you don’t want to be eating! Healthy fats are essential to our health for so many reasons but processed sugars that you will find in these ‘low fat’ yogurts are not! It’s now proven that the high sugar content of the western diet along with processed hydrogenated fats is the main cause of diabetes, heart disease and other health issues. The fresh fruit provides essential vitamins. The homemade granola contains slow release energy oats and nuts for protein and minerals. A great way to start the day! Enjoy!
About 4 tbsp of 2% fat Greek yogurt, my personal favourite is Fage Total
Any fresh fruit of your choice, blueberries and raspberries are my favourite with this
Sprinkling of my homemade granola
Splash of almond milk
Chocolate soaked oats
This is delicious and so easy to make. You prepare it the night before so it’s literally waiting in the fridge for you in the morning. A sweet, chocolatey slow release energy breakfast. Enjoy!
300ml almond milk
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp cacao powder
Whizz in food processor the almond milk, banana and cacao powder then add to the oats in a container and mix. Leave overnight in the fridge.
Blueberry and acai smoothie with a spoon
This is so tasty and full of so much goodness! Acai has so many health benefits that I must write a blog about it for you guys but in short it has for centuries been heralded as a healing, immune-stimulating, energy-boosting fruit full of antioxidants. The berries here add more vitamins to the party! I like to serve this with my homemade granola and some Greek yogurt.
Ingredients (serves 2)
250ml almond milk
25og mixed frozen berries
1 tbsp nut butter
½ tbsp. honey
3 tbsp acai powder
For this you need a powerful blender. Add all ingredients apart from frozen berries and then as you start whizzing it up slowly add the berries as I find the blender sometimes struggles to get through them when added at the start. Enjoy!
Good old porridge
Basic but always a winner! I always make my porridge with milk and not water for the protein aspect but also let’s be honest it tastes rubbish with water! It can also be mad we soya milk or almond milk. I always add a little set honey for some sweetness but maple syrup is also good. Try and stay away from sugar and golden syrup. Golden syrup is a processed sugar syrup and has a higher sugar content as well as calories than maple syrup. Maple syrup is made by boiling the sap of the maple tree so has a lower glycaemic index (slower release energy). It is also a good source of manganese and zinc, two very important minerals for our diet. Enjoy!
75g porridge oats
Serve with honey or maple syrup for sweetness
Chocolate soaked chia seeds
Another breakfast you can prepare the night before. Chia seeds became really popular after the book “Born to Run” came out and their amazing health and energy benefits were explained. The book is based on the Tarahumara, “the running people”, a Mexican tribe of superathletes who run 50 to 100 miles at a time for enjoyment and who eat large amounts of chia seeds. In this simple recipe there are 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and that contains 10 grams of fibre, 6 grams of protein, 12g of carbohydrate, 9g fat, 5g of omega 3 and 1.5g of omega 6. They also contain a lot of important minerals, such as manganese, selenium, iron and calcium. Chia seeds are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the market. I add Greek yogurt and my homemade granola to this for a great start to the day! Enjoy!
2 tbsp chia seeds
150ml milk (you can use any type of milk though, coconut or almond)
1 tbsp cacao powder
Put ingredients in a jar with tight fitting lid and shake well then leave overnight in the fridge.