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The Breakfast Mistakes We All Make
Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day – not only does a good breakfast help to control our appetite as well as our weight but the habit of enjoying a nutritionally balanced breakfast on a daily basis sets our nutrition up for the entire day. So here are the most common mistakes we make when getting our breakfast right, and the easiest nutritionally balanced breakfasts you can prepare to ensure you are fuelled optimally no matter how time poor you are.
Are you eating breakfast too late?
As a general rule of thumb, the earlier you enjoy your breakfast, the better it will be for your metabolism. It is commonly thought that delaying hunger until later in the morning; or waiting until after a workout will optimise fat burning but the truth is that you will train more effectively if you eat something small beforehand and then have a more substantial meal after training. Light breakfast options include a slice of wholegrain toast with peanut butter, a couple of crackers with cheese or a banana is all you need to get your metabolism going. Ideally then you will back this up with a high protein breakie of eggs, Greek yoghurt and fruit or some protein pancakes later in the morning.
Are you not getting the right nutrient mix?
An ideal balance of wholegrain, low glycaemic index carbohydrates and 15-20g of protein at breakfast will ensure that you not only have well controlled blood glucose levels and energy throughout the morning but a good serve of protein will help to keep you full and satisfied for at least 3-4 hours, ideally until lunchtime. Protein rich breakfast options including eggs on toast, a protein and banana smoothie or Greek yoghurt with fruit.
Are you forgetting the coffee?
Flat whites, cappuccinos, soy mochas and chai Lattes all contain calories and sugars (generally from lactose naturally found in milk) and calories that do need to be considered as part of a meal, not an insignificant extra. Often we start the day with a milk coffee, and follow it up with another once we arrive at work and forget that these both count as part of the breakfast. For any coffee that contains a significant amount of milk, consider is equal to a slice of toast in calories and if you are watching your total calorie and / or sugar intake consider swapping to black coffee or tea to cut out some of these extra calories.
Are you overindulging in a café breakfast?
For city workers, or anyone who has a great café close to home or work that offers a coffee and toast for a cheap price, it can be hard to resist a daily café treat. Unfortunately, the type of breakfast options served at cafes rarely complement our dietary goals. Large slices of Turkish toast slathered in butter; fatty sandwiches with cheese and fatty meats, oversized muffins and thick sugary yoghurt and granola can equate to 600-800 breakfast calories, more than double what the average person needs. Save the café breakfasts to weekends or special occasions or at least look for lighter options such as an omelette with 1 slice thin toast, mini breakfast wraps or Greek yoghurt and fruit.
Not time to prepare a healthy breakfast
Not having enough time to prepare a nutritionally balanced breakfast is one of the most common reasons we end up overindulging with muffins and fried breakfasts that we can pick up on the run. The easiest way to take control of these poor breakfast choices is to get into a habit of preparing a nutritionally balanced breakfast the night before. Homemade Bircher with oats, banana and Greek yoghurt, breakfast wraps with lean meat and cheese, hard boiled eggs or a frittata can all be prepared the night before and then enjoyed the next day.
Here are some easy breakfasts to whip up at home that tick all the health and yummy-ness boxes!
Banana Nut Pancakes
Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free
Cals – 420 | Fat – 15g | Protein – 19g | Carbs – 46g | Fibre – 3g
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 egg whites
1/4 cup low fat milk
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 drops of sp. vanilla essence
1/2 banana, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1 tsp. maple syrup
Whisk quinoa with egg whites, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and banana.
Spray fry pan with canola spray and divide batter into 3 pancakes.
Cook each pancake for 3 mins each side.
Serve with 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt, a sprinkle of walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Breakfast Power Smoothie
Vegetarian, Egg Free
Cals – 450 | Fat – 6g | Protein – 43g | Carbs – 50g | Fibre – 5g
1 cup (250 ml) of your preferred milk
1 small banana, chopped
2-heaped tbsp. rolled oats
1 scoop (20g) vanilla or chocolate protein powder
2 tbsp. natural low fat yoghurt
1 tsp. LSA
Ice to blend
Mix all ingredients in a blender and serve.
Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Australian Bananas. To learn more about the partnership, click here.