England is so famous for its breakfasts that simply referring to a ‘full English’ is enough in most countries to explain you are hankering for a lavish helping of sausages, bacon, beans, tomato, toast, hash browns, mushrooms and black pudding. The problems with over indulging in a ‘full English breakfast’ though can prove as long as the list of items that the ‘full English’ features. Hence, for a healthy alternative way to kick start your day, here are a handful of equally delicious options:
Smoothies have endured some bad press since they first found popularity. Part of the problem is that unlike fried breakfasts and many gluten and sugar saturated breakfast cereals, the smoothie hit the breakfast market with promises of being a ‘healthy alternative’. What constitutes healthy is problematic in itself, especially as many smoothies are fruit heavy and fruit itself is often packed with fructose, a naturally occurring sugar. Then, the trick is to consume everything in moderation…and to make your own instead of being lured by supermarket quick fixes.
Kick starting the day, for example, with a banana and date smoothie means beginning the morning with a banana, handful of dates and some milk and / or yoghurt. Even better, banana and date smooties can be made (and will taste great) whether you opt to add in a dollop of natural or favoured yoghurt, cow’s milk or a vegan alternative such as soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk.
Bananas are naturally free of sodium, cholesterol and fat whilst acting both as an energy-providing carbohydrate. Bananas further contain a long list of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6, C and A, manganese, potassium, folate, riboflavin, niacin, iron, fibre and even protein. Hence, using bananas as a base for fruit smoothies is a great start in itself. Couple bananas with dates, as an indulgent and delicious alternative to more acidic fruits such as strawberries or pineapple and you’re bound to feel better about heading out to work in the morning.
Eggs are so versatile whilst also being nutritionally dense that for anyone who eats diary, the list of breakfasts on offer are both mouth watering and pretty much endless. Because eggs are high in protein they further benefit from providing energy our muscles and minds require to act efficiently whilst also making us feel fuller for longer. Consequently, eating eggs for breakfast can be a great way to avoid being distracted by hunger, stave off the urge for unhealthy mid-morning snacks and can keep us going until lunchtime.
The internet is awash with egg recipes that involve some rather exotic ingredients such as adding coconut oil to scrambled eggs or poaching processes that in themselves require a level of concentration most would need a full English breakfast just to muster. With eggs already being, in themselves, such wonderfully nutritious things, don’t worry too much about how they are cooked. Of course, opting to use extra virgin olive oil, which is dense in nutrients, is a far healthier option than a knob of butter dolloped into a frying pan before attempting friend eggs or scramble, beyond that though, just enjoy your eggs.
By all means, feel free to add chopped bells peppers, onion, tomato and / mushroom to an omelette. Sprinkle paprika over scrambled eggs or top sliced avocado with friend egg for a healthy alternative to egg on buttery white toast. The point is, because eggs are so delicious, nutritious and versatile, there are no limits as to what you can do with them and as well no rules; enjoying making breakfast according to your own whim, fancy and however adventurous you feel is as healthy for your mind as eggs can be for your body. So, just have an egg-cellent time.
Salads might strike some as a strange breakfast food, yet what is more strange is that salads aren’t appreciated as a breakfast option. Perhaps that three-leaf rather underwhelming side salad used to pretty your dinner plate wouldn’t make a great breakfast, but then if that’s how you make salad, you’re making a mess of it. The truth is, like eggs and smoothies, salads are fresh, versatile, nutritionally packed and can be wonderfully colourful, tasty and filling too.
Waking to the fresh smells, tastes, textures and goodness of salads topped with grilled tofu, chicken, avocado and, yes, poached egg can mean that even when the outside world is grey and rainy, you will wake to a vibrant, appealing plate of food at least. For those not sold on a savoury salad option for breakfast, chop up some strawberries, sprinkle blueberries, go wild with clementine segments, grapefruit, pomegranate pips or the humble cherry tomato. Take whatever takes your fancy and make it work for you, from dried fruits to nuts to lentils and quinoa. Just watch the salt and avoid drowning the goodness in shop bought dressings. Instead make your own using olive oil and vinegars such as balsamic or cider apple, or fruit juices such as lemon or lime, and use spices and herbs to add some pep to your breakfast…and your morning.