Its not always easy to find time for a good breakfast, despite the pressures of making it the most important meal of the day. I find preparing things the night - or a few days - before to store in the fridge, always, always helps. Even something as simple as finishing off saving that leftover quinoa or chopping your smoothie or juice ingredients before you go to sleep so you can just throw everything together in the morning. Step one - and the most important step - to achieve morning meal success is to have the right ingredients to work with. Step two is to plan and organise in advance. It's hard enough for some people to turn their alarm clocks to 'snooze', let alone cook some eggs or prepare a bowl of porridge.
P R E P A R A T I O N T I P S
. Save your leftovers. Even things like chicken or fish, as, although it may seem weird at first to swap your cereal for some meat, these are plain, additive-free protein options which will energise you without spiking your blood sugar levels or making you feel bloated. And if you really can't stomach a rerun of your dinner at 7am, pack it into a tuppaware and take it with you for lunch. Either way, you'll be ahead.
. Chop your fruits and vegetables. If you are planning to make a smoothie for your breakfast or as an out-the-door snack, work with whatever ingredients you have in the house, and decide your combination the night before. Chop your fresh ingredients and store them together in the fridge in a tuppaware, overnight. The next morning all you will have to do is fill your blender, measure out your liquids and hit the power switch.
. Juice. Again, prepare your ingredients the night before, or better yet, juice them the night before, and store the juice in the fridge overnight. You can then grab a glass or your bottle and enjoy an instant nutrient hit of concentrated goodness. You will hardly even need to think about digesting it. Your sleepy body will thank you for waking it up gently, and brilliantly.
. Freeze your fruits and veggies. If a juice doesn't quite fulfil your fast-breaking desires in the morning, something a little more filling like a smoothie or a smoothie bowl will work it's magic on you. I personally prefer freezing my ingredients in order to get a thicker result, a smoother result and a more refreshing result. Berries, banana, avocado and mango are easy to freeze and make an ideal consistency when blended with liquid. Once you've tried using frozen fruits, a fresh fruit smoothie will never satisfy you enough. Added bonus: you can always rely on your freezer to have good smoothie ingredients in the house, and you don't have to worry about anything going off either.
. Boiled eggs. Although scrambled eggs and poached eggs are so much more delicious, boiled eggs are far easier, and you can have them cooking themselves whilst you finish some work, evening chores or better, your favourite movie. Let them cool and peel away the shells later in the evening or leave them to cool in the fridge overnight. You can then enjoy them for breakfast or chop them and add the to a salad.
. Soak. Soak ingredients like quinoa, chia seeds, linseeds or nuts overnight. You can then either add these to smoothies, make a chia seed pudding, or a nut cream or pudding - high in protein and high in flavour. If you have more time, you can cook your quinoa or oats in the morning and their nutrients will be far more attainable. This process also removes the level of phytic acid in the nuts too.
. Make a trail mix. If you don't have time to sit down and concentrate on a proper meal in the morning, make your own trail mixes. This is a great way to clear your pantry or cupboards. Mix together any combination of dried nuts, seeds, toasted coconut flakes, dried fruit (keep this as low gi as possible and ensure there is no added sugar), cacao nibs and superfood powders. Mix together and store in a sandwich bag, a jar or a tuppaware container and enjoy in the morning, during your commute to work or as a snack later on.
The main priorities for a genuinely helpful morning meal are protein, fibre, nutrients and as little sugar as possible. I try to keep away from fruit entirely in the mornings, but you can use banana or mango to sweeten your smoothies, nut milks or chia seed puddings if you need something a little sweeter. Nuts, quinoa, vegetables, meat, fish, seeds and superfood powders are good sources of all of these things.
M E A L S T O R O T A T E
. Improvised cupboard-cleaning trail mixes
. Scrambled or Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon/Avocado/Raw or Sautéed Spinach/Tomatoes/Sweet Potato/Nuts/Seeds
. Chia Seed Puddings (Chia seeds soaked in nut milk or nut cream and flavoured with things like cinnamon, vanilla, coconut nectar, banana, mango, passionfruit, maca and other superfoods)
. Porridge (oats, buckwheat flakes or quinoa flakes)
. Warm Quinoa Porridge / Pudding
. Avocado on Gluten Free Toast or Crackers
. Smoothie Bowls
. Nut Yoghurts / Puddings
. Salmon Fillet or Cold Chicken
. Fresh Berries with Nut Milk, Nut Cream or Coconut Yoghurt
I N G R E D I E N T S T O S T O R E
. Nut Milks or Nuts to soak, to make your own milk
. Filtered water
. Coconut Water
. Frozen Berries
. Smoked salmon
. Nut butter
. Greens like spinach, kale, cucumber and celery
. Superfood powders (Maca, Cacao, Lucuma, Moringa, Wheatgrass, Spirulina ...)
. Gluten free or homemade nut and seed bread
. Chia seeds
. Dried Nuts or Fruits like dates and goji berries
. Buckwheat Flakes
. Sugar free / Homemade granola
Keeping your cupboards stocked with these useful ingredients will make it so, so easy for you to throw something together and create something new and exciting. It may also help to cleanse your cupboards too - by this I mean getting rid of any bad products/ingredients that you might be tempted by.
Stay involved and share your creations on twitter or instagram, using the hashtag #WAKEUPWELL. Keep track of your own successful inventions, inspire others and make waking up well, well easy.