Thursday 15 November 2012

Breakfast - How to start the day - As featured in Alpha Fit

Its often stated that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, usually by nutritionists and dieticians, however there’s no real physiological reasons behind this it just boils down to the fact that people who make the effort to eat a breakfast are more inclined to look after the rest of their diet and not rely on high calorie snakcs for their energy , so start the day as you mean to go on and that means without cereal too, often the box it comes in is more nutritious. Recent research discussed at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) 20120 annual meeting and food expo hghlighted that breakfast skippers in general miss out on key nutrients through the day, consume more sweets and few vegetables and led to more over eating. So a good breakfast certainly sets you up for the day ahead. A point of note also raised was that protein at breakfast time was key to control over eating and satiety, however the staples we consider for breakfast are often low in protein and high in carbohydrates, far from optimal.
Here are my top 6 breakfast to get your day started
Meat & Nuts
First up is what has become the favoured breakfast of leading S&C coach Charles Poliquin, the meat and nut breakfast. Poliquin states “the meat allows for a slow and steady rise in blood sugar. The nuts provide a great source of healthy smart fats that allow the blood sugar to remain stable for an extended period of time.”
Suggestions given include steak and almonds, venison steak and cashw nuts and chicken and hazelnuts. Having tried it myself I can agree this is a great way to start the day
Pre race breakfast
Next up is my preferred ‘pre race’ or endurance event breakfast. Preparing clients for a marathon or other endurance event usually requires a carb in the days leading up to the event,
The key thing to remember here is your glycogen stores will be at near capacity, you just want to top up but also avoid foods which wont sit well, so pick foods which agree with you. A bagel with peanut butter and half a banana is always a good choice, you’ll get protein and fats from the peanut butter which will slow digestion and the bagel wont sit too heavy, while the banana will give you an early morning boost to give you a quick start and a good mix of energy. Don’t over do it though, you don’t want any unwanted pit stops!
Fat burning smoothie
for those of you who live a fast paced life but still want something nutritious to help kickstart your day and boost that fat burning then here’s a simple recipe, throw it all in a blender and once done you’ll have a great start to the day:
4 slices of pineapple
¼ grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
250ml low-fat natural yoghurt
2tbsp pumpkin seeds
2tbsp coconut oil
1 scoop of strawberry protein powder
Why it’s so good:
Pineapple is high in fibre keeping you fuller for longer while the grapefruit is high in fat burning enzymes an also reduces insulin spikes. The natural yoghurt is a rich source of calcium, iodine and protein and has been shown to boost immune function. The pumpkin seeds are full of good fats as is the coconut oil which promotes fat burning and finally the protein powder will help keep you fuller for longer
Paleo bacon buttie
This is so simple yet so tasty, it almost sounds like it wont go but trust me this is a great mouth watering way to start the day, similar to the meat and nuts breakfast I offers eat and healthy fats, it’s also quick and easy to make.
These are really easy to make, simply grill 4 rashers of bacon and spread guacamole on one, placing another slice on top making a sandwich.
The benefits of this are the healthy fats and protein, keeping you fuller for longer and controlling blood sugar levels.
The healthy alternative to the fry up
Scrambled eggs, grilled bacon with the rind removed, grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, toasted rye bread. My clients are always surprised when I say they can have a full English on a weekend, but this version is high in protein, has healthy fats and slow release carbs from the rye bread which is a much better alternative to white bread. The tomatoes will give you a boost in vitamin C and antioxidants while the mushrooms (I would opt for shitake) are low in calorie but filling and are great for boosting the immune system.
The complete porridge
My all year round favourite, nothing quite beats this for quality and satiety, this realy does keep me going until lunch time! When I have a big legs day in the gym this is how I get my day started.
50g porridge mixed with water or skimmed milk – a complex carb which is slow release keeping you fuller for longer
1 teaspoon of cinnamon – research has shown this helps to control blood sugar
2 scoops of Reflex instant whey deluxe banoffe flavor – protein is a must at breakfast whatever your goals
40g of frozen blueberries – full of antioxidants (I prefer frozen as it brings the temperature down quicker so I can dig in!)
1tbsp greek yoghurt – lower in lactose than normal yoghurt with twice as much protein too
So there you have my top breakfasts to get your day started, from fat burning to pre race they all one thing in common and that’s protein, for the healthiest start to your day base your breakfasts around protein, no matter what your goals are.


  1. Great post Dave

    Already excited about my cinnamon and raisin bagels with peanut butter before TM on Saturday morning!

    I have to say I'm not sure about the venison steak for breakfast but I'll definitely be trying the smoothie...

    Would you say to lower the 50g porridge for my weight?


  2. Thank you Lindsey

    try the venison or any other steak and see how you feel for the rest of the morning, perhaps not until after your event though as you dont want to disrupt anything this close!

    50g porridge really depends on the rest of your diet, as i say thats my all year round favourite and it fits my macros. start with 30g and see how that fits in to your diet and overall macros for the day.

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