Drastic action is often what we feel like we need but drastic changes all in one go can be very hard to take. We might be successful in the short term but soon return back to the old habits that got us out of shape in the first place.
The best, and most painless, approach is to take one step at a time. And where better to start than breakfast? Breakfast is one of the hardest things to get right due to all the ‘pseudo foods in boxes’ (otherwise known as breakfast cereals) that we have become so accustomed to eating and our perceptions of what we are ‘supposed’ to eat in the morning.
Ideally we would all be eating some form of lean protein, such as eggs, with some green veggies and maybe fruit at breakfast (I just had an omelette with spinach and broccoli with apple cider vinegar and olive oil). But we are conditioned into seeing toast and cereal as our only breakfast food options.
The first step to lifelong change is to make sure we choose the best options – so replacing sugary cereals (read the label, even the supposedly healthy ones usually have added sugar) with steel-cut oats (not the sweetened / quick cook versions) is a great idea. You can prepare the oats into a bowl of porridge (even consider making with water and stirring an egg through at the end for added protein – honestly, just try it!) served with fruit and chopped nuts and maybe a dollop of plain, live yoghurt.
Or you can hunt out a really good muesli – but check for the sugar content, even ones packaged to look healthy and organic are frequently sweetened with too much sugar-laden dried fruit, and often the tropical dried fruits and cranberries have further added sugar.
Even better, make your own muesli with oats plus other whole grains of your choice if you like, plus chopped nuts, seeds and chopped fruit. Apple and cinnamon is a great combination (works with porridge too).
Toast-wise you can choose the wholegrain breads – but this is not just ‘brown’ bread! The ‘brown’ options are often not much better than white. Instead try the German-style rye breads or the more ‘bread-like’ sourdough ryes that are absolutely delicious toasted. For maximum results serve with a poached egg! You can also get protein in by smearing with some nut butter – get the no salt / no sugar peanut butter or even try almond butter for a delicious alternative.
If you are prepared to leave out cereals and toast then plain, live yoghurt with berries or other fruits, plus a small handful of chopped walnuts is a great option. You could add a sprinkle of your home-made muesli into the yoghurt too.
The key point is to keep an open mind about what breakfast ‘should’ consist of. Then try things out! The idea of eggs for breakfast might sound strange to someone still hooked on starchy carbs, but once you get into the habit, it becomes second nature and quite normal! Try things for a while and see what works for you.
Good nutrition is an evolution: making small but significant changes on a regular basis means that you gradually build better habits over time. These changes are then embedded into your lifestyle so they are no longer a challenge, just a way of life. You will be seeing results with relatively little effort! If something doesn’t work straight away, just keep trying until you find something that does. So long as you don’t give up and revert back to old habits you can guarantee you will see the results you are after.