Anything goes, epic porridge
Everyone who has lived with me knows I am a sucker for porridge. Here are few tips on how to get the most out of this wholesome, comfort food breakfast.
Try to use whole oats – they are rich in complex carbohydrates and fibre. Instant oats are broken down much more quickly and therefore have less sustaining energy.
Add lemon rind, grated ginger, cinnamon and fruit to porridge instead of sugar. Try to avoid sugar in the morning as this causes an energy spike - what goes up must come down. If you start the day with a wholesome breakfast, without sugar, you are more likely to have consistent blood sugar levels throughout the day and less likely to experience cravings.
This porridge is topped with apricot, chia (which I have raved about enough), pomegranate and yoghurt for extra proteins – athletes should include proteins in every meal. However, protein is often over consumed. It is calorie dense and if unused, stored as fat and excess amounts are very straining on vital organs.
If you are a person who likes to run/exercise before breakfast to boost the metabolism you could try adding coconut oil to your coffee. Coconut oil is a good fat which can be used instantly by the body (most fats are used as a last option – hence the build up).
I can’t generally run before breakfast because I always tend to wake up with a rumbling tummy. I instead sometimes add coconut oil to my porridge. I usually cook my oats in water but you can use milk – almond, rice, oat, coconut or normal. Mix up the milks you use to avoid intolerance and to give your gut the variety it needs.
Another topping idea is peanut butter. I have used chocolate peanut butter (yum). Nuts are another good form of protein and don’t contain the saturated fat that animal based proteins do.
Fruit Salad with coconut water (the real thing!)
This is a lighter option than porridge so if you aren’t training for a marathon you may prefer to mix the key, nutrient packed ingredients that I have mentioned with a variety of seasonal fruits, not oats. Mixing seeds, nuts and citrus rind to a fruit salad not only boosts the nutrient value by adding proteins and even more vitamins, it also gives it a bit of crunch. Eat colourfully – your body will love you for it.
I have mixed chia, coconut and almonds with watermelon, passionfruit, apple, banana and sliced limes.
It is very hot where I am living at the moment so the electrolytes contained in the coconut water certainly won’t go to waste. Training for a marathon in 30 degrees plus is a sweaty, thirsty business.
Raw, green, anything goes muslie with lemon water
Packaged muslies are really yummy and I certainly enjoy them when I am in a rush but most (operative word here) do contain a ridiculous amount of sugar – check the packet. Avoid them if you wish to limit the cravings you have for sweet food and if you find yourself feeling lethargic early on /throughout the day. I got very creative and mixed goji berries with chopped almonds, coconut, chia, sunflower, pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts. Everyone should eat two brazil nuts everyday as they are one of the only foods that provide us with the selenium that we need. These nuts and seeds provide the crunch of muslie, without the sugar . I then added kale (oh yes I did), chopped granny smith apple and banana. Raw foods contain an enzyme required to efficiently break down food that heat (frying, baking and boiling) destroys. I added coconut milk
It is also an idea to start the day with warm lemon water. Warm water is less of a shock (than cold) to the waking body, making the nutrients more absorbable. Lemons boost the metabolism so will ensure your digestive organs are working efficiently early on in the day. They are also incredibly high in vitamin c so a nice alternative to a tablet, if you have time. Just add the juice of one lemon to a cup of slightly cooled boiled water.
Polenta power pancakes with paw paw
I usually do a longer run on Sunday, if Saturday night permits, so pancakes for breakfast is always nice. This was a rather humbling experience after all my breakfast successes! In other words, probably don’t make this. Instead enjoy/relate in the ways my ‘’too big for my foodie boots” disaster can be linked to training for a marathon.
To cut a long story short, I decided to replace the flour I would generally use in these, with polenta. Just as it is good to mix the milks you drink, it is also good to vary the grains you consume. Overconsumption of wheat has lead to astonishing/avoidable (in my option) levels of celiac disease. However, it turns out that flour gives pancakes something that polenta quite frankly, does not. I tried frying the pancake mixture three times - #fail. Just before throwing the fry pan across the room in frustration I decided to try and grill them, as one last resort. My housemate and breakfast food sampling extraordinaire was relying on them to get her through the day after all! This semi worked, in a crumbling all over the place kind of way.
So the pancake experience can be linked to the training for a marathon in these ways;
1) Trial and error is a necessary part of success.
2) Persist, persist, persist – the reward is so worth it (it turned out that Anna actually really enjoyed them!)
3) Throughout the process, stay humble! There is always someone out there who knows more than you do about what you are doing – just as recipes are abundantly available and have also been generally proven to work!
Along with polenta this mixture contains chia, coconut and flaxseed (a roughage that is guaranteed to boost your metabolism and assist digestive organs).