Breakfast Survey Results
The results are in!
Breakfast. Perhaps the most contentious meal of the day. Is it the most important? Perhaps. Is it super hard to do it right? Definitely. Does it have to be hard? Absolutely not.
I recently sent a call out to ask you, dear reader, about your breakfast habits. The results were very interesting - let's dive straight in!
What do you consider to be a "healthy" breakfast?
We had a lot of very similar answers here that could mostly be grouped into sweet or savory categories: there were variations on porridge, muesli, fruit and yoghurt or variations on the theme of "eggs". Lots of people recognised the importance of having a balance in the morning.
Let's tackle the "sweet" options first:
Porridge and Muesli:
Make sure the oats are organic and ideally, if you're having muesli, make it yourself. There can be so much hidden sugar and preservatives in store bought versions and packet cereal a mine field.
It can be super easy to make your own cereal if you can prep - it's cheaper and better for you!
Obviously three table spoons of sugar or jam on your porridge is NOT optimal. There are lots of ways to add some more sweet apart from fresh fruit, try a little Manuka Honey or Agave Syrup. Try to keep it light!
Fruit and Yoghurt:
Some people find it difficult to eat a lot in the mornings. Yoghurt and fruit, nuts, seeds or other super foods is a good option for those who can’t stomach other options.
Go for organic greek or keffir with live cultures. Keep the toppings fresh or dried, add some nuts or seeds.
If you don’t do dairy (like me) because it causes inflamation, go for a coconut or other dairy alternative option for the yogurt. There are lots of good ones out there.
What about juice and smoothies?
Contentious. When you blend or juice you can lose all the good fibre BUT if you are someone who struggles to eat properly in the morning, making your own juice in the morning is a great way to top up on your nutrients.
Make it yourself or go and get one that is freshly made. Add some aminos, add some protein. Same with protein shake or smoothie.
Eating real food is always the priority but you need to be realistic with yourself and sometimes getting something nutritious into your system without stress is even more important. It’s just about choosing the most nutrient dense option.
Eggs plus greens, veggies, some nice bread is a great way to get a really good balance of whole foods into your system as soon as you get up. We're looking for a nice balance of proteins and fats and lots of minerals and vitamins.
Go for you organic sourdough or rye bread which are better for your digestion. Through some leafy greens on your plate. Add some avocado and tomato.
Super quick if you have everything on hand and it's such a nice feeling to look at a plate full of fresh and colorful food in the morning. It'll get you going!
Some people like to fast for longer in the mornings while others need to get something in the stomach as soon as possible. Work out which is best for you, try some different things and listen to your body. If not eating in the morning leaves you feeling groggy - eat! If you have more energy from a longer overnight fast, go with that.
Either way, the trick is to work out how to get the best possible balance of nutrients to your body throughout the day.
Is your breakfast routine ideal?
I asked if people thought their breakfast routine was ideal - the answers were illuminating so I will let them speak for themselves:
"Did not get up early enough to do a proper brekkie, maybe get to the gym and make it to work on time"
"Too little time to have a decent breakfast before work"
"Would like more time/ if didn't work I would eat later in the morning as I don't really like breakfast foods"
"Time in the mornings. Generally I wake up and go to work straight away, then eat at desk"
"Not enough sleep/time"
"Based around what is in the house rather than active choice"
"Would like to get rid of commute and exercise earlier"
"One of my jobs prevents me eating at a suitable time, so do not eat breakfast on those days"
"Because I get to 11 and I'm starving! From the moment I wake up I look after my son til his nap at 9:30, then I tidy up & clean up, before getting myself ready. I'm often not able to think about eating til that's all done, which is usually about 11"
"I am always in a rush"
"Because I'm lazy"
"I'd love to wake easier so I had more time to sit down for breakfast"
What is getting in the way of having the ideal routine?
50% said they didn't have enough time in the mornings
25% said they weren't organised enough such as not having the right foods on hand
10% said they didn't know what to have - everything you read says something different, it's confusing and that leads to a lot of stress in the mornings (which we don't want!). Often this results in someone not eating at all or making the "wrong" choices.
10% said that a lack of consistency with work such as getting up really early sometimes or having to go to various different locations causes problems in the morning
Below you will find a summary of the results of other interesting questions such as energy throughout the day and stress levels.
Time is the hardest part. Even ten minutes is sometimes too much of an ask. Whether you are a busy parent, a night owl or just find mornings really tough, time is the biggest factor we all face.
20 minutes extra sleep or breakfast? It doesn't always have to be one or the other.
Organisation was another big factor and, when you think about it, time and organisation often go together.
Anything that reduces decision fatigue in the mornings can give you more time in the morning and make you feel more in control (and will become even more so over time): lay out what you are going to wear, have your snacks for the day ready, get your breakfast sorted (even if it’s the same thing every day)
You can lean on all the elements of R.O.C.K to make this work:
Be realistic with yourself: what can you start with, how much time can you realistically take in the mornings, what will you feel comfortable enough to make and eat in that time.
Get organised: Once you have decided what you will try, work out what you can do ahead of time, what you need to have in the house, when you will make it and what time you need to get up. Plan it down to the smaller detail, then you won't have to use brain power to work it out in the morning.
Be consistent: even if it sucks initially. Getting up at a similar time every day and going through the motions will help you get to a point where it becomes second nature.
Arm yourself with the knowledge: What is good for you to eat in the mornings for you (being realistic!), listen to your body, watch your skin. If you experience inflammation your body will tell you and that means it's time to try something else.
In the words of DJ Khaled:
Major Key Alert.
1st Key to the Morning: know what you are going to have
2nd Key to the Morning: have the stuff you need on hand and ready to go
3rd Key to the Morning: give yourself enough time in the mornings
Easier said than done, right?
Here are some tips to help you find that perfect breakfast routine:
Try doing your food shopping online with delivery. This forces you to think about it in terms of meals and reduces the risk of shopping hangry
Choose ahead of time: choose three breakfast options that you will stick with, have those each week. Changing it up every now and then. What you want to do is avoid having to think in the mornings.
Buy the avos green and let them ripen (put them near bananas initially if you need them to ripen faster)
Choose things that don’t require real prep time:
fried eggs, cherry tomatoes, some leaves, half an avo
Throw together leftovers
Plan extras for leftovers from dinner
Leftover proteins with eggs and some greens
Chuck chopped dinner veggies that didn’t make the cut into some beaten eggs to make a delish frittata in 5 minutes
Turn rice (that was stored and cooled properly) and fish into a quick kedgeree
Stick some leftover pasta sauce on some wholesome bread
Turn leftover raw cut veggies into a juice
Prep something really easy:
Make a batch of chicken breasts ahead of time to add to veggies and eggs
Prep your fruit/veg for juice or smoothie by chopping it up the night before, sticking it into the nutribullet and put it in the fridge, ready to be whizzed up in the morning
Most importantly, don't beat yourself up about it. If going to the fresh juice place and getting a juice is just about all you can manage then that's a good start. Be at peace with it. Maybe you will find another option in the future.
Thank you to everyone who participated! Your involvement is crucial.