Sunday, 9 September 2012

Worked For Me #2 - Breakfast

Most people have heard the saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day", but is it really true?

I'm not sure I believe it's the MOST important meal of the day; each and every meal you eat has a huge bearing on how you feel and whether your body is nourished and burning fat or just storing it.  But breakfast has definitely played a huge role in my weight loss journey.

Typically I will eat breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up.  My usual breakfast consists of oatmeal with ground flax and cinnamon in it, and a scoop of protein powder mixed with water.  And coffee, of course.

I've experimented with a number of different oatmeals that I like, from pumpkin pie oatmeal (add a spoon of pureed pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves), to cinnamon apple oatmeal (add chopped apple and cinnamon).  Some things always stay the same for me, though.  I prefer the large rolled oats rather than the instant kind (and I can get a HUGE bag that lasts me about 6 months worth of breakfasts for $15 on sale!), and I cook it on the stovetop with 2 parts water to 1 part oats.  I usually throw some raisins in with the oats to cook, but occasionally I'll use blueberries or other fruit.

The protein powder I'm using at the moment is a whey protein isolate/concentrate blend that I get from the health food store.  I'm relatively paranoid about artificial sweeteners so I always look for a kind that is sweetened with stevia rather than sucralose.    The difference between isolate and concentrate is mostly the rate of absorption from what I've heard.  When you've just got up in the morning and haven't eaten all night, or you've just had a strenuous workout, isolate is generally preferred because it is absorbed quicker to aid in muscle building/recovery.  I'm being a bit less picky about that at the moment being as I'm not going to be competing any time soon.

As much as oatmeal is my breakfast of choice, there are certainly other options that would have the same effect!  Any kind of whole grain, such as quinoa, whole wheat, rice cakes, etc. would do the trick.  Just be sure to include some kind of fruit, whole grains and healthy fats.

A good, nourishing breakfast can set the pace for the entire day.  Definitely not something to be skipped or taken lightly!

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