It used to be the accepted wisdom that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, that it was essential to fuel up the body, principally with carbohydrates, shortly after waking in order to have energy through the day, to avoid low blood sugar, lethargy, bingeing on inappropriate mid morning snacks and the resultant inevitable colossal weight gain.
The prevailing view has moved on since then however, and now opinions are divide as to whether it makes any difference at all whether you have breakfast, or even, indeed, if it is more beneficial to do fasted cardio in the morning and/or follow an intermittent fasting protocol whereby you do not eat anything until late morning/lunchtime.
Personally I am somewhat ambivalent on the subject, I am quite happy to eat in the morning, and can face a relatively large breakfast, but as long as I have tea followed by coffee, can quite happily live without, even if I am doing my workout as soon as I wake up.
That said, I generally do make an effort to have breakfast, if only because I find it easier to manage my day’s calorie intake if I divide it into standard mealtimes. As I am preparing breakfast for my children it makes sense to have my first meal at that time as well, quite apart from the social aspect of having breakfast together ( actually there is very little to be said for the social aspect of a sullen preteen and a 7 year old who does not want to go to school. Unless we are having pancakes, in which case they temporarily suspend anti-parent hostilities for the duration).
My usual breakfasts consist of either some variant of scrambled or poached egg on avocado toast, porridge made with water and salt topped with fruit, or omelette with vegetables or chilli. Some days, however, I simply do not have time to make myself a 3 dimensional breakfast. I got up this morning at 5.30, prepped the children’s lunches, dealt with the dogs, sorted my work things for the day, did pull-ups and burpees, read my son his morning story, argued back and forth with my daughter to get her up, made their respective breakfasts and wondered why it was 8.40.
It is times such as this that the breakfast smoothie comes into play. I don’t generally buy into the whole ‘meal replacement’ idea – I prefer to eat my calories, and definitely prefer real food wherever possible. Supplements are to supplement your diet, not be your diet. I do use protein shakes most days simply as a way of getting my full protein requirement, particularly pre/post workout, but not instead of eating meat and fish and eggs and beans at mealtimes. However, when pushed for time, chucking a whole load of good stuff in a blender, blitzing it for 20 seconds and chugging it down in 30 is an expedient method of getting the calories and nutrients in.
What goes in my breakfast smoothie varies depending on what’s in the fridge and what my taste buds are saying, but the essential balance is usually the same, and effectively reflects my macro split in microcosm (hah!). A good chunk of protein, some good fats, some fresh vegetable and a moderate amount of carbs. Within those parameters it’s surprising how much variation you can achieve. I shall post some of my more inspired/effective/palatable creations in the weeks to come.
Today’s Smoothie du jour:
- 1 Banana
- 50g Spinach
- 1 raw egg
- 1 tbsp Peanut Butter
- 1 Scoop Pistachio Whey Protein (pistachio masks all and every flavour and makes it palatable)
- 1 Scoop Creatine
- 350ml Milk
Tasted not unpleasant. Kept me sated till lunch. Maintained my lean muscle mass. Took under a minute. Winning.