Good food in - great energy out
Fuelling our bodies with great food is a huge priority for the team here at FITKYT. We’re passionate about sharing great ideas when it comes to healthy eating and also passionate about retaining the joy of good food. The better we eat, the more positive vibes we have to share. By considering what we put into our bodies, we find that our increased energy levels give us that extra oomph we need to build stronger, happier - and fuller lives.
Mindful eating - making better choices
Every time we eat, we’re making a choice. This choice can be based on many different factors based on the way we connect with food. Perhaps we’re eating based on:
- Thirst (so easy to confuse being dehydrated with being hungry)
- The need to fuel for exercise
- An emotional connection
- Social needs (dinner parties etc)
What’s key here is establishing why we are eating and making the choice to eat what’s good for us, not just what fills our desires at the time.
Creating healthy eating habits
Creating good eating habits can be more challenging for people than creating a regular exercise routine! This is because for many of us, our eating habits are based on elements such as our upbringing, our lifestyle and our cultural backgrounds. These patterns are not impossible to change, but take a little time to get used to.
Baby steps are better than giant leaps when it comes to food
Changing our eating habits is something we can do gradually. In a world where we’re constantly being sold quick fixes - 2 day detoxes, juice cleansing, shake diets and the like, we can start to believe that our habits need to change almost overnight. Rather, changing your eating habits is a slower, more mindful and considerate approach. It begins, like all positive change - with education.
A good food journey
Educating yourself on what healthy eating is can be confusing. But there are basics we all need to consider. Beginning with looking at why you eat, how you eat, what you eat and when you eat is a great first step.
Creating a food diary for a week to assess what your intake actually is may be a great first step. From here you can take a good look at what you are fuelling your body with. You may start to see patterns and notice how your diet is making you feel and how your body reacts to certain food groups.
Once you’ve taken this first step, your journey begins and each day you can inform yourself, perhaps slowly replacing foods which do not serve you with foods that do serve a positive purpose.
Eating a healthy breakfast
Breakfast, our humble first meal of the day, should be nourishing and uncomplicated. However, it seems that there is now an array of complex information and vast thoughts and opinions that exist on what makes up a healthy breakfast. Let’s take a different approach to breakfast and try to find out what works for you as an individual.
WHEN to eat breakfast
We know the purpose of our morning meal is to ‘break’ our ‘fast’ from the previous night. You will need to eat at some point whether it’s first thing when you rise, on your way to work, or for some of us, much closer to midday. We’re all individuals with unique timetables and daily habits. If you tune in to what your body needs and what works for your schedule, without worrying that there is one correct time to eat breakfast, then you can find the ideal time to make this meal work for you.
Try to look past the ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ chatter, and ask yourself, ‘what does my body need in the morning?’. It may be a cup of herbal tea and a slice of sourdough toast. Or you may prefer to work out early and have a hearty bacon and egg omelette. It might be that you don’t feel hungry till midday, and the morning coffee is enough to get you through until then.
The tricky part here is thinking about what YOU need, and try to work it around the needs of your family. If your kids are singing the hungry chorus as soon as they get out of bed, then of course you will be tending to your loved ones and possibly ignore your own needs. If your partner likes to have a full cooked breakfast then it’s easy to eat the same thing rather than eat when it truly appeals to you.
WHAT to eat for breakfast
The concept of WHAT to eat for breakfast is even more loaded than WHEN to eat it. You can find information that will back up whatever type of breakfast you would like to eat. So once again let’s try to tap into your intuition here. Try to reconnect with what your body feels when it eats the food that is breaking your previous night’s fast. If you eat a bowl of cold cereal with milk, does your body feel good? Or do you feel hungry by mid-morning and find yourself reaching for a second snack to get you through to lunch. If you eat an egg and some cheese instead, do you feel a bit more satisfied and don’t notice any more need for food until lunchtime? Or it might be the other way around for you (cereal fills you up and egg leaves you hankering for more). Try to move beyond the clutter of information around what you should be eating and find out what your body says is right for you.
Some breakfast ideas
What 90% of the world eats for breakfast
While we are constantly told WHAT to eat for breakfast through advertising and the latest scientific research it might be interesting to have a look at what the rest of the world eats for breakfast. While the modern western world is breakfasting on cereal with almond, soy, dairy or other types of milk, breads, yogurt scattered with fresh berries, bacon and eggs, pancakes, pastries, bagels, coffee or tea the rest of the world has ditched the sweet breakfast (well, they didn’t go there in the first place) and they eat – the same as what they would eat for lunch or dinner. You’ll find some more interesting breakfast ideas from around the world that we have put together for you below.
Dinner for breakfast
Another concept that works for some families, especially those with children, is having dinner for breakfast. It’s a little like the concept above and may be an easier way to approach it. It means getting up in the morning and having soup, or stir-fry, or roast chicken, or tortillas, or lasagne as your breakfast. The reality is you might not feel like getting up in the morning and cooking a meal like this first thing in the morning. So, what you can do is make it the night before. You cook dinner as usual in the evening, save the bulk of it, heat it up the next morning.
While this may not seem to fit in with your daily schedule, in many ways it can be easier to organize your life this way. You can cook a slightly bigger evening meal, and have it as a dinner snack, then keep the rest for breakfast. Or you can have a light evening snack giving you more time to enjoy the evening. A slow cooker could be a handy way to set your breakfast meal on the night before and wake up to the smell of dinner already prepared. Dinner for breakfast means no more going to bed on a full stomach, and with plenty of energy to start your day.
For the next few days try tuning in to what YOUR body needs in the morning and see if you can listen to what it says, regardless of what you are making for those around you. Even if you don’t break your usual habits, just listen, and see if you can understand what your body is telling you. Make a mental note about what’s working for you and what’s not, with a view to making small changes when you are ready.
Breakfast around the world
Japan – It’s definitely a savory breakfast in Japan. Fish like salmon or mackerel, miso soup, pickled vegetables and rice are typical. Also, nori, natto and rolled egg omelette.
Mexico – While chilli might not be everyone’s idea of breakfast, in Mexico heuvos rancheros is a favourite - eggs served on soft tortillas with avocado, refried beans and a tomato chilli sauce.
Israel and North Africa – A popular breakfast is, shakshouka which is baked eggs in a tomato based sauce with onion, chili pepper, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.
Malaysia - Nasi lemak is an aromatic rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf often served with sambal, boiled eggs, peanuts, sliced cucumber and deep-fried anchovies.
Colombia – a typical hearty breakfast might be changua — a soup made with water, milk and potatoes served with fried scallions and an egg on top, and cheese melted into it.
Costa Rica - Gallo Pinto is a traditional dish that combines rice and beans first cooked separately, then fried together, seasoned with cilantro and served with fried eggs and plantains.
For me, I am a morning coffee type of person and I do not start to feel hungry until around 11 am where I will grab a piece of fruit (apple or mandarin - whatever is in season) on the go. After researching this blog post, I think I should be looking at changing my daily breakfast habit :)
Remember - no sudden movements - just the idea to keep moving towards healthier options and a lifelong commitment to improvement!
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