Sunday, 19 February 2012

The most wonderful time of the day...:)

Breakfast. Love it or hate it? 
Most of the population skip breakfast, as I used to, simply because they don't have time or energy, or don't like breakfast foods and believe it is one less meal each day and therefore the key to weight loss. WRONG. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I was lucky that my mother made sure that was ingrained in my brain from a very young age; she always told me that my brain would not start working until I had eaten my breakfast and now that I am older I know that your metabolism also slows down without breakfast because your body goes into starvation mode after 8 or so hours of not eating (because you are sleeping!) which actually promotes weight gain. However since becoming a vegan, I have grown to LOVE breakfast. I am a fruit fanatic and I have found so many ways to get my portions of fruits into my breakfast each morning. Now I tend to wake up an hour earlier than I used to, have a shower and get ready then settle down and have breakfast slowly. It is so relaxing and peaceful, gosh, I just love it! 
Anyway so here are a few of the dishes I have been trying out- bear in mind I am a student at school and cooking crazy, complicated things in the morning is just not feasible so these are quick, easy but healthy dishes!

With cooked fruit
First up...porridge oats and berries! This is super quick and easy:
1) Buy any porridge oats (the microwave ones tend to have milk in them, like quakers, so steer clear of those!)
2) Boil the kettle then add boiling water to the porridge oats until they are soft and cooked
3) Add some cold soya milk, as much as you like- depending on how creamy you like your porridge
4) Decorate! Add fresh fruit, dried fruit, chocolate, honey...whatever tickles your taste buds! 
The great thing about porridge is that whilst being really healthy, it never gets boring because you can vary what you put in it so much. Plus, it will keep you full until lunchtime because it has great fibre and carbohydrates, although calories are relatively low, especially compared to sugary breakfast cereals! 
Tip: If cooking with fresh fruit, add it before the hot water so they cook a bit too, they taste much nicer!

Porridge with added strawberries and blueberries

Next on my favourite, quick breakfast dishes is Weetabix chocolate minis/crisp! These ones are a bit of a naughty breakfast but then again, as my mum says, if Weetabix minis are the naughtiest your breakfast gets, you must be pretty damn healthy! Alright so I cannot express my love for these enough. They are HEAVEN IN A BOWL. I love them with cold soya milk and blueberries best but any combination will work, even them on their own or with hot milk for some people! They do not go horribly soggy and fall apart but they do absorb the milk in a way which makes them taste divine. I like to put my milk in first and then add the Weetabix. The one complaint people may have is the amount of calories. They are a cereal so the calories are high and 40g is never enough. However they contain lots of essential vitamins and iron which is so important for vegans and it will keep you full all day so having a 500 calorie breakfast with all those benefits is really a no brainer! 

Heavenly Weetabix minis and blueberries

However for some people the best option in the morning might just be fruit. If you are really not a breakfast type of person and all you can manage is some fruit in the morning then something is always better than nothing at all! Plus, fruit can be delicious and healthy. My personal favourites are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and persimmons (if you have never tried so...NOW) However as these are all seasonal fruits, they can get expensive and so a good old banana or apple slices can go a long way in the morning. 
If you are just sticking to fruit in the morning, why not try a smoothie? I will be posting more about that later, or maybe even adding a yogurt. Adding a soya yogurt (Alpro soya do some fantastic fruit yogurts and low fat plain or vanilla ones for those watching weight) will give you protein, vitamins and calcium which are all essential nutrients in your diet. 
I hope this post makes you want to at least give breakfast a try and that it's shown you breakfast can be low calorie, simple, filling and super tasty with very little effort required! So wake up and have's going to be a great day!

Some of my favourite fruits...yummy...

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