Warming up with breakfast!
For an easier transition from the warmth of your bed to the cold winter air, make sure you warm up with a good breakfast.
In winter, getting out from under the duvet can be quite a wrench... Once you’ve succeeded in getting out of your cosy bed, the weather forecast on the radio says it all: it's cold out there!
To face the chilly air serenely and stick your nose outside without instantly shivering, your body needs calories in order to maintain its internal temperature... thanks to, (you’ve guessed it!), breakfast!
Here are some tips to help you get into good breakfast habits, boosting your energy levels and helping to keep the cold at bay!
The history of breakfast
The term “breakfast” first appeared during the mid-15th century, and means literally what it says: the meaning signifies “breaking fast”. It sums up the importance of breaking a night-time fast that is at least seven hours long. The body functions 24/7, and uses up energy even at night when activity is reduced.
In order to optimise the benefits of this important meal, you need to turn your attention to what you’re eating at breakfast. Ideally, breakfast should cover 25%-30% of your daily energy needs. To be nutritionally balanced, it should ideally include a warming drink, fresh fruit, a dairy product (or non-dairy equivalent) and cereal or bread.
- Hot drink: This is an essential. Not only does it hydrate you but it will also warm you up. From the first gulp of tea, hot chocolate or coffee, an agreeable sensation of well being will spread through your whole body.
- Fresh fruit: This is a great ally. A whole orange or orange juice, mandarin, kiwi, apples, bananas... even if in winter the choice is more limited than during summer, the presence of fruit proves to be particularly necessary. Rich in fibre, vitamins and micro-nutrients, especially antioxidants, fruit gives you energy and fights against free radicals, responsible for ageing. It’s the perfect medicine to keep your body in fighting form.
- Grains and cereals: These are the building block of breakfast. Bread, toast or cereal, these foods are rich in slow-burning carbohydrates and supply the body with the energy it needs for morning activities. You can have a little, a lot or a massive amount of this breakfast essential... it’s up to you how you adapt the quantities according to your appetite and metabolism.
- Dairy: This is another absolute essential. Milk, yoghurt and cheese contribute to the body’s supply of calcium, necessary for healthy bones, and they also provide the body with high quality proteins. For those with milk allergies, make the most of non-dairy plant-based milks and soya cheese and yoghurts, as well as unsalted raw nuts.
A balanced breakfast is the surest way of making sure you don’t crack and go straight for pastries and chocolate bars, full of fat, excess sugar and low in vitamins and minerals. The absence of micro-nutrients in your breakfast cannot be compensated for in any other meal and you’ll leave home with a deficiency that will last all day long!
Take your time over breakfast
Despite its numerous virtues, breakfast is all too often a quick rush or forgotten about completely. There are two main culprits in the dock: lack of time and lack of appetite. A little lesson in good sense for those who never have enough time is to set aside 15 to 20 minutes for breakfast.
Breakfast is a time to respect and becomes even more necessary when you have children to get them into healthy lifetime habits. So that worrying about getting to school late doesn’t prevent your children from eating their toast calmly, you need to be strict about getting up in the morning.
For little ones, breakfast can be little complicated if they suffer from intolerances or allergies to lactose or wheat. There are numerous children, for example, who don't digest milk well. In these cases, you should try semi-skimmed or lactose-free milk or go for good quality bifidus yoghurts. You'll also need to experiment with other gluten-free grains and ricecakes are an alternative for breakfast too.
Try to wait as long as possible between waking up and eating breakfast to give your hunger the time to kick in. Often, it takes half an hour to forty five minutes before both little ones and adults will start to feel hungry. As for those who really don't have time to wait for morning hunger to kick in, why not have a tea or coffee at home and take fruit and yoghurt to work with you.
Warming breakfast suggestions
- Country breakfast: A mug of milk coffee a soft-boiled egg with slices of buttered wholemeal toast + a slice of ham or a piece of cheese+ an apple
- City breakfast: A mug of tea or coffee + a bowl of wholegrain cereal with warm milk + a glass of orange juice
- English breakfast: A mug of tea or coffee, a wholemeal muffin with cottage cheese + a pear or a bowl steaming porridge made with milk, with stewed apple
With these breakfasts, the weather can stay as cold as it likes; you’ll always be ready to face it!
Copyright © 2011 Doctissimo
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