Have we reached that point where it’s acceptable to have a mince pie for breakfast yet? Seriously, I have been known to do this in the past (and they are technically fruit-based). I don’t believe in holding back at Christmas, it’s definitely a time for indulgence but I also feel like I’ve ‘earned’ that general scoff-fest more if I’ve tried to eat fairly healthily in the run up. It’s really hard during the cold, dark days of winter when you just want carbs, sugar, fat and more carbs. But I’ve been trying something recently that’s helped to get my mornings off to a better start.
So instead of my usual butter/jam-laden toast or pain-au-chocolat for breakfast, I’ve been trying to eat more cereal. And I don’t mean the sugary ones either – I may still feel like a teenager but even I can’t justify cocoa pops (and I’m trying to set a good example to the kids). So muesli and granola is the order of the day (which I love) and I add a sprinkle of omega seed mix and some chia seeds (from any local health food shop).
I’ve also been reviewing this new Optiwell yoghurt drink – have you seen it? It comes in small grab-and-go sizes for snacking as well as larger cartons to store in the fridge. As with most yoghurty stuff, it contains calcium and is high in protein but Optiwell has no fat or added sugar and is only 64 calories a glass. So it seemed like the obvious addition to my breakfast, to bulk up my cereal instead of milk.
It comes in two flavours; Strawberry & Raspberry and Peach & Apricot, which are two of my fave fruit combos anyway and complemented my brekkie nicely, adding a much-needed fruity boost while filling me up a bit more. I also tried the yoghurt drink on its own but I have to say, I could detect the taste of artificial sweetener more easily this way so combining the drinks with other foods was definitely the way to go for me.
As I am a home-based worker most of the time, I don’t worry too much about having snacks on me when I’m out and about but when I used to work in an office I was forever leaving the house without breakfast and then snacking (unhealthily) mid-morning or worse, going without until lunchtime. However, my husband Greig grabbed a couple of the 330ml bottles to take to work with him and said he found them really useful and liked the taste, so it’s a case of whatever works for you.
I think one of the key things for me though is that it’s important to make space and time for breakfast and to make a bit of song and dance about it. I fully appreciate that I am fortunate enough to be able to faff around at home pimping my breakfast bowl with bits and pieces but this is what works for me. If I’ve taken a bit of extra time and effort creating a bowl of healthy goodness that looks and tastes nice, I feel like I’ve got the day off to a decent start even if I do eat something less healthy later. Oh and I should just point out that my day is always punctuated with large amounts of caffeine when I should be drinking water/herbal teas – always trying to work on that one!
In my experience, it’s easier to eat healthily if you’ve got more of the good stuff in the cupboard than the not so good stuff (I refuse to label foods as bad, dirty or naughty). So whether you’re at home or on the go, my advice is to arm yourself with an artillery of healthy stuff and you’re half way there.
Having some of this Optiwell drink in my fridge certainly made it easier to make one or two small changes to my diet as well as few ‘better’ choices when it came to snacking. Hey, it’s not going to change your life but it all helps. And come Christmas morning when you’re eating Quality Street before 9am you might not feel quite so guilty (though really, no one should feel guilty on Christmas day right?).
What’s in your breakast bowl?
Disclosure: collaborative post