Hello Dear Reader,
Today is the first day of Farmhouse Breakfast Week, which encourages you to Shake Up Your Wake Up!
Apparently 47% of us regularly skip breakfast, even though this is the most important meal of the day. It literally means “break” “fast”, as in to break the fasting your body has had during the night and kick start your metabolism. Eating a breakfast every day has long term benefits, including reducing obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes; giving you energy to start the day; improving memory and concentration; improving your mood; and reducing stress.
So, if you are struggling to lose weight or feel tired and sluggish in the mornings, then breakfast is a must for you!
What to do, though if you really cannot face eating in the mornings? This is where smoothies can really help as they are quick and easy to make and quick and easy to consume too!
Smoothies you can buy in the shops are often packed full of sugar and additives, even the ones that claim to be good-for-you are so heavily processed that a lot of the healthy fruit fibre has been lost and you are, in effect, drinking several spoonfuls of sugar. Take a couple of minutes to blend your own, so you can be sure you are getting lots of nutrients without any nasties.
One of my favourite smoothies is this girly-pink one packed full of berries. Red berries have great health benefits – they are packed full of anti-oxidants; recent research shows they can slow the cognitive decline usually associated with ageing; and compounds in them are being researched for cancer prevention. When ripe berries are frozen quickly after picking, then these nutrients are locked in, so it can be healthier to eat frozen berries than “fresh” ones sold in the supermarket, which are often picked before they are ripe, transported for long distances and sold long after picking time. Frozen berries are so handy to have in the freezer, so you can just plonk a handful into a smoothie to give a cool refreshing drink, without the need for ice.
Berry smoothie recipe
Slice a banana into a blender, add a handful of berries and 100ml milk (preferably a nut milk or skimmed milk). Blend until smooth and foamy. Serve immediately.
If you want this to appeal to kids, then serve it up in a cute milk bottle with a straw.
What sort of milk should you use though? For a long time I thought that skimmed milk was pointless, white-coloured water. Recently I learned that when milk is skimmed to removed the fat, this actually increases the amount of calcium in the remaining milk as it is not diluted by the fat. So skimmed milk actually has more calcium than full-fat milk! This simple piece of knowledge has changed how I look at skimmed milk forever and it is now a regular part of my diet.
What if you don’t want dairy in your diet though? Soy milk is an option, although nutritionists are now saying it can unbalance your body’s hormones. My preference is nut milks – these are made from nuts and water, making nut milks lactose-free, gluten-free and packed full of protein and nutrients. Nut milks are very easy to make and I will show you how tomorrow!
So, tell me dear reader, do you eat breakfast and will you Shake Up Your Wake Up this week?