I read in Stylist a few weeks ago (Jan 20th) that one of the health trends for 2016 is eating salad for breakfast. This was no surprise to me as I've been doing that for the past three years, pretty much since I met my now husband, who's a personal trainer. On our first date we chatted mainly about health and fitness, both being in the profession, and making it feel somewhat like I was interviewing him for an article. After showing me his muscle release 'trick' – pushing into a spot on my elbow, which really frikin hurt, to free off the tightness in my neck – I remember vividly him chastising me for eating porridge most mornings. 'But surely it's the healthiest option, what with all that fibre, and I add loads of seeds, cinnamon and some fruit to it,' I declared, defending what had been my go-to brekkie choice for at least five years. 'No, it doesn't contain any protein, so it won't fill you up and you'll be hungry again within a few hours,' came his reply. Apparently the fruit only made it worse because it was adding quick-release carbs. So what should I be eating, I asked? The same as him: eggs, nuts and, wait for it...steak. This is apparently the holy grail of breakfasts according to the gospel of Charles Poliquin, the Olympic strength and conditioning coach under whom my then first date, and now husband, trained. 'You have to have protein, it's the only way.'
I started mulling it over and thinking out loud... 'Actually, maybe you have a point – I am always hungry again by around 10am,' I conceded. 'Ah ha, so you're saying I'm right?!' he leapt in, clearly keen to claim victory over this minor 'argument', for want of a better word, over the king of breakfasts (and, I might add, setting the competitive tone for the rest of our relationship).
To test his theory, which according to him wasn't theory but hard fact, the next morning I ate scambled eggs with tinned sardines (yes, I was at my house. No he didn't stay over - I just wanted to clarify that). My food shopping habits had not changed an awful lot since university, meaning I ate very little meat as the decent stuff was expensive, so relied on tinned fish and tofu (I don't eat that anymore but that's another story...). And yes, before you say anything, I now know tinned fish has far fewer, if any, omegas in it than fresh or frozen but we all learn as we go along. But it was a huge improvement over bowl of Cheerios or, I hardly dare write it, Golden Grahams *cringe*. It pains me as a health and wellbeing journo to think I used to scoff bowlfuls of sugar-filled, wheat-based boxed cereals, and with semi skimmed milk too – the worst! – not even full fat. I'll write more on milk at a later date. Oh the horrors I was unknowingly and unwittingly doing to my body.
And if you think it's abnormal to be eating something that looks more
like a lunch or dinner for your first meal of the day, consider that it
was only in the middle of the last century that breakfast cereals really
became popular. Human's did not evolve eating sugary bowls of grains,
and certainly not the modified glutinous versions around now, which are
harmful not only to those with coeliac disease but everyone because they
create microscopic tears in your intestines, leading, some believe, to
leaky gut (find out more about this here Dr Mercola).
This little fishy...
But back to the fish. While it seemed plain wrong to be eating a tin of sardines for breakfast, I had to admit that, combined with the eggs, it did keep me fuller for longer throughout the morning. Perhaps he was right after all *groan*. And so as my romantic life burgeoned fairly rapidly, despite the contiual spats over who was right and wrong, so too did my new relationship with savoury breakfasts. When at home, my usual choice is two scrambled eggs, yolks and all – none of this egg-white omlette nonsense that was popular years ago, the yolk is where the good stuff's at! – a few slices of smoked salmon or gradvalax – sugar-free where possible but it's hard to find – and some lightly blanched kale or sprouting broccoli. Oh, and a drizzle of olive or walnut oil over the top to boost the fat content, and perhaps an avocado. (If you want to know why eating fat is the best thing for health not to mention losing, not gaining weight, check out Mark Hyman's new book Eat Fat Get Thin, which comes out next week. It's the latest in a slew of books advocating eating healthy fats).
For his breakfast, my husband will cook a steak, ostrich meat or venison burgers, usually with cashew nuts, and I'll inevitably steal a few strips. If I'm eating breakfast at work, which is often the case during the week, I'll inevitably have mixed salad leaves – think rocket, watercress and the like – with one of those new boiled egg pots (thank God supermarkets have cottoned on to that. You can buy them in M&S, Tesco and, of course, places like Leon and Pret) and either tinned or smoked mackrel. My colleagues have gotten used to seeing me eat this unusual savory concoction... although I'm not sure they're entirely used to, or pleased about, the fishy smell.
I'll admit I feel slighly smug that my savoury breakfast thing is now becoming
mainstream. Not that I invented it of course, but it's nice to feel
ahead of the health curve, especially with something I write/read about it all day
every day. With the dangers of sugar continuing to be revealed, it convinces me more and more that eating largely a Paleo-style diet not just for breakfast but all day is the way to go. And with that, I'm off to work to eat some mackrel...
What Katy Louise Did...
- Katy Louise
- Katy Louise writes about health, wealth, happiness and relationships, and the spiritual insights she gains along her path. She is currently editor of Top Sante magazine (www.topsante.co.uk). Prior to that she was editor of Bodyfit magazine (now Your Fitness www.yourfitnesstoday.com) and the launch editor of Soul&Spirit magazine (www.soulandspiritmagazine.com). Katy is also a certified Fitsteps and STOTT Pilates instructor. She is the go-to girl for all matters relating to health, wellbeing and spirituality.