Tuesday, November 9, 2010

starting small

Okay. So usually, when I hit a red light, I come up with a plan. It's really fun to do, and amounts to me transforming myself into the most amazing, kind, wonderful, glamorous, creative, productive, intelligent, enviable person alive. Of course, I am yet to become that person... and unfortunately, I know that I never will be - because it is impossible. For anybody. (Yes, even Cate Blanchett, I'm sure, has her faults. Or, at least, that is what I tell myself.) So this time, I am going to start small. Really small.


Eat breakfast.

Easy! And not just any breakfast. A healthy breakfast. Maybe not be the healthiest breakfast in the entire world, but one which provides me with some nutrients and antioxidants, and fills me up until lunchtime (okay, until a mid-morning snack).

You see, I usually miss breakfast. For a multitude of reasons. The first is time. I usually sleep in, which means that I am rushing out of the door and don't have time to rummage around the kitchen, let alone actually sit down to eat a meal. The second is options. Of course, there are a lot of things in my fridge and pantry that I could eat for breakfast, but none of them appear to be particularly appealing - mainly because the early hours of the morning is when I am most determined to be healthy, so white bread or bacon doesn't quite mesh. The third is because I am not very hungry in the mornings, so when I miss breakfast, it doesn't feel like a big deal.

My philosophy is that a nourishing, healthy, pleasurable breakfast will give me a jump start to the day, with the flow-on effects of encouraging me to wake up a little earlier, take a few minutes to read my book (currently The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert, it's captivating) and reflect upon the day ahead (a little more on that later).

The breakfast itself, I stole it from Leo Babauta at Zen Habits. I have been devouring his blog over the last few days. It's wonderful. (Again, more on that later!) Browsing his archives, I came across his post 10 Tasty, Easy and Healthy Breakfast Ideas, the first of which was...

Oatmeal, flaxseed, blueberries & almonds. To me, this is the perfect breakfast. Steel-cut oatmeal is probably the healthier choice, but if you are in a hurry, the instant kind will do fine (it doesn’t have as much fiber, but the other ingredients make up for that). After microwaving the oatmeal, add ground flaxseed, frozen blueberries, sliced almonds. You can add a little cinnamon and honey (not a lot) if you’re using the non-instant oatmeal. That’s four power foods, full of fiber and nutrients and protein and good fats, with only a couple of minutes of prep time. And very tasty!

I have tweaked it a little to suit my own tastes. I have half a packet of oatmeal (the instant kind, but one which contains no sugar... it is also organic and biodynamic, whatever that means*), a handful of fresh blueberries, raw almonds slivers and two finely sliced fresh strawberries. With a tiny drizzle of maple syrup (organic, again... and the vegan alternative to honey). I would love to add flaxseed, as soon as I find some at my local health store. To tell the truth, I had never tried oatmeal before in my life... and on its own, it is a little (a lot) bland. But with the fruit, it is yummy and satiating. As I eat, I read my book and sip on some green tea. Then I round the whole lot off with a litre of water (which I drink slowly, as I am getting ready), using the giant BPA-free water-bottle I stole from Andy. (Just like smaller plates help us to eat less, a giant water-bottle encourages me to drink more.)

So that is my starting point. I will be slowly adding in new things to try, as well as tips and inspirations from others. I'd love to hear your feedback, advice or story, as well.

* Working in the cosmetics industry has left me very dubious about "organic" claims. There is no official body certifying organic products (only ingredients), and often when a brand is labelled "organic" (or "mineral", for that matter), it is often the case that there is only a few ingredients are actually organic, and the rest are just cheap, synthetic fillers. So definitely read the ingredients list itself, if you are concerned about using or eating natural products or foods... My oatmeal contains just oats and sea salt, which I feel safe with.

7 comments:

importantstuffbybec said...

That's just like me, I only recently started eating proper breakfasts. I used to eat either banana bread, chocolate or nothing! You should be able to find flaxseed (the same as linseed) in regular supermarkets - well you can in Syd. Here's a tip: I bought a $15 coffee/spice grinder and use it to grind my flaxseed, it's better than buying it already ground (like LSA) as it expires quickly once opened.

Tara said...

Breakfast is really the best meal of the day! I can't live without it--to the point that I wake up absolutely ravenous, so the first thing I do when I wake up is stagger to the kitchen, and start making breakfast. My boyfriend is always perplexed by this. I love porridge, and healthy cereals like Vita-brits with fresh fruit, nuts, chia seeds, nut butters, etc. I'm naturally a very earlier riser (I can't sleep past five-thirty or six during Summer!), so that helps.

You can definitely buy ground flaxseed or LSA at the supermarkets, too, like importantstuffbybec said, and I've seen organic brands at my Coles. I am a bit lazier and just keep mine in the freezer so it stays fresh.

belsmusings said...

Oh breakfast is my most favourite meal of the day!!! I am a creature of habit, so I have the same day in, day out...2 x weetbix with a handful of honey flavoured weetbix bites. It may be plain and simple but I love it. I wake up starving (and even more so if I hit the gym before breakfast) so it is easily the most satisfying meal of my day :)

Julie Smits said...

Good to hear you're taking time to eat breakfast, I used to replace oatmeal with quinoa, I added goji berries, ground flax, mashed up banana, cinnamon, psyllium husk, ... I've made it with coconut milk as well and added some coconut shavings...

I say used to because now I just have a green juice or smoothie and add some superfoods for a real kick..mostly contains of one apple, celery, sometimes carrots or broccoli, spinach (or another green that's in season), bee pollen, maca, hemp seeds, sometimes goji berries and If I'm going to have a long day I'll add raw cacao. Sometimes I start off with wheatgrass, coconut water and spirulina, followed by a green juice...

In winter I eat an avocado mid-morning, extra fat an all...

Definitely grind your flax seeds at home and keep in the fridge, much more potent that way.

Love, Jules

Jadegrrrl said...

I'm a brekkie gal, love a bowl of weet bix, or yogurt and oats <3

Laura Valerie said...

Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions lovelies! xx

allanah said...

I love breakfast. It's by far my favourite meal of the day. Usually, it's what wakes me up. I love oats and have found if I soak them over night in water and add some milk (usually almond milk for) in the morning they're extra yummy.