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4 Biggest & Most Common Breakfast Mistakes You Really Need to Avoid

biggest breakfast mistakes

Lynda: In my opinion tucking into a highly nutritious breakfast with awareness is crucial for premium health. Through many years of personal and patient experimentation I believe that what and how we choose to ‘break our fast’ can either set us up for a day doused with food cravings, lack of focus, low mood and lethargy or one laced with clear thinking, balanced emotions, balanced blood sugar levels, energy and good digestion.

The following are my top suggestions to consider when deciding whether to indulge in a breakfast fit for a king/queen or one fit for a pauper.

1. Eating Disguised ‘Healthy’ Breakfast Cereals

food myths breakfast cerealIn essence, we are talking about cereals packaged/processed convenience foods. When did pulverising cereal into drinkable poppers and cardboard boxes of weird looking food particles become appealing? Have we moved away from real food that much?

Let me ask you, do you dislike flavours, textures and eating in general? Then why choose food without soul, those that add little or no nutritional value for your body and mind? Food is fuel for the body, but that does not mean we need to disguise it as garden pellets in premium priced cardboard and quickly funnel it into the gob with a straw. 

Highly processed, packaged foods are often rich in toxic chemicals, sugar, inferior carbohydrates, harmful fats and have little or no good quality protein. Want a tired, lack lustre, dull mind and body that struggles to get moving? One that does not comply with your needs and desires, then take the packaged, processed route. If you crave more energy, clearer thinking, a life well lived and dropping dead quickly rather than a life laden with chronic illness and frustration then opt for real food. Food that may take a tiny bit of effort to prepare but fuel that scratches your back and looks after you long term.

Keep it real, stop paying for clever marketing, save your dollars, invest in your health and enjoy what pristine health without illness feels and tastes like… Capish?

2. Adding the Sweet Stuff

biggest breakfast mistakesDid you grow up on toast, jam, muesli, cereal, coloured, flavoured milk, muffins and milo? Me too. Well it was more that I associated breakfast with these kinds of foods. Sweet and often laced with gluten.

When I ask some patients to take the gluten, processed foods and sugar out from their diet, the most common statement expressed is “What the hell will I have for breakfast then?” Why not have a meal that you would have for lunch or dinner for breakfast?

It is not uncommon for me to have a protein source such as a fillet of fish, sardines, mackerel, grass fed lamb, beef etc with vegetables and a healthy fat source. For example sardines with a simple side of avocado, asparagus or spinach. Leftovers from dinner also make a fabulous breakfast option. Last nights grass fed lamb mince and veg casserole makes me a satisfied woman indeed. Change your perception and you’ll have a broader range of fabulous, healthy foods to choose from. It really is that simple. Think outside of that sweet-box, open your palate and start playing with variety.

Does a piece of toast with strawberry jam keep you satiated and focused until lunch time? I didn’t think so. A meal made up like this, with a hefty dose of inferior carbohydrates, sugar, no protein or fat will not provide the fuel needed to support healthy brain function, stabilize your blood sugar levels and will certainly have you ravenous within the next couple of hours.  Put simply your attention and focus will be weak, your mood may be low, your hunger rife and energy unpredictable. Now wouldn’t you rather use that brain fuel on more important things than thinking about how you can satiate your hunger. That to-do-list will never get done now will it? Stabilize your blood sugar with well rounded meal choices and therefore stabilize your mood, energy and cravings.

3. No breakfast

low calorie dietHaving a nutritious breakfast is ideal for a healthy metabolism. If you miss breakfast you might find yourself lacking focus, feeling lethargic and unable to concentrate. You may also find yourself reaching for packaged, processed, convenience meals mid morning or even over consuming during lunch. A recent study has shown that up to 17% of those who ate breakfast did not consume as much food or beverages during lunch.

Missing breakfast leads to unbalanced cravings. Those who skip breakfast tend to consume 40% more sugar during the day and 45% less vegetables. Cravings, high sugar and lack of nutrients will compromise your overall health. You may experience low mood, a foggy mind, poor memory, concentration, weight gain, morbid obesity, digestive issues and chronic, long term illness.

Studies have shown that skipping breakfast causes insulin resistance. This can affect our body’s ability to burn fat for energy and can certainly increase your risk of diabetes. Furthermore it decreases your sensitivity to insulin at your next meal. Which means you would need to make sure that you are consuming low glycaemic index foods at your next meal. Those who eat breakfast have a much lower rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals which protects them from heart disease and diabetes and supports fat loss also.

The body thrives on good nutrition soon after you get up because it has essentially fasted during the night and your glycogen stores are very low. Choose your food wisely. Avoid foods that do not digest and absorb easily, such as processed carbohydrates and sugar. Meals that are rich in fibre, fat and moderate protein are best. Organic eggs, avocado and sweet potato is one example or a smoothie with protein (180 nutrition protein powder is great for this), avocado, coconut water, cacao and berries are great options and will give your body the ammunition it needs to control hunger and cravings.

Food choices like these and having breakfast reverse the bodies desire to store fat because it helps to keep your insulin levels from spiking. Instead the body will use fat for energy. You are better able to manage your health, fitness and weight, your blood sugar can be controlled and you increase the level of your metabolic hormone, incretin which positively impacts your health by decreasing blood glucose levels.

4. Eating on the run

exercise window weight lossScoffing down food or eating whilst the body is literally moving is an enemy of digestion. Personally  I struggle with this one. Just call me hoover… a Dyson perhaps. If you are anything like me you are often in a “syhurry” (sydney-hurry), early work starts, early yoga session, early meetings and excitable, overachieving ant in pant syndrome that has been there for years.

The process of chewing is an extremely important part of digestion. Chewing allows big particles of food to be broken down into smaller particles that your body can absorb and use. To shirk on proper chewing is no different to starting a game of rugby without the kick off. Gasp! I shudder at the thought? The entire game would be cursed. Minimal chew means cursed digestion and elimination.

Foods that are not broken down well enter the blood stream and can cause a wide range of health problems. These undigested particles can also feed harmful bacteria and fungi. Your body retains much more nutrients if you chew more and less is lost.

Chewing slowly will help you maintain a healthy weight. Your brain will have enough time (generally around 20 minutes) to communicate with the stomach that it is full. As a result you are less likely to over-consume and have more control over your portion sizes.

Taking the time to chew your food properly improves your digestion in many ways. Your saliva contains digestive enzymes, such as lingual lipase which helps break down fats. Exposing the food you eat to these enzymes support the digestive processes in your stomach and small intestine. Saliva also lubricates food which makes its passage through your esophagus easier. The process of chewing predigests and liquefies your food into smaller particles, making it easier to digest for use in your body. 

Improperly chewed foods require a lot of energy to be broken down and is quite demanding on the body. Large particles of improperly chewed food may remain undigested when it enters your intestines. These particles will putrefy (rot) and lead to a host of digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea, bad breath, pain and cramping.

Just the simple act of spending an extra 5 minutes when eating your meal can make a big difference.

In summary, if you would like to welcome more energy, vitality and overall good health into your life I suggest breaking your fast with a highly nutritious meal and enjoying every morsel for at least a month. Reap the rewards and no doubt you’ll create a new habit that your body and mind will thank you for.

Lynda Griparic NaturopathLynda is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry.

Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

Discover more healthy recipes here

Are Microwave Ovens Safe?

are microwave ovens safe?

By 180 Nutrition

Guy: In all honesty I haven’t used a microwave oven in years, and I get by very easily without one. It does bug me though when I want to heat up my wheat bag and put it on my aching muscles.

After our recent interview on EMF pollution, I’m much more cautious when it comes to anything that has a contentious dark side.

There are always two arguments when it comes to any topic like this, just like saturated fat vs low fat theory. Conventional wisdom says eat low fat for heart health yet I eat saturated fat for heart health. I do my homework, apply these practices and it works for me. My point is, I certainly encourage people to do their homework, with microwave ovens being no different.

Myself or Stu are no experts in microwave technology, but we don’t use them and here’s why. Should you use them? Up to you, but it’s always good to explore reasons for/against and go from there. More

When to eat bananas

when to eat bananas

Guy: As you can imagine we get a lot of email enquiries. Can I eat fruit if I’m on a weight loss plan? Is it possible that bananas make me fat? Is it ok to eat bananas whilst I’m trying to lose weight? You get the gist of it right… So it has inspired me to right this post.

First of all, I eat bananas. I not only eat them I enjoy them. So this is not a banana bashing post. But in saying that, I only eat them on certain occasions, and for me it’s all about personal circumstances (weight loss/weight gain) and timing.

Nutritional value to consider

One large banana, say 7 inches will contain roughly 30g of carbohydrates, 3g of fibre, 2g of protein and 0.5g of fat, along with multiple vitamins and minerals (including high content of potassium) to boot. If you want to know exactly what’s in the banana click here.

Out of those 30g of carbohydrates 6-8g will be fructose. (I wrote an in-depth article on fructose here).

Light Bulb moment #1! Carbohydrate when ingested raises blood sugar. That banana is the equivalent to 5-6 teaspoons of sugar, with 1-2 of those being fructose.

 
So where am I going with this?

With the basic nutritional values above lets look at how they can be applied to different circumstances.

I’m trying to lose weight

From my experience, anyone I see who is trying to lose a few kgs/lbs generally has a fairly high carbohydrate diet.

Light Bulb moment #2! Every time you eat mainly carbs, you will create an insulin response. And whilst there is insulin being produced you will not be able to burn body fat. So if you are going to remember one thing, remember that.

 
The nutrient packed banana is carb heavy. When you compare them to fresh strawberries it’s over four times the amount of carbs. So the first thing I’d say would be to add up how many carbs you are eating in a day and then factor the banana in. It soon adds up! And the other thing to remember is activity levels. If you are living a fairly inactive daily routine, then the amount of carbs matters even more.

My weight loss tip -

If you are not sure, eat berries/strawberries instead as they have a lower carbohydrate sugar/fructose content.

If you are wanting bananas, have half instead mixed in a smoothie with more protein and fat (personally I throw in half an avocado with my smoothie along with 180 protein supplement). By doing this you will slow the insulin response down which of course is better for weight loss. The other option is to eat some nuts along with half a banana whilst snacking, as this will have the same effect.

Exercising and trying to lose weight

Personally I’d stick to the same principles as I’ve mentioned above until you reach your ideal weight goals. I’d also include a weight training program with a minimum of twice a week. This will help improve muscle mass and control insulin levels better due to better muscle glycogen storage.

It’s enough to drive you bananas

What do I do? I generally throw in half a banana in my smoothies as mentioned above, and I’ll often have a full banana after an intense CrossFit session to help replenish glycogen stores. Now bare in mind I train 4-6 days a week and I’m not looking to lose weight. My body fat sits around 10-12% and I’m happy with that. But if I decided I would like to get my abs popping out for whatever reason, I’d probably let the humble banana go for a while.

So what should you do? That’s for you to decide, but hopefully the few things I mentioned above have helped.

Would love to hear your thoughts… Do you eat them? Fructose? Fruit?

When do you eat bananas?… Guy

On a side note: I truly enjoy writing these posts, hence our frequent blog posts. At the end of the day though, these are just my thought’s and feelings around a topic I’m passionate about. I encourage everyone to do their own research and check out the facts for themselves.

If you did enjoy the post and got something from it or have something to share on the topic, I would love to hear your thought’s in the comments section below. If you feel others would benefit from this then it would be great if you could share it using one of the icons below (Facebook etc). Cheers, Guy…

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Protein Supplement Nutritional Facts

Protein Supplement Nutritional FactsProtein supplement nutritional facts are often misunderstood with so many options available on the market today. In this article we’ll look at Whey Protein Supplements and it’s benefits and help you gain a better understanding of which product is right for you.

Protein supplements serve as a dietary source of amino acids. After exercise our body requires amino acids to help build the repair and maintenance of body tissues.

Consuming whey protein supplements offer the benefits of supplying high nutritional value and branched chain amino acids (BCAA). These amino acids are essential as they are part of the muscle protein. BCAA’s may assist in preserving muscle glycogen stores and also help reduce the amount of protein breakdown during/after exercise.

Whey protein supplements will generally fall into the following three categories. WPI (Whey protein isolate), WPC (whey protein concentrate) and whey protein blends (which is combination of the two). WPC supplements are generally the cheapest and have the highest levels of fat and lactose due to the milk solids that are included. Whey protein isolate powders have the most amount of protein per serving with very few carbohydrates, lactose and fat.

In short Grass-fed WPI (whey protein isolate) is the highest quality protein giving you the most protein per serve with the least amount of calories. This form of protein is ideal for both muscle building and fat loss and can assist as part of a healthy balanced diet. Hopefully by now your protein supplement nutritional facts are starting to make more sense and you will now be able to make the choice that is right for you.

At 180 Nutrition we use Grass-fed Whey Protein Isolate which comes from happy pasture fed cow together with the additional ingredients listed here.

Order your sample of 180 Natural Protein Superfood here.