Gudrun Jonsson, digestion guru and best-selling author of Gut Reaction, tackles breakfast for the time-poor. . .
I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of it one time or another, but if you’ve got a hectic schedule in the morning, the temptation is to skip breakfast. But don’t fall into the trap!
When you sleep, your body is essentially fasting for 7+ hours (if you’re lucky to get that much sleep!). When you wake, your blood sugar will be on the low side because you haven’t eaten for hours. Your body needs to be refuelled.
When you skip a meal, your system will use adrenaline in order to compensate for the food it should be getting in order to keep going. If you start your day skipping breakfast, you are literally running on nervous energy! This can make you anxious, short-tempered, and unable to think clearly. Not a good way to start the day!
For breakfast, one of my favourite fast meals combines yogurt, protein, fibre, and fruit. Yogurt is a great base for a quick breakfast because it’s packed with probiotics that help improve beneficial gut microflora (which is destroyed by antibiotics). Healthy bacteria is key for good health. It helps to metabolise nutrients, vitamins, and the body’s hormones, while giving protection against germs and activating the immune system.
Here are few healthy pointers:
• Always try to choose a plain, unsweetened yogurt—many flavoured yogurts are packed with added sugars. Excess sugar isn’t good for your blood sugar or your waistline, but it also feeds candida (or yeast overgrowth which is common in regular antibiotic users). There are many good non-dairy options such as coconut and soya (non-GM). Alternatively, if you eat animal products, sheep’s yogurt is a good option because you may find it easier to digest than yogurt made with cow’s milk.
• Although yogurt contains protein, the amount varies depending upon the type. I like to add a bit of extra protein because it helps keep hunger pangs at bay. I’ll add seeds, nuts, or some wonderful low GI Nibble (made by a client of mine) which keeps me going until lunchtime.
• Fibre is always included in my breakfast because it not only helps to keep the colon clear, but it’s vital to maintaining even blood sugar. Fibre slows down the absorption of nutrients which helps to reduce blood sugar swings. The bulk of fibre also helps make you feel fuller longer. Nibble, made with antioxidant-rich dried plum purée and gluten free oats, is a great source of fibre. Alternatively, you can sprinkle so oat bran or oat flakes on top.
• A tiny bit of fruit in your yogurt is a great way to lift you when you wake since it helps to top up post-fast low blood sugar. I tend to include fibre-rich fruits like apple, pear or whatever I have in the house!
by Gudrun Jonsson
Digestion guru, best-selling author of GUT REACTION, world-renowned biopath, and Nibble's blood sugar go-to!