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The Habit That Makes Us A Bit...

The Habit That Makes Us A Bit...

Sunday 30th April 2017

Day 6 of the 7 Steps to Improve Your Mood and we're nearing the end! Hopefully there will be something you have read over the past week that has inspired you to pick up some new habits and knowledge to build a happier mind.

Speaking of habits, today I wanted to consider one of the nations bad habits. One we have ALL guaranteed to have experienced in our lives, some more regularly than others - and that's the BAD habit of skipping breakfast.

Hear me out, before you roll your eyes and sigh- "Here we go again. I know I should be eating breakfast but I just can't eat anything first thing and/or I just don't have time". I am not going to embark on a long lecture today as I am sure with the modern day food reports we seem to hear day in and day out about what's good for us and what's bad for us, the breakfast thing has surely been done to death! However, I would like to venture in to providing a list of issues you may be subject to, or aware of...

1 - You consider yourself over weight
2 - You get a little low and feel guilty when you give in to mid morning snacks
3 - You feel a little slow in the morning, not quite as productive as you feel you ought to.
4 - You are disappointed with your food choices quite regularly during the day and take part in a little bit of negative self talk - this sometimes needs to be resolved or comforted by a few more bad food choices!

If you feel you may relate to any of the above, it maybe worth re-visiting the Breakfast Police recommendations and find ways to change your morning habits. When you regularly miss this meal or sometimes reach for something that is quick and requires no thought (you know what that is - the dreaded box of CEREAL!) you set yourself up for a day potentially full of "catch up" and your mood? Maybe a little irritable? Agitated?

If you ran your car out of fuel (bear with me here) and I mean totally out of fuel, when you re-filled it, it may take a bit more effort to get things going again. It may be a little jittery, unpredictable and unreliable until it's settles again, it may even need a bit of fine tuning or extra attention - well, we could see your body a little like that. You go to bed and for some period of time your body is gently using its fuel. It's repairing and re-building, hey, it needs a fair few calories just to keep you alive through the night! Would it be any surprise that when you wake up, you may have the fuel reserve light on which means...re-fuel time.

When you decide to drag yourself out of bed and head for a brief regime of shower, dress, pack and leave for your day/errands as quickly as you can, with a scolded throat from the coffee you didn't even manage to drink properly, you would have passed your fuel reserve limit before you probably get to work/where you are headed. Give me a little credit if some of the next events sound familiar -

There doesn't feel like a a lot of productivity going on so you then decide you need another coffee, a headache is forming, you didn't quite manage enough caffeine before you left for your day so it must be that which is causing the problem. You finish a good strong mug, it seems to work and you go about your day. Mid morning arrives and suddenly the biscuits are out, the snack bags are being rustled, if you're out you seem to be drawn towards the wrong shelves in the petrol station or supermarket. Hey, you didn't eat breakfast so you feel like you deserve that biscuit, croissant, bag of crisps, or granola bar that has a day's serving of sugar, in one mouthful! Or anything that's going to give you a fast hit of something, anything, your body is crying out for fuel!

Lunch becomes the next issue, you're not sure what to eat but your body is saying "get me something now". Like a car, it has been run completely dry and now it's struggling to get going properly, it's spluttering and won't be running efficiently for a while. Lunch could now become a poor choice of starchy carbohydrate, high sugars, salty or fatty foods (all that seem to fill a gnawing feeling in our stomachs quickly) and as you consume your lunch, it is already in place - your afternoon wall of fatigue and irritability will be totally unavoidable. And so the cycle begins again.

I strive at all times to keep clients up beat, positive, motivated and happy. These clients have the most success. They make good choices, they are proud of these decisions and they have a whacking great momentum behind them that just keeps them going, even when they have had a blow out for any reason. They are usually the ones consuming breakfasts. They are usually the ones that then continue on a good footing through out the day, giving their bodies the best quality fuel, making it work to its best. The results: A happy mind.

So, back to the start of the day; if you are someone who can't or won't eat breakfast, I will guarantee, most of you will not be doing your body and mind justice. How about taking this bad habit (and research and studies have been proven to show that it is factually a bad habit) and giving it a bit of a shake up? A little poke: Maybe just make a little effort just from curiosity?

You Can't Eat Breakfast?
Try something small and light. Maybe aim for a breakfast smoothie, there are so many recipes out there so choose something you like the sound of. Get a protein powder in there, or seeds and oats and try to avoid some of the really sugary fruits, opting for vegetables when you can find them palatable - you will find they give you much less of a sugar high to crash down from later. How about making a batch of low sugar fruit or savory muffins? Freeze them and just take one or two with you for the car. Add some seeds to the mix to get more protein packed in.

You Just Don't Have Time For Breakfast
I could be really harsh here and say - set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier. Those 15 minutes of lost sleep certainly won't be felt after eating a proper breakfast. In fact, you will feel much more energized! How can you pass on that?

I'm Not Organised Enough And Just Eat Cereal
Get organised then. If you know time is short in the morning and you really don't want the hassle of having to consider a meal, then prepare the night before. The overnight oat recipes about now are so imaginative you could probably find 3-4 recipes that appeal to your tastes. Soak oats and/or seeds and nuts over night in any milk you have. Stir through nut butters, grated apple or any fruit, toasted coconut, no-sugar jams, cocoa nibs or anything else that will get you to look forward to filling up in the morning.

I do have recipes on the website to help - the breakfast wrap is a quickie, filled with ricotta, honey, blueberries and banana. Or fry an egg whilst you're boiling the kettle, spread some mild tomato salsa/low sugar ketchup in to a warmed wrap, roll the egg up in it and off you go. There a lot of quick options that you can prepare ahead - in particular the Blueberry Bake on the website, which is my new favourite; topped with a dollop of coconut yoghurt.

I hope I have maybe given you a different angle to consider on the breakfast front. It should be at least 20% of your daily calories and I would like to finally add that if you are someone who likes to "save up those calories" for a brunch/lunch nosebag, consider those choices you make at that sitting. The same as a "fasting diet regime", you shouldn't embark on a rampage of catch up. It certainly erases the benefits!

I am going to leave these thoughts with you for now. As a Coco Pop fanatic many moons ago, my breakfast regime is one now that fuels me for the day. It provides me with the strength, both mentally and physically to continue making good choices and my mood? I strive to make the most of everyday ☺