Ahealthy breakfast might not be the first thing on your mind over Christmas, but nutritionists warn that skipping it can lead to problems later in the day.
Rachel Jessey, who runs Lee-on-the-Solent based BeNourished, says a protein-rich start to the day will put you in tip-top condition and ensure you have plenty of energy for a hectic but happy time.
The nutritionist, who also works from Stubbington Natural Health Clinic and the Remedi Clinic in Southsea, says: ‘I think that’s a really important point to make – a lot of people think “I just won’t eat breakfast in the morning and I can pig out later” but that’s counter-productive.
‘If you skip breakfast you’ll be much hungrier later. You get up, do the presents and by 10 or 11 you haven’t eaten.
‘Your blood sugar levels just crash down more quickly and before you know it you’re grabbing a box of chocolates and eating the lot – or more than you would have done.’
The temptations are all around at this time of year, says Rachel, and while you’re bound to want to indulge, it’s a good idea to give yourself a healthy kick-start ready for the festivities ahead.
Rachel recommends a protein shake using Kara coconut milk, one to two teaspoons of almond nut butter or peanut butter, some raspberries, a teaspoon of honey and maybe some cacao beans, spinach and avocado.
‘You need something with proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates,’ says Rachel.
If you’d rather have a more traditional breakfast, she recommends scrambled egg on wholemeal toast, yoghurt with low sugar granola and fruit or even a cooked breakfast – using lean bacon and poached egg and adding grilled tomatoes for some extra goodness.
She recommends steering clear of many cereals because they tend to be loaded with sugar and are then the cause of hunger later in the day.
Exceptions are Shredded Wheat and Weetabix.
And if you’ve been partying on Christmas Eve, a nutritious breakfast is even more important, says Rachel.
She doesn’t promise it as a hangover cure but says her recommended options are more likely to put you on the path to good health.