To those who know me it’s never a shock to see me winding down for bed at a time before many students have even finished their pre-drinks. Whilst part of this is perhaps my tendency to act like an old man, the main reason is that I honestly live for waking up early and spending an hour or two over breakfast. The morning is important to me, being up quite early allows me a bit of tranquillity to ease into the day with. There’s not much like hearing the birds go about their worm-hunting, the sounds of newspapers dusting against the floors and having that kitchen all to yourself, with the latest Impact in hand or your favourite morning show on the radio, and not a digital screen in sight. With this in mind, I felt obliged to ask the relatively newly appointed senior members and head of lifestyle to join me in showcasing our favourite breakfasts – whilst dipping into each opinion and suggesting how to possibly incorporated this into a typically healthy day of eating.
Elle Magill (Head of Lifestyle)’s Cinammon Porridge with Dried Mango and Dark Chocolate.
Porridge doesn’t need to be boring: you can quite literally spice up your breakfast by making a delicious cinnamon porridge. Top this with dried mango (one of your five a day) and dark chocolate as a healthier alternative to milk chocolate, it’s packed with antioxidants and the perfect rich indulgence for your morning!
100g rolled porridge oats
½ tsp cinnamon
4 tsp brown sugar
450ml skimmed milk
50g Dark chocolate
100g Dried Mango
In a saucepan mix the oats, cinnamon, sugar and milk together and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
Turn down the heat and cook for 4-5 mins, stirring it throughout.
Spoon into a bowl and add the mango and dark chocolate on top.
Porridge is perhaps the perfect dish for a slow-release of energy. Oats are a fantastic regulator of blood sugars and the addition of some fruit and the high-fat, anti-oxidant rich dark chocolate is more than okay eaten earlier in the day where your body has the world of time to burn it off. Having modestly sized meals with this will make it manageable for all diets.
Poppy Anne Malby (Artistic Director)’s Green Goddess Smoothie Bowl
Smoothie bowls are super easy to whip up and you only really need two main ingredients — banana and a nut milk of your choice. Banana helps to create a creamier consistency, so you can use a spoon for the meal rather than a straw. I always try to add some extra veggies to reduce the sugar ratio whilst increasing the nutritional value and fullness of the dish. Breakfast should be the most important meal of the day, after all!
Greens and oats are a great source of protein for vegans/vegetarians and as carb-based products they are also perfect for post-workout recovery and slow-release energy. I’ll admit I am no way a vegan and I’m in awe of those who can live life without eggs but this recipe is a fab one for meat eaters and herbivores alike (we all know you can never have too many greens).
I also add a big scoop of nut butter gives you some additional protein, fibre and some of those essential good fats as these replenish the hours you’ve spent sleeping and not eating, whilst providing long lasting energy up until lunch time (and of course, nut butter is just an amazing addition to any meal where possible).
To make this, all you have to do is blend all the following ingredients together, pour into a bowl and add some toppings!
1 banana (the spottier the better)
2 balls frozen spinach or kale
1 handful of frozen blueberries
1 tsp of spirulina (my fave is by Naturya)
1 (heaped) tsp of nut butter
A splash of coconut water, or few chunks of cucumber (or both!)
1/2 a cup of unsweetened almond milk (the more you add, the thinner your smoothie bowl gets so experiment slightly)
About 1/2 a cup of oats.
No worries if you don’t have any of the frozen ingredients, you can use fresh and add a couple of ice cubes.
After pulsing this away into a smooth consistency of the desired thickness, you can get funky with your toppings to make your bowl is pretty enough for the instagram. Here are some of my faves:
more nuts (preferably blanched or Californian almonds)
As Poppy has justified, this is a rich, nutrient heavy breakfast that can bring the perfect start to your day. However it is best to remember that this healthy and quite liquidy dish would contain a fair whack of calories and fats especially with the additional toppings. If you are hoping to keep an eye on these attributes then having a lighter lunch and evening meal should help strike a great balance. Eating plenty of pulses, vegetables and leaner meats with this breakfast is going to set your body up in the best possible way as they will help you feel fuller due to their more solid structure.
Ben Baruch (Print Editor)’s Anything Sandwich, or Scrambled Egg and Sausage.
I personally find it hard to answer the question of ‘what do you have for breakfast’ as I normally wake up in the afternoon. However, going off the technicality that my first meal of the day is still breakfast then I’ll do one of the following.
If I am in a rush, breakfast is whatever is in the fridge, between two pieces of bread. I’m lucky if it’s ham, less lucky if it’s milk (we think this is a joke?). With more time on my hands however, I will make myself my coveted sausage and scrambled egg combo.
To make this, start by frying up two pork and apple sausages. When cooked, cut the sausages into circular chunks and then crack two eggs into the same pan and scramble them until cooked.
Whilst the sort of beige mess that results wont be claiming any Michelin Stars in the future, it’s a delicious start to the day, and sufficiently filling to tide me over until lunch at one.
This is a fairly rich but protein heavy breakfast. In order to incorporate this healthily perhaps ensure that saturated fats are minimized throughout the rest of the day and that you opt for some for of carbohydrates around lunch to give your body the energy it needs. Also, as always adding a good amount of vegetables to the evening meal will be ideal.
Connor Higgs (Editor in Chief)’s Eat-like-the-boss Cereal
My breakfast in the morning has to be quick and filling, something I can scoff down with as little fuss as possible to be able to get along with my day. The answer has always been a generous portion of Shreddies, with Semi-Skimmed milk.
Connor reminds us that we shouldn’t out-rule a simple cereal. When eaten sensibly they pack carbs and semi skimmed milk offers a little dose of sugars that will keep you occupied until lunch. Just be sure to get the plate looking leaner and greener from therein!
Nicolas Caballero (Online Editor)’s Eggs N’ Stuff
Like Ben, I’m usually having breakfast in the afternoon. When eventually greeting the day however, my go-to breakfast is usually eggs, done as pleased, with whatever additional protein I can find. This will usually be leftover meat, sausages, chicken or some baked beans.
This protein rich meal is not dissimilar to Ben’s but it shows a sense of variety. Perhaps using chicken instead of Sausages most days, or even using Baked Beans or Chickpeas can make this breakfast healthier to have on the daily basis. Opt for poached eggs where you have a few extra minutes.
Rhys Thomas (Lifestyle Editor)’s Toasted Grapefruit and Oranges with a Coconut and Cacao Muesli.
Typically, I’ll have some hybrid between Elle and Poppy’s dishes. A porridge (made with a protein powder and water) packed with seeds, nuts, nut butter and fruit. A hefty meal perhaps, but do make sure to eat my bigger meal for breakfast as my stomach is usually least impressed with the entire night of foodless activity, and it also helps ensure I am burning off my energy throughout the day. However, when I’m feeling a little more indulgent with my breakfast (and when student finance permits) I’ll make my Toasted Grapefruit and Oranges with a Coconut and Cacao Muesli.
This, in perhaps a bias way more than any other, begins by making a large filter coffee and a multivitamin. Without a good dose of the black stuff I find it hard to ease my way into a day. Coffee is healthy when used sensible, and especially when taken without sugar or milk and it has endless varieties of tastes and textures. To compliment this dish (and I am being serious) opt for something quite full bodied with notes of cherry (the packaging should assist you with this) – I usually go for a single origin coffee from Ethiopia.
Pretentious caffeine out of the way for this time: To begin, preheat the grill to the highest setting. Then, peel one pink grapefruit and two oranges (I like to use blood oranges) and slice into centimeter-thick rings. Add a tiny layer of maple syrup or a sprinkle brown sugar (probably a half a table spoon of the latter between all of the fruit) to the fruit and dot with a bit of coconut oil. Then simply grill until the fruit is lightly browned. Place this on a plate.
To finish spoon some high-protein yoghurt as liberally or generously as pleased on the side of the plate (I use Alpro’s new ‘Go On’ yoghurt, but the full fat Total Greek Yoghurt works perfectly also), top this with about 15g of jumbo oats, some chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond butter, mulberries, coconut shavings and cacao nibs. Try getting a few of the eight daily glasses of water in too if you can!
Whilst a relatively balanced meal, containing good sources of proteins, fats and sugars, this is certainly a big breakfast and is best suited to, again, having a light lunch with a focus on a good source of carbohydrates and lean protein, followed by a dinner of Quorn (or lean meats) and green vegetables.
So that’s what some of us rely on in the mornings to bring you the quality content you deserve. What do you eat?
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Recipes by Elle Magill, Poppy Anne Malby, Ben Baruch, Connor Higgs, Nicolas Caballero, and Rhys Thomas
Words collated and Edited by Rhys Thomas
Image courtesy of Madeline Wright via Flickr. License here