I know what it is like for busy riders. If breakfast is consumed it is something quick and simple that is often lacking in nourishing ingredients. Cereal, toast, biscuits or even simply a cup of tea or coffee tend to be the ‘go to’ staples, but this can lead to a spiral of unhealthy decisions throughout the day. Likewise, skipping breakfast brings about it’s own set of issues.
How often do you crave sugar and sweet things throughout the day? Do you notice your blood sugar
levels dropping quickly and feeling that desperate need for something to pick it back up? Do you feel energised and focused enough to be productive? Do you get a slump mid afternoon when you could quite easily curl up in a ball and fall asleep? Whether you are a working rider trying to fit in horses around your day job, or on the yard all day every day, breakfast can be the most crucial meal of the day – and often – due to uncontrollable circumstances – it can be your one and only opportunity to feed your body with nourishing ingredients.
I have found that the secret to sustaining yourself from the start of the day is to include some form of protein and healthy fats in your breakfast, and go easy on the sugar – yes sugar still means fruit! This doesn’t have to equate to a full on cooked breakfast – but adding something such as Greek yoghurt, nuts and seeds or smoked salmon and avocado to the diet will help promote slow release energy without spiking blood sugar levels.
Here are my top three healthy breakfast ideas to get you revved up and ready…
For the on-the-go active rider
Prep time: 5 – 10 minutes the night before.
Mix together oats, full fat natural or Greek yoghurt, milk of your choice (I prefer nut milks but regular cow’s milk is fine too), a small portion of fruit for natural sweetness – either a grated apple or a chopped up banana work well – plus a sprinkle of cinnamon (to help stabilise blood sugar). Put the contents into a container in the fridge overnight and simply grab as you go the next morning. The oats will provide slow release energy to keep you going until lunch, while the yoghurt provides a source of protein and healthy fat. The quantities of liquid to oats will vary depending on the consistency you prefer but don’t be afraid to play around with the ingredients to perfect it to your liking.
For competition days when nerves are high
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Some days we don’t feel like eating – however by giving our body the right fuel we can help stabilise blood sugar levels to reduce anxiety and give us the nutrients needed to focus and concentrate on the job on hand. A smoothie is the perfect way to gently nourish without the need for a big heavy meal. In a blender add a handful of raw spinach or kale, a small handful of almonds and/or cashew nuts, and half a banana and/or a handful of berries (frozen blueberries are particularly easy to grab and throw in). Add the liquid of your choice – coconut water, cow’s milk, nut milks, or just plain water all work fine – along with some ice, and blitz in a blender. Drink your smoothie there and then, or take with you to gently sip throughout the morning. For an extra boost of goodness, consider adding a superfood such as spirulina or maca for energy.
For the busy working rider
Prep time: 10-15 minutes a few times a week
By taking the times once or twice a week to prepare your breakfasts, you can prevent the urge to grab something unhealthy. A protein pot is the perfect thing here and you can make them up containing whatever you like best. Spend a Sunday and a Wednesday cooking and preparing a few bits then store in the fridge in Tupperwares ready to pick up each morning. Always try and include some form of green vegetable such as raw spinach leaves, lightly steamed kale or slices of cucumber and then some good sources of healthy fats and proteins such as avocado, hard boiled eggs, feta cheese, a small handful of nuts such as almonds or walnuts, a tablespoon of seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower and/or some meat or fish such as smoked salmon or cooked chicken.
For more recipe ideas, and to find out how enrolling the assistance of a coach can help you reach your health, energy and wellbeing goals, visit www.listenupbeautiful.co.uk