Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast is considered one of the most important meals of the day. To be honest I would have to agree a good breakfast can help to get your energy levels up and raring to go, as well as keeping you satisfied to prevent overeating or cravings for sugary foods later in the day.

But it can also be a minefield of unhealthy options if you go with one of the many commercial options. Cereal – massive sugary filled thumbs down, breakfast bars/biscuits-don’t even get me started and well a round of toast just doesn’t really cut it in the raring to go energy boosting, craving stopping stakes.

So what to do? Well I’ll be honest it does require a little forward planning and some preparation but I promise it will be worth it. Once you realise how much more energised you feel and much less hungry on a good breakfast, toast or cornflakes won’t cut it for you anymore either.

It is really important to get some protein and good fats in early in the day, this is what helps to keep your hunger levels at bay and boost your energy levels preventing the dreaded 10.30 am biscuit o’clock slump. It is also a good idea to put some veg in your breakfast, firstly for their many anti-oxidant and health benefits but also to help fill you up.

Most of you will know that I am rather partial to Steak, Eggs and green veg (green beans, broccoli, spinach…….) for breakfast and some of you may think that is madness. “Steak for breakfast? But that is an evening food!” erm says who? The food police? Although I have already converted a couple of you to the idea of erm “evening meats” at breakfast time some of you may still need some convincing, go on I dare you to give it a go.

Don’t fancy steak, well this week I’m eating beef mince with roasted butternut squash, shredded cabbage and a sprinkling of goats cheese, this could easily be done with turkey mince if you prefer and any other veg you fancy. We mix and match to keep things interesting-purple carrots anyone?

Perhaps you’re just not a big meat eater?

Well how about fish? There are so many different kinds of fish you could be mixing it up for months. Try tuna, salmon/smoked salmon, mackerel, kippers, river cobbler, trout………

You could have fish with eggs and some veg of your choice, minus the eggs if you just want veg, you could even have salad (I know a lunch food at breakfast-madness) trust me it isn’t that weird! Or there is a Kedgeree recipe below which is a great one to bulk cook and have prepared for all week.

How about good old fashioned bacon and eggs, you could try turkey bacon if you fancy a change, maybe add some mushrooms and tomatoes. Just doesn’t deep fat fry it, use coconut oil or the grill please!

Or maybe an omelette with bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach whatever you like. I also like to cook them in a muffin tin to eat on the go, or pre prepare a big vegetable frittata and slice it up to go into a box to take with me.

And if you still hanker after the traditional cereal based option how about porridge, you could add some seeds and fruit to up the health benefits.   Or why not try Bircher Muesli –see below for recipe. It is traditionally made with oats but I find they don’t agree with me so this is the recipe I will be using which is from Hemsley and Hemsley The Art of Eating Well and uses Buckwheat instead. But you could still do it with oats if you don’t have an issue with them.

And for those of you that just can’t face food, how about a smoothie. These are really easy to make with any fruit you like, berries, bananas, peaches whatever, just add some milk or natural yoghurt, blend and you’re done. Although I find they aren’t particularly filling done this way so it is best to add maybe a tablespoon of peanut butter, coconut oil,  flaxseeds, handful of oats or a protein powder make it more satisfying. Try to get a protein with very few ingredients like absorb nutrition, or most vegan hemp or pea proteins have very low levels of rubbish added.  (Taste ok when mixed into a smoothie-not so ok on their own!)

Let me know how you get on!

 

Also just before I sign off  I wanted to share with you this video from a guy who I have a huge amount of respect for he is my go to nutrition guru Ben Coomber, highlighting what our diet industry is doing to our increasing obesity epidemic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0YRkz6dclQ

 

Nicola x

PS. Amazing news this week that my lovely client Sam has managed to lower her previously high blood pressure to normal in just 3 months purely by changing her diet habits. It’s amazing what can be done without drugs. Well done Sam I’m really proud of you!

 

Bircher                 Muesli – serves 2

60g Buckwheat Groats (soaked overnight)

2-3tbsp of seeds (any you like-pumpkin, sunflower etc.)

125g Natural yoghurt

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp raw honey

1 large apple, grated with skin on

Optional desiccated coconut to serve

In the morning mix all the ingredients in a bowl and you’re done!

 

 

Cranberry Quinoa Breakfast Bars-Great to make at the beginning of the week so you’re well prepared.

2 bananas

250g Quinoa (soaked overnight

2 tbsp. chia seeds

100g desiccated coconut

100g coconut flour

60g butter or coconut oil

40g sesame seeds

1tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp sea salt

2tbsp maple syrup

50g dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 180°c/gas mark 6. Butter a baking dish.

Mash the bananas in a bowl then add the rest of the ingredients plus 100ml water (if you are using a food processor leave the cranberries out until the end).

Pour mixture into a dish and spread out evenly.

Bake for 50mins until lightly golden brown on top. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

You can then slice into bars, and you can also freeze them to keep them fresh and just take one out the night before for defrosting. They also make a great on the go snack.

 

Choc muggins-I know chocolate! I’ve clearly gone soft!

25g almond meal

2 tbsp. desiccated coconut

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

½ teaspoon stevia

60ml milk-any kind

Plain yoghurt to serve.

This is too easy it feels wrong, but basically all the ingredients (except the yoghurt) mixed in a mug, microwave on high for 1 ½ – 2 mins and then serve with yoghurt.

 

Kedgeree – serves 2

1 tablespoon butter

¼ onion finely chopped

100g Basmati Rice

1 teaspoon Curry Powder (any heat you like)

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 medium eggs-boiled

100g hot smoked salmon flaked into chunks

Chopped Parsley

Heat the butter and onion until just soft, add the rice and stir until coated in butter. Add curry powder and turmeric and stir. Add 200ml water and bring to the boil. Once boiling turn down heat and simmer for about 10-12mins – check the rice is cooked through. Add the salmon, parsley and the chopped boiled eggs, mix through and serve.

You could make this in advance and have it boxed up and ready to go for the next few days ahead.

 

Be the Person you Aspire to Be

It has been said in business circles for many years that you should dress for the job you want not the job that you have, referring to the fact that just because you make the tea if you aspire to a higher position you should dress professionally in order to be taken seriously.

Unfortunately for me that would have meant swapping my suit for lycra whilst still working in a law firm-wouldn’t have gone down well but I did start my business around my full time job, went to the gym myself before work so I guess that was me getting into role in a more appropriate fashion.

I think this analogy also works well in terms of health, fitness and weight loss. If you want to be a healthy, fit person then you need to act like one, adopt the daily habits of one and guess what??? That will mean you are one!

If you are currently a bit of a couch potato and aspire to be a healthy, fit, athletic individual then you need to ask yourself.

 

What would a healthy person eat?

What daily habits would a fit, healthy person adopt?

How would an athlete structure their training?

 

The answers are the things that you need to start doing right now!

You need to adopt the habits of the person you want to be in order to become them.

So start today.

Want to lose weight?

Have a look at what people who have previously lost weight (and kept it off easily) eat. Adopt the eating habits of people who don’t struggle with their weight. You will probably find they eat 3 balanced meals a day, only eat if they’re hungry and fill most of their diet with fresh vegetables and fruit, protein, healthy fats and some carbs depending on their activity level.

Improve your fitness?

What sort of exercise regime does a toned, lean machine have? Not a sporadic on off one, but a consistent effort maybe 4 x per week. Start exercising regularly, whether that be walking, dancing or cross-fit, just get into the habit and things will start to change.

So if you want to be a better version of you, start to change your habits even if it’s just a little at a time and you will start to become that person-I’ll let you in on a secret……………………………you already are that person you just need to let it show. #BETHEBESTYOU!

And boy’s that does not mean showing up to work meetings in a Spiderman suit………………

So if you need some help with your health, fitness and weight loss, give me a call on 07917681666 to see how Nicola Stuart Personal Training could help you. NS-PT provide Personal Training across Liverpool, The Wirral, St Helens and surrounding areas in your own home or local park.

Nicola x

PS. So now the temperature has well and truly dropped, I love to go for a cold, muddy run with my pooches if not only for the excuse to warm up with a well-earned hot chocolate at the end. But a chemical laden options just won’t cut it. Here’s how to get some health benefits in your hot chocolate without compromising on taste.

1 cup whole milk (Cows, Goats, Sheep, Almond, Coconut whatever milk you like!)

1 TB coconut oil

1/2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 tsp honey (use more or less depending on how sweet you like it)

 

Just heat all the ingredients together over a medium heat, whisking as you go! Once hot, pour in mug and ahhhhhh.

 

 

 

Personal Trainer on Motivation

So now Halloween/Bonfire Night is over we begin the official countdown to Christmas (my mum has been counting down the Fridays to me since around September so I feel like it’s been happening a while, including today there are 6 in case you are wondering).

This is the time we are all contemplating throwing the healthy eating and exercise plan out of the window to be dusted back off again in January.

I think it is important at this time to remember why you are on this health journey. I want you to ask yourself the question WHAT IS YOUR WHY?

I ask people this in their initial consultation as it is an important part of goal setting. Knowing exactly why you want to lose weight, get fitter, give up smoking whatever it is, knowing your exact reasons for doing it will help to keep you on track long term.

Now so many people underestimate the importance of a specific answer. I regularly get “well I’d like to lose weight because I will be happier as a size 10” or “well I just want to tone up”. Not gonna cut it I’m afraid! Firstly, because if you believe your life happiness boils down to being a size 10 you are wrong, but also because the reasons for wanting to lose weight have far deeper impacts than that. Usually what you really mean are, “I won’t feel embarrassed getting changed at the gym, I will be confident on holiday in a swimsuit, or I want to be able to run around with my kids without needing to sit down after 5 minutes” These are your why!

And this theory I use to apply to my work life too. When I am finding things tough, maybe struggling for some motivation or working some really longs days I remind myself why I do what I do.

  • Because I love my job, I love helping people improve their health and achieve their goals
  • Because having had one, I know there are way worse ways to earn a living than this (I’m in my pj’s with a cat sat next to me as I write this, so it’s all good)
  • My long term vision of where I want my life to be-back to that goat farm in the sticks but with a broadband connection so I can work.
  • And my daily WHY??? Because I want to provide for my little Princess Pearly Pony, my two goats, aforementioned kitty and collie dogs as well as Bernard (technically Chris’s but therefore still one of my children) and my horse Lizzie who doesn’t need me because she has an army of staff/an entire family looking after her at her loan home but if she needed me I’d like to know I could be there. My animals are my why, they are the reason I do everything I do and I remind myself of that when I need some motivation.

So, whether it is a health or fitness goal or something else identify your why, be specific and write it down somewhere prominent to keep your going when the journey gets tough.

And if you need an extra kick up the…….well you know where I am!

Nicola x

PS. Mr A is under 15st for the first time in years so he needs a special mention because he has and continues to work really hard on his weight loss journey.

 

 

Liverpool Personal Trainer on Weight Loss

A few weeks ago I went on a Donkey Behaviour Course run by a guy called Ben Hart. He is a human and equine behaviourist who works on teaching people the science of behaviour and then helping them to communicate more effectively based on that.  I struggled to train Mr A like a donkey (standard evening in or house!) Now you’re wondering where is this going……….

He also uses a tool called a shaping plan. This is where you set yourself an end goal and then plot the small steps you will take along the way to reach your end goal. If at any time you fall off the plan you just go back to an earlier step and get right back on.

This theory of goal setting ng and plotting the actions to reach it is not revolutionary however it is one that we seem to forget particularly when it comes to weight loss.

For example, Mrs Jones decides she wants to lose 2 stone, so she immediately throws out all the food in her house, begins eating only cabbage soup and goes to the gym for 2 hours every day. Now depending on how much willpower (or stubbornness) Mrs Jones has she is not likely to stick to this plan for much more than a week. And she then goes back to her old eating habits, probably kicked off with a binge and the gym membership a distant memory.

Now at some point Mrs Jones decides she will get back on that horse to lose 2 stone but this time she comes to see me.

Many new clients are very surprised when they begin embarking on their journey with me that I don’t give them some crazy diet to follow or ask them to suddenly start exercising 6 times a week. Instead I ask them to put in one new good habit a week starting with drinking more water, moving onto adding more vegetables to meals, add in 10 mins extra exercise and so on. And over time these small habits build up to some very big changes but they are now as I stated HABITS! Now you will just naturally drink more water, have some fruit instead of chocolate, add loads of green veg to your meals and do 10 mins of exercise.

And of at any point you fall off the wagon, you just go back to a step you feel comfortable with and start the process again.

The shaping plan method can be applied to any goal you want to reach health and fitness related or not, the principle stays the same. Write down your goal, plot out small steps to get you there and follow accordingly.

If you need any help with a shaping plan for your health and fitness goals feel free to contact me.

 

Nicola x

PS. Is it just me that struggles to drink more water when the temperature drops? So that I’m still taking on plenty of fluids and not just coffee I have been trying out some herbal teas. (The proper ones not the dodgy fruit ones!)

Some of my favourites so far are.

  • Higher Living Sweet Chai
  • Pukka Three Tulsi (Good for high blood pressure apparently)
  • Pukka Peppermint and Liquorice

Let me know if you have any favourites, it’s like cocktail sharing for the health conscious!