10 Reasons Not To Skip Breakfast

Integrated Wellbeing - Food Matters - breakfast

Are you ever tempted to skip breakfast?  Here are 10 good reasons why that’s not a good idea …

1. Stress

Ever wake up feeling stressed about the day ahead? It could be that your “feel good” hormone (serotonin) levels have dropped and need a boost. Breakfast that includes oats and/or whole grain will lift serotonin levels, as well as provide you with a great source of the B vitamins that are essential for energy.

2. Mood

Sometimes when we wake up and our sugar levels are low (after all, it can be as long as 12 hours since the last meal), we can feel out of sorts. Eating a nutrient-rich breakfast will also help lift your mood.

3. Hunger

Choose breakfast that has a low Glycaemic Index (low GI indicates the rate at which the carbohydrates you eat are turned into sugar and released into the bloodstream as energy). Having persistently high blood sugar increases risk of type 2 diabetes and heart attack, as the number of destructive free radicals are raised in the body.

Eating lower GI carbohydrates such as oats and whole grain food help keep blood sugar levels in check which should help you feel fuller and more satisfied for longer. This approach to the most important meal of the day will also help you avoid the craving for high calorie, high sugar snacks mid-morning. Ghrelin, the hormone in the body responsible for increases in appetite, will remain lower during the day if you eat a satisfying breakfast and as a result you’re more likely to experience a steady feeling of fullness throughout the day.

A nourishing breakfast will also have an impact on levels of insulin, glucose, and fat in your blood, which can help lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

4. Hydration

Breakfast is a great opportunity to boost your hydration levels with a drink of nutrient-packed juice, smoothie (add a higher percentage of veggies than fruit to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels) or herbal tea. Check out my Get up and Go Green Smoothie recipe (link). Avoid too much caffeine which can cause irritability and also acts as a diuretic.

We all know how important it is to drink plenty of water throughout the day, but we often forget if our routine is interrupted. 

Best practice is not to let yourself get thirsty, but take plenty of sips through the day, so have an easy to carry eco-friendly glass drinking bottle with you. I never go anywhere without mine and I do try to drink at least the recommended 2 litres per day (that does include juices and herbal teas). As a rule, the more active we are in our daily lives, the more fluids we need to take on board.

5. Immunity

Breakfast is also a great opportunity to nourish ourselves with the nutrients that help maintain a healthy immune system and help us protect against and recover from illness, such as the A, B and C vitamins, as well as minerals such as zinc. Consuming freshly made vegetable juices and smoothies is a perfect nutrient-dense way to start the day (add a small handful of cashews or almonds to your favourite smoothies for protein and vital nutrients such a magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and calcium which will also help you feel fuller longer).

6. Concentration

Skipping breakfast can contribute to feeling foggy-headed and an inability to concentrate properly – not great when we know we have a busy day ahead of us.

After an overnight fast, the brain craves some carbs to alleviate tiredness, help concentration and stay focused at work.

Add oats and flaxseeds to your smoothie – honestly, the oats work really well!

7. Memory

The old grey matter needs a helping hand in the mornings too as a low GI breakfast refuels the brain cells that depend on glucose, by elevating blood sugar levels. This approach will help when we need to process and manage complex and challenging information as well as with the formation and retrieval of memories.

8. Weight

A nutritious, low GI breakfast helps to manage hunger and energy levels through the morning and at the same time encourages us to consume an overall lower number of daily calories as well as manage body fat levels.

9. Metabolism

Surprisingly to some, having breakfast actually gives the metabolism the encouragement to get going in the morning and helps us burn calories more efficiently.

Studies also show that eating the same amount of calories during the day, but switching the main meal from dinner to breakfast, actually aids weight loss.

The biological process that the body follows over a 24-hour cycle is called our circadian rhythm. Metabolism is impacted by this rhythm so the time of day we eat can have a big impact on the way our bodies process food.

10. Energy

Choosing a low GI breakfast will release energy slowly through the morning and help maintain energy levels. This in turn will affect our choice of food at lunchtime. If our energy levels don’t slump too much, we are far less likely to choose a high calorie, often high sugar meal.

 

The recipe for my current favourite breakfast option – the Integrated Wellbeing Bircher Muesli – is here: Bircher Muesli Recipe

And you can watch the accompanying video from the Integrated Wellbeing kitchen here: Chrissie TV – From the IW Kitchen

 

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Rest & Restore Workshop

Chrissie Tarbitt, Integrated Wellbeing

I’m excited to share with you news of my forthcoming Rest & Restore Winter Workshop.  Join me in this lovely, peaceful, light and airy studio in Woodbury for a morning of “you” time.  

When?
Sunday 6th December: 10.00am – 12.30pm

Where?
Ocean Physio & Rehab Clinic, Woodbury Business Park, EX5 1LD

Timetable

  • 9:45  Arrival.
  • 10:00 – 10:45  Introduction to Mindfulness, Meditation and powerful Yogic breathing techniques which you can easily incorporate into your daily lives to bring about that all important sense of calm and peace just when you need it most!
  • 10:45 – 11:30  I shall then guide you through a gentle yin yoga session which will focus on allowing the body and mind to fully let go.
  • 11:30 – 12:00  Yoga Nidra – deep yogic relaxation.
  • 12:00 – 12:30  Finally, some time to share some home-made, cold-pressed juices and raw, vegan snacks before heading home.

Places are limited to 10 people per workshop so don’t miss out if you want to help banish winter blues or just need to rejuvenate before the busy festive period! 

The cost of the workshop is £25 per person with 50% of the proceeds being donated to Leukaemia Care as part of my various half-marathon sponsorship efforts. Book direct via the secure Eventbrite site here: Rest & Restore Workshop

No previous experience is necessary. I’ll provide mats, blocks and blankets. Please wear appropriate clothing.

I look forward to seeing you there!

With wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Top 3 Stress Busters

Chrissie Tarbitt, Integrated Wellbeing

Although April was the official “stress awareness month”, we all know the importance of keeping a check on our stress levels throughout the year.

One of my recent articles for Personal Trainer Magazine featured my tried and tested top 3 stress-busting tips. Though written with gym-goers and exercise fanatics in mind, I reckon they provide a good reminder to all of us.

Let’s first look briefly at what stress is and how it affects our minds and bodies.

Under normal conditions, our stress response is there to protect us. During the “fight or flight” response, the surge of cortisol (the hormone released when we’re under stress) helps us react appropriately in an emergency, but levels should then return to normal.

Many of us now experience an almost permanent state of hyperarousal that can lead to many ailments and diseases as well as poor sleep, poor diet and aches and pains, as we have a tendency to bury stress deep inside our bodies, perpetuating the cycle.

So, what’s the answer?

Well, as an enthusiastic advocate of mindfulness, I know from experience that in order to gain freedom from the cycle of stress, we must learn to cultivate awareness. Awareness provides us with the “space” in which we don’t run away from thoughts, feelings and sensations in the body. Through becoming the observer of our stress triggers, we learn to take better control of our reactions.

Take a mindful approach to the following (and be honest with yourself):-

Sleep

Be under no illusion, if you want to maintain a healthy fitness regime and be on top of your game, you need between 7 and 9 hours of “quality” sleep each night.

If the honest answer is that you have bad sleeping habits, start with one or two things to improve upon, such as having a relaxing bath before bed and committing to going to bed at the same time for a whole week.

Keep the goals simple and achievable.

Nutrition

We all know that what we eat can affect our moods. Avoid eating addictive carb and sugar-loaded foods when under stress (a tricky one, I know, as that’s exactly the time when we reach out for the unhealthy snacks!).

Commit to a month of eating a healthy, balanced, mostly anti-inflammatory diet (i.e. 80% fresh veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds) and bring awareness to how that makes you feel.

Notice how reducing your caffeine, sugar and refined carbs intake impacts your stress levels.

Exercise

Are you training too hard? Now, this is a really tricky one to get honest about! We all know that a great workout makes us feel good afterwards, but for the next month I challenge you to bring real awareness to your training programme. Are you including some quality recovery and relaxation time?

If you find it difficult to have rest days, commit to attending one class a week that encourages awareness of the body and breath through slow, flowing movement such as yoga, qi gong or tai chi.

PLEASE do yourself a massive favour and try it – each week I get new guys coming to my Integrated Wellbeing yoga classes who have never done anything like it before, and they keep coming back for more as they really see the benefits!

I’d love to hear how you get on with these suggestions, and to hear of your own stress-busting tips, in the comments box below.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing