Kick start your day!

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    How we start every morning is so important for setting our energy levels for the day. Grabbing a croissant and coffee on the way to work may give you an instant rush of energy, but chances are you will be hungry again before lunchtime and will certainly be looking for sugar or caffeine to get you through the afternoon…

    So here are four simple tips to start your day in a way which can help your energy last much longer:

    1. Rehydrate – When we sleep we lose water in the body, so when we wake up we are dehydrated. Start the day with a big glass of water.

    2. Lemon juice in warm water – This is a boost to the liver and helps to alkalise the body (yes, even if the lemons taste acidic). Disease thrives and grows in an acidic environment, so alkalising is good step.

    3. Have a good breakfast – Whole-grains, fruit, nuts, seeds – here are a few easy and versatile recipes.

    4. If you need a coffee in the morning, drink it after you have eaten – Caffeine causes your body to release sugar into your bloodstream which in turn causes the pancreas to release insulin. On an empty stomach, this can cause a sharp drop in blood sugar which can then set up more sugar cravings. Having a wholegrain breakfast in your stomach will help modulate this.

    A great way to start the day – cold version 

    Prep time: 5 minutes

    Prep notes: This is best prepared the night before and left in the fridge. In the morning, there’s no need to worry about preparing breakfast – its all ready to go!

    Cooking time: 0 minutes

    Yields: 2 people

    Ingredients: This is a variation of a German Bircher Muesli. The base is either oat flakes or another type of flake (spelt, rye, wheat)… you can buy flake mixes in organic/health shops. Simply oat is great too.

    Choose 3-5 of the following to add (around a dessert spoon of each):

    – dried fruit (apricots, sultanas, cranberries, goji berries…)

    – coconut

    – nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts…)

    – seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, sesame, poppy…)

    Mix together and cover with milk – I prefer to use unsweetened almond milk or rice milk, but there are many milk options out there. I do not recommend using soya milk however.

    Cover and place in fridge overnight.

    In the morning add some fresh fruit – chopped apple, pear, banana, blueberries… whatever is in season…

    Another great way to start the day – warm version

    Prep time: 5 minutes
    Cooking time: 5 minutes
    Yields: 2 people

    Ingredients: 1 apple or pear chopped
    2 dessert spoons of oat or other flakes
        Choose 3-5 of the following to add (around a dessert spoon of each):
    – dried fruit (apricots, sultanas, cranberries, goji berries…)
    – coconut
    – nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts…)
    – seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, sesame, poppy…)
        Half teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
        Almond, rice or other milk or yoghurt
        1 banana

    Place the chopped apple or pear in a small pan with a bit of water and heat gently.
    Add oat or other flakes and a bit more water and cook until soft (add more water if starts to stick)
    Turn heat down and mix in other ingredients.
    Take off heat.
    Add bit of milk if using it or put in bowl with chopped banana and a dollop of yoghurt.

    Suzy Sumner
    Integrative Nutrition Health Coach , Aspria Brussels Arts-Loi
    www.suzysumner.com

    Photo meusli:  I, VirtualSteve