At the beginning of my diet, health and fitness search like most people I wouldn’t eat breakfast at all thinking that I was saving calories and convinced that I ate less overall by not eating first thing. The days when I did actually manage to eat breakfast were when I had been awake for hours and breakfast would usually consist of yet another cup of coffee accompanied by (on a good day porridge with butter and sugar) or on a bad day white toast, crumpets or something similar. Always followed up a couple of hours later by something sweet and hoping I could just get through until lunch!
A very early change to my diet was getting my head around the concept of eating breakfast (a) at all and (b) within an hour of waking up both of which were a real challenge to the way I thought about food. I have been slowly changing my diet over the last year and trying to get better at eating clean – I never ate lots of processed food or ready meals but the culprits for me were flour (in anything from bread to pasta), white rice, potatoes and obviously sugary stuff.
As time has gone on I made small changes which really affected my diet; cutting down the coffee, not eating anything with wheat flour in, easting more meals throughout the day and cutting or cutting out all the stuff which either made me feel bad or was bad for my diet or health.
To begin with breakfast was the choice of whole grain porridge with organic whole peanut butter (now I have the same but also have this with berries as well) or Greek yoghurt (10% fat) with fresh berries and a seed mix.
Anyway, as a result of reviewing my diet a couple of weeks ago and realising how little protein I was eating (40g per day) I started to realise that James Duigan’s (The Clean and Lean Cookbook) idea of a high protein breakfast of meat wasn’t such a bad idea – even if it seemed a completely alien concept! Who would have thought that within a couple of weeks my breakfast’s for the week would include;
- Steak, spinach and mushrooms
- Salmon and broccoli
- Gammon steak and scrambled eggs
- Chicken and spinach
- Scrambled eggs with salmon and spinach
Not many people around me know (and those who do don’t understand) I am eating a higher protein diet and most people wouldn’t understand how or why I am eating like this but I cannot believe how different I feel for it. Quite simply protein fills you up, a reasonable size portion of protein and vegetables will fill you until the next meal with no need or desire to snack and despite feeling so full the calorie count is really low.
Training hard I know that my body needs fuel and that I am giving it the substances it needs to build strong healthy muscles – good, clean, lean protein. Increasing my protein and reducing my starchy carbs seemed like such a simple change and I am now such a convert that I really enjoy my breakfasts and really look forward to my steak (this from the person who probably only ate read meat about 2-3 times A YEAR!) and I have managed to get my protein intake up from a quite pathetic 40g per day to somewhere around 100g most days.
If there is one thing I have learnt from all of this it is to be open minded, to be receptive to new ideas and to be prepared to challenge and change your old habits, routines and perceptions – there may just be a better way of doing things that will get you to your goals just that bit faster and help you live a healthier life.