Why it is good to start your day with a good breakfast.
Can you remember what you ate for breakfast as a child? I can. I loved my bowl of cornflakes in ice cold milk with crunchy sugar on top followed by slices of buttered toast and jam. Do you remember that rubbery toast. It can still be found in cafe’s and hotels. rapidly going cold before leaving the kitchen. I am sure it would bounce on the floor if they dropped it. I have suffered it mostly in English Hotels and Bed and Breakfast’s Or Spanish bars trying to offer the English a taste of home. I still cannot comprehend why after all these years, I still order it. It is a holiday tradition I suppose, but one I have hopefully broken for good now. We deserve better, we do, please say we do.
As a child we had three choices of breakfast cereal, Cornflakes. Weetabix, and Rice Krispies and then on very special occasions, like at Xmas, we were treated to a box of Coco Pops or even a variety pack. OMG how I thought I had gone to heaven when my mother produced these little boxes of an assortment. Not that any of them tasted amazing, It was the break from monotony, the everyday breakfast and the lack of choice.
did you know?
Remarkably, that monotony and very limited variation of breakfasts stayed with me until a couple of years ago. Breakfast continued to be cereal of some sort, progressing to brans, wheat and the odd bowl of porridge oats. I served up the same to my kids, On holiday we thought we would be treating ourselves when we would see a Full English advertised, like filling ourselves with greasy sausage and bacon, a sloppy fried egg and baked beans….. COME ON yum yum! i hear you shouting at me. But guess what?
I never really enjoyed that plate of swill, even if my grandmother had cooked one up for my grandad every day of his working life, like it was the best she could do. My step mum rejoiced as she plated up the fried tomatoes and thick english salty bacon to my Dad who was already suffering with heart problems. Why did we do this? Was it the smell of bacon? Or was it because it was tradition and smells of childhood nostalgia. Bacon smells conjure up memories of Christmas mornings and other holidays. Naughty bacon for doing that whilst clogging up my arteries and laughing all the way to my heart.
Walking into the hotel restaurants on my travels to be faced with the whiff of bacon and mushrooms, rubbery toast and weak tea, We Brits certainly know how to live, don’t we. The British characteristically created a reputation for having a weird kind of appetite. You learn about these things when you travel.
We are not alone in the unhealthy breakfast front, I lived in France for five years and there are a lot of buttery croissants. Kids are bought up on chocolate milk and sugary cereals. In Spain there are not many places either where you can buy a good breakfast. Large tostadas covered in oil and tomatoes seem to be the going choice. I could mention the States here but I am still coming to terms with my delight of Pancakes covered in maple syrup. They are like Sex. Too much of a good thing and all that. Giggling all the way to my stomach. Hands up who likes cold Pizza for breakfast. You know the left overs from the night before. Shame on you!
As you can probably tell, I do eat out a lot. It is because I write in cafe’s, especially as I travel a lot. It is hard to get a good breakfast. Top place for me will always be Asia, especially Thailand where they serve up fresh coconut, pineapple and melon, Watermelon juice is my favourite. Followed by some lightly cooked french toast and honey. Where I can, I will take protein shakes with me. Easy to travel with and at least I know I am getting my vitamin fix.. Closely behind Thailand is Iceland, especially the airport in Reykjavick where I have been served green smoothies, yoghurt and Chia seeds. Just what you need to freshen your pallet after a long flight. To give you an energy boost and leave you feeling revitalised. Oh and a coffee too.
I wish it was easier to get fresher breakfasts as I call them, Since converting my breakfast choices I have noticed that restaurants and cafes’s do play safe by limiting the choices. It is the same as children’s menus. (I will save that issue for another blog post) It is happening though slowly and I have just found a place in my village of Jalon in the Costa Blanca, Run by Matt and Joseph, Their cafe is called ‘Los Dos‘ a small but very friendly cafe and bar where they serve avocado on toast for breakfast, (Not rubber toast I might add here but on Spanish bread) Yay!!!! Matt tells me they also have a reputation for their Bloody Mary’s. CHECK THEM OUT. They are situated just off the town square near to the Esglesia Santa Maria. Please say Hi! from me if you go in there.
Sadly still nowhere offering fruit of any sort yet but it will happen if we start asking for it. Fruit Salad and muesli, it is not that difficult surely.
Breakfast Shakes and Shake Bowls
I have discovered Shake bowls, At last I can start living. Trendy cafe’s and restaurants are beginning to offer them. I discovered them being served in a quaint restaurant in Ibiza Town and Santa Eularia. Vegetarian Rezzies are getting into serving up Buddah bowls and you can usually get them to do a breakfast equivalent. BUT YOU NEED TO START ASKING. I can make them at home with my protein shakes. How I wish I could have served them to my kids when they were growing up. I add chopped banana, blueberries and strawberries and kiwi fruit, I sprinkle bran flakes or muesli. It is delicious.
If you do not ask you will not get!
We need to start asking, or cafe’s and restaurants will never know what you want, and never change their menu’s Most will tell you they only serve what is on the menu and I understand why, but some will surprise you. I always ask what they have that I can eat, that is healthy and at times it has been unbelievable what they will offer me. Some places (Rubber toast joints) just shake their heads in disbelief. Haha give me coffee then as I sit and go back in time.
We should try and eat within two hours of waking up. It is not a good idea to miss breakfast unless of course you are actually fasting. This first meal of the day provides your body and brain with the fuel it needs to effectively function so it is important we pay attention to giving our body the best when we start the day. Filling it with empty calories, i.e. rubber toast and sugary fixes is not what it needs. That full English was great for sending off our forefathers off to work in the fields, farms and factories but these days it is a different story for most of us. If we have sedentary jobs we are not going to burn off those calories unless you are in the gym, first thing of course. Oh, and we are all trying to live longer to get the best out of our lives.
Our body needs essential nutrients, Try to include your daily five, Getting some spinach or kale into your green smoothie as well as banana, apple, some seeds and chopped nuts. Breakfasts have never been so beautiful.
I cannot avoid my morning coffee, I wish I could but there are somethings in life I really do need. What about you? What is your perfect morning treat. Mmm, soft linen sheets, a big newspaper and breakfast in bed. Served up by a wonderful bronzed, well I would rather not say. This is wishful thinking and best not written.