Day 74 of 90: Protein Porridge – A Great Way to Start the Day

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One of the best ways to start the day is with breakfast. Ok, admittedly, of late I’ve been having two breakfasts (Pre-Workout + Post-Workout), though the question you might have is what should you have for breakfast. Well porridge, particularly the whole grain variety, is considered one of the best breakfasts you can have and is one of my staples. It is high in protein, high in fibre, high in slow-burning carbs (that’s the good carbs), is low in GI and low in calories. Further than this it is delicious and pretty versatile; you can have it in yogurt, with fruit, nuts and even with flavoured protein powder, which is exactly what I did today.

You see, because I wasn’t in the gym today until the late afternoon, Sunday is my rest/cardio day, I normally hit a protein shake to keep my protein levels high but today I thought I’d try it in my porridge (ok I couldn’t be bothered washing my bottle too) and guess what it was delicious – another advantage of flavoured protein. So why not give it a shot, it makes a nice little change and turns breakfast into a wee treat. (nutritional value link)

TODAY’S FOOD LOG
Breakfast: as above
Snack 1: grapefruit
Snack 2: tangerine
Lunch: vegetable soup (given to us by a friend too)

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Desert: Indian sweets

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Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Dinner: chicken biryani, vegetable samosa and an Indian chicken tikka burger with a can of vimto

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Snack: meat samosa

Note: today has been a nutritional disaster partly because it is the Muslim festival of Eid and our neighbours brought round food and because a new Indian sweet shop opened so I thought I’d test them out. Having said that if you train hard this is no big deal, I’ve already upped my training considerably.

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Day 58 of 90: Beginning with Breakfast – The Most Important Meal of the Day

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Although, it is popular among some to skip breakfast, it is a meal that should not be missed as it is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast not only helps kick-start the metabolism, reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, it also provides the essential vitamins and nutrients needed for the mind and body to function throughout the day. So, here are some answer to some FAQ’s about breakfast:

1. When should I have breakfast? Ideally, breakfast should be eaten within an hour or two of getting up, there is, however, an exception. I will get up at 5 am and will have a black coffee in the morning (to suppress hunger and give me an energy boost), an all-in-one protein shake after training (7 am – 8.15 am) and breakfast at 9 am (Mon-Fri). This is because training on an empty stomach enables the body to burn fat. If you train with food in your system your body will first burn that before going into the fat reserves.

2. What should I eat? Well, I would recommend that you should try to have all of the macro nutrients (protein, healthy fat and carbohydrates – carbs are essential if breakfast is eaten straight after training as it is needed to build muscle).  So what does that look like:

Lean Protein: eggs, protein shakes, kippers (if you can have them for breakfast – I can’t) and lean meat can be added to omelettes or scrambled eggs.
Healthy fat: one hundred percent natural peanut butter (you can get it from health stores or bodybuilding websites), milk, low fat Greek yogurt (unsweetened), mixed nuts, seeds and fish (again, if you can stomach it).
Slow burn carbs: wholewheat porridge oats (not instant), shredded wheat and bran flakes are good.

3. What Should I Avoid? Avoid breads (particularly croissants, bagels and white bread), cooked breakfasts (a healthy alternative is lean turkey bacon, mushrooms, tomato, a little beans, homemade burger and poached/boiled egg), sugary cereals (they’ll give you an initial sugar rush and later in the day, a come down), breakfast bars, protein bars and muesli (these are often filled with junk).

4. What do you have? Even though I like to keep my diet varied I’m quite habitual when it comes to breakfast (and lunch). After training I have a all- in-one protein shake and then I have porridge – it is a nutritional super-food (usually with fruit, some kind of nut and occasionally mixed seeds and goji berries).

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(Today’s – porridge, raspberry and mixed nuts)

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(Tommorow – porridge, organic Greek strawberry yogurt, with raspberries and mixed nuts. If you do it the day before and put in the fridge it softens the oats – delicious!)

5. How much should I eat? It is often said that you should have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. This is because you have all day to digest what you had at breakfast and if you do manual work or workout you body should burn everything that you’ve taken in. Personally, though, I wouldn’t go mad at breakfast because it will make you feel lethargic and put a lot of strain on the digestive system. A good breakfast is in but a buffet breakfast is definitely out.

Ok peeps, hope that helps, here’s today’s food log.

TODAY’S FOOD LOG (no food from 7pm till after workout)
Post-workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: as above with a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack 1: half a mango
Snack 2: an apple
Snack 3: a pear
Lunch: omelette (mushroom, chilli, onion, garlic, coriander, spinach and sun-dried tomato) with salad

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Snack 1: beef cubes
Snack 2: pineapple, mango and raspberry smoothy

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Evening meal: tofu and tuna (two very lean sources of protein) salad and homemade hummus

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Snack: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Protein shake: whey