Breakfast fit for a king

Breakfast Fit For A King

In my last post - Breaking Down the Breakfast Myth, we clarified how we all seem to have specific idea and perception of what is and what isn't 'breakfast food'. After reading, some of you may now be thinking - what should I now be eating in the morning? I'm writing this post to give you a few ideas.

1. Eggs 

Eggs are the easiest option for breakfast, containing protein and healthy fats to keep you energised throughout the morning. There are so many options with them, so you will find something to suit your needs.
Opt for - 
Scrambled eggs on toast
Fried Eggs with smoked salmon on toast
Poached eggs on toast
Vegetable Frittata
2 Egg vegetable omelette

Literally the world is your oyster when it comes to cooking with eggs and you pretty much can't go wrong with them for your first meal of the day.

2. Meat

Some form of protein at breakfast is exactly how you should be kick starting your day. This will keep you fuller for longer and help to rebuild any muscle tears broken down from yesterdays workout. 

If you don't think you can stomach a steak or chicken breast, trick your mind into believing you are eating a classic 'breakfast food' in order to get in your protein. 

Form turkey mince into patties or sausage shapes, cook and enjoy on toast, with scrambled eggs or on its own. This is a great breakfast choice and much healthier that fatty pork sausages. 

 3. Shake

If you are still struggling to eat meat, a protein shake might be the best way forward. Create your own morning smoothie, blending protein powder, fruit, nut butters, ice etc. The options are endless here and the thick drink will do wonders for filling you up and giving you energy for the day!

4. Home-made granola, yoghurt, nuts and fruit 

Shop bought granola is laden with sugar, but if you make your own, you can decide exactly what goes in it. Mix together oats, nuts, seeds, rice puffs etc and use maple syrup/honey to stick it together. Bake for 5-10min (until golden brown) and enjoy with a bowl of low fat greek yoghurt, coconut flakes, almonds and berries. This is such a light, clean and refreshing breakfast - perfect for those sunny days. 

5. Pancakes

People see pancakes as a luxury, but there's no reason why this should be the case. It is so easy to make your own healthy pancakes and you can choose beautiful toppings to make it an absolute delight. 
There are many types of healthy pancakes you can make- here are some examples

1. Mash up and banana and mix with 2 eggs. Cook the batter in a frying pan and serve up.
2. Instead of plain flour, choose coconut flour and combine with an egg and a dash of milk. Add a drop of honey for sweetness if you please. (add optional protein powder)
3. Grind up oats and combine with egg, milk and honey. (add optional protein powder)

4. I fully recommend buying MyProtein pancake mixture. It is so simple to make (you just add milk) and tastes great! The nutrition is amazing- with 191 cals, 34g protein, 6g carbs - 2.1g sugars. Feels like a treat, but is totally clean and healthy - freeing you up slightly to drizzle as much PB on top as you like!

6. Toast and a Nut Butter

'Putting toast back on the menu' is Dr Zak's special phrase. His protein bread contains much less carbs than normal bread and 15g protein per slice. I can vouch for the fact it tastes no different from normal bread, just with a lot better macros. Spread your choice of nut butter on top - I recommend Nuts N More or Hognut butters as they are high in protein and delicious. You can even create a protein bread stack - layers of PB, berries and yoghurt between slices of Dr Zak. Again, feels like a treat, but is so far from it!

Breakfast - breaking down the myth

Breakfast- Breaking Down the Myth

As a society it is extremely clear what are and what aren't 'breakfast foods'. We are very happy to accept that cereal and milk, porridge oats, toast and butter etc can be eaten as the first meal of the day, but chances are, if I were to offer you a turkey burger, fried eggs and nuts for breakfast, you'd think I was nuts... Instead most people would opt for a bowl of weetabix, semi-skimmed milk and sliced banana and feel it had been a healthy start to the day. 

We are also all aware that breakfast is 'the most important meal of the day', meaning we need to fill up on nutritious foods which will kick start our bodies and brain into action. Indeed the Weetabix website says 'research has shown that people who skip breakfast do not perform as well either physically or mentally as those who do eat breakfast. Other research demonstrates that eating breakfast could also improve your mood and behaviour.' Clearly breakfast is an important part on our list of things to do in the morning. 

However, this is where the problem lies. Are those 'standard breakfast foods' actually the nutritious options which are going to help us through the day, giving us that physical and mental energy and bringing about a good mood?

Lets analyse the standard choice of cereal, skimmed milk and banana


Glycemic index is a measurement of how fast 50g of a particular carbohydrate raises blood glucose levels and therefore insulin levels in the body. Most cereals have a glycemic index ranging from 60 to 110. As a rule, a glycemic above 50 are not great choices when trying to lose weight- due to their specific effects on blood glucose and insulin levels - (something you can read about in my other post on sugar). They release sugar into the blood quickly and only keep your energy levels high for a short time period.

Here is a list of standard cereal glycemic indexes- 

•Porridge (Oatmeal) 60
•Muesli 60
•Special K 70
•Cornflakes 76
As you can see they are all above 50 and these are the so called, 'healthy cereals'. What would that make the naughtier cereals like? 

Skimmed Milk

Most people will opt for skimmed milk over normal milk as it doesn't contain as high fat content. Firstly, fat isn't bad for you and is actually very important in our diets and so by choosing skimmed milk you are missing out on essential nutrients- (you can read about this in my Fat post). Secondly, skimmed milk has a higher glycemic index to full fat milk - 32 and 27 respectively. It also has a high insulin index which is the way we measure blood insulin response to a food compared to a reference food glucose. Full fat milk does not have this characteristic. Is this increase in blood glucose and insulin spike worth it for a bit of healthy fat? 


Glycemic Load is slightly different from glycemic index as it indicates how fast a standard portion of a particular food raises blood glucose, again giving an indication of glycemic and insulin response. Bananas have a glycemic load of 12 - yes we have established this is low, but other fruits such as cherries have a glycemic load of 3, so are there better options? 

Cereal, Milk, Bananas

Our cereal has a high glycemic index, our milk choice has a high insulin load and our choice of fruit appears to have a high glycemic load. Combining all these factors together, we are increasing the chances of gaining weight, not to mention making our body more susceptible cardiovascular risk factors and to age prematurely. Not exactly what we expected from our 'healthy breakfast choice'. 

Clearly what society has deemed 'breakfast foods' are not exactly what we should be eating to kick start our day. There are much better things we can chose which aren't going to cause spikes in insulin and cause our bodies to hold onto and store excess fat. Opt for slow release carbohydrates and definitely include protein in your meal. Berries are a great choice too when choosing a fruit. This way you are more likely to have a sustained amount of energy throughout the morning, whilst also decreasing your chances of weight gain and CV disease in the future. 
Stay tuned for my next post which will be up in a couple of days explaining and giving examples of much better breakfast options


Bored of Plain Chicken?

Bored of Plain Chicken?

When 'eating cleanly', it can be hard to find the inspiration for tasty, enjoyable meals. It can easily seem as though your only options are a big slab of chicken with some vegetables on the side and after a while this does get extremely dull. 

In order to combat this issue and give you guys a bit more excitement when it comes to your evening meal, I have thought about some healthy but, tasty options you could try to spice it up a little. 


Although we just said plain chicken can get tiresome, there are many things you can do with it to make it more exciting

1. Chicken and vegetable stirfry
Throw in as many different ingredients as you want and mix up some crazy sauce to set your taste buds on fire. I love mixing soy sauce, chilli sauce and lemon juice to create a vibrant tangy flavour. 

2. Chicken Kebabs 
Slice up your meal and skewer them in between roasted vegetables. Soak them in a marinade of your choice and brew up a sauce for dipping. I love dipping mine in a satay sauce- peanut butter, chilli sauce and lemon juice. 

3. Fajitas
Cut yourself up some chicken, roast some vegetables, grate some cheese and throw in some salsa. Load up a tortilla wrap with all your delicious fillings and sink your teeth in. You can even grill it to make a tasty heated wrap. 

4. Stuffed Chicken
Putting gorgeous food delites inside your chicken can make you feel so much better when you bite into it. Butterfly the breast and stuff it with mozzarella/feta, pesto sauce and tomatoes. Cook in the oven and serve with grilled peppers and courgette. You won't regret it!


Turkey is pretty much similar to chicken with what you can do, but it is leaner and slightly cheaper as well. There are also different forms of turkey you can buy

1. Burgers
You can buy very lean turkey mince, meaning you can make tasty, guilt free burgers. Mix up your own spice infusion and add it to the mince, forming patties and leaving them to chill in the fridge. Cook them in the oven or on the hob and serve with your choice of accompaniments.

2. Turkey Schnitzel
Buy yourself some turkey steaks and coat them in egg. Blend up some bread crumbs to cover the steaks and light fry them in oil for a breaded sensation. For a lower carb option, instead of bread crumbs, try grinding up some nuts and seeds of choice. 

3. Stuffed Grilled Vegetables 
Flavour your turkey mince however you like and fry lightly on the hob. At the same time, put your vegetable of choice in the oven (pepper, aubergine or courgette -middles removed) to soften them slightly. Remove from oven and stuff with the mince, adding cheese, more vegetables, olives, couscous- the works. Put back in the oven until pipping hot.


1. Sea bass
If you are feeling a light and healthy meal, sea bass is a great option. It takes 5 minutes to fry and with a dash of lemon juice, tastes really fresh. Serve up with a mix salad and some roasted vegetables. 

2. Salmon
Salmon can sometimes feel like a bit of a plain, boring dish, but if you roast it in the oven with a layer of pesto on top, it adds a lot of flavour and goodness to it. Other options include adding chilli sauce for a more spicy/tangy sensation. Coat the top with nuts and seeds and serve with couscous and vegetables 

3. Mackerel
If you don't have much time on your hands, then tinned mackerel is a quick, easy option. Simply spread it onto a piece of toast, add tomatoes, sprinkle with cheese and put it under the grill for a few minutes. Perfect.

4. Tuna Steak
This fish tends to feel much more meaty than any white fish and so if you want something more substantial, this could be your answer. Cook through or sear the tuna and serve up with a tangy soy sauce, chilli sauce, honey glaze. 

Red Meat

Whilst red meat isn't traditionally healthy due to it's high fat content, there are some homely, comforting meals which we all miss when on a diet. Well now you don't have to.

1. Spaghetti Bolognese
If you want to keep your spag bol low carb, opt for vegetable pasta. Simply grate up some courgette and carrot using a Julienne Cutter and swirl it up on your fork between your meat sauce like you would normally do, but without all the calories. 

2. Lasagna
This warm dish doesn't have to be a heart attack waiting to happen. Opt for low fat cheese to cover the meat and instead of pasta sheets, layer pieces of grilled aubergine, courgette and pepper. Tastes and looks great and still has that homely feel, just in a healthy way. 

3. Steak
Occasionally you do just have to treat yourself to a chunky piece of meat, but when doing so there are options. Considering it is only a once in a while dinner option, you might be able to afford to spend a little more than usual. Opt for a very low fat, lean steak and cook to your preferences. Serve with ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce - your choice and enjoy!


There are so many things you can do with eggs and although they are thought of as a breakfast meal, there is no reason why you couldn't have them at any point in the day.

1. Frittata 
This tastes just as good as it looks and the best thing is you can add whatever you want to it. Mix up some eggs, add in spices and vegetables and top with some grated cheese. Put in the oven for 30min and serve with some salad. 

2. Omelette
Like the frittata you can have any flavour combination you want. I like to add vegetables (pepper, tomato, courgettes) to my omelette mixture and as it is cooking, sprinkle with cheese. Serve with any meat of your choice and some salad. 


Who said you have to eat dinner food at dinner? If you eat your wholesome meat and vegetables at lunch, sometimes you can afford to have something a bit naughty for dinner. The other day I had MyProtein golden syrup pancakes, topped with Hogbutters protein peanut butter, summer fruits, honey and yoghurt. Every ingredient was totally healthy, even though it didn't feel that way and it tasted delicious and was just what I needed after a long exam period!

I hope this piece has helped to give you a few more options when it comes to food. Any of these meals can be eaten at any point in the day and are a sure fire way to keep you looking and feeling good without getting bored and cheating on your healthy eating regime. Good luck and do get in touch with any of your favourite meals!

Inactivity- The Silent Killer

Inactivity- The Silent Killer

Let's consider this scenario

You are presented with two middle aged men. One is clearly overweight and the other appears to sit at a comfortable, average size. The overweight man has been trying to lose weight by exercising 3 times a week, but cannot sort out his diet and continues to put on the pounds. The average sized man sits around all day working and doesn't feel the need to exercise because he is already thin.

In your opinion, which man is most likely to suffer an early death due to health problems?

I'm sure that the majority of you would have said the overweight man, as it is common knowledge that people with a high body fat percentage suffer many health problems, especially cardiovascular ones. Whilst this answer is entirely possible, it could easily be the case that the other man is in even more danger. 

A recent study done at the University of Cambridge, shows that lack of exercise is responsible for  twice  as many deaths as obesity!

Researchers followed the lives of 334,161 Europeans for 12 years, assessing exercise levels and waistlines and recording death counts. The results were extremely interesting, showing that the greatest risk of an early death was in those classed as 'inactive', irrespective of BMIs and waistline measurements. They also predicted that eliminating inactivity in Europe would cut mortality rates by nearly 7.5%, or 676,000 deaths, but eliminating obesity would cut rates by just 3.6%.

The study goes on to suggest that simply undertaking a 20-minute brisk walk each day, or an equivalent exercise, would move you from the inactive group to the moderately inactive group, lowering your risk of premature death by 16-30%. 
There are 24 hours in a day - that's 1440 minutes - 20 of which you could be active - that's not even 1.5% of your day. 

So What Can You Do?

When I read about this recent piece of research I was absolutely shocked. Not specifically that a sedentary lifestyle causes more deaths that obesity, but that people would be willing to give their life away at the expense of being slightly active. 

Exercising really is easy and it doesn't have to be a chore. No one said you have to be running daily marathons or lifting Olympic weights, the research states that just a 20 minute brisk walk can decrease chances of a premature death by 16-30%. This could be during a lunch break, walking quickly to and from the train station or even strolling round your local park midway through the day instead of watching TV. This is the minimum you should be doing and it isn't difficult. 

Group exercise is another way you can add a bit more exercise to your life. It requires little drive and is a fun way to get your body moving. There are so many different style of classes to suit everyones likes and you can go with your friends, have a laugh and your instructor will give you all the motivation you need to keep going. 

Eating well is a difficult art, but exercising really is an easy thing to add into your life. There are so many different options you can choose from depending on your interests. Swimming, jogging, dancing, walking, team sports etc. It doesn't have to be intense, it just has to raise your heart rate. 

So next time you see someone overweight, don't feel safe in the knowledge that they are more unhealthy than you. Think about your own lifestyle choices and start moving and being active. 20 minutes is 1.5% of your day. Don't you owe it to yourself to give up that small amount of time if it means you will be able to live longer?

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday

The first Monday in January usually means back to work, school, university etc and back to normal, boring life after a fun Christmas period. However, it doesn't have to be such a sad, drag of a day. Instead it can be the start of an amazing new year.

Monday has typically been the day we have the most amount of motivation to start something new. It signifies the beginning of a new week and therefore allows for a change in mentality and desire to achieve. 

With today being the first Monday of 2015, I believe it is even more important than normal to find this willpower and motivation and kick start what is going to be a great year. If you have always wanted to get fit, start today! If you have dreamt of fitting into those old pair of jeans again, start today! If you wish you could be happier within yourself, make that change today! It is time to put those new years resolutions into practice and make 2015 the best year yet!

I have come up with some motivation tips to get you started in your journey to becoming the best you in 2015

1. Use short term and long term goals

Long term goals can be hard to keep fighting for. The final result seems so far away and requires so much work that it is easy to give up. Short term goal setting is therefore the way forward. By focusing our mind on small battles, we can see our progress in little stages and be pleased with ourselves for making each change. Every goal we surpass, we are one step closer to achieving our overall goal and it starts to appear much more realistic and possible. 

2. Set out and write down your goals 

 By noting down things that you want to achieve this year, it really will give you the hunger to work hard to get there. The act of writing it down will make it clear in your mind what you actually want and seeing your goal in a tangible form will make it feel possible and not just a random wish. Also, if ever you feel a lack of motivation, you can re-look up your goal, remember the desire you felt when writing it down and this will help you to get back on track to achieving it. 

3. Track your progress

If you know where you've started from and you know where you want to end up, there is no reason why you shouldn't plan and/or track the stages in between. By setting out a strategy to follow, you will be motivated to reach your goal as you know how to behave at each step of the way. By tracking progress, you can see how far you've come and how close you are to your goal as well. You can take pride in how far you've come and this will keep you motivated in any down period. 

4. Motivating images

Find an image or quotation which motivates you. Something that immediately fills you with a sense of desire and need to achieve. Set this as your phone background or stick it up on your wall so every time you turn on your phone or walk into your room, you see this image. Of course the impact of the image will wear off after a month or so, but if you keep updating it, then your motivation will continue to prosper. 

5. Publise your journey

Compliments, praise and positive feedback are a huge motivator. There is nothing like the sense of pride felt after a friend has noticed the changes you've made and praised you for them. Speak to your friends and family, help them follow in your journey and motivate you along the way. If you want, create a twitter, instagram or even write your own blog. It's amazing how motivated you feel when others comment on how well you are doing. On top of that, there is no better feeling that receiving a message saying how you are helping and inspiring someone else to make a change. That is the biggest compliment of all and the biggest drive for anyones motivation.

I hope this post has helped you to really build up that desire and need to make a change for the better. 

Throughout the normal week we always say, 'I'll start on Monday.' 

Over Christmas we have all said, 'I'll start in January.' 

It's time to combine the two and make that change today! If not today, then when? 


For help on making those goals and new years resolutions, check out my post here