Breakfast: 5 alternatives to cereal

Breakfast doesn't have to be cereal!
Breakfast doesn’t have to be cereal!

I’m not going to lie. I was one too. Throughout my teenage years and into my early twenties breakfast for me was cereal. Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes and Weetabix. I’d always be starving a couple of hours afterwards, so to solve that I’d eat more. In fact when I weighed out how much breakfast cereal I was having one day I found out I was eating about 3-4 servings in one go! Then I did my research. There’s a lot of it out there and I can leave you draw your own conclusions on this, but my conclusion was that breakfast cereal is no good if you want a filling, sustaining first meal of the day. Many (but not all) have a high sugar content, and quite simply will fill you up for a ‘quick fix’ but leave you starving and hungry later. However if you are reliant on breakfast cereal in the morning, the question is – what do you have instead? Here are my five alternative breakfasts – be warned I am a protein fan – I think it fills you up for longer than carbohydrates do!

1. Eggs

Packed with vitamins and minerals, and high in protein – eggs are one of my go to breakfast foods. I have them most days – and they are so versatile as well! You can boil them (dippy soldiers anyone?), fry them (dry fry of course), poach or scramble them. And they do fill you up. For the purposes of this blog post I’m talking about boiled eggs. You can cook them first thing, or even boil them up the night before and eat them on the go cold the next morning. The possibilities are endless!

2. Meat, Poultry or Fish (with eggs)

This is my current go to breakfast. Some form of meat (At the moment my preference is turkey) with a couple of dry fried eggs. It highlights one thing for me each morning and that is – what is on your plate doesn’t have to look massive to fill you up. Some mornings I look at my plate of turkey and eggs and just think how hungry I’m going to be mid-morning. But it doesn’t happen. You can also bulk this up with some vegetables as well. I find mushrooms and cherry tomatoes go quite well – and it sets you up for the day quite nicely. For those not keen on turkey (although quick cook steaks mean I can be eating breakfast within five minutes), you could consider poaching some smoked haddock, bacon (though remember it’s technically a processed meat), chicken mini fillets, smoked salmon. Again the potential for variety is huge.

3. Meat and nuts

This may sound a strange one, but in fact it’s promoted by many nutritionists who work with athletes. The idea is that meat will allow your blood sugar to rise slowly and nuts will provide you with a selection of good fats that will keep your blood sugar steady and avoid any ‘dips’. Personally, I’ve tried it and I think it does work. I tend to combine it with meat and eggs (see above) but will throw in a handful of almonds or a few brazil nuts into my breakfast as well. I’m not going to deny it’s a bit strange at first though – just remember if you can eat nuts, there are lots of different types of nuts around so if you don’t like almonds for example, you could always try cashews.

4. Porridge (with fruit, or whatever…)

This is not my thing, however other people swear by it. Put so many oats into water or milk, cook and stir in what ever you want. This is not for me – however others quite like it. They have a balance of protein, carbohydrate and vitamins/minerals in them. Also you can stir berries, honey, syrup – pretty much whatever you like in them – it’s all good!

5. Porridge pancakes

Is this a breakfast food? Who knows! Either way I have come across a recipe to make porridge more palatable. I soak the oats overnight in greek yoghurt and then whisk in a couple of eggs in the morning. I then dry fry into small pancakes and serve with berries and greek yoghurt. You can do a version with bacon and bananas, or practically anything you want really. Either way, its a bit time consuming but simple and filling. It also makes a great weekend treat!