A bowl of slow cooking oats makes a perfect breakfast, especially if you throw in some nuts, raisin berries and cinnamon, writes Ron Cain. (Metro Creative)

A bowl of slow cooking oats makes a perfect breakfast, especially if you throw in some nuts, raisin berries and cinnamon, writes Ron Cain. (Metro Creative)

RON CAIN: Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

It’s the best way to start your day

All meals are important, and eating breakfast every day may be the key to losing weight and performing better at your job or school. Skipping breakfast is saying hello to feeling lousy and gaining weight over the long-term.

Vegetarians and vegans are very focused on eating healthy and sometimes fall short of making bad choices for breakfast.

The most important nutritional foundation for a great breakfast is protein, and the most popular choice is carbohydrates and usually refined ones. Sorry folks, but Tony the Tiger was a con artist.

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Boxed cereal is, for the most part, a poor choice. It’s recommended that sugar constitutes less than 10 per cent of your calorie intake, but many popular box cereals are between 20 and 30 per cent. The lowest I can find is Cheerios.

The trouble with those refined carbohydrates is they spike your blood sugar level, and that feels great – like your stocks going up and then the next day they tank – but within two to three hours of getting that sugar hit your body has increased insulin levels to compensate and your blood sugar drops lower – too low in some cases. By coffee break, you are grumpy, sleepy, dopey and need a doc.

Are there better plant-based choices to be made for breakfast? Try foods that are good sources of protein and healthy fat. Great options include avocado, natural sugar-free Balkan or Greek yogurt, but choose the higher fat ones because the extra fat creates a feeling of satiation, and you will resist grabbing that doughnut at Timmies.

Nuts are a great source of protein and micronutrients that potentially favourably impact the health of the brain. Butter made from nuts (peanut and almond butter etc.) is a great choice when spread over homemade multigrain bread.

We make our bread without yeast – a favourite out of Scotland – and it is filling.

Speaking of Scotland, there is always the old oatmeal staple, and there again, healthier choices can be made. The microwave version in a package is low in fibre due to processing and has added sugars.

Instead, make your own using organic slow cooking oats (not the fast cooking oats), add one cup of oats, chuck in raisins, chopped fruit, frozen berries, chia seeds, and cinnamon. Please give it a stir, cover and turn down real low, and by the time you have gotten dressed and made it to the kitchen, it is ready to eat.

If you are not a vegan, Sooke is blessed with many farm stands selling yummy free-range eggs, and that is the perfect way to start my day – on top of the Scottish yeast-free bread, of course. Send me an email, and I will give you the recipe.


Ron Cain is a personal trainer with Sooke Mobile Personal Training. Email him at sookepersonaltraining@gmail.com.


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