A funny thing happens toward the end of winter: the occasional warmer day with blue sky and the warmth of the sun starts to be felt again. This signals people to start looking forward to summer and what it will bring, somehow bypassing spring and the wonders of budding plants and new growth. When the weather is right, take some time to get outside and look around you, absorbing a little sunshine and warmth, and appreciating the natural environment. It will do wonders for your mood and your vitamin D levels, as well as help you to develop a good mindset for weight loss. Our article on mindset this month will also give you some good ideas.
This month we’re having a look at some breakfast ideas that don’t include eggs, cereal or toast. What’s left? So many great ideas that keep you interested, satisfy your hunger, and help your weight loss.
The Term 3 Go For Gold challenge is about to start, and with an Olympic Games related feel centres are gearing up for some fun and activity. Check your nearest centre for details.
Lost 44 kilos & 142.5 cm
I saw an ad for Healthy Inspirations in the paper and thought “What the heck, I’ve got nothing to lose except a heap of weight and I’ve tried everything else.”
I was sceptical to start with because everything else that I had tried, I was unable to sustain for the long term, but the ladies at Healthy Inspirations have taught me so much about my body and the food I choose to put into it, that I no longer view either as my enemy.
I am nearly 50 years old and for 26 years of my adult life I have weighed over 120kg, so needless to say there have been some mental and emotional hurdles to overcome. And just a few years ago I was so unfit I struggled to walk 200m to the shop; I now walk 10km once a week and every other day I walk up a steep hill around where I live. I actually enjoy walking now. Wow, I never thought I would say that.
Probably the biggest health benefit for me is that after 30 years of being on medication for high blood pressure, I am now off medication and maintaining normal blood pressure.
When people ask what I’ve been doing, I simply say I’ve been seeing a health coach at Healthy Inspirations and learning heaps about food and my body, eating real food and discovering how different foods affect me and which foods work best for me.
~ Loretta H~
We often hear questions about what to eat for breakfast. The easy answer, of course, is to discuss breakfasts based around eggs, partly because eggs are widely-accepted breakfast food and partly because they’re so versatile and quick to cook.
What happens when people can’t eat eggs, don’t like them, or are just sick of them and needing variety?
Here’s a list of ideas you can quickly whip up for a non-traditional breakfast:
- Left-overs from last night. Stay with us here, this is delicious and is ready within 5 minutes, you just need to be organised. Heat a pan, add a little olive oil, and toss in your pre-cooked vegies and chopped up meat. Stir fry until it’s all heated through. Add herbs or spices if you like, but there’s no reason you need to because this is delicious as is.
- Bacon cups. Cut bacon into strips wide enough to line the sides of muffin pans. Fill with a mix of ricotta and (frozen and defrosted) spinach and parmesan, and bake for 15 minutes.
- Berry crumble. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Put 2 cups frozen raspberries and 1 Tbsp vanilla in a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. While they’re heating, make the crumble: place ¼ cup walnuts, ¼ cup pecans, pinch salt, ¼ tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and 1 Tbsp butter in a food processor and pulse until just blended. Transfer the berries to 4 individual ramekins and sprinkle the crumble over the top. Grill for 2-3 minutes or until the crumble is browned. Serve with a large dollop of Greek yoghurt. As an alternative, make a rhubarb crumble.
- Breakfast salad. Combine rocket, avocado, camembert and fig in a serving bowl. Add roasted macadamia nuts and a little olive or macadamia oil, and serve.
- Mocha chia pudding. Combine 20g chocolate protein powder, 1 shot espresso (or 1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in a little hot water), a handful of spinach leaves, 150ml water, and 20ml cream in a blender. Blend well to combine. Pour into a serving glass and add 2 tsp chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Pork sausage with apple. Slice a pork sausage into 1cm rounds, and combine it in a fry pan with a chopped rasher of bacon, chopped cauliflower, and a sliced apple and cook until the apple is browned, and sausage and cauliflower are cooked.
- Chorizo, mushrooms and cauliflower puree. Slice a chorizo sausage into 1 cm rounds and fry gently in a small skillet until browned, taking care not to burn. Remove from the skillet and fry 4 sliced mushrooms until lightly browned. Chop 1/2 cauliflower into florets and microwave until soft, then blend with 2 Tbsp butter in a food processor. Place the cauliflower puree onto two plates and top with the chorizo and mushrooms and some wilted spinach.
- Eggplant rarebit. Slice a large eggplant into 8 rounds. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake for 20-30 minutes or until softened and slightly golden. Slice an onion and fry in a little olive oil to soften. Reduce heat and add 5 Tbsp white wine, 100g grated cheddar and 1 tsp mustard powder, stirring until the cheese melts. Spoon the cheese mixture onto the eggplant rounds and serve. Add some crispy bacon or cooked sausage if desired.
- Haloumi with green beans. Place a handful of rocket on a plate. Steam a handful of green beans. Melt a little butter in a fry pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp flaked almonds per person, and cook carefully until golden. Remove almonds from the pan and add 2 slices haloumi per person, frying until lightly golden on either side. Place the green beans on the rocket, top with haloumi and sprinkle with almonds.
- Mediterranean breakfast. Arrange on a plate: sliced cooked lamb, 25g feta, 1 tomato (quartered), ½ small cucumber (sliced), and 5 Kalamata or Sicilian olives. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil and sprinkle with fresh or dried oregano and black pepper.
It stands to reason that if the little voice in your head is constantly saying things like “Eat the biscuits, you don’t deserve to be thin”, then losing weight will be difficult (even impossible?) What about the response whenever you think about losing weight: “I’ll start on Monday”? Or the belief that because everyone else in your family is big, you can’t lose weight? Be aware that the thoughts you consistently have will be the results you achieve. Catch your negative thoughts and focus on turning them into positive ones.
We all know that successful weight loss involves a combination of the right food, sufficient exercise, and consistency. Some are aware of other influences such as support, relaxation, sleep, stress, medications and other lifestyle factors, but it’s rare that mindset is considered.
Part of a healthy mindset that supports weight loss is to believe that healthy choices feel right. If you’re constantly battling against your preferred behaviours and habits, it’s going to be hard. The necessary feelings may not be there at the start, but over time you’ll need to come to appreciate and enjoy, for example, the chicken salad for lunch in preference to a sausage roll and chips.
According to Prof Ted Spiker in Time magazine, there are three switches to help you start developing a mindset that will help you lose weight:
- Reverse the leadership model
When you start a new lifestyle to lose weight, whether it’s by following a diet, eating less, exercising more, or joining a program like Healthy Inspirations, the idea of being told what to do is appealing: “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”
This approach works for a while, but as an adult you like to make your own choices and decisions. Following something that is too strict, for example ‘on Tuesday you need to eat steak and vegies for dinner’, removes your power to design your own program within a program. Over time, you get tired of toeing the line and that’s where you fall off the wagon.
Instead of following, you need to lead. At first you might follow more and lead less, but as your expertise and confidence grow it’s important to lead more. Leadership can take many forms:
- Planning and cooking family meals
- Making specific food choices from a larger list of options. This is like ordering at a restaurant: sometimes it’s nice to have someone order for you, but mostly it nicer to read the menu and order what you feel like. Why should your planning of meals be any different?
- Empower yourself to say “No thank you”. For most, it’s easier to say no right at the start than to accept the first offer but then say No later.
- Organise a walking group in your neighbourhood, at work, or as a meeting of friends at the weekend. Don’t wait for someone else to organise it.
- Steer the fear
“In the weight-loss world, fear is almost as bad of a word as pudding. We fear the scale. We fear the doctor. We fear shopping for clothes. We fear the camera. We fear being embarrassed. The more we fear, the more we retreat—and the harder it is to climb out of whatever destructive habits we have.”1
If any of these fears apply to you, it won’t be realistic to expect that they can all be resolved just because you tell yourself not to be silly. Instead, set some small goals that are easily achievable. As you achieve your small goals and start to build confidence in your ability, set bigger goals.
Eventually, you want to set goals that are beyond your comfort zone and which you need to work to achieve. These goals will be personal, but could include things like completing a distance walk for charity, fitting into the jeans you wore back when you were happy with your weight, or appreciating your body for what it can do rather than hating it for what it looks like. If it sounds hard right now, it might be the right goal for you.
- Crank the voltage
While slow and steady is usually the way you need to look at your weight loss results, especially when looking at your results on the scales, there are times where you need to increase the intensity.
Slow and steady when it comes to exercise is good, but it’s not the only way. At least once per week it’s important to crank it up: do a class, lift heavier, go faster, and get breathless and sweaty. This type of exercise is good for your body, but it’s also great for your mind: the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, along with the endorphin release (they’re the feel-good hormones), helps making good food choices a whole lot easier. Just don’t ‘reward’ yourself with food.
In the end, losing weight is not a way that you punish yourself for “letting yourself go”. The process of losing weight, the new attitudes you develop toward health and food and exercise, and the new habits you form, should become so enjoyable and rewarding that you don’t want them to stop.
That’s where you achieve true, lasting weight loss.
- 200g almond meal
- 75g linseeds
- 50g sunflower seeds
- 25g sesame seeds
- 20g Coconut Crunch (or fibre substitute)
- 10g baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 100g Greek yoghurt
- 250g cottage cheese
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Mix all dry ingredients together,
- In a separate bowl, mix the yoghurt and cottage cheese together.
- Combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture. Transfer to the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully invert the loaf onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice into 1 cm slices. A serving is one slice.
Popular fast foods, snacks and drinks may be very tempting but give some thought to the number of minutes of exercise you will need to set aside, on top of your normal exercise, to burn off the extra energy they provide. Even a very small ‘treat’ can have a negative impact on your weight loss success.
Question: How many extra hours/minutes of activity does it take to burn off a Snickers bar?
Strenuous Aerobics: 32 minutes
Social Golf: 65 minutes
Energetic Dancing: 32 minutes
Jogging 8 kph: 43 minutes
Swimming: 43 minutes
Walking: 65 minutes