Monday, 19 August 2013


Now the thing is, I eat pretty erratically plus I’m vegetarian, so my diet doesn’t necessarily hit muster as far as providing energy, vital nutrients and all on an ongoing basis goes. Sorry, that is a horrible sentence – I appear to have lost the power of rational speech recently. Or, rather, the power of rational writing (the speech went a long time ago). 

Of course I could just take supplements but it dawned on me that actually there was a better way to go.  Cos really the best way to supercharge our diet is not with manufactured supplements but with foods dense in natural nutrients – the so-called ‘superfoods’.

My favourite pharmacist Shabir Daya (from Victoria Health) agrees.  ‘They offer great benefits,’ he says.  ‘Providing not only vitamins and minerals but phytonutrients which have many beneficial properties.’ He points out that superfoods are also much safer than synthetic supplements.  ‘Superfoods do not offer mega doses - mega doses of any nutrient can have a detrimental effect.’  And who wants a detrimental effect, huh?
However he is swift to point out that they aren’t necessarily a magic bullet and that you should take some of their miraculous claims with a pinch of salt.  Quite so. 

But hey.  I figured that the easiest way for me to boost my energy and so on was to have a mega superfood charged breakfast.  And for anyone who might remotely be interested (all two of you) this is it.

 First I soak oats overnight in unsweetened almond milk. Why oats?  They give sustained energy and are known to keep cholesterol levels (as in bad cholesterol) down.  Then I add goji berries because, firstly, I like the taste and secondly they are mega-high in antioxidants with potent anti-ageing and immune-enhancing properties.  They’re said to increase stamina, strength, longevity and sexual energy.  Good enough, huh?
      Then, come morning (usually after my morning gym workout), I add a tablespoon or so of mixed crushed organic flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin seeds (rich in protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamin E).  Why crushed?  Cos you ever tried getting flaxseeds out of your teeth?  Trust me – crush ‘em.
      Then I add another loving spoonful of hemp seeds. Why?  Cos they’re a superb vegetarian protein (a much better choice than soya or whey protein) with the ideal ratio of essential fatty acids.  Hemp can encourage weight loss and a healthy immune system (so they – the infamous they – say).  It is also said to promote glossy hair, healthy skin and nails, and may balance hormones and reduce inflammation.  Plus studies show it can help battle depression.  Hi ho hemp!
      Next up, a sprinkle of Acai.  Exceedingly high in antioxidants, acai is said to help prevent premature ageing. Its amino acid profile gives a sustained energy boost and its high essential fatty acid content helps regulate blood sugar levels.   Only downside? It turns your breakfast a sort of sludgy greyish black.

            A really good dose of Cacao nibs next.  Cacao is known as ‘Nature’s Prozac’.  Pure raw cacao (the raw ingredient of chocolate) can reduce stress and anxiety and increase feelings of wellbeing. It is exceedingly high in antioxidants and in magnesium.  Plus it’s absolutely delicious.  Don’t cheat - you need the pukka nibs, not a slab of Cadbury’s.

      Then a goodly wallop of Chia seed.  Known as the appetite suppresser, chia was apparently used by the Aztecs and Mayans for endurance and energy.  It’s a gelatinous seed that adds bulk to food, making it handy if you’re trying to lose weight. It contains the highest vegetarian source of EFAs (essential fatty acids) and is exceedingly high in calcium and iron.  To be honest, it doesn’t really rock my boat but I need the protein.

      Then a sprinkle of Maca. Another powerful adaptogen, used originally by the Peruvians for energy and sexual prowess.   Maca is said to help reduce anxiety, stress and depression and enhance libido and fertility (not that I’m remotely interested in the latter, but hey some of you might be).  LOVE Maca.  J

 Finally some Lucuma powder.  Why?  Absolutely no idea.  But it tastes nice.
Then I stir it all up and watch it turn a really disgusting shade of murky grey.  But seriously, it tastes great.  So great that, if left entirely to my own devices, I’d probably eat it three times a day. 

Of course my family don’t join me in this.  But I am trying to nudge James towards something a tad more healthy than Krave.  Kellogg’s sent some All Bran the other day and, by heck it’s changed.  Farewell scratchy twigs; hello flakes with berries and chocolate (nah, not cacao nibs…you know, chocolate chocolate).  Anyhow, he looked suspicious but gave it a cautious lick and…bingo!  I figure it’s a goodly step in the right direction.   I might even try sneaking in a bit of something super when he’s not looking.  J

Anyhow...what do you have for your breakfast?  


Ashen said...

I use oats, ground almonds and cashew, cut scissor-cut stripes of one or two prunes, fresh fruit, berries in summer, all soaked it in hot water in the morning, then I add goats yoghurt.
You remind me of the crushed hemp, which I left out when I had a tooth problem. I might get them again.

Barbee' said...

Oh, wow, I wish you could put this all together and sell it. I'm too scattered, I'd never get it all together. But if it were already mixed and all I had to do was add hot water - now that I could do.

the veg artist said...

Ready-mixed gluten-free muesli (soaked in water for an hour while I have my first milky coffee), 3 large spoons of natural yoghurt and 3 prunes (soaked in Earl Grey tea - done in small batches and kept in the fridge) - all together in one bowl, and followed by another coffee.
(Just in case anyone is tutting about the gluten-free - I have coeliac!)

Exmoorjane said...

@Ashen - sounds very good indeed. Yup, hemp is a goodie.

@Barbee - that's exactly what a friend said. If I knew anything about business, I would. :)

@VA - Prunes soaked in Earl Grey? You sophisticate! :) Why should anyone tut about gluten-free? Shedload of people (myself included) have issues with gluten. I don't like the commercial mixes though - they taste like sawdust. What type do you get? I also steer clear of dried fruit (let's not go into it!) and they're often heavy on the raisins etc. :)

Frances said...

Well Jane, most mornings I have OJ, coffee and Cheerios, with skim milk. This morning I sliced a perfectly ripe peach over the Cheerios. Delicious!

One or two days a week, I actually have an egg on toast. And...that egg is usually fried ... in butter. Also delicious.

Your breakfast combo would be too complicated for me to put together before going to work, but I am sure it's full of wholesome goodness.

Don't know about chocolate flavored breakfast cereals!


the veg artist said...

Google "Jay Rayner Guardian coeliac" and you'll see what I mean!
I could tell him exactly where I was when I was growing up - never far from the nearest loo! I was over 50 when I found out what the problem was, and could spend a long time listing all the effects it has had on my health.

(The muesli is from Holland & B, and perhaps would be a litte 'tough' without the soaking, and the prunes soaked in Earl Grey is from a Skye Gyngell book, and works really well.)