Saturday, 29 January 2011

A Cyclist's Breakfast

I remember being taught as a child that the most important meal of the day is breakfast.  A few decades later I have come to eventually agree.  It's important nutritionally but also for us as a family (see below).

The food, the a normal week, I have this mega mixture for 6 days....

Museli - from Dorset Cereals, Goodness Foods etc.  Typically these will contain ingredients like Oat flakes, wheat flakes, barley flakes, sultanas, sunflower seeds, dates, Brazil nuts (a real mega super food) and hazelnuts.  All this together contains Vitamins E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, biotin, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, complex carbohydrates, fibre, protein, sugar.  There are many benefits but include anti-cancer, anti-oxidants and lowering cholesterol.

Linseed (flaxseed) - just a desert spoonful mixed in.  Contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and some protein.  Helps in keeping cholesterol under control and assists the immune system.  It is also suggested it helps maintain healthy blood-fat levels and maybe protective against cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Wheatbran - just a spoonful sprinkled over.  Also contains Vitamin B2, B3, B5, B6, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, iron, zinc and of course, lots of fibre!  Naturally this helps keep "me moving" and also is an antioxidant and helps detoxify the body.

And then a piece of fruit mixed in.  Normally just one, but maybe two.  I try to have a good variety but normally the fruit basket has a choice of:

  • Grapefruit - just half a grapefruit contains a good dose of Vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, bioflavonoids, citric and phenolic acids, lycopene, pectin, sugars and some fibre.  All this adds up as a powerful detoxifyer, assisting the immune system and blood pressure.
  • Orange - also contains Vitamin c with some B3 and B5.  Helps maintain healthy blood cells, skin etc.
  • Banana - contain Vitamins C, B3, B5 and B6, biotin, magnesium, fibre and sugars.  Bananas are said to help with keeping skin, hair, nerves and bone marrow in good order together with being such a good fuel in their own right. 
  • Kiwi - Vitamins A, C and B3.  Kiwis have an antioxidant effect and also encourage the health and repair of body tissues and promote the release of energy from other foods.
  • Melon (Cantilupe) - Vitamins A, B3 and C, cartenoids and sugars.  This fruit may help prevent cancer cells developing and otherwise help in the repair of other cells in the body.
Other fruits that we often have include pears, blueberries, prunes, grapes and dried apricots.  We normally have a small glass of smoothie and again we have a wide variety.

I would normally mix up my breakfast and let it soak for about 20-30 minutes in ordinary tap water.  That helps it become more digestable (especially with the bran in mind!).  All in all this is an incredibly filling breakfast and helpful in having lots of different kinds of food and nutrients all in the same meal, albeit in relatively small quantities.  It gives me plenty of energy through until lunchtime and fantastic for cycling.  There is no way I could go for a run with that inside me!  If I run in the morning my intake is straightforward.... just a cup of tea and then I'm off and run best on an almost empty stomach.  When I get back, that's when I have my mega mix.

When we're in a "normal" routine, we will always have breakfast together.  It's a chance for the four of us to be together ahead of the business and hectic happenings of the day.  It's a social time, a chance to talk, swap ideas and share what is happening for each of us during the day ahead.  A chance for a short Bible reading and a prayer time together.

Often on Sunday, I'll have something different, normally to fit in with the rest of the family as a way of pretending I'm not totally weird in the eyes of the girls!  Often we'll have a boiled egg with toast, or maybe a croissant or something like that.

So that's my ideal breakfast - a fantastic meal any day but if it's ahead of a bike ride, well, it's fantastic!

Related: Runner's Lunch (aka Compost sandwich)
Flaxseed (small), wheat bran (medium) and museli

1 comment:

  1. Doug - nice to read your blog. I am in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. Memphis is the home of Elvis Presley - perhaps you have heard of him :)

    Found your page while searching for info on food and cycling. My food intake has been a problem for me, as I seem to hit the wall any time I cycle beyond 25 miles or so.

    I may try your "ideal" breakfast sometime. Perhaps it would work for me.

    I too am a Christian and was raised in a Baptist Church in Alabama. Good to hear of your enjoying Bible stories with your family :)

    I am simply writing to say hello and thanks for the breakfast post. Have a great day!