This book explains how and why we should consider our food as the basis of our mental and brain health throughout our lives. It also highlights practical things we can do to help prevent mental health problems in the first place, as well as strategies for treating these problems if they do arise. I hope this book provides tools that allow you and your loved ones to optimise your mental and brain health at every stage of life.
Brain Changer Breakfast options in my home =
Wholegrain, sourdough toast (one slice) with: avocado, hummus, tomato, goat’s cheese, eggs or tomato, or a combination of these. You can even add Vegemite to your avocado toast. Or peanut butter (not the highly processed stuff with added sugar and salt, but the decent stuff), tahini or some other form of nut butter. Sardines or mackerel are also great options, as they will give you a terrific hit of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Try to find the tinned sardines in olive oil.
‘Breakfast mush’: This is my favourite go-to brekky. I start with whatever non-starchy vegetables I have in the fridge – I want them water-based so that they cook quickly. I would usually include zucchini, mushrooms, leeks (if you have them – they’re an excellent source of fibre), tomatoes, spinach and herbs from my garden – chopped quickly and roughly (the idea here is to do this quickly so you’re not late for work). Put them all into a shallow pan with a lid, add some extra virgin olive oil and a splash of water, and cook for five minutes over a low heat until the veggies are soft. Then add eggs that have been mixed with a bit of milk. I mix all mine together into a bit of a slop, but you can keep the scramble separate if you like. I use roughly one and a half eggs per person. I then add more herbs, season with salt and pepper and serve in a bowl. My husband has his on a slice of wholegrain sourdough toast. Sometimes I add a bit of either ricotta or goat’s cheese on top. To be honest, a version of this is often lunch or dinner as well! Too easy.
Porridge: Not the pre-cooked ‘instant’ kind, but whole oats (preferably steel-cut) that you can soak overnight if you like, or just cook slowly on the stove. I have mine with some milk or soy milk, plus some frozen berries. My husband likes to add currants and sultanas, or sliced fruit. Keep your serves small (half a cup uncooked). I really love oats. If I was stuck on a desert island for the rest of my life and could only have one food to take with me, it would be oats.
Muesli: Not the toasted kind (granola) that has been cooked in oil and has loads of sugar/honey added. You can make your own pretty easily, and include some nuts and seeds, as well as oats, spelt flakes, and so on. There are many recipes online. Again, you can eat this with fruit or added nuts and seeds. Keep your serves small (half a cup uncooked). I sometimes like to put mine in the fridge overnight, soaking in milk or soy milk, so that I can have it soft and cold with yoghurt and fruit in the morning.
Yoghurt: This is pretty simple. I take two tablespoons of whole plain yoghurt (I love Greek yoghurt), then sprinkle some muesli or oats on top and add a bit of frozen or fresh fruit.
Smoothie: I don’t have this for breakfast very often, mainly because I find it doesn’t give me enough ‘bulk’ to keep me full until lunchtime, but it’s a great way to get yoghurt (or home-made kefir – even better) into your day. I use my own kefir if I have it (or yoghurt), a little bit of frozen banana, frozen blueberries and any sort of milk (cow’s milk or soy or almond milk). You can put some oats in there as well if you like. You can get pretty creative and there are lots of recipes online.
Sunday fry-up: On the weekend, I’ll sometimes do a bit of a traditional English extravaganza, with eggs, cooked mushrooms and tomatoes, avocado, baked beans, goat’s cheese and sourdough bread. I use butter and really enjoy every mouthful! No bacon, though. Apart from the health impact of processed meats, the way pigs and other animals are treated in industrial agriculture is appalling. I’m largely vegetarian mainly for that reason.
Buckwheat pancakes: I love buckwheat and it’s a healthy option for pancakes. It’s high in fibre and minerals, as well as protein, so it keeps you full. I use plain buckwheat flour, pour water and milk and an egg into a well in the middle of the flour, then mix it all up to a runny consistency and cook it in a pan. Add sliced banana for extra yum.