Breakfast is best? That’s increasingly debatable, although most of us have been told that it’s a must or else. But what can breakfast do for your beauty routine, specifically your, skin, ageing and energy levels? That depends on what you reach for when you break the fast and how consistently you ensure to actually have breakfast.
How I Begin
At least five mornings per week, the first thing I consume is a concoction of the following:
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of fresh pepper
- 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
Then I add warm water into an average size coffee cup (about 8 ounces), then stir it all together. I used to add honey but I’ve stopped and I’ll explain why later on. I wait a minimum of a half hour then make my daily bowl of oatmeal. After experimenting with various kinds of oats that cook well and are nutrient dense and free from added sugar, I now only use thick cut, whole grain oats which I enjoy preparing as follows:
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- Half cup of uncooked oats
- One-quarter cup of frozen organic blueberries
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons walnuts
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin, undistilled olive oil
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
The oats and frozen blueberries go into a near boiling pot of the measure of water and I stir regularly. The blueberries go in with the oats to thaw them and as a way to thicken up the porridge. After the oats cook, I leave it to sit for a minute and then add the dried cranberries, nutritional yeast and olive oil and stir. I also like to add chia seeds and flax seeds. Then, I top with walnuts. I used to add granola and honey to my oatmeal each day. Then, earlier this year, on a fluke I realised that it was unnecessary added sugar that was keeping some stubborn extra inches on. So, once I cut that out there was a definite difference. I do love honey, and I only buy the raw kind. But it’s now an occasional treat but a crucial ingredient for at home masks. Apart from that, granola no longer occupies space on my grocery list.
You may be wondering why I add olive oil and what is nutritional yeast. Olive oil has good fats, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and is anti-bacterial. It also does not impact the overall taste of the oatmeal. In terms of skin health, olive oil can be used in countless ways. Makeup remover, moisturiser, as a mask, as an exfoliator blended with honey, sugar and lemon and so much more.
Nutritional yeast is naturally occurring, is an inactive form of yeast, has no sodium and tastes a bit like cheddar cheese. It’s usually used by vegans looking for cheese replacements and can be used in multiple ways such as on popcorn, salads and pasta among other things. Some brands of nutritional yeast are fortified with B12, so look for that if you opt to try it. The taste also disappears into the oatmeal for the most part although there is a bit of an aftertaste that you become used to.
Walnuts are brilliant for the brain, contain good fats, proteins and have extremely high level of antioxidants. Blueberries are also good brain food and contain fibre along with vitamin C and vitamin K. Lastly, oats are high in minerals and fibre and are also very good for your trusty brain. In 1800s England, oats were primarily horse food but thankfully someone realised it was good for humans as well. Oats also help to normalise skin’s ph levels, helps skin to retain moisture and, as we all know, relieves itchy, irritated skin.
Now to matcha, the high priest/priestess of green tea that dates back to the eighth century. I stopped drinking coffee about two years ago. Once in a very long while, I’ll have a very tiny cup or a sip but otherwise, it’s matcha. There is a hierarchy in matcha, with the ceremonial grade being the premium kind, while culinary grade indicates matcha that has qualities that are different from ceremonial grade. Culinary grade matcha can also be used to make tea but the flavour is different from its ceremonial counterpart. Naturally, costs vary based on the grade of matcha. I can tell you from experience there is a vast difference between the taste and behaviour of higher grade matcha in comparison to less expensive quality, but do what is comfortable for your resources.
In terms of actual preparation of the matcha, I watched Youtube videos to learn how to properly prepare it. It is an incredible process when prepared the traditional way. But I’ve managed to tailor a way to prepare it that still results in an enjoyable drinking experience. I also don’t add milk or sugar to mine but it is possible to do so.
- 1 Teaspoon or heaping matcha spoon of powder (see matcha spoon in the photographs)
- Four to five ounces of hot water
- Additional hot water needed to heat your cup or matcha bowl
- 1 tea whisk or chasen (bamboo whisk)
After the water has boiled, I pour some into my bowl and whisk the water as a way to heat the bowl. I then pour that water out and wipe the bowl with a paper towel. That removes all moisture yet the bowl retains its warmth.
I then place my measured matcha powder into the bowl and pour in four to five ounces of water depending on the tea strength I want on that day. I then whisk until foam forms at the top. In the traditional way, the tea whisk should not touch the bottom of the bowl but I no longer worry about that and simply whisk away. Once I’m satisfied with my foam, I then allow the tea to cool a bit and then I enjoy. On a given day, I have just one bowl of matcha as it’s very high in caffeine. However, this caffeine is released at a much slower rate in comparison to coffee, so one is unlikely to become jittery from drinking it.
Matcha also boasts a slew of beneficial compounds and nutrients. Antioxidant and mineral rich, matcha slows cellular ageing and may also offer a measure of protection to the body’s organs. As a face mask, blended with honey and a little water, it brightens and tightens the skin and takes a minute to whip together.
Late findings are starting to say that breakfast is not as necessary as once thought. We all know how these things go, one day something is good and a week later it’s bad. I’ll say that without breakfast, I feel sluggish and if it’s really bad my head starts to feel like it’s stuffed with cotton and I feel dizzy. With breakfast, I feel more focused, more enlivened and ready to take on the day. As in all things, ultimately the choice is yours.
*Everything in this blog post is intended for information purposes only. Advice tailored specifically to you, your body and any existing or future conditions should be sought from a qualified Physician and/or Nutritionist.