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Shake Up Your Wake Up…


“Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dine like a Pauper”

When I think about breakfast I always think about time. I have to say that morning is one my favourite time of the day with the smell of coffee taking over the house, sitting on the couch, taking each coffee sip with great delight while waiting for my body to wake up. But that’s usually what I think I have time for, even though I have plenty of time to do more. But this is not what I tell myself. Sometimes I am really good and make my own porridge to take to work and have it at my desk, I even try different toppings to make it more fun but soon I get really bored of porridge. Then I switch to cereal for a while and go for rice or hazelnut milk but still after few days I get bored and drop the whole breakfast thing. Comes 10am, classic snack time I am usually trying to do ‘something super important’ to keep me busy and away from the numerous packets of biscuits being opened and shared in the office. #NaughtyPeople

So imagine my joy when I discovered that this week is #BreakfastWeek! Did you know that there is such thing as #BreakfastWeek? See, all these hours I spend on Twitter not totally wasted, always something to find. Shake Up Your Wake Up really perked my interest mostly because in these cold winter days when my body genuinely struggles with food cravings breakfast has to be even more important. While during hot summer days I might be OK with fresh juice and black coffee the cold makes my body and brain crave waffles and pancakes and bacon and whatnot so breakfast week made me actually re-focus on what makes a good breakfast and remind me why we do need it. You can read up more on the why here, but this is a great summary:

Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast – that’s where its name originates, breaking the fast!  Without breakfast you are effectively running on empty, like trying to start the car with no petrol!

That’s all well said but still without a doubt  the biggest pain when it comes to breakfast is wake up time. It is not enough it is so tough already to wake up in darkness but to have to wake up an hour earlier to prepare breakfast is not really an incentive is it now? So during #BreakfastWeek I decided to try a new breakfast solution every day, test it and share my findings. Before I took on the challenge I made this list of considerations

  • I like to think of myself as a busy person that’s why I want breakfast that is quick to prepare (no more than 10-15 min), I can prepare either at home and carry to work or prepare at work.
  • Time of day – when is actually the best time to have breakfast?
  • ‘Fast food breakfast’ – if I oversleep and don’t have time to prep breakfast or I had a late night and I want a ‘treat’ which are the best places to go to?

Apparently nutritionists advise that breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking and a healthy breakfast should provide calories in the range of 20-35% of your guideline daily allowance (GDA). Good, so I have the answer to that question which means that #NoteToMyself 11am blueberry muffin is NOT breakfast neither is a ham and cheese croissant regardless if it is a very small one!

Moving on, since I am such a ‘busy person’ that gets easily bored eating the same food time and time again I need a number of good, healthy, nutritious breakfast options I can add to my breakfast routine. Notice in my original point I only jotted down that my priority is to be quick not healthy which made me smile at my own ill arranged priorities but I bet so many people out there focus on the same and don’t always consider the nutritious and health benefits of what they have for breakfast. So, my approach to collating a list of breakfast recipes started as anything – Twitter #BreakfastWeek

Here are my Top 5 Workweek Choices

  1. Marbled Fruit Porridge

Marbled fruit porridge

This porridge recipe is very similar to what I usually prepare for myself when I feel like something warm and sweet in the morning.

What I liked
Love the fact that porridge is perhaps the most versatile breakfast as the toppings can vary so much. I also substitute dairy milk for rice milk, almond milk and my new favourite hazelnut milk. It is warm, it is filling and so comforting on a cold morning.

What I did not like
Because I don’t have breakfast at home Monday to Friday, my biggest problem with porridge is that it has should be consumed warm and therefore I have to make sure that I use the right container that will keep it warm by the time I get to the office. It also gets a bit thicker during time it takes to get there and sometimes I make it runnier to compensate for that.

  • Preparation time 10  min
  • Serves 1
50g porridge oats
350ml semi skimmed milk which I substitute with Rice Milk or Hazelnut milk to avoid dairy
1 tbsp fruit compote or puree
fresh seasonal fruit to serve (e.g. raspberries)

The beauty of this recipe is that it is super quick to make, you can easily substitute fruits and fruit compote varieties and it is all made from scratch!

You can see the full recipe here 

2. Dairy Free Smoothie 

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 20.49.08

This is a yummy dairy free smoothie recipe from the Waitrose folk. Some mornings I really don’t feel like food and so I usually drown myself in fresh orange juice or mix orange and red grapefruit which is actually not that healthy for me or my teeth and keeps my stomach quite empty. So I really wanted something with more substance. I have also been thinking about getting a NutriBullet so this recipe was a good one to try.

What I liked
Superfast to make in the morning, add, blitz, Go! It is also quite filling, refreshing and delicious!

What I did not like
Soaking the cashew nuts bit. It is not a big deal but yet another thing to remember to do. can’t please us all I know …

  • Preparation time 10 min
  • Serves 2


40g cashew nuts
45g LOVE Life Mixed Seeds, plus extra to serve
2 tsp goji berries, plus extra to serve
1 banana
100g raspberries, plus extra to serve
75g strawberries
Juice ½ lemon
Ice, to blitz and/or serve (optional)

You can see the full recipe here 

3. Quinoa fruit and nuts porridge

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 20.55.44

This recipe is from the @OliveMagazine and I wanted to try it because it sounded like an interesting twist on a porridge. I find quinoa quite light but yet filling and have never considered as breakfast or even as something I can add fruit and sweetness to.

What I liked:
Good alternative to porridge oats and can also be served and consumed cold. I don’t have to worry what container to use to carry it to work and keep it warm as I would with an oats based porridge.

What I did not like:
The only problem I had with it that it does not have the same thick, creamy texture as the oats porridge does hence did not feel that warm.

  1. Preparation time I found was a bit longer 15-20min
  2. Serves four but you can always cook just one portion for yourself

Quinoa 160g, cooked to packet instructions, preferably a mix of black and white quinoa.
soya milk 350ml
cinnamon stick 1
nutmeg ¼ , freshly grated
vanilla pod 1, split lengthways
honey 2 tbsps (or more to taste)

Good tip: serve the porridge with a slotted spoon as you may not need all the liquid.

You can top it with anything you fancy:  blueberries, raspberries and toasted almonds.

Some other porridge topping ideas:
– Fresh grated apple and sultanas
– strawberries and agave syrup
– banana and pecan nuts
– rhubarb and stem ginger compote
– blood orange and toasted sunflower seeds

4. Avocado toast with egg 


This is one of my preferred options for on the go toast breakfast. This particular recipe is from Aida Mollenkamp but you can actually customise it and make it your own.

What I like
I like that I can use the same recipe on a bagel or even non toasted bread. Easy to put in a box and take to work. I sometimes mash some tomatoes in my avocado to make it a bit more refreshing and change the texture ( I have a big problem with food textures) but it is all about how you like your avocado.

What I don’t like
That I have to boil my eggs a bit harder. I am a total sucker for gooey soft-boiled eggs.

2 Large eggs
2 slices of toast of your choice
1 ripe avocado
few watercress leaves
juice of 1 lemon
Ground black pepper

5. Bircher Muesli


This breakfast is “the creation of Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss doctor and nutritionist, who developed it for patients at his Zurich sanatorium at the turn of the last century as a way of shoehorning yet more raw fruit into their diets. His charges started every single meal with a bowl of his “little mush”. Read up more on the perfect Bircher Muesli here 

What I like
It is a great option for when I don’t feel like hot breakfast and also if I feel more like a snack. It is versatile and refreshing. I actually replace the milk with yogurt and like it more.

What I don’t like
That is has dairy. I have tried to make it with various milks but my personal preference is still yogurt.

Here is a quick and easy recipe for bircher muesli:
Serves: 4-6

  • 2 cups/150g rolled or quick oats
  • 1¾ cups/420ml milk
  • ¼ cup/60ml apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 apple, cored and grated with the peel
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 1½ cups/375g plain yogurt
  • A dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • Toppings : your favorite fresh and/or dried fruit, nuts, toasted coconut, etc.
  1. Combine oats, milk, apple juice and lemon juice and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. In the morning add the grated apple, honey (to taste), yogurt, and cinnamon, if desired, and mix well.
  3. Top with your favourite fruits and nuts.
Good tip: If you are short on time in the mornings, you can add the grated apple the night before to save a few minutes.
Full recipe can be found on mylittlegourmet 

Breakfast for the  Weekend


On Saturdays I would usually do something more like a ‘treat’ that also has bacon or ham in it. Toast toppers are my fave thing to do as it is easy and quick. You can literally do toast topper out of anything you have left over in the fridge or a mix of ingredients you like, so long as there is some sort of cheese to unite them all!

I would also sometimes make french toast or breakfast muffins (if I feel like it…)

Sunday – go out for brunch! Yay!

Nothing better on a lazy Sunday than popping out for brunch. This is when I love to have great Eggs Royall or a crispy waffle with compote and ice cream. Yum!

Further inspiration and people to follow:
Great recipes for toast toppers to brighten your Saturday breakfast
Keep Shaking Up Your Wake Up With These Awesome Breakfasts On Instagram
Breakfast recipes for every one from family to quick and easy
Kickstart breakfast recipes  

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