In this episode, Lisa talks about the importance of a wholefoods breakfast – upgrading everyday foods, experimenting, and taking Small Steps to create sustainable change.
Join the free 5 day Breakfast Challenge here.
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Hello, it’s another episode of the Podcast, and today we’re talking about breakfast. Only because it’s on my mind. We are running the Small Steps Breakfast Challenge, and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m excited because setting ourselves up for a good breakfast is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.
And here’s the thing I know for sure. We have let food manufacturers and marketing companies tell us that exact same thing, but they’re completely off track with what makes a good breakfast, and what is a good start to the day. They just are. It’s confronting, and a little bit annoying, when we’ve grown up eating certain things and suddenly we need to change what we have for breakfast.
I started learning about food – wholefoods and stuff – after my son was born, my eldest. I mean, I was definitely still in the coffee and toast for breakfast camp right there. When I started to do a little bit of looking on the backs of packets of things that I might have been eating – back then I was still eating margarine – and started to learn about all that, I felt ripped off.
I felt like, ‘How can these people be telling us, basically, lies, about this food which isn’t great for us?’ You know, breakfast cereals, highly processed. I remember saying to someone once, I was in America at the time, how I should do blog post on why bacon and eggs is healthier than Cheerios. And they were like, ‘Oh no, but you’d have to choose a cereal that’s not healthy.’
I’m like, ‘Cheerios aren’t super-healthy.’ And these are smart, educated women, and they’re saying, ‘Oh no, over here in America Cheerios are definitely the healthy option.’ And I just thought, ‘OK.’ This is the level of knowledge that we’ve got around food these days. And sure, it’s America, and sure, there are breakfast cereals and there are breakfast cereals.
I mean, there are the breakfast cereals that are pretty plain. They’re not super-bad in terms of the additives and preservatives, but they’re also not super-good. They’re just kind of neutral. And those cereals, as well, like if you think about what has to happen to the shapes to make those cereals, then so much of the nutrition is lost in that process.
And then you think about the bad, bad cereals which are just sugar-coated, or have crazy additives and preservatives. You know, if you do your research, you would be shocked at some of the stuff that we’re eating for breakfast.
And the problem is that we don’t even necessarily back it up with a wholesome, nourishing, filling, full of protein and good fats lunch. Often we’re following it with a carb-loaded, not particularly nutrient-dense lunch. So, it’s kind of like this cascade effect.
And look, I grew up, I was pretty healthy as a kid – relatively. Like, I look back now and think I definitely didn’t need to continue suffering sinus, there are absolutely things that were up with my diet that kept that happening.
But, you know, I played sport four or five times a week, I did well at school, I could concentrate. I could concentrate for extended periods back then – motherhood has taken that gift away from me. But I didn’t think that there was anything particularly wrong with it.
Then, you know, as I grew up, and as Nick and I would have our beautiful percolated coffees in the morning, and milk heated up, we’d have our coffee and toast for breakfast. That was pretty much how I started my day, for years and years and years. And then, to think I had to change that, to think that I had to break that rhythm and routine when I thought it was working quite well for me.
So, I did what I always do. Obviously, I took some Small Steps, and I started to experiment with breakfasts. And it’s what I encouraged people to do via Small Steps to Wholefoods, which was my original online program. All of that program is actually being popped back into the Membership.
So, I’m going through all of this content now, and I’m looking at what I created three years ago, and everything is still so relevant. You know, in that program I just gave people one simple idea, every day, for breakfasts – that wasn’t coffee and toast.
But even then, talking about bread, well, how can we upgrade the bread? Let’s look at the bread, let’s look at the margarine, let’s look at the Vegemite. Let’s think about alternatives there to just up the nutrition factor. And it worked amazingly well.
You know, thousands of women did that program, and I’ve completely redone it and popping it in the Membership. And that’s actually what the five-day challenge is. It’s all that information. So, if you haven’t signed up for that challenge, you really want to, because you’re getting something very special inside.
But, you know, I literally thought, ‘OK. Alright, let’s look at this. Let’s look at what we’re doing.’ How can I create some alternatives that don’t feel like I’m moving from coffee and toast to chia pudding? Too big a leap for Lisa, and I didn’t even know what chia seeds were. So, that’s what I did, and it’s how breakfasts have changed for me big time.
So, over the course of a week, there might be an omelette, there might be a smoothie. There might also be nothing for breakfast, and this is something that I’ve gotten cool about over the years, is that sometimes I don’t feel particularly hungry straight up. A lot of the time I do, but I don’t force myself to eat.
There was a stage I went through where I was having juice – fresh vegetable, and a little bit of fruit juices. That worked really well, until it didn’t, and then I changed things. You know, having leftovers for breakfast. If I have toast now, it’s a beautiful sourdough, and I might put butter and avocado and tomato or something on it.
I just guess that over the years, I’ve normalised eating wholefoods breakfasts, and that’s what I really want to help people do in this challenge. Because we have to take back control here. We have to start to question what it is we’ve been told by marketing companies, and food manufacturers, who want to sell and move more product. You know, that is their job.
You know, who is the advocate? It’s hard to sell the idea of wholefoods breakfasts, and we’ve seen what happens to some of the big names who do – they get torn down. Now, I’m not telling you to go Paleo, or to be a raw smoothie and juice-drinking person, or anything like that.
I do think breakfast is particularly individual. While I often give everyone the same breakfast here at our house, I am getting a little bit better at softening that, as my kids can start to get involved in making their own. Because what suits me – not necessarily going to suit you.
My son loves eggs, but getting him to eat breakfast – really hard. So, I often give him a smoothie. My middle daughter wakes up hungry every day. She’s like, ‘What’s for breakfast, let’s get this party started!’ We have to acknowledge that amongst us, we can look for advice, we can do all the recipes – but at the end of the day, we are our own compass points with this stuff.
We can’t follow someone else’s plans for what is right to eat. We have to experiment, work with ourselves, check in into our own bodies, and see what’s happening by 10am or 11am. Am I ferociously trying to avoid the café, because I know if I go in there and order a coffee I’ll also order a muffin or a croissant?
Or am I staying full until lunchtime? Wow, OK, cool. What did I have this morning? Wow, that really helped. Or, there are so many different factors, so many different reasons why one thing works for someone, and not for someone else.
You know, I’ve done so many interviews with experts over the years, who just shed light on that idea. I mean, what’s up with your thyroid, and your hormones, and your metabolism, will make your breakfast experience totally different.
So, in the five-day Small Steps Breakfast Challenge, you get a load of different ideas, and you also get cooking videos. So, you can actually see me, literally in real time, making this stuff. I really, truly believe that it is so easy for us to prioritise our kids, and their food, but us eating their leftovers is not a substantial breakfast.
We need to start to prioritise our own breakfast too, and in doing that, it models to our children what real breakfast could be. So, we need to start to revolutionise, I think, what we know of what breakfast is. And if you’re a Small Stepper, you know this stuff. This is, like, the nuts and bolts of the Small Steps philosophy, starting right here at breakfasts.
I just think if you’ve been around a while, if you’ve got slight breakfast shame, though, right now, or you feel like you need a bit of a refresh, then jump into the challenge. Because it’s only going to make you see, once again, that it’s not that hard to eat wholefoods.
It’s not that hard to give your body something that makes it feel awesome, instead of something that gives it a bit of a sugar rush – or perhaps you’re not eating breakfast at all – and then you’re crashing by mid-morning. If you want to have energy for your day, you need to have energy to eat well.
And you’ve got to start somewhere. So, start with focussing on just having a good breakfast for a few days a week, with me – it’ll be super-fun. And then, we go from there. Because your energy will change, and you’ll get motivated about continuing it, maybe doing some movement. Maybe improving the dinners that you’ve been eating that week, whatever it is.
So much changes when we just choose to take one small step. So, I’d love to see you in the Breakfast Challenge, it’s going to be a stack of fun. There is a link to join, here in the Show Notes, so make sure that you don’t miss out. Because whoa, a year is almost over, which is crazy, and I reckon we could send it off with a bang. OK, see you soon.