Fitting a low-carb breakfast into a high-paced life

Once you get over the sugar cravings, a low carb diet is fairly easy to maintain.

You get used to eating pretty much the same as everyone else, but you push the potato or the rice to the side of the plate, and have a second serving of vegetables. And of course, skip the dessert and have a cup of tea.

However, breakfast is another matter. Nearly every single culture has a carb-fueled breakfast, and for good reason. It’s fast, easy and fills you up. But what do you do when you can no longer throw a couple of slices of bread in the toaster, or a cup of cereal in a bowl?

You can’t turn to fruit and yoghurt either, because they’re deceptively high in carbs (fruit sugars and lactose). In the ’60s, women swore by half a grapefruit. But that’s not going to fill you up, or provide you with the energy you need to get you through until your lunch break. And, as we’ve discussed, if any part of your diet is too hard to maintain, you’re far more likely to give the thing away earlier.

There are several ingredients I always keep handy, and they help me get through this. Spinach, rocket, tomatoes, zucchini, pecorino, ricotta, kaessler ham (similar to Canadian bacon), smoked chorizo sausage, frozen peas and eggs. All I do is throw them in a small frypan, cook for 5 minutes, and then eat (often out of the frypan, so I don’t have an extra plate to wash up).

You need to watch the balance of these items – I have some serving sizes suggested, then also recommend taking no more than one of each colour below. e.g. chorizo with tomato, zucchini and pecorino (228 kcal); peas with ham, rocket and ricotta (285 kcals); scrambled egg with spinach and ricotta (202 kcals)

 Calories  Total Fat  Carbohydrates  Protein
ricotta 50g 87 6.5 1.5 5.5
pecorino 20g 67 6 0 4.5
kaessler 100g 124 8 2 14
chorizo 50g 125 9.5 0.6 8.5
egg (1 scrambled with milk) 101 7.5 1.3 6.75
peas 1/2 cup 55 0.27 9.5 3.75
tomato (1 large) 25 0.25 5 1
zucchini 1/2 cup 10 0.1 2 0.75
baby spinach (2 cups uncooked) 14 0.2 2 1.5
rocket (2 cups uncooked) 15 0 3 2

All these items are fairly easy to cook – just a couple of minutes in the pan and you’re done. Trust me, you don’t get sick of this kind of start, and this breakfast fills you and charges you until lunchtime. And think of all the benefits of having 3 of your 5 recommended daily servings of vegetables, before you even leave home in the morning.

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