Since we first started Spoon, we have observed a lot of different morning routines. Routines in the past year have changed a lot but for most people the earliest hours of the day are a time when a routine is either required or desired. A way to set the rest of the day up or simply to get done what needs to get done.
We are always curious what the mornings of others entail. So we decided to ask. For this feature, we share the morning habits of Nutritional Therapist and Yoga teacher Libby Limon, who aims to bring wellness and balance to every aspect of lifestyle, including food, travel, mindfulness and fitness. A lover of savoury breakfasts (saving bowls of granola to help wind down at the end of the day) Libby also shares her Cheat's Quick Shashuka recipe. Enjoy!
Find out more at http://libbylimon.com/ or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
I wake up every morning at 7am with a little knock on my door and little voice that says ‘I’ve got a sun on my clock’. It’s my 4 year old alerting me to its time to rise and shine. As a family we are not particularly morning people so we usually have a cup of tea and cuddle in bed, Tilly the dog usually joins too. Mine is a green tea, which has to be made with one quarter cold and ¾ hot water, this makes the perfect brew. Too hot water makes it bitter and destroys some of the antioxidants that make green tea so good for you.
Once we’ve had our tea, it is usually up and at ‘em. Getting small people fed and ready. I actually don’t have anything to eat as I follow intermittent fasting protocol most days, but son loves his granola as well as fruit for breakkie. I integrate a bit of morning exercise by taking him to school on the back of the bike and then I take the dog for a walk for about an hour. This is my time for a little bit of headspace and nature every morning, it definitely has a huge impact on my mental wellbeing. Once I’m back from the walk, I have a decaf black coffee, again great for antioxidants but with no milk of any sort as that would break my fast. Caffeine free because I am super sensitive to it. It gives me jitters, makes anxious as well as disrupting my blood sugar. Then its straight into work, catching up on client emails, doing consultations via videos calls, writing articles or developing recipes etc. If your body is well adapted to a fasting state it should result in you feeling more focused and mentally sharp, this is because brain cells really thrive on the energy produced from fat stores rather than blood sugar.
I break my fast and eat between 11.30am and 12.30pm. The best time to have breakfast or ‘breaking your fast’ is different for everyone. Intermittent fasting of more than 12 hours overnight isn’t right for everybody, it should especially avoided if you stressed or are pregnant/breast feeding or have a history of disordered eating. If I use it with clients then it is introduced in a safe and controlled way working with their individual needs and body.
I have a pretty savoury pallet so enjoy eggs or salmon or feta as a protein source, with plenty of plant foods and wholegrains as my first meal of the day. Some of my regular dishes include fermented rye bread, with avocado smoked salmon and cucumber or veggie stir-fry with eggs or a quick cheats shashuka with feta or eggs. Afterwards I love a milky chai tea as I do get a sweet craving after food. Warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger and clove are a great healthy way to fulfil it with no sugar or sweeteners. I save my bowls of granola for the evening where some studies point to a bowl of milky oats can help induce and increase quality of sleep.
As a nutritionist I really believe in the power of not just healthy but also importantly balanced meals to make you feel like your optimal self. It’s not about what you take out of your diet but about what you put in. Protein makes you fuller for longer, complex carbs give you energy, eating plant foods is vital for you digestion, immune, hormonal and detox systems.
CHEAT'S QUICK SHAKSHOUKA
This is one of my favourite brunch dishes, packed full of plant-based foods and protein, but it used to be a faff to make. This is my super quick cheats version that can be thrown together in 15mins.
2 eggs or 100g feta
½ can of white beans (haricot, butter, cannellini all work well)
1 can of ratatouille
½ tsp smoked paprika
Extra crushed chilli if you like it really spicy
Seasoning to taste
Optional chopped parsley to serve
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C.
In a pan heat together the beans, paprika, ratatouille, salt and pepper. If using eggs poach in boiling water for 2 mins and then drain on kitchen paper.
Transfer the bean mixture to an oven proof dish, top with the eggs or square of feta. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve with topped with parsley.