Your vegan breakfast

Published on the 11th Oct, 2018 by Azmina

The jury’s still out as to whether breakfast is the most important meal, but no-one can argue that it’s a way to help you get some essential nutrients. My patients often say they simply don’t feel hungry on a plant-based diet, and this is usually because I’ve suggested they have lots of fibre and plant proteins, which are very filling. This can mean you have fewer opportunities to take in all the foods you need to give you nutritional balance, so making time for breakfast is a chance to fill the nutrient gap.

This blog focusses on your breakfast carbs. They help to get your blood glucose up, which leads to a raised brain sugar, helping you to concentrate after you break a whole night’s fast (hence the name!). Low GI cereals will give you nice slow rises in blood glucose, helping you to stay alert for that mid-morning meeting – and you’re less likely to crave for sweet treats before lunch. If you can’t face a bowl of cereal and plant-based drink, try tea and wholegrain toast with peanut butter, a yogurt alternative smoothie, or even a banana as you swing out the door.

 

For a speedy smoothie, take half a cup of soya plant-based drink, a few berries, half a banana, half an apple, and a handful of almonds. Blitz them together and enjoy the protein and essential fats from almonds, antioxidants and fibre from the fruit, and calcium from the fortified soya drink. The carbs come mainly from the fruit, and most of the ingredients are low GI.

Choosing your breakfast carbs

Breakfast Cereals

Be careful as many processed breakfast cereals have a high GI, especially if they’re sugar-rich. When choosing cereals look for high fibre cereals such as All Bran or muesli. If you find these hard going on their own, add some of your favourite fruits, or a sprinkling of chopped walnuts and seeds.

Porridge

Porridge is one of the best breakfast foods ever invented. The beta glucans in oats have been shown to lower blood cholesterol, and the carbs are slowly digested, helping to keep you fuller for longer. Instant hot oats are a convenient substitute.

Bread

Toast is always a favourite but choose your bread carefully. Go for grainy varieties such as multigrain, granary, soy and linseed. If you prefer white,  try sourdough, it’s low GI….

Top Tip: Tasty toast toppers include beans on oaty toast with a dash of Worcestershire sauce, grilled vegan cheese, chives and sliced tomato on 2 slices of granary toast , or sliced banana on 2 slices of currant bread.

Vegan all day breakfast

And for a cook-up, try my vegan all day breakfast made from grilled seasoned tofu chunks, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, baked beans and baby potatoes.

vegan bf

Check out the recipe here

 

Snack Attack!

Published on the 15th Jul, 2016 by Azmina

Paul: “I used to be starving just before mealtimes and so ended up overeating a lot. Since I started having snacks between meals even when I wasn’t hungry, I no longer feel ravenous at meal-times.”

Wise, planned snacks can be part of a balanced eating plan, whether you’re slimming or not. With GiP eating, low glycaemic snacks can be your best friends, as they help you to keep blood sugar steady in between meals.

gi planWhat’s more, they can positively help you watch that waistline, since a feeling of fullness means you’re less likely to raid the fridge as soon as you drop your briefcase in the hallway. Good snacking means having a healthy relationship with all foods.

The Gi Plan actually forces you to have snacks. The book has a whole chapter devoted to snacks, but here are some examples of low-GiP alternative snacks.

Eat this Instead of Save
2 Oatcakes 2 Rice cakes 3.5 GiPs
Walnut halves (half a dozen) Pretzels 3 GiPs
2 Cream crackers 2 Water biscuits 4.5 GiPs
Roasted peanuts 25g (half-pack) Crisps (small packet 25g) 3.5 GiPs
Chocolate chip Muffin, American style Ring Doughnut 2.5 GiPs
Fun size Snickers bar (19g) Milk chocolate (4 square pieces) 4 GiPs
1 Pitta bread 1 Baguette (individual) 4 GiPs

 

The Gi Plan is about enjoyment of food, and being mindful of what you’re eating. So, at a glance you can see from the above that 2 cream crackers “cost” you more GiPs than 2 oatcakes, so this might nudge you in the right direction – the oatcakes will be more slowly digested. What you also need to be aware of, however, is that certain foods may be lower in GiPs (take the muffin for example) but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily a healthy food! Incidentally, the chocolate in this muffin helps to lower the GI, and the jam in the doughnut raises it; hence the swap idea.

The Comfort Cushion

cushionFood only fills a physical hole, not an emotional need. If you become more aware of the underlying feeling that causes you to overeat, you are more able to make some changes by doing something different. You can regain control and experiment with new and healthier ways to meet this same need.

You may wish to keep a daily Food and Mood Diary (sample in the book) that will highlight the emotional need that causes you to reach for certain snacks, for example, boredom, stress, comfort, security or any other challenging feelings that you are striving to manage.

Remind yourself. ‘What would have to happen, that is within my control, for this need to be met in a healthy and functional way?’ Before you reach for solace in that ‘naughty but nice food’, remind yourself if choosing this is taking you nearer to the ‘new’ you and if it isn’t, choose again!

Taken from the best-selling Gi Plan by Azmina Govindji & Nina Puddefoot

10 Speedy low GI snacks

Published on the 29th Nov, 2015 by Azmina

stuffed mushroom

1. Stuffed flat mushrooms

Pan-fry sliced courgettes, peppers, tomatoes and spring onions in a dash of olive oil. Flavour with garlic granules and cracked black pepper. Meanwhile, warm the inside of a flat mushroom in a pan drizzled with a little olive oil. Turn the mushroom over to lightly brown the outside, stuff with the sauteed veg, and serve piping hot.  (more…)

What is GI?

Published on the 17th Apr, 2012 by Azmina

The fuss about Carbohydrate

Flick through a newspaper and it isn’t surprising to see the latest trend in carbohydrate – “avoid wheat”, “starchy foods are fattening”, or “pasta is the best food ever invented”. How do you know what’s best? Is this conflicting advice or do the experts agree? Well, let’s review some of the issues here. 

When you eat carbohydrate foods (such as bread, potatoes, pasta, cereals and sugary foods), the body digests it and converts it to glucose (sugar); this can then be used for energy. As the carbohydrate gets digested to glucose, the glucose level in your blood rises. In other words, each time you eat a carbohydrate food, the blood glucose level in your body rises. (more…)