To kick off our new WellBeing TV series, nutritionist, naturopath and chiropractor Damian Kristof shares his top tips for improving your health, which includes a delicious hot chocolate from Pana Organic.
It’s no secret that breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I love it so much that I dedicated part of my life to developing a nutritionally dense breakfast cereal for the market. This is a homage to what I believe is the most important part of the day. But for many people, breakfast is often something they choose to go without. Why?
In a world that moves at such speed, there are so many reasons to skip breakfast. Being a naturopath, nutritionist and chiropractor for over 20 years, I’ve heard it all.
However, what if I talked to you from your body’s perspective? The biggest clue to why we should be eating breakfast is all in the name: “breaking” the “fast”. As the name suggests, breakfast breaks the overnight fasting period. It replenishes your supply of glucose to boost your energy levels and general alertness. It’s like a big alarm clock to tell your body it’s time to wake up and get ready for the day ahead.
Studies have even shown that people who eat breakfast can improve their memory and concentration. Even better, it can also make you happier by improving mood and lowering stress levels for the most optimum day.
So, for all you breakfast skippers looking to make a switch, here’s a few tips that you can use for essential wellbeing.
Whether you run, walk or stretch, regular physical activity has a host of worthwhile health benefits, from burning body fat, building muscle mass and strengthening bones to enhancing cardiovascular health. Working out in the morning also jump-starts your metabolism, resulting in you burning calories throughout the day. Exercising in the morning can also help to lower stress hormones when compared to exercise later in the evening.
Drink your nutrients
Having combined the philosophies of both naturopathic and chiropractic approaches to healing and wellbeing, I look to food as medicine. I like to nourish my soul with Pana Organic Hot Chocolate. It may seem like an indulgence but it actually has a whole host of health benefits. One of the certified organic ingredients, cacao powder contains powerful antioxidants and magnesium, and many studies have shown its beneficial effects on heart health, insulin levels, memory and more. To add a little sweetness, the drink contains panela (also known as rapadura), which is unrefined whole cane sugar.
Try a Bircher muesli
Breakfast is the perfect time to pack in some vitamins and nutrients for the right start to the day. My go-to is always a Bircher muesli. It’s a great option for busy mornings when you need a healthy breakfast to get you out the door in a hurry. I use a whole apple, wholegrain steel cut oats (or brown rice flakes if I’m going gluten-free), coconut yoghurt, coconut water and berries, plus a handful of nuts, dried sultanas, currants and cranberries with a sprinkling of chia seeds.
Look at labels
When looking at food ingredients, it’s important to remember that less is more. My goal is to eat as close to nature as possible. Here’s a quick tip to make shopping for healthier food a whole lot easier. Did you know that the food ingredients on Australian packaging are listed in order by weight? That is, the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first and the ingredient that weighs the least is listed last. Using this tip, you can quickly spot foods that might be high in saturated fat, added salt or added sugars because these ingredients are listed as the top three. In this little beauty, Pana Organic’s new Hot Chocolate range, you will find just two sustainable ingredients: certified organic cacao and panela.