Breakfast is fuel for our rested body and mind after a night’s sleep. I am often amazed at how many of my clients dismiss this meal, despite feeling true hunger, and go through the morning without eating a single thing. Everyone is of course different, and some people don’t feel true hunger in the morning. This might be because they eat very late in the evening, and the meal perhaps hasn’t digested by next morning, and so they feel ‘full’ or heavy. However, if you follow all the Ayurvedic advice about daily routine, and you eat a light supper no later than 7pm, you will probably need to eat something by around 9am the next day. A great choice if you are never too hungry for breakfast, is a stewed apple cooked with a little cinnamon and a clove, which will detoxify the liver and cool it down (the liver works so hard to process everything that we put in our digestive tract, and is overheated in modern life).
If you find you don’t have time to eat breakfast even if you feel like it, you might end up reaching for the nearest, or easiest foods, often biscuits or pastries, by late morning which, whilst satisfying your immediate needs, offer little in the way of nourishment, and also knock subsequent meal timings out of balance. If you do need to eat something filling for breakfast, then like all meals, it should be a balance of nutrients that replenish and re energise the tissues, and satiate enough to maintain blood glucose levels, and thus prevent cravings. It should be easy on AGNI, the digestive fire, so as not to overburden it after sleep.
Porridge is a pretty perfect breakfast choice, and one that I recommend to most of my clients too. Thankfully, they end up loving this recipe enough to make it part of their daily regimen, as they realise the benefits of starting the day with something grounding. You will notice in this recipe, the lack of the popular addition of fresh fruit that many people now add to their breakfast bowls. In Ayurveda, fruit is always eaten alone, not as part of a meal. So many people today suffer from digestive issues, which are usually caused by unsuitable food combinations and meal timings. The acidic qualities in most fruits are opposite qualities to the other foods we eat, and create a ‘sour’ environment in the stomach that stops these foods from being properly digested. Also, fruit digests far quicker than other meals, so the digestive fire has a conflict of interest when it is trying its hardest to digest every type of food in one meal.
Porridge to serve 2:
1 mugful of organic oats
1 mugful unhomogenized whole, organic grass fed cow’s milk
1/2 level tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 level tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp finely chopped walnuts
2 tsp ground almonds
A good pinch of grated jaggery
2 chopped soft, dried figs
2 tsp organic ghee
Gently heat the oats and milk for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add more milk if needed. Now add the spices and nuts. Add the jaggery and chopped fig, mix well and cook for another minute or two until the oats are soft. Add the ghee and mix it through the porridge well before serving.
Alternative dried fruits could be a few raisins or a chopped pitted date.
If you don’t have jaggery, use dark molasses.