Following a
by the UK's National Obesity
Observatory, a debate has sparked around whether or not breakfast
is a waste of time. What do you think?


To achieve a happy and healthy lifestyle, with
regular, restful sleep, diet and nutrition is essential to
establish and maintain a positive wellbeing.

To help us sleep well we need a good balance of the
hormones serotonin and melatonin in our system. Foods such as
chicken, cheese, tofu, tuna, eggs, nuts, seeds and milk will help
to boost these hormone levels.

Our sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, recommends
eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. This sends
awakening message to the brain that there is adequate food in our
environment and creates the ideal internal chemistry.

People who eat breakfast have higher
energy levels in the morning, better blood sugar control throughout
the day, better weight control, lower anxiety and stress levels
(because they produce less adrenaline and noradrenaline), and
better sleep (because they produce more melatonin

Avoiding a heavy meal before bed time and snacking
during the day on things such as yoghurt, fruit, nuts, seeds and
lean meats will help to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Our sleep expert, Dr Nerina, even has her own recipe
for the perfect balanced breakfast - 'Nerina's Nutty Granola'…

Nerina said "This Granola is amazing. Match a batch
and store in an airtight glass container and use it as a breakfast
cereal or crunchy topping on yoghurt or porridge. I sometime have a
small bowl with full fat Greek yoghurt and blueberries before I go
climbing for that extra energy boost."


Nerina's Nutty Granola

50g dried dates

100g jumbo rolled oats

2 tbsp honey or agave syrup
(optional - I find it sweet enough without)

85g mixed nuts (cashews, pecans etc
- any of your favourite nuts will do

15g pumpkin seeds

3 tbsp olive oil (I use coconut oil
which gives a delicious flavour)


Preheat oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3.

Simmer the dates in 1cm water until soft and then
blend until smooth.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix

Spread the mixture on a baking tray and bake for
15minutes until golden, then reduce the oven temperature to
110C/250F/gas mark ¼ and bake for a further 30-60 minutes or until
the mixture is dry and crisp (this bit is not an exact

Leave to cool completely then store in an airtight

You can really experiment with this recipe and add
chia seeds for extra protein, goji berries, chopped dried fruit,
coconut flakes (my favourite -especially when they go slightly
brown and crisp).  

If it's too nutty for you simply add more oats to the
recipe. Additional flavour can be created with cinnamon, nutmeg or
even cardamom.