A few decades ago, the standard breakfast in many homes was cereal with milk and sugar followed by toast and marmalade, and possibly, for the big eaters, a middle course of eggs, bacon and fried bread. Muesli then came into fashion, a bowl full of muesli usually with milk and sometimes with sugar – or alternatively, the muesli had already been sweetened before it was packaged for sale.
These breakfasts have one thing in common, they are heavily based on starch and sugar. More recently we have come to realise how unhealthy a high starch diet is for most people. For the past couple of decades or more, I have focused on what I call the Foundation Breakfast, both for myself and for my clients.
The aim is to deliver sufficient amounts of the very beneficial, essential-in-the-diet fatty acids into the walls of the cells and the walls of the inner cell organelles, the mitochondria. These fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, and linoleic acid. When the membranes are generously supplied with these fatty acids they can perform at their best. They are able to absorb the essential oxygen and nutrients and expel unwanted bi-products of reactions. They can absorb hormones and other messenger molecules that come to the cells via the bloodstream and they can export important compounds that they have made and may be needed elsewhere. In human terms, think of them as being very agile, flexible and competent. On the other hand, if the membranes lack sufficient levels of this fatty acid they do none of these jobs efficiently, and can be likened to arthritic people who are stiff and slow to move, often leaving some important jobs undone.
The best way to make the fatty acids as efficient as possible is to combine the flaxseed oil with yoghurt, quark or kefir. These products contain significant amounts of cysteine, a sulphur-rich amino acid, that is thought to combine with the fatty acid and draw it into the cell membranes. As far as I can determine, reading back into the literature, the use of large amounts of flaxseed oil was first recommended by Dr Budwig, an expert in vegetable oils. The addition of some form of protein rich in cysteine was recommended by Nobel prize-winning biochemist Szent-Györgyi. This combination has since been found to be beneficial and enjoyed by many people.
To make the beneficial mixture, blend 100 g of natural, full-fat yoghurt with 33ml of organic cold-pressed flaxseed oil, i.e. a three to one mixture. Blend this thoroughly, using an electric blender for a full minute. The aim is to stimulate a chemical reaction between the two main components, not just to mix the two foods.
Ideally, the flaxseed oil should be stored in the deep freeze. It will melt very quickly as soon as it is taken out, and even more quickly if the bottle is put in some cold water – no need for it to be hot. Flaxseed oil melts at -18C. Most deep freezers are set at around -18C or below. I suggest to clients that they obtain some small (100 ml) glass bottles and decant the oil into them, using them one at a time, as needed.
The Foundation breakfast
Combine the yoghurt and flaxseed oil as described above. Allow it to stand for about ten minutes. Then add a generous serving of organic berries. Enjoy!
*Flaxseed oil contains around 47-71% alpha-linolenic acid and 12-18% of the second essential fatty acid.
*Alpha-linolenic acid is somewhat similar to the omega-3 fatty acids that are in fish oil. The latter contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The oils in flaxseed oil can be converted to EPA and DHA provided you have enough magnesium, zinc, manganese and vitamin B6.
If you do not like the thought of the oil, give it a chance. Almost all my clients, to whom I have recommended this, quickly come to love it.
You will find that it is a very satisfying breakfast and gives you a steady flow of energy well past lunchtime
In future Notes, I will be making many different recommendations as to other ways you can use the hugely beneficial combination.