What we eat and when can make a world of difference

Ann Wigmore is famous for the quote: The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.

What we eat and the timing of when we eat are also important.

Eating the largest meal at breakfast, having a light, early dinner and fasting overnight activates neuroprotective and antioxidant mechanisms in the body. Conversely, eating the largest meal in the evening or eating late at night, increases inflammation and metabolic challenges (weight gain and elevated cholesterol).

In 2022 a randomised crossover design study involving 12 healthy young participants (three men and nine women) was performed and four trials (normal breakfast + skipped lunch, high protein breakfast + skipped lunch, normal breakfast + lunch, and high protein breakfast + lunch) were conducted in two weeks.

The researchers concluded a high-protein breakfast could suppress the breakfast postprandial glucose level, as well as following lunch and dinner, but this effect on dinner was attenuated when skipping lunch. Leftovers are a wonderful lunch option for many reasons — it is usually more cost-effective as well as including some protein and veges, to support brain function and blood sugar levels throughout the afternoon.

The time we eat our breakfast also makes a difference. Fasting overnight allows time for the body to heal and activate rejuvenation processes; it is also enough time for the metabolism to begin using the body’s reserves as fuel. Narrowing the window for eating to less than 12 hours a day has been shown to reduce appetite, improve weight loss, and significantly help improve overall wellbeing. This means if you can be finished dinner by 7pm, you may like to have breakfast after 7.30am at the earliest, the following day (please note — this is not suited to everybody). Many people find that taking breakfast to work in order to eat a little later helps them to eat when actually hungry, rather than in a rush earlier.

Frittata loaded with veges can be a useful option as it can be made ahead and will last a few days in the fridge.

Protein breakfasts:

 - Carrot and parsley omelette

 - Protein smoothie with a whey or plant protein powder added  

 - Green bean and feta frittata 

 - Zucchini tofu scramble 

 - Zucchini cream cheese scrambled (recipe included) 

 - BLT salad bowl 

 - Salmon-stuffed avocado boats 

 - Protein-packed devilled eggs 

 - Tomato shakshuka (recipe included) 

 - High-protein yoghurt and blueberries, sprinkled with sunflower and pumpkin seeds


Zucchini cream cheese scramble

Serves 1-2

Contains 25g protein per serve


1 tsp olive oil

1 garlic clove (chopped)

1 zucchini (small, diced)

1 cup bok choy (chopped)

1/3 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)

3 eggs (whisked)

2 tbsp cream cheese

Pink salt & black pepper (to taste)


Heat the oil over low-medium heat.

Add garlic and cook for one to two minutes, then add the zucchini and cook for another five minutes.

Add the bok choy and continue to cook for three to four minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and continue to cook for two to three minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.

Add the whisked eggs to the vegetable mix and continue to cook for about three minutes or until cooked through.

Turn off the heat and add the cream cheese, salt and pepper to the scramble and stir to combine.

Sit and enjoy your high protein breakfast and go on to seize the day!


Tomato shakshuka

Serves 1-2

Contains 12g protein per serve

1½ tsp extra virgin olive oil

¼ onion (chopped)

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ tsp cumin

¼ tsp paprika

¼ tsp sea salt

1½ cups canned tomatoes/ tomato passata

½ cup basil leaves (chopped)

2 eggs


Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.

Add garlic, cumin, paprika and sea salt. Stir until combined and fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add tomatoes with the juice and roughly crush with your spatula. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Stir in chopped basil. (Note: the tomato juice will reduce a little. If you prefer a thicker sauce, leave out the tomato juice.)

Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, create pockets in the tomato sauce. Crack an egg into each pocket, cover the pan and cook until the eggs are set, about 5-7 minutes.

Scoop into separate bowls.