Friday, January 30, 2009

Thoughts on Breakfast

It’s time for Step 3 in Sally’s Year of Self Care and it’s all about breakfast. We’ve all heard this before, but she has a unique take on the “most important meal of the day”. Turns out our choices involve a few other things besides cereal, milk, eggs, or bacon! Who knew?

I happen to like breakfast but often don’t eat it right away after getting up. I prefer to have a cup of coffee or tea with a good deal of soy milk in it. That’s enough to get me going and out the door. Some people bring a lunch box to work. I bring a massive Bag o’ food that serves me throughout the day, including breakfast, lunch, and various snacks. There is no “oh I’m hungry, let me see what’s in the vending machine” for me. Everything I’ve planned to eat is in the bag/fridge waiting for me.

But back to breakfast. Sally lists a bunch of great suggestions for alternative breakfast ideas that all include a bit of healthy complex carbs, protein, and fat. I’m going to list the ones I current eat often, eat occasionally, and would like to try. Sally’s words are italicized.

Eat Often

- Sliced apple or pear with natural peanut.
*I sometimes have cheese with my apple instead but it serves a similar purpose.

- Whole-grain toast with 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter.
*Yum, this is a fave.

- Oatmeal (preferably rolled or steel-cut, which has more fiber and nutrients than instant) with fruit in it and a bit of nuts, seeds, protein powder, flax meal, or other protein.
*I eat oatmeal quite often but without the added protein, which would be beneficial.

Eat Occasionally

- 1 or 2 eggs, 2 egg whites, with a small bit of cheese, olive pieces, salsa, and/or spinach
*This would be a weekend breakfast for me.

- Handful of nuts.
*I’ve been avoiding nuts lately due to portion control issues – except for measured amounts in salads.

- 1-2 tablespoons dried fruit mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of nuts.
*See above about nuts – I have trouble controlling calorie counts on my trail mixes.

- Fruit smoothie that includes greens, nut butter, hemp or rice protein powder, or some other type of protein.
*I only like these freshly made so I have them when I plan to eat at home.

- Homemade muffins (be aware of the sugar level and how it may affect you) with flax meal, fruit, and nuts or seeds added to the mix.
*I go through phases – sometimes I love to bake and have these ready-made for breakfasts. I haven’t done this lately, though.

Like to Try

- Mixed, steamed vegetables with greens and barley or quinoa.
*This is something I could take along once I got in the habit of preparing this type of food in advance for breakfast.

- Miso soup with vegetables.
*I could probably do this – I’m a big fan of soup, but it’s usually my lunch so I’d have to find something else for THAT meal then.

- Yogurt (dairy, soy, coconut milk–watch the sugar amounts) mixed with applesauce or chopped fresh or frozen fruit.
*I may give soy yogurt a shot soon.

As an added challenge to those of us who regularly eat breakfast, Sally suggested that we eat it in a more mindful manner. In other words: stop the multitasking. This is something advocated by Dr. Beck and I have struggled to follow it. I must admit that despite an early commitment to trying to make this happen at each meal, I’ve fallen back on bad habits. For breakfast, this means eating it while catching up on emails at my desk at work. This is something I need to try again. I definitely see the benefits when I take the time to just eat. But making myself stop doing the other things beforehand is tough.

So far, I’ve really enjoyed following along in this series (Thanks Sally!) It’s making me think about and work on some important things. I feel a lot more comfortable with the gradual nature of this process and am slowly letting go of the desire to rush it. And although I’m not as avid a meal planner as Sally, I’m comfortable with my shopping list creation and simple meal prep. It’s working for our family and there’s still room to grow in that department.


Anonymous said...

What a great post!


Thanks, FT! I loved reading about your eating habits the other day in your recent post. So much food for thought! (pun intended).