my breakfast is broken

11 Mar

I don’t know about you guys, but for me, breakfast is the most difficult meal of the day. This is the diatribe that plays itself out in my head every time I wake up:

  • Will I have enough time to make, or even just eat, something for breakfast?
  • Does my breakfast have too much sugar?
  • Too many carbs (grain)?
  • Too little protein?
  • Will it keep me full?
  • Is it too processed?

If I don’t make/eat breakfast before leaving for work, the battle continues on the road: Can I stop somewhere to grab something without being late? What’s cheap, but still healthy? How long is the line? If I just don’t even bother, will I make it to lunch without gnawing my own arm off?

Somewhere along the line, it finally occurred to me that breakfast is WAY TOO COMPLICATED.

Think about your typical breakfast foods: Cereal (too many carbs, too much sugar). Yogurt (won’t keep me full). Bagels (too many carbs, too little protein). Pastries (no brainer–not healthy). Pancakes (too much time, too many carbs). Fruit jams (too much sugar). Granola bars (too many carbs, too much sugar). I finally gave up and started eating eggs almost every day.

Why, I wondered, is something that should be so simple–easy access to a filling, healthy meal–so jacked? Then one day I heard this crazy idea on the radio:

People can just eat the same foods they eat for lunch and dinner, for breakfast. 

Japanese breakfast

a traditional breakfast in japan. doesn't look very familiar, does it?

Wha whaaaaaaaaaaat? WHY HAS NO ONE THOUGHT OF THIS SOONER, you ask? Breakfast has changed in America over time based on work schedules, work environments, and the migration of women into the workforce (and out of the kitchen). All of us now have less time to prepare, and to consume, breakfast–but I think just changing the way we think about what breakfast is will at least give us some better options for what we eat.

For me, understanding my morning meal doesn’t have to be limited to “normal” breakfast foods opened up a world of opportunity for healthy, yummy and filling ways to start my day:

  • Meats: Why not grab a small piece of leftover dinner or a slice of lunch meat from the fridge instead of fried sausage or bacon?
  • Hummus: No duh–I’ll eat this any time of day!
  • Eggs: Easy to make fresh or hard boil for something filling on the go.
  • Cheese: see Hummus.
  • Yogurt: Also quick and easy. Pair with an egg or some cheese/hummus, and you’re set ’til lunch.
  • Fruit: Quick! Easy! Great with any of the above! (Noticing a theme here?)

What do you think? Is breakfast a breeze, or a royal pain in the tummy? I’d love to hear about your breakfast challenges or meal ideas!

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9 Responses to “my breakfast is broken”

  1. Elaine March 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    An early morning cup of coffee and banana while running out the door on the run with a hot bowl of oatmeal/currants/brown sugar/wheat germ with milk a few hours later is my weekday norm.

    But a bite of last night’s dinner – especially including some leftover fish or chicken as protein keeps me going until dinner much better than the oatmeal. I would love to come back to my home office in late morning to a brunch like posted on your blog!

    • Gina Welker March 12, 2012 at 9:45 am #

      Doesn’t that platter look amazing? I love your mid-morning meal ritual–I usually have to refuel around 10:30 myself.

  2. GiGi Eats Celebrities March 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    OMG I love your breakfast! It reminds me so much of Japanese breakfasts… which you were obviously going for, LOL! But salmon is amazing in the morning! :) For me, breakfast is super easy because I make the same delicious thing every day! I take some pre-roasted butternut squash (cook enough for the week on Sunday or Saturday) and mix it with egg whites and make a “pancake” and then I sweeten it with cinnamon & stevia (sprinkle them on top)… It really is what gets me excited to wake up in the morning because right after I go work out… and that’s not something you always look forward to, LOL!

    • Gina Welker March 12, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Thanks, GiGi! I’ve never been one for lox, which is as far as I know the only acceptable way of eating fish in the morning, but I am a fish-for-breakfast convert after seeing that pic of the Japanese breakfast.

      Your butternut squash pancake sounds divine–I will have to give it a try!

  3. mimitabby March 12, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Breakfast: a sandwich made of sprouted whole grain bread spread with marmelade and hazelnut spread. (substitute almond butter, peanut butter). I moisten the sandwich with a sprinkling of water, and microwave the whole thing for 13 seconds. Then I make myself a cup of tea. I have been having this same breakfast 5 days a week for about 10 years.
    On weekends, there is more time of course; and we have different things.

    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

    • Gina Welker March 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

      Thanks for sharing, mimi! I started having to seriously watch my carb intake after noticing eating too many carbs/grains gives me headaches. I’ve never thought of moistening/microwaving these yummy treats, though, and will have to try that the next time I get my hands on some nutella.

      • mimitabby March 13, 2012 at 10:18 am #

        at my health food store, they have a hazelnut spread that is better than Nutella. Nutella for all its hype and deliciousness has something like crisco in the ingredients!!!!!!

  4. susannah March 12, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Agree. I had a turkey burger with goat’s cheese this morning for breakfast. No bread, since my body now hates gluten. Delicious and kept me full. Starting the day out with protein is better for me than eating sugar/carbs/dairy only!

    • Gina Welker March 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

      susannah–goat cheese for breakfast sounds like a PHENOMENAL way to start my day. oh, and agreed re: protein.

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