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.
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!