By Rose McAvoy
Who ever it is that declares things has declared September “National Breakfast Month.” I find it fitting to have breakfast month coincide with the beginning of a new school year. Even though we are a few days in, I challenge you to fit in a balanced morning meal every day for the next 30 days.
In the five years that Mr. Second Helpings and I have been attending Weight Watchers meetings, one of the most often heard confessions is that people never ate much of a morning meal before joining the program. Most of the time, the former non-breakfast eater has incorporated some form of morning meal into their routine. Nearly every person who shares this change in behavior also expresses how much easier it is to make healthy choices throughout the day when their morning meal is balanced. They are also happy to report that they see the results on the scale.
Most morning eaters call their first meal breakfast. Personally, breakfast is one of my three favorite meals of the day. I look forward to those first system-revving bites and have not skipped a morning meal in years. For those who get a little queasy at the thought of eating in the morning, any breakfast — let alone a healthy one — can be hard to swallow (pun intended).
If you fall into queasy category consider retraining your idea of breakfast. Are you a coffee until 10 a.m. and then breakfast at your desk eater? It is generally recommended that we eat something within an hour of waking. This something doesn’t need to be a full meal, just something of substance to get your motor running. Cars can’t run with no fuel in the tank and we shouldn’t ask our bodies to either. Keep some boiled eggs, single serving containers of yogurt, or protein bars handy so you can fuel up without slowing down. With a little something to get your going you can still eat the bulk of your meal mid-morning but your body will be much happier in the mean time.
If you objection is traditional breakfast foods, skip ‘em. In many parts of the world morning meals are entirely savory. If a bowl of oatmeal is less than appealing what about a cozy bowl of soup or a turkey sandwich? Remember there is no rule against reheating leftovers to make a quick breakfast. If you are making healthy balanced evening meals they can easily carry over to make up your healthy balanced morning meal the next day.
If mental clarity and physical energy aren’t enough incentive to adopt a morning meal habit, consider the impact of feeding yourself regularly over many years. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health recently published the results of a long term study of the impact of eating in the morning. The study, of only male subjects, found “men who skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of CHD [coronary heart disease] compared with men who did not.” According to study co-author Eric Rimm, “Men who skip breakfast are more likely to gain weight, to develop diabetes, to have hypertension and to have high cholesterol,” – WebMD, Skipping Breakfast a Recipe for Heart Disease: Study June 22, 2013.
To inspire and entice you I have made a quick link to the Our Lady of Second Helpings breakfast recipe page. There are more than 30 recipes there to tempt you into becoming a breakfast eater or inspire you to try something new. If you are already a committed breakfast eater, were you always? Please share your favorite quick morning meals by making a comment below.