Monday, December 27, 2010

A Better Breakfast

Let's talk about breakfast! They say it's the most important meal of the day. We're terrible about eating breakfast over here - either we don't eat it, we don't eat it very early, or we eat crappy processed sweetened cereals. This is something I'd like to work on changing. I'd like to eat it more often, eat it earlier, and eat a better quality breakfast. I'm not sure how to do that.

We grab cereals 95% of the time because none of us are morning people. That means we don't get up early enough to have breakfast before we have to run out the door, and frankly I'm just not that interested in changing that part of our lives. Mostly because I know from past experience that it doesn't actually work. Whenever we say we're going to get up earlier for something as arbitrary as 'eat breakfast' or 'exercise', the snooze button ALWAYS wins. Hell, I don't always manage to get the kids to school on time WITHOUT adding breakfast to the mix, and to be honest, I don't even care all that much about that, as long as they're not too late.

This is not to say that I send them off with no food at all. Most school mornings, they ride to school with a sandwich baggie of portable cereal - something like Apple Jacks, or Corn Pops, or Cap'n Crunch - with no milk, and I cajole them to 'eat! eat! keep eating! just have at least a couple bites!!' the entire way. Then I go home, and half the time I don't eat breakfast, or I find myself cramming something in my face three hours later as I'm running out the door to pick my daughter up from preschool. I have NO idea what my husband does for breakfast on work mornings.

On days off, we tend to sleep in, wander around groggily for several hours after waking, eventually get the kids some bowls of cereal, sometimes manage to feed ourselves. I think for my husband it's usually coffee. For me it's either nothing, or a bowl of cereal, or maybe some toast. Every now and then my husband will make pancakes. If we eat them before 1pm, it's a good day.

Did I mention I'm a diabetic?

None of that really paints the picture of health or good habits, does it? It simultaneously seems like a really easy and really difficult habit to change. I'm a little unsure of the direction to take our breakfasts moving forward, so I've written out a several step plan to help me figure it out. That plan starts with talking about breakfasts, our habits, what works for us, and collecting breakfast ideas and stories from other people.

I'm not sure, nutritionally speaking, exactly what sort of breakdown I'm looking for yet. Being diabetic, my blood sugar tends to run naturally higher in the mornings, and while I'm not totally carb-restricted, I know my doctor would prefer if I went lighter on the carbs and heavier on the protein in the mornings. That automatically makes me think of eggs, which a) I don't want to eat every day and b) I don't always have TIME for because they require cooking. The majority of our mornings require us to be able to just 'grab and go'. So, portable, healthy, higher in proteins, tasty, liked by the whole family. These are my breakfast challenges.

What do you do for breakfast? Are you happy with your breakfast habits? Would you like to see some changes to it in the coming year? What changes would you make, and what would you keep the same?
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