First thing in the morning, it’s all I can do to stumble to the coffee maker and press “brew.” Being someone who doesn’t cook much, making a hot breakfast, especially when I feel like a neanderthal, is a tall order. That’s why I’m a huge fan of instant oatmeal with chopped nuts and a few drops of maple syrup in it. But on days when I don’t eat breakfast, I’m starving way before noon. Since I work from home, that can mean wandering to the fridge and making unhealthy choices or grazing throughout the day. Recently I was out of the house most of the day an did not get a chance to eat lunch. I hadn’t eaten a great breakfast either and by 3 p.m., I thought I might die. It got me thinking what skipping meals does to you and it’s not pretty. Even after I stopped feeling hungry, it made me exhausted, cranky and gave me a headache.
Earlier this year, Marsha asked whether breakfast is a must for healthy eating. Tuning into your hunger is the most important internal cue you can follow, she said. I agree. But given the number of people I seem to know who don’t eat in the morning, I wonder whether being “not hungry” is just an excuse.
Ample studies have proven that skipping breakfast can really affect your ability to perform simple tasks. I recently came across an impressive movement in Europe called Breakfast is Best. Calling on lawmakers to “respect breakfast,” the campaign was launched last year in an effort to bring morning nutrition to the forefront.
According to Breakfast is Best, “a 12-year-old who skips breakfast has the reaction time and mental agility of a 70 year old in the classroom.” I’m not in school anymore, but I still can’t afford to lose that kind of productivity during the day, can you?
There are many excuses why people don’t eat breakfast. I’ve listed a few here and tried to address them.
I’m not hungry in the morning. Because I’m so slow to wake up, I’m often not hungry either. A trick I learned at Green Mountain was to take a brisk walk in the morning. It does wonders for the appetite and gets that metabolism up and cranking. It’s also worth asking if you’re not hungry because you’re a night owl who was up late snacking. Curbing nighttime eating could spark your morning appetite. Even if you’re truly not hungry, try getting into the habit of eating a balanced light meal in the morning. You might be surprised at the results.
I don’t have time. With today’s convenient foods and meals you can eat on the go, breakfast couldn’t be easier. But if you don’t have time to feed yourself, you need to reorder your priorities. Taking just fifteen minutes in the morning to sit down and eat a nourishing meal can mean the difference between a horrendous day and just a busy one.
“I’m not a breakfast person.” I don’t even know what this means. Even if you don’t like breakfast foods, there must be something you can find to please your palate in the morning. Everybody should eat breakfast and coffee alone doesn’t count!
Are you a breakfast person? Why?
Photo by thebittenword.com via flickr.