In Defense of Breakfast


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?

7 responses to “In Defense of Breakfast”

  1. I am a breakfast person but not as soon as I wake up. I normally need about an hour to sit, relax, drink my coffee and really wake up before I feel hungry. I agree with Marsha, all meals are important to me being able to function happily 😀

  2. Hanlie says:

    According Ayurvedic principles, there are three different nutritional types, and when they eat their first meal of the day is one of the ways in which the types are determined… I’m not hungry first thing, or even second thing, in the morning, but I am thirsty. I only drink water and green juice until after my workout and then I have a green smoothie, which will last me until lunch time – around 2 pm. I can’t work out with food in my stomach. Supper is never later than 7 pm, but more often at around 6 pm. After that it’s once again only water and herbal tea…

  3. Marsha says:

    Yes, I’m definitely a breakfast person!! Can’t get through the morning without it. Or the day, for that matter.

    Some folks say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While I agree it’s very important, don’t know about being the most important. I don’t function well if I miss any meal.

  4. I’m definitely a breakfast person. Sometimes I have two! 🙂 I don’t always eat “breakfast food” though. If I’m in a rush, I might grab a handful of almonds and a banana, or a piece of cheese and an apple, or even slap together a tuna sandwich. But my favorite breakfast is oatmeal with peanut butter.

    Cammy@TippyToeDiet’s last blog post..Makeover Monday: Are Your Affairs in Order?

  5. Robyn says:

    I agree with the AM-exercise as a way to get over that issue of not feeling hungry in the morning. I usually don’t feel too hungry but if I go for a run, I am READY to eat when I get back. I also love non-traditional breakfast foods in the morning: sandwiches, left-overs from dinner, even salad on occasion. To me cereal tastes best at night 🙂

  6. Sagan says:

    I am SUCH a huge breakfast person. I can’t really start my day unless I’ve got food in me, even if it’s just a glass of milk or an apple with peanut butter.

    Sagan’s last blog post..Guest Post: Yoga for Running

  7. Angie says:

    Thanks for a great post!

    I am definitely a breakfast person! First, because I realize the importance of fueling my body for the day. Second, because I know I feel better all morning with a balanced breakfast. I try to always get some healthy carbohydrate, a little protein, and some healthy fat – obviously – I don’t always eat the perfect combo, but I strongly believe in the importance of breakfast!

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