“Many people have the misconception that skipping breakfast will help them lose weight. However, doing this may actually cause you to snack throughout the day, eat more at your next meal, and negatively impact your mood. Breakfast boosts your metabolism first thing in the morning. It curbs your hunger, prevents binge eating later in the day, and stabilizes your blood sugar. In addition, eating a fiber-rich breakfast helps you fill up and keeps you full for longer so that you do not consume extra calories throughout the day.” —Livestrong website
Waking up hungry in the morning is one of my favorite feelings, which sometimes motivates me to skip the late night snack, for fear of ruining my appetite for breakfast.
I used to work on an organic dairy farm in the south of France. Together, the farmer and I milked the 48 cows first thing in the morning, and then ate breakfast. Approximately two hours after I woke up, I was starving by that time. Arriving to the kitchen, I would help Ana, the farmer’s wife, lay out a spread of bread, butter, different kinds of honey (some crystalized, some not, and derived from different flowers), homemade jams, muesli, yogurt and tea. The taste of hot tea and sugary breads was so fulfilling and energizing after a couple hours of hard work. But back in the States, I had been warned about white bread and sugar, and so I tried to ration my breakfast and eat less than I really needed. This would effect my energy throughout the day, and the wait until lunch was rather excruciating (no wonder I ate all the figs off their only fig tree in between meals!).
In my world in America, breakfast was the smallest meal, and dinner the largest. On the farm, we did the opposite. The farmer told me his way of life was to eat “breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper”. Our breakfast was large and sugary, lunch was protein and vegetables, and dinner was usually lunch leftovers, with the option of a fried egg if someone was still hungry.
Why do so many Americans either skip breakfast or eat it on the go? Why does a real sit-down breakfast get reserved for weekend brunch, when we are hungover and ravenous? Not hungry? No time? Well, I say, to each his own. Maybe not everyone is a “breakfast person”. But my true, real feeling is, c’mon! After eight or so hours of not eating, we are all in need of breaking the fast. We are all breakfast people. By waking up a bit earlier or preparing another day, time for breakfast can be made.
Here’s how easy it can be. I opened my fridge this morning and saw I had sweet potatoes and eggs. I washed the potato, wrapped it in tinfoil and stuck it in the oven as it heated up to 400 degrees. I put two eggs in a pot of water to boil, then plucked a tomato from the garden (ah the joys of living in Martha’s Vineyard!). Then, I sat in the kitchen and read. When the egg water was boiling for about 2 minutes, I shut it off. I continued to read. The potato was done some 40 minutes later. I took it out. I heated a pot of water for tea, peeled the eggs, and sliced the tomato.
Voila, breakfast was done. The active time was no more than five minutes! And it bought me forty five minutes to read–the paper, a book, emails, Facebook messages, whatever. Hot, yummy breakfast. Oh, I dolloped the potato with butter and a drizzle of maple syrup. Je suis gourmande, a la fin!