I’m getting psyched up for a spread of amazing, gluten-free, sugar-free delicacies at tomorrow’s Amber Approved Stampede Breakfast and it got me thinking about how our regular morning meal became so crazy.
Think about it. How did breakfast, the so-called ‘most important meal of the day’ become an overload of sugar and processed junk?
At a motel we stayed at once, they advertised ‘Free Continental Breakfast.’
‘Sweet,’ we thought. We were in college. Anything free was a good thing. We had a day of running ahead of us. We needed to take care of the most important meal of the day.
We met in the room just to the right of the lobby. We had a few minutes before heading off. Trays of delights were rolled out in front of us. Pastries, danishes, donuts. Some crappy looking apples, oranges and bananas. A rack of those little cereal boxes with Frosted Flakes and such. Everything was frozen or half frozen.
‘This must be the Antarctica Breakfast,’ someone astutely points out.
Probably not traditional. Ask Shackleton.
What’s weird about it?
Let’s face it. What we eat in the morning is weird. Why is it that eating vegetables and salads to get the day started just feels odd? Why is it that sweets, fruits, cereals, and juice feel normal?
Obviously, because they are normal, in the worst sense of the word. The majority of people out there get the day going with toaster strudels, frozen concentrated juice, coffee with cream and sugar, maybe a banana.
This is normal, but it also seems extreme. Does this calorie blast really get us ready to face the day?
And how did it get to be this way?
I’m naturally biased towards tradition; towards habits that developed before the modern world, maybe even before the dawn of agriculture, but it’s still hard to know what to model to get the most out of our day.
In the pre-historic world, grains were obviously non-existent in people’s diet. Toaster strudels weren’t even a twinkle in John Kellogg’s eye. Refrigerators weren’t a big thing. Routines were simple. You pick something, you eat it. You probably didn’t have much of a stash lying around the house. Maybe you grab a handful of nuts. Maybe you have fruit trees hanging nearby. Maybe you didn’t worry too much about ‘the most important meal of the day’ and had energy reserves to last you until you got up and moved around a bit.
As time progressed, cultures developed different morning traditions. Some of the world had breads to break the fast. Some had vegetables, olives, tomatoes, wine, meat, cured fish, a nice pickle. Some may have had fruit. Some had nothing or virtually nothing.
Sure, today we have bacon and eggs sometimes. On brunch day we feast. But most days it’s refined, processed calories. We grab something fast. We go.
Is this how we were meant to live? Or is this why we need to top up with coffee every couple of hours to keep from falling asleep at our desks?
I think we all know the answer to these questions. But habits die hard.
The ‘Tour the Globe’ Breakfast Challenge
Try this for a week and see how you feel:
Day One – 2 fried eggs. Kimchi. ½ Avocado. Salad green & sprouts w/vinaigrette
Day Two – Dried insects – Roasted Crickets, etc.
Day Three – Miso Soup with forest mushrooms, grilled fish (wild-caught), Natto, Seaweed
Day Four – Water
Day Five – Kippers, boiled egg, blood sausage
Day Six – Figs, olives, tomato, cheese, assorted nuts (soaked & dehydrated)
Day Seven – Green Juice (cucumber, celery, cabbage, leafy greens, ginger) – Cold Pressed.
Let me know how you do.