They say ignorance is bliss but there are times when ignorance of people makes me sad. 1 such instance is when people do not think breakfast is important and decided not to include it in their routine. It is said that one should eat like a king for breakfast, queen for lunch and popper for dinner. Unfortunately for a lot of people, for reasons of their own, dinner happens to be the biggest breakfast and dinner is the first one to be skipped. I have always believed that to a large degree, you are what you eat so that I think food has an important part in one’s life, especially the quality of life. That is one of the reasons why I take time and effort to not just prepare good food but also to write a lot about it so I spread some awareness in whatever little way I can. Reason I say it makes me sad is because the effects of skipping breakfast may not be seen immediately. But over time an individual will need to deal with the consequences. When some of my friends say they don’t have breakfast I feel bad as they are not doing any good for their body. In this article I hope to summarise what I have read and understood about the importance of breakfast and also some simple yet fast breakfast ideas to make it easier for you.
Let Us Examine the impact of having or not having breakfast to better understand why bother with breakfast Weight management – many believe that skipping breakfast so that they reduce calories would help them lose weight. It can’t be farther from the truth. When we sleep through the night, our body slows down, so metabolism slows down. When we have something to eat in the morning, we’re effectively giving the signal to the body that the day has started and metabolism should increase. However, those who skip breakfast deny their own body of this signal in order that they feel lethargic as they continue until lunch with slow metabolism. When one feels lethargic and tired, one tends to work less, physically and in turn burns fewer calories. Also, when the body is deprived of food for a very long while, cravings begin, particularly sugar cravings. This is when we feel like snacking on a chocolate bar or a massive fat muffin or cakes etc.. This effectively increases the calorie intake. To sum up, a slow metabolism, tired body burning lesser calories and higher calorie/fat snacks effectively contribute to weight gain and not weight loss. We all keep hearing about the many health conditions that can come with being obese, particularly risk of heart ailments and skipping breakfast can potentially lead to becoming overweight. Lowered cognition – studies have said to have shown that kids who have breakfast fare better in problem solving than children who skip breakfast.
Remember that it is not just the rest of the body that gets energy from digested food but also the brain. When the brain is low on energy, one cannot expect it to function effectively. Some studies also show that children who skip breakfast are more likely to have problems focusing and also have problems with memory in comparison with children who have breakfast.
3. Type 2 diabetes – skipping breakfast is said to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If a person is already diabetic, it is even more important to keep sugar fluctuations low so the body has to be fed at regular intervals. Diabetes is a condition of the body that is not particularly easy to manage as the complications of diabetes can be quite serious from losing eye sight, heart attacks, having to be amputated. If one is already overweight, the complications get even worse. The effect of diabetes may not be known immediately but the body will be deteriorating gradually. Keeping the blood sugar in check is totally important when living with diabetes and skipping meals, that also breakfast will be tremendously counter-productive for diabetes control. Menstrual irregularities – some studies are said to have shown that girls/women who skip breakfast are likely to have irregular intervals.
5. Poor disposition – low glucose is reportedly responsible for irritability fatigue and tiredness. Some studies show that people who skip breakfast snap at others more readily.
To me the risk of weight gain (and all associated health risks because of being obese) and risk of diabetes alone are enough to make me run for my breakfast. When it comes to kids, it’s extremely important to set up healthy eating habit at an early stage and for that, having breakfast is important. With children getting less and less playtime and exercise these days it is all the more important for them to eat healthy. There is no point in sending them to school to learn things if they can’t focus and as parents, we need to give them adequate support to enable them to learn. Hopefully, by now you are at least thinking about having breakfast.
I come from a tamil Brahmin family and Brahmin meal plan is quite well known because many of them have a enormous mid morning meal, later in the afternoon a tiffin or lighter meal is consumed while dinner sometimes is liquid intake or fruits or some cereals, maybe curd rice. Reason I mention that is that though some people criticise them for having a heavy meal that early, what modern day dieticians are advising is pretty much similar – have a big breakfast. The meal would usually consist of rice (carbs), dal (protein), vegetables (vitamins and minerals) and ghee (fat) and unless I got it all wrong, this is what constitutes a balanced meal. At this day and age, we barely have the time to make these before we walk out of the doors to work and neither will our working hours allow such a schedule. So, what are some quick breakfast alternatives you could try.
1. Oats porridge – boil a couple of tbsp of oats in water till it’s done (regular oats is far better than rapid cooking and honestly does not take much time to cook anyway). If you want it sweet, add some milk, sugar or honey or any other sensible sweetener of choice. If you like savory, then add some buttermilk and little salt and consume. Either way, have a banana or another fruit of choice. Breakfast shake – milk shake or smoothies make great breakfast. Blend a banana sweetened with date syrup or any other natural sweetener (avoid synthetic sweetners or refined sugar) along with some milk. Top with crushed nuts and drink. Adding oat milk rather than cow’s milk can help reduce calories and fat and also lend to fibre intake. You could try the same with apple too. You could also use a spoon of wheat germ. Muffin – with a low sugar, bran loaded muffin is a great way to fill you up for the morning. Top a healthy muffin with berries and eat along with a glass of juice. Loads of healthy muffin recipes are available, consider making enough over the weekend itself. I’d say it probably takes about 10 minutes to make the muffin batter and about 20 minutes baking time which would be your breakfast sorted for a week! Breakfast sandwich – you can make those with leftovers too. You could use chapattis or pita breads or wholemeal breads and stuff them with leftover sabjis or any vegetable of choice. This helps me get one of my five daily vegetables as well. Peanut butter sandwich is an excellent option also.
5. Toast and beans – beans also contribute to one of five a day. This alternative is okay if you’ve got the time to sit down and have your breakfast.
6. Low fat flapjacks – I make my own flapjack that is a bit more chewy than ordinary ones. I use very little brown sugar but include dry fruits and dates syrup to sweeten instead. Believe it or not small portions of these oats rich almost no additional fat flapjacks are a excellent start to the day.
7. Multi grain porridge – back home it’s common practice for moms to make a multi grain powder. It normally consists or wheat, barley, finger millet, sago, almonds and cardamom for flavouring. An individual can add few heaped spoons of the to water, bring to boil while stirring, add jaggery or sugar and milk.
8. Healthy pancakes – create your own pancake mix by adding either the above mentioned porridge powder or wholewheat powder along with some millet powder. Add mashed banana or pureed berries or apple, if you would like it sweeter, add syrup like dates syrup to produce a batter. I often skip the baking powder or soda bicarb since it inhibits nutrition absorption. You could add small all purpose flour to ease flipping the pancake. Pour the batter on hot tava and drizzle oil/butter/ghee.
9. Bread omelet – beat an egg and then add salt and required vegetables such as tomato, onion, mushroom etc. and make an omelet. Grab couple of toasts and a glass of juice. Having protein earlier in the day is believed to be better than later. Museli – unite wheat flakes, oat flakes, rye flakes, barley flakes with some dry fruits like raisins, currants, seeds like pumpkin seed. Serve with seasonal fruits and milk.
11. Quick French toast – cut couple of bread slices into four triangles each. Dip them in beaten egg (season it as needed) and cook on hot tava. Cook both sides and that’s a fantastic breakfast on the move.
12. Millet gruel – Millet is usually considered poor man’s food but reality is many men and women working hard physically have ragi gruel frequently for breakfast. It keeps them complete for long but they are involved in intense work. 1 way of preparing is very similar to multi grain porridge mentioned before. Another technique is to mix it with some buttermilk and let it sit overnight. Next morning add little water if needed and cook while stirring, until it’s shiny. Season with salt and drink. Millets are low fat protein sources.
I hope at least one or two of the above options suit your taste and time. On weekends one can indulge a bit more by making cooked breakfast and several these recipes are available on my site also.
Make healthy decisions for your life, remember, Daytona Beach FL Squirrel Removal, prevention is better than cure. An individual can skip any meal, but not breakfast no matter whether one is hungry or not. For the other meals you can go as per your body, eat when hungry but breakfast is an exception. Do not wait for the ‘right’ day to start having breakfast, there’s absolutely no bad time to do the right thing. Live long, live happy, live healthy!