Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Consistent Breakfast

Before preparation

Breakfast - Good For You and A Chance To Be Consistent

They say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I know I perform a lot better at work, and can maintain focus until lunch much easier if I've eaten breakfast. Many people skip breakfast because they enjoy sleep. While none of us usually have that much free time first thing in the morning, breakfast is the easiest meal to be consistent at. Assuming you're not a road warrior, when eating breakfast:

1. You are always at home for breakfast, not at restaurants, not in an office, or outside, or in a plant, or on the road, etc.
2. You always have the same amount of time from when you get up, to breakfast
3. (Assuming you slept ok) Your energy level is consistent, and groggy but not exhausted
4. You have access to whatever items you've prepared on a previous day or the night before
5. Your breakfast rarely gets cancelled or affected due to family commitments, or having to work late

Lunch, at least for me, is difficult. I'm often at restaurants with clients, or eating at inconsistent times. Dinner can also be a challenge, because it is at inconsistent times. If I'm working late, and get home at 7pm then it's easy to fall prey to convenience food.

Breakfast, out of all meals offers the best chance to consistently eat health food, simply because it offers the best opportunity to be consistent. Having fruits and veggies in your consistent breakfast, lets you make a dent in your fruit and vegetable needs first thing in the day, regardless of how the rest of your day unfolds.

Analogy #2 - Paying Yourself First

One of my favourite concepts from personal finance, is the idea of paying yourself first. The idea is, you immediately move some of your pay into savings as soon as you are paid. This is setup automatically, so you only see the money leftover after savings, and can only spend that much.

Breakfast allows you to pay yourself first with fruits and healthy food. By consistently eating healthy in the morning, you're crowding out room for unhealthy food later in the day.

Analogy #3 - Lessons From Science - Simplify The Number of Variables

If you were doing a scientific experiment to measure how well you felt, and what your weight gain was, wouldn't you want to reduce the number of variables in equation? Wouldn't it be the easiest if you ate exactly the same thing everyday, and then you could monitor your performance? If you were gaining weight, or not feeling as energetic then it's clear you need to make some minor adjustments.

Since breakfast can be so consistent, you can design a healthy breakfast and then eat exactly the same thing everyday. Based on how hungry you get before lunch, you can then make minor modifications to your baseline breakfast.

My Baseline Breakfast

I have been successfully doing this for several months now, having first established a baseline and then making small modifications to my breakfast.

Breakfast Cereal was replaced with Rogers Steel Cut Porridge Oats. I'll make a batch of 1.5 cups (uncoocked) at a time and keep it in the refridgerator. It yields about 5 servings and when reheated in the morning and mixed with raspberries, plain oatmeal is good.

1% Yogurt has been replaced by 1% plain yogurt. While initially you may find it very bitter tasting, it does grow on you, and when mixed with blueberries is quite good. Adding almonds, walnuts and magic Omega 3 shelled flax gives it a nice crunch.

A hardboiled egg, adds protein, with no additional morning time other than peeling the shell off the egg. It's also tasty and makes a difference to keeping hunger at bay.

Banana's are just great.

I am still searching for vegetables that take limited prep time in the morning, can be eaten fairly quickly, and taste decent. Please fire away with any suggestions. Aside from putting things in an omelette, which is too time intensive in the morning, I don't know of any great way to eat veggies in the morning.


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