Eating breakfast is breaking a fast after sleeping, no? I usually try to aim for eight hours of sleep a night, which means I haven’t eaten for quite some time. I am not a happy camper when I’m hungry. Some might say I get hangry. Trust me, you want me to eat breakfast. I practically leap out of bed, ready to eat almost immediately. Who am I kidding, I look forward to every meal I eat.
I eat breakfast every single morning. Breakfast was never forgotten in our house growing up. Whether it was egg sandwiches, bagels and cream cheese, cinnamon rolls, cornmeal blueberry muffins, or some times if we were lucky, pancakes before school, we always ate. I took that habit with me when I left home to go to college and it has stayed with me since. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have skipped breakfast.
I eat breakfast because it gives me energy to start my day. It wakes me up and makes me feel good. I couldn’t get through my days in a kitchen without eating something first. It gives me fuel to go on runs and do yoga. I enjoy the ritual of preparing my breakfast in the morning, especially when I have time to sit around and enjoy it. I actually set my alarm earlier than I have to, just so I’ll have time to sit down and eat my breakfast.
There was a time in my life where I didn’t enjoy food. I didn’t eat out at restaurants because it would stress me out too much that I couldn’t count the exact number of calories in my meal. I used to use Spenda to sweeten my food, instead of honey or maple syrup, just to cut my calories. I never bought anything that wasn’t fat free and I never looked forward to eating my meals. I always ate breakfast though; I never got to a point where I was skipping meals.
Lately, I felt myself straying a little towards that way I used to think. Cutting calories a little too much and over thinking my food choices. All I need is a little reminder of how far I’ve come. How I bound out of bed, ready to eat now. How much happier and heathier I am, now that I fuel myself properly. I’m not tired constantly and I don’t go to bed starving every night. Going out to eat gives me so much pleasure now.
It wasn’t an accident that I ended up in the culinary world; I always thought I’d end up here in some way or another. My mind has always revolved around food. Even at the height of my disordered eating, I still wanted to cook for other people and host dinner parties. I just never wanted to eat the food I cooked. Now, I realize that eating with the people you’re feeding makes the experience that much better.
So, to get back to it, here’s my ode to breakfast. The first meal of the day and perhaps the most important. Making myself breakfast and the time to enjoy it sets the tone for my day. Food is not an enemy, but a friend. It’s easy to forget that.