Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Breakfast

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. But for me, it used to be the most difficult.

When I was very young, sugar cereal with milk was my morning meal. I was addicted to sugar, and I was not disappointed with my typical choices: Sugar Frosted Flakes ("they're GRRREAT"), Lucky Charms ("magically delicious"), Fruit Loops and Captain Crunch. Even Cheerios had (has) sugar in it, but because I couldn't see the sugar coating, I'd sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of sugar onto it after pouring the milk.

On Sundays, Dad would bring home Miami onion rolls fresh from the bakery. These I would slather with butter and gulp down.

I ate like this for a long time.

But when I was a teenager I adopted a paranoid distrust of mass-produced food. I started to avoid anything with nitrates & nitrites, artificial flavorings and colorings, preservatives. All the cereals I loved became poisons. I switched to granola or Grapenuts cereal. I still drank milk -- nobody was talking about hormones or antibiotics back then, or if they were, I was too overwhelmed to understand it. I ate more bagels or English muffins and, occasionally eggs.

Then I noticed I'd wake up feeling so nauseous that I'd gag if I tried to eat anything too substantial. So I'd eat a small portion, one-half or one-third the usual amount and then find myself dizzy with hunger by the time I got to school or work. I didn't know it then, but I was probably suffering from a combination of low blood sugar and anxiety.

I noticed that if I skipped breakfast, I didn't feel hungry even at lunch time. So I did that for a while. And I also went through a phase in which I visited a cafe and bought a Pepsi and donut to eat during morning snack time.

Eventually I learned how blood sugar can fluctuate, and that Low Glycemic foods helped to keep blood sugar levels stable. I discovered a few cereals (Kashi Heart-to-Heart, for example) that I could eat without needing another meal after getting to work. I'd add sunflower seeds to it to lower the cereal's Glycemic Index even more. And I'd feel pretty good in the morning.

After learning about the Blood Type Diet in 2007, I gave up wheat, dairy and corn. I switched to spelt or buckwheat cereal with nuts and rice milk. I'd have spelt bread toast with almond butter. Or gluten-free waffle with sausage. Or omlette with onions and sausage. I make sure to include a good source of protein with each breakfast. This maintains my morning stamina, and my allergy symptoms are less severe.

With cooler weather here, my latest breakfast choice is oat bran with carob powder and protein powder. I cook this according to the oat bran package directions and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, some agave nectar and ghee.

Those with type O blood tend to be the ones to ask about breakfasts on the Blood Type Diet forums. I usually respond in those threads. I'm glad I finally found some breakfasts that work for me, and I like to share them as often as possible.

What's for breakfast at your house?

2 comments:

Silly Girl said...

I have never been a breakfast person. As a kid, I would hid my grits in the chair beside me until I could dispose of them. This worked until the day my mother sat in the chair. It was not a good day for me.

And now, I try to have something for breakfast. It ranges from garlic cheese toast to dry cereal to biscuit and gravy from McDonald's. It just depends on my mood.

Square Peg Guy said...

"grits" I hate the way that sounds. You might as well call it "sandpaper" or "scouring powder." But it doesn't taste so bad to me.

Thanks for commenting!