Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

It’s Not Quite a Movement, But …

I walk a fine line with this blog.  On one side of that line is the original (and still foremost) reason I write here:  To keep myself accountable on my path to healthier living.  I write here to work through the obstacles I find on that path – to think things through with my keyboard.  That’s reason enough, and in the long run, the best possible reason for this blog to exist.

But on the other side of the line lies what I have heretofore seen as shameless self-promotion.  I know how to promote things.  I get paid to promote things.  But I’ve been reticent to go all-out in promoting Skipping Dessert because, you know, why would anybody want to read about my embarrassing slog from the land of the round to a better country where people live longer?

Yesterday I was reminded that it’s perfectly OK to actively promote Skipping Dessert, because two people told me my path, chronicled here, helped inspire them to start similar journeys.  I don’t claim to be leading some kind of Oprah-esque lifestyle crusade, but if self-promotion has managed to boost a couple of friends along on a path that might help improve their lives, count me in on the self-promotion train!

For the past week or so I’ve been toying with the Twitter, primarily to promote this blog.  I don’t want ALL my Facebook posts to be plugs for this blog, but I don’t mind treating Twitter like a classified section.  You can find me there at @hlward.

Today I actually had a click-through from my Twitter feed!  So I suppose I’ll continue working that angle.  Welcome, Twitter user!

Finally, in the “random notes” section this post has become, I want to report that I feel back on track, nutritionally.  Breakfast goes on, as it has without much of a hiccup, but I think I’m back in control of the other meals.  We have enough leftovers to feed the family for a long time to come (from the kindness of friends in the wake of sprightly daughter number three’s arrival, for those new to the blog), but now that they’re all leftovers, I don’t feel compelled to honor them the same way I did when they were brand-new offerings of culinary delight from supportive friends.  Which means I can pick a few forkfuls from them, get full and move on.

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Maybe I’m Just a Control Freak.

Probably not.  I’m perfectly happy to let the river flow by while I sit on a rock and stare into the woods.  As long as that proverbial river keeps flowing and the rock doesn’t fall apart and the woods don’t catch fire.  Which is why I rarely get to do that, because something always needs my attention.

Like, for instance, my weight.  I’d have been thrilled to just eat my way to my eighth or ninth decade.  Until it became apparent to me that without me taking the wheel and being intentional about the way I eat and tune my body, I wouldn’t make seven decades, much less eight or nine.

Turns out lots of things are that way.  I find that living intentionally – taking control of those things within my reach – is a hell of a good way to become “lucky.”  I’ll write a whole post (with links) about that one day soon (which might mean tomorrow, might mean November), but for now, let me tell you about a (mostly) daily routine that gives me an strangely high sense of fulfillment.

About five evenings out of seven, I take five minutes or so to “set up” for the next morning’s breakfast.  I get the coffee machine set (and almost always remember to push the “auto” button), find and sort everybody’s vitamins and such, lay out the bowls, cups and mugs and just generally prepare the kitchen for the onslaught of my sprightly daughters.  The five-ish minutes I spend sometime before bed probably saves me fifteen the next morning.

But the time it saves isn’t the issue:  I feel better at night knowing the morning is ready, and I can actually enjoy breakfast with the sprightly ones (my lovely wife usually handles the dressing and brushing, etc. while I shower and then I handle the breakfast while she showers).  By taking control of the morning, I feel in control of the day.  Everything flows better all day long.

The few days I don’t get around to preparing for breakfast, the next day starts in a hole.  Which means climbing out of the hole becomes job one instead of whatever should have been job one.

What does this all have to do with losing weight and/or living healthier?  This whole thing is about being in control of a part of my life that has been consistently, if privately, out of control.  So every bit I can bring into control, the better it all works.

Frozen Blueberries

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Because I am naturally contrarian, I refused to believe them for much of my life.  And we all know where that got me.

I used to think, “Hey, I’m not hungry, I can save ten minutes and a bunch of calories.”  I was stupid.  From the above-linked WebMD article:  “Some people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight, but the practice is more likely to cause weight gain than weight loss. Skipping breakfast is strongly linked to the development of obesity. Studies show that overweight and obese children, adolescents, and adults are less likely to break the fast each morning than their thinner counterparts.”

I am now a committed, confirmed eater of breakfast.

So.   Now I not only eat breakfast, I’ve been doing it long enough that I actually look forward to it.  On weekdays (I’ll get to weekends in another post) I drink coffee with half and half and eat some (yeah, some – I don’t measure) whole-grain Cheerios (not the multi-grain kind – regular Cheerios suit my palate and my nutritional interests better) with 2% (skim is just white-ish water) milk and some frozen blueberries.

Frozen blueberries?  For goodness sake, you say, why FROZEN blueberries when fresh ones are just steps away in the supermarket?  Because fresh blueberries are mushy.  Yes, all of them.  I’ve tried blueberries from all over the country (and the world), including fresh ones right off the bush (we grow A LOT of blueberries in north Florida), and they all feel mushy to me.  I don’t particularly like them, and I probably wouldn’t bother to choke ’em down just for the health benefits if I had to eat fresh regularly.

I like other berries fresh:  black, straw, occasionally rasp, but not particularly blue.

Alton Brown got me interested in the frozen kind, which, because they’re fresh-frozen, have the same nutritional value as the ones in the little plastic pint containers.  Plus, they create little Cheerio-cicles when I pour the milk over ’em.  Which makes breakfast fun.  Your mileage may vary, as they say.  By the way, I’ve tried two or three brands, but the Publix store-brand works best for me.  The berries tend to be plumper and not mashed and mutilated during the freezing and bagging process.

You may have noticed above that I use half and half in my coffee.  In copious amounts.  Because that’s how I like my coffee.  It’s also an ace-up-my-sleeve when I get down to the “short rows” of weight loss next year and am looking for things to eliminate to reach my goal.  But I’m putting that one off as long as I can.

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