Now that The Chef is back among the day workforce I am butting into his breakfast business. I butt into the breakfast business of most people I know, especially coworkers. You might believe that your breakfast (or lack of breakfast) is none of my business. Perhaps that’s true. Perhaps it’s also true that if I am a daily victim of your morning grouchiness or inability to function for half the day, suggesting breakfast as a preventative measure is my business. Or perhaps not; perhaps I’m just butting in. Either way.
Butting into the breakfast business of others means I’ve heard all the excuses, most notably I am not hungry in the morning, and therefore I can’t eat first thing in the morning. Of course I also get I don’t have time in the morning, and I don’t like breakfast food. Let’s go ahead and agree that if I offered you a raise or $100 bonus for eating breakfast every morning, you’d magically find the time. Let’s also go ahead and agree that there is no law which says breakfast must be a certain kind of food. I ate leftover macaroni and cheese for breakfast this morning.
As for the other two excuses, The Chef tried them both on me. It gave me another opportunity to underscore the benefits of eating with the Ayurveda clock.
Saucy Buttinsky: You need to eat something before you leave. You’ve got a busy morning. It will be hours before you eat lunch. Your brain needs the calories.
Chef: I’m not hungry.
Saucy: You need to eat anyway.
Chef: I can’t eat if I’m not hungry.
Saucy: Yes, you can. It just takes practice.
Chef: How am I supposed to eat a plate of food if I’m not hungry?
Saucy: Not a plate. Just a bite. It’ll make you hungry.
Here’s how to make The Chef hungry in the morning:
Ideally, it starts the day before. If we make lunch the biggest, heaviest meal of the day, and then eat a light dinner, we will be hungry for breakfast. We’ll be able to give our brains the calories needed in the morning to fuel the natural energy burn that steadily builds until midday.
Sometimes all we need is a small bite to stimulate the appetite in the morning. Make this a snack-size portion and let it consist of food we will eat even if we aren’t very hungry — at least to start. Everyone is capable of snacking on certain things when we aren’t really hungry. We all have something we will eat any time it is offered. Maybe it’s a favorite or a treat or a guilty pleasure. The I can’t eat when I’m not hungry excuse is a crock. We do it all the time. Once we practice eating in the morning we will gradually be able to handle more and can gradually switch to something else.
I started The Chef on peanut butter. I made half a sandwich and thrust it into his hand on his way out the door. The Chef isn’t going to turn down peanut butter. It’s his thing. He won’t waste peanut butter. Faced with tossing it out the car window or eating it, he ate the half-sandwich. Just a few bites but it was enough to stimulate his appetite. And he got hungry. The peanut butter won my argument for me.
After about a week of eating small snack-sized breakfasts he was ready to move on from peanut butter. Because he’s been able to fuel his energy burn during the early part of the day he now eats a better lunch, which means he isn’t ravenous at dinner. Which means nighttime digestion primes him for breakfast the next day. The wellness cycle is improved. Now he’s eating leftovers for breakfast too, which I assure you is better than the fake breakfasts being consumed by commuters sitting in fast food drive-thru lanes each morning. But that’s a different argument.
Although I’ve been a breakfast believer for a long time, I got to re-learn this lesson the hard way last year when my doctor took me off caffeine. I had to listen to my brain beg for calories earlier in the morning because I was no longer drugging it with caffeine right out of the gate. Ever heard a starving brain beg? It sounds strikingly similar to dumbassity. Can’t focus. Can’t communicate effectively. Can’t reason or react well. Can’t handle stress. Can’t face the day or other people’s problems without acting like a jerk. Breakfast is the Brain Whisperer. Be it a banana or bacon, breakfast as wellness is a practice too.
For this cause, I butt in. Liberally. Obnoxiously. Without apology. Wellness is my business. Breakfast is my strategy. No charge for extra sauce.
— Kay Bunt Suscity