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Breakfast’s 3Cs —Coffee, Cereal and Vitamin C

April 3, 2011
By ANITA HANABURGH , For The Leader Herald

"Some hardy folk ride before breakfast; others of softer sort breakfast in bed. Commuters [generally] gulp breakfast and run." (1931: Reflecting changes on American breakfast, New York Times)

"Breakfast. We are of the opinion that everybody ought drink no wine, beer, or any other liquor at breakfast, no matter what the sex or age, except when prescribed by the physician in case of sickness. The food may be selected from the following: Bread and Butter, Eggs, Omelets, Fried Fish, Fried Potatoes, or other vegetables, Sardines, Fruit. As for meat, in case some should be eaten, it ought to be cold." (1868: New York Times)

I never, never skip breakfast. More than a morning pleasure, breakfast to me is a morning sacrament. I enjoy the same thing for breakfast nearly every day:

Coffee, Java, Joe, go juice, liquid lightning, morning mud, or Mojo - whatever you want to call it, I drink it every morning. My day begins with its luscious aroma. I am programmed to rise slowly and follow the pure fine wiffs of genus Coffea. As I descend the stairs, I am drawn to its heavenly source. I can always manage an early smile for the brewer. This non-coffee drinker has made coffee for thousands over the years and he makes mine to perfection. I love coffee. I love the taste of coffee. I drink my coffee half decaf because I am already naturally pretty wired. I like my coffee black and strong and my partner knows this. When this rich bronzed liquid swirls into my white mug, I know my day has started.

I am a fan of Cheerios. I figure in my lifetime that I have eaten more Cheerios than any other single solid food. It's not that I love Cheerios, but I do really like Cheerios.

As a kid, I was only "allowed" cold cereal on Sunday nights as a special treat. Our choices at that time were Wheaties - ugh, crinkled cardboard - Corn Flakes - ugh, hollow crinkled cardboard - or Cheerios -toastie crunchy oaties. Why not Frosted Flakes, you ask? Oh I would try, but if you knew my mother you would realize that "frosted" just wasn't going to happen in my house.

As a kid, Cheerios were never a morning cereal. In the morning, it was H&O Oats or nothing. If you don't remember H&O, then just think Quaker. My mom did a great job with oats, adding butter, brown sugar, raisins or nuts, but it was still mushy and I'm a texture person. I try to like oatmeal even today and I know it's the heart hearty breakfast choice, but after you've eaten more than 5,000 bowls of oatmeal over 17 years, you are really full of oatmeal. So as soon I was liberated, I chose the "stay crispy in milk" Cheerios. I want, enjoy, desire and live every morning with Cheerios. So, you wonder again, why didn't I pick Frosted Flakes? Well, I guess I wasn't that liberated! A college nutrition major with a large guilt complex, I am concerned about my health. I also remember reading somewhere that, during a cold cereal experiment, the lab mice that ate only a diet of Cheerios were the only ones that survived. I'm not sure if that is true, but it gives me some excuse to tell that mother's voice that circles my head.

I always eat raisins on my cheerios. Somewhat unconventional, this may ease my guilt for not eating oatmeal. I started doing this during some diet that pooh-poohed refined sugar. A quarter cup is just the right amount of sweetness.

Orange juice. Over the years, I've progressed from frozen juice that I have to reconstitute to premixed fresh squeezed. I'm not as consistent with the juice as the Cheerios, but I try to remember it every day. Vitamin C is one of the three Cs of my breakfast.

Oh busboy, I do eat breakfast every day, and I eat the same breakfast every day. I learned early the value of it and have stuck with it.

In the morning, your body does not have time to return to its normal state and is still in the decreased metabolism mood. If you skip breakfast, the body stays in that mood and continues to burn fuel slowly. Eating a healthy breakfast will wake up the metabolism and trigger your body to start fueling at the regular faster rate. Skipping breakfast to lose weight will keep your body in the slow mode and you may actually gain weight.

Your body needs fuel and skipping breakfast deprives your body of the daily needed nutrients. Your poor body is working hard to keep you at your best and it "ran on empty" all night. Recent studies from Nutrition Action Health Letter and the University of California have proven that no breakfast can create problems for people during the day, including: Tiredness or fatigue early in the day, inability to focus, decreased alertness, less memory capacity, higher chance of irritability or restlessness, greater chance of weight gain, higher risk of developing diabetes, increased possibility of high cholesterol, higher potential for high blood pressure.

Breakfast should "make your day" so "don't leave home without it."


Restaurant watch: Eat breakfast out for a special treat.



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