January 11th, 2010

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Breakfast idiocy

Sometime last week I was watching a network morning program, looking for weather, and the talking heads were expressing great horror over one-dollar fast-food breakfasts because they had (gasp) 300 calories!!!  Sometimes even 400!!!   And they had (gasp!) some fat!  and (gasp!) eggs!

I ran a quick calculation and thought "That's really stupid..." 
The recommendation has been that you eat at least 25% of your daily calories in the morning.   4 x 300 = 1200.  Not really a huge caloric intake in one day, right?   Even if it were 400,  and 25% of the daily total, that's 1600...again, not a vast consumption. 

The nutritionist talking head went on to recommend other
lower-calorie breakfasts that would, she said, keep you feeling energetic all morning...but which I looked at and know would not hold ME for four hours.   The much-despised breakfast biscuit (egg or sausage) I know from experience would. 

In my skinnier youth, I used to eat one or two eggs and bacon and toast (from homemade whole-wheat bread) every morning.   I did not gain weight.   I also drank more sugared soda than was good for my teeth, but I did not gain weight.  I did not gain weight from before 18 to about 39, eating whatever I wanted in whatever amount.  Two things:  I took hormones so I could breast-feed our adopted son, and when our son turned out to have developmental problems, I got a lot less exercise because I was on the floor with him most of the time, working with him.  My usual breakfast now is a cereal/nut/seed mix that I devised for myself (it suits the higher-fiber needs of the older body, 'nuff said)  but if I know I have a hard day coming up, it's eggs and bacon, thanks.  And I don't feel the urge to snack that hits me with the cereal mix about 11. 

I'm a strong proponent of a good breakfast, especially if you're a morning person or have reason to be up and doing and stay doing all morning long and maybe into the afternoon.  I think an 80 calorie or 120 calorie breakfast is ridiculous unless you're going to have second breakfast that's a real one in about an hour, maybe two.  I also think anyone claiming to know anything about nutrition should be emphasizing the value of eating a substantial breakfast with a mix of nutrients to give a quick energy boost, then supply a long steady working level that takes you into lunch still alert and capable.

These network morning shows are really odd about food.  I remember one where they were talking about saving money by cooking at home, and had a chef demonstrate how you could make your own nutritious beef/vegetable soup...and the idiot started by cutting up a sirloin steak!   Dear hearts, you do not make soup out of sirloin steak.  Not only is it a waste of a good steak, and the money a good steak costs, but it doesn't have that much flavor once you soak it in water.   

But anyway--it was annoying that the whole thrust of the "avoid the dollar breakfast menu" segment was on the horrors of having a breakfast with that many (300-400) calories.