Newest Review: ... the full monty, I eat little and often so generally go for a few rashers of bacon, a load of mushrooms, a scrambled egg and black puddin... more
Is it the most important meal of the day?
Member Name: GentleGenius
Advantages: It's good for those who it suits
Disadvantages: The Nanny Brigade trying to scare us into forcing it down our throats
As per my headline, so we are told....but, could this be so if you are one of those people like myself who just wants to throw up at the very thought of even the merest smidgeon of food before lunchtime, let alone what would happen if I actually did force myself to indulge in suitable breakfast comestibles first thing in the morning? We are told that breakfast kick-starts our blood sugar levels, making us far less likely to eat lorry-loads of sausage rolls and jammy doughnuts for lunch, but on the very rare occasions I have managed to force something moderately healthy down my throat (back in the days when I went out to work and had to get up early) in the name of breakfast, how come by 10:30am I've been so hungry that I could have ripped the polystyrene tiles from the office ceiling and gladly feasted on them, yet whenever I omit breakfast, which is most of the time, I can quite happily and comfortably survive on the modest intake of a mid-morning cup of coffee and an apple until about 6:00pm?
Breakfast is one of those things that, although I'm not denying its health benefits so long as the meal's contents aren't something like a Mars Bar dipped in batter then deep-fried in lashings of lard, I do feel its importance has been more than a little over-stated, with the health freaks making half the nation shiver in their boots at the thought that they might die of some terrible malady if they aren't stuffing their faces with low-fat sugarless yoghurts, bowls of oatmeal and various items of fruit first thing in the morning. My own opinion wavers towards pretty much anything or any life-pattern behaviour being OK so long as it is done in moderation, doesn't hurt anyone else and so long as it suits us as individuals. Breakfast food at breakfast time simply doesn't lie right with me, so I don't stress myself out - thus possibly making myself ill in the process - by trying to conform to other people's ideals of what is 'right' and what is 'wrong'.
For me, the best time to eat breakfast-orientated food is any time, except for stupid o'clock in the morning...I mean, I'm not even up when everybody else is tucking into their hand-weaved muesli and dried fruit compote. For me, any kind of breakfast cereal - and don't get me wrong as I love most types - is far better eaten as a dessert or as a pre-bedtime snack. I'm one of these people who loves sticky chocolate puddings, whole tubs of luxury ice cream, barrel-loads of tiramisu and the like, so I feel that a bowl of Shredded Wheat with a slosh of icy cold skimmed milk is a far healthier dessert option. Don't eat before bedtime, I hear the health police scream! Well, for me, that modestly-sized serving of unsalted, unsugared, high in fibre Shredded Wheat with a slosh of fat-free milk just before retiring is the very thing that prevents me being rudely awoken in the middle of the night by serious hunger pangs, which I would then have to appease by paying the fridge a visit and stuffing my face with its contents just in order to get my stomach to give my brain the message that it's OK to sleep. If I have that small 'breakfast' before I go to bed, I sleep peacefully throughout the night, but if I don't, then I'll toss and turn through some pretty low-quality sleep, until that hunger drives me to the fridge or the cake-tin!
As said probably in other words and somewhere above, for me breakfast is a movable feast. I've already spoken about how I like to eat my cereal, and I say here that yoghurt, croissants, fruit - dried, stewed or raw - do little or nothing to satisfy my epicurean desires as I don't like them....but, there is one type of breakfast I can heartily enjoy, so long as I have it at lunchtime or later....and, that is the Great British Breakfast!
My ideal Great British Breakfast would be to, at around 1:00pm-ish, visit a greasy spoon type cafe in a little back street somewhere, with formica table tops, lacy curtains, OK and Daddies ketchup bottles nestling next to one of those old-fashioned dumpy sugar canisters with the chrome dispensing widget on top, and where the food in this questionable (appearance-wise) establishment is cooked to the highest specification by a dowdy elderly lady wearing a pink overall, slippers and rollers in her hair. She will either be surly and uncommunicative (no matter if she's a great cook), or effusive, genial and will call everyone "Love", "Dear" or "Duck". Her menu will be scrawled in chalk on a wall-mounted blackboard and will be pretty much of the chips with almost everything variety. Also, this lady would be flexible enough to allow her customers to mix and match any food items they fancy making up a meal with.
Incidentally and as an aside....I'd prefer to eat this meal in a cafe, as I'm hopeless at cooking fry-ups for myself.
Anyway, back to our pink-overalled lady! She wouldn't even write down my order....I'd just call across the room that I'd like fried egg on fried bread, one rasher of bacon, one sausage, a small serving of button mushrooms and a halved tomato, cooked to perfection - dumped onto the plate anyhow - then plonked in front of me. I'd also like two slices of bread and butter which I'd dippy into the perfectly cooked egg yoke, then with the last piece, wipe my plate clean. I'd then like to close the proceedings with a pot of strong coffee and a slice of buttered toast with a tiny smear of marmalade. Not a croissant or a plastic carton of limp fruit salad in sight!
Happy, satisfied, sparkly eyed and most importantly - stress free! - I'd then pay the lady, tip her well, then vanish off into the afternoon, perhaps to Sainsbury's to buy a new packet of Shredded Wheat for my pre-bedtime snack.
My overall philosophy of life and contained within this breakfast article is, do what feels good for you, whether it be skipping breakfast, quaffing a couple of vitamin pills down with a slug of freshly squeezed orange juice, kippers, crunchy oaty whatever - or whatever else - so long as it's right for you as an individual and doesn't cause you or anybody else undue levels of fear and stress, then go for it! Life is for living, and there's a great deal to be said for little indulgences adding to our sense of well-being and peace of mind.
Thanks for reading....off now to have my Shredded Wheat!
Summary: Like all things in life, a little of what you fancy, and when you fancy it, does you a lot of good!