One will struggle to find a word more appropriate and precise in the English Language. Lunch, tea, dinner, supper? They don’t mean anything on their own. Whoever coined the word “breakfast” left no room for confusion – it was as though someone wanted to make it crystal clear it was “the meal you break your fast.” Unfortunately though, breakfast is lost on many of us.
Most of us have dinner right around eight at night, give or take an hour or two, and go through a 12-hour cycle without food. That’s half a day without food. And some of us proceed to withhold food from our bodies longer by skipping breakfast!
Skipping breakfast seems to be trendy – especially with the young, urban set who don’t think twice about trading a strawberry jam sandwich and a hot cup of coffee for a rush-hour traffic jam and smog instead. Throw putting on make-up and preparing for a taxing day ahead into the mix and we might be forgiven for thinking breakfast is going out of style. Fast.
Another popular reason for skipping breakfast is weight management. We all want to lose that pesky half a kilogramme. Most of us won’t like hearing this, but skipping breakfast might actually have a reverse effect and cause weight gain. Because we’re positively starving at lunch, we tend to have a bigger helping at lunch. And, instead of settling for a bowl of clear kueh teow soup, we crave for richer fare like fried kueh teow or curry laksa.
A healthy breakfast should comprise a variety of food groups, such as complex carbohydrates (like whole grains, breakfast cereals or whole-meal bread), protein, vegetables and fruits. You can get protein from eggs, tuna, beans, cheese or milk. Due to its high fibre content, whole grains can help keep you feeling full for longer. It also provides vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body. Essentially, we’ll do just fine by sticking to the trusty Food Pyramid.
Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day and we’ll all be better off for it. Make no mistake – our mind, body and soul require energy to function at optimum levels. Some of the perks from this healthy habit include higher energy levels, higher levels of concentration and a general feeling of wellbeing. Taking time off in the morning also helps us opens up a short window of relaxation for us to map out our day.
We can hardly expect our cars to run without fuel, so why do we readily expect our bodies to? If the morning schedule really doesn’t permit you a relaxing full-course breakfast, let’s meet in the middle and do a “fast break” instead.
Quick Tip: Alternatively, we could start preparing breakfast the night before. Stock up on convenient, single-serve cartons of milk, cereals, muesli bars, yoghurt or yoghurt drinks. Think about it. There’s really no reason to skip the most important meal of the day.