Health Notes #9

B r e a k f a s t  

The Largest Meal ? W H Y ?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is like taking an auto trip. If your gas tank is empty, when do you fill it up? Before you start the journey or when you arrive? Obviously, you need to be full of high octane fuel before beginning your trip, otherwise you are headed for trouble. Likewise, think of your day as a journey; and think of your breakfast as providing energy to start that journey. You need more food energy at the beginning than at the end of the day.

Breakfast-skipping combined with eating heavy evening meals is unwise because it involves the area of energy balance. By this we mean that you need the most energy at the beginning of the day and the least energy at the end when you are winding down and doing less strenuous activity.

Breakfast should contain about one-third to one-half of the daily dietary needs. Omitting breakfast can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. One of the reasons for this is because we begin to get hungry in the middle of the morning and start snacking on foods that are not as nutritional. Rarely do we see people snacking on carrots sticks and apples. Right?

Studies on children's learning ability show that if a good breakfast were eaten, work rate and output were improved even later in the morning. School performance showed higher creativity, motivation, and fluency in visual and memory tests.

Studies have also shown that men and women who regularly ate breakfast reported better-than-average health, compared with those who skipped breakfast.

What do we eat for a good breakfast to get us through the morning? It should typically be rich in carbohydrates since this is the premium fuel for the brain and the body. This means that one should eat liberally of whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables.

It is important that the starchy foods be whole grain, such as brown rice, whole wheat breads and waffles, bagels, muffins and pasta. They are a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals, protein and fiber. Dietary fiber plays an important role in helping to lower blood cholesterol levels, promote regularity, and help protect against colon cancer.

Gradually cutting down on the evening meal and adding nutritious foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in fat and sugars to your breakfast will have many bonuses. More energy, clearer mind, and more time in the evening when you are wearing out and would like to just relax are but three of them.

Lighter evening meals might include: soups and toast or crackers or popcorn and fresh fruit. If the stomach is empty at bedtime then you will rest better and be hungrier at the breakfast table.

Give the whole grain waffle recipe below a try and use one of the healthy "syrups" suggested in Notes #6.

Best Corn-Oat Waffles

7 c. regular oats
2 tsp. salt
8-9 c. water
c. oil
1 c. cornmeal
2 Tbs. vanilla or maple extract
c. dates or c. honey

Stir all ingredients together in bowl. Blend 3 c. of this batter at a time for 15 seconds and pour into another bowl. Repeat procedure until all batter is blended. You may soak the ingredients overnight in the refrigerator and bake in the morning. If you bake ahead and warm directly on oven racks the next day the waffles will be firmer in the middle. Prepare waffle iron by spraying with pan spray. Close lid and preheat on high 5-8 minutes. When waffle iron is hot, pour 1 c. batter on iron and close lid, baking 10-12 minutes or until a nice brown. Cool waffle before freezing or stacking. Yields 6--9"X 9" waffles.

Quick Oatmeal Waffles

2 c. oats
1 tsp. vanilla
1 med. banana
2 c. water
tsp. salt

Let set for 10 min. after blending. Use same procedure for baking as above recipe.

Simple Rules for Health

Halve your food intake

Double your drinking water

Treble your exercise

Quadruple your laughter.

(within Moderation!)

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