Dec 16, 2008

Tuesday: I would change breakfast

Mornings and I don’t get along. I tell myself it some kind of genetic thing, that I’m pre-disposed to being a “night person”. I haven’t found any genetic studies yet that I can point to for validation, but it’s more pleasant than labeling myself as lazy. Morning really has very few activities to call it’s own, but the most prominent would have to be breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, and some people even say it sets the tone for the day. I’m not one of those people. To me breakfast is a collection of unusual foods, eaten at what any objective outsider would agree, is an unusual time. Throwing back a plate of unfertilized-baby-chicken-kits after getting out of bed has always felt a little out of place to me. Now, I’m not against breakfast as a whole, just its current incarnation. The foods are too weird to be dealing with while you are still waking up, and the emphasis on the importance of the meal seems a little pompous. Like just because it’s the first meal, somehow it can take credit for more of what’s going to happen in your life that day.

All that being said however there are a lot of things I would hate to see go if we altogether abandoned breakfast. I’m a huge fan of the good people at General Mills, Post, and Kellogg’s. I would miss sitting and having a meal in the quietness of morning while people are still waking up, and you can either just munch and read or just munch and think. Most importantly though, I would just be hungry and have trouble focusing on school or work or whatever I’m supposed to be focusing on that morning. So here are a few changes I would make to the traditional, western view of the topic called breakfast.

Give up the title of most important to Lunch
Breakfast doesn’t really prepare you for the day so much as it really helps you recover from last night. Nobody is pointing at the spinach omelette as the key to their success. Food is food, no matter when you eat it. So breakfast needs to stop pretending like there’s some kind of magic going on with any food consumed before 10:30am (the window of time assigned to breakfast by Ronald Mcdonald and friends). Lunch needs to start getting some of the credit it deserves. Not because the food is better, but the whole idea of lunch has just been utilized better. People meet for lunch, they discuss things over lunch, business happens over lunch, pressure free dating happens over lunch, and lunch provides a needed retreat from being neck deep in work or school. Lunch is obviously the most important meal of the day.

Simplicity is bliss
In the spirit of the title of this paragraph, this will be short. Breakfast should be basically a snack; a yogurt, some cereal, a piece of fruit, whatever. All it really needs to be is a stop gap till lunch. Also all these foods are easy to understand even if you haven’t quite woken up yet. This is key to the successful restructuring of breakfast.

Everything else can return at a reasonable time like 9pm
I’m not against eggs, pancakes, and the rest of the IHOP menu. I just think all that has it has it’s place, and that place is around 9pm. By that time, the brain is awake and can fully appreciate the craziness of the omelette, the deliciousness of the bacon, or the fluffiness of the pancake. (that sentence feels weird to me for some reason). People usually get hungry around this time anyway; it’s the perfect stage for the unusual foods that used be part of “team breakfast”.

So in short, breakfast needs to be humbled. Somewhere along the line, someone spent some time stroking its ego and convincing it that people would lose sleep to enjoy it properly. I haven’t seen that to be true. Unless you’re one of those people who goes to bed at 9pm, wakes up at 5am and need something to fill that time for you. Then possibly I can see you being partial to your lone companion in the morning. But for the everybody else, normal people, I hope you see the logic in my argument for altering this bizarre meal.


  1. SO I'm the antonym or a morning person, but I do really enjoy breakfast. I don't know if I've ever bought the idea of it being the most important meal though...i feel like dinner is important as it is a way to end off the day right.

    I like breakfast foods though! i like making fried egg sandwiches or waffles for breakfast (even if my breakfast takes place when others would refer to it as lunch!) So please Gabe, don't get rid of my breakfast foods!

  2. bah! Don't listen to her! I've NEVER seen her make breakfast in the morning and I lived with her for a whole six months. It would be noon and someone would come over and ask "where's Alicia?" and we'd just point upstairs to her fortress of sleep :-).