I used to be really poky in the mornings. It took me forever to wake up - and you dare not talk to me until at least a good half-hour had passed. I never, ever ate breakfast....too grumpy to even think about food.
But then I had children - and had no choice but to open my eyes and be at the ready even before my feet touched the floor. It was then I got into the habit of eating breakfast. I found I actually needed it (besides my coffee) to get my engine fully revved for my busy day ahead. And my children were eating, so why not join them?
But there are a lot of you out there (I'm not pointing fingers, but I'll bet someone reading this is one of these people) who skip breakfast. There's not enough time, you say. Or maybe you're just not hungry.
But that's a big, big mistake that you don't want to make.
Yeah, yeah, you say, we've all heard the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And like the saying, "a stitch in time saves nine," it's true. In other words, fix something as soon as it needs fixing, or else it will need many more repairs as time passes.
Studies after studies show that breakfast eaters are significantly less likely to be obese - or get diabetes - compared with non-breakfast eaters. They are more likely to take in important vitamins and minerals and less fat and cholesterol. And there's less chance of overeating throughout the rest of the day, too. You may think you're cutting calories by skipping this meal, but by mid-day, don't deny that you're pretty hungry. And that kind of hunger leads to overeating, mindless snacking and making poor choices.
I try to vary my breakfasts and eat things like oatmeal, yogurt with fruit and fortified cereal with soy milk. But recently, I discovered an easy, fiber-filled bread that I just can't get enough of. I spread on some yummy peanut butter-ricotta cheese concoction I became addicted to while visiting Canyon Ranch (link: http://healthywomen.org/content/blog-entry/try-yummy-peanut-butter-spread) and I have a breakfast I look forward to every day. Plus, it's so filling that I forget about food until lunch. AND it keeps you very, very regular due to its high-fiber content. A win-win!
The bread is from a book that nutritionist and author Susan B. Roberts sent to me, called "the instinct diet." I just love the name of the book - it's based on the fact that our powerful survival instincts guide our food intake. I think that's so true, don't you?
Here's her recipe for "I" Diet Soda Bread
(Makes 40 thin slices)
Note: I cut up some dried apples and added it to the batter, since I like things on the sweet side. Next time I'll try some raisins and apricots!
1/2 cup wheat berries
3 cups stone-ground whole wheat flour
2 cups coarse bran (regular red wheat bran, not white wheat bran)
2 cups white bread flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 -1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk, or more as needed
Lightly grease two 9 by 4 by 3-inch loaf tins.
Place wheatberries in a saucepan with plenty of water and let simmer until the grains are plump and some are starting to break open, about 45 mins. Drain.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the whole wheat flour, bran, white bread flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add the drained wheatberries and mix again.
Add 3-1/4 cups buttermilk and stir to mix well to make a stiff dough with no dry flour in it. Because flour is drier at some times of the year, you might have to add 1/4-cup or even more buttermilk. Divide the dough in half, place each half in a prepared loaf pan and gently pat it into the pan.
Bake until the loaves are lightly browned and have pulled away from the sides of the pan, 45 to 55 minutes. A skewer inserted in the center will come out dry when the bread is done.
Let the bread cool completely before slicing. Slices freeze well and can be thawed in a microwave, or toasted. (I toast mine and it gets nice and crunchy).