Are You Trapped in a Breakfast Cliché?!
By Joan Kent, PhD
I've written more than one article describing fruit as the "final frontier" in quitting sugar. But I've realized something else causes just as much resistance as fruit. Maybe more.
Even people who are fully committed to healthful eating can be trapped in breakfast clichés.
In a recent coaching session, a client wanted to know what I eat for breakfast. I described the breakfast I'd had that morning, fairly typical for me. The meal was egg whites plus a salad that included kale, spinach, walnuts, real sauerkraut (for the probiotics), olive oil, and wine vinegar.
My client thought it was "something unusual," yet I follow the same guidelines I recommend for my clients.
I just do it in the morning, too.
Does Your Breakfast Look Like Dinner? Perfect!
There's an idea in the U.S. that eating vegetables should be reserved for lunch and dinner. We seem to want breakfasts to resemble the familiar fare of our childhood.
Unfortunately, many of us grew up when no one ate healthful breakfasts. I certainly did.
Back then, standard breakfasts were pancakes, French toast or waffles. Cereal was always available, but not the healthy type. Instead, it was the kind that inspired the comment, "You could get more nutrition from eating the box."
Alternatively, we might have had eggs and toast, with or without bacon. Compared to the other options above, that would have been the wisest choice.
As the World's Foremost Recovered Sugar Addict, I had a history of preferring the French toast/pancake/waffle meals. Breakfast used to be my first chance of the day to eat white flour and/or sugar – don't forget the syrup!
Those were truly the bad old days. But I digress.
Contemporary breakfasts still tend to resemble the traditional ones. They've just morphed a bit into "healthier" versions – say, granola instead of Fruit Loops.
In many places, however – Scandinavian countries, Asian countries, midwestern U.S. states, and more – residents eat fish for breakfast.
So who says a kale-and-spinach salad can't be a morning meal? Or lentil soup and tofu? I used to make a terrific vegetable soup that my husband loved to eat first thing in the morning.
Breakfast does not have to look like a photo from the IHOP menu.
The most compliant clients I've had have always been bodybuilders. They're so focused on results, they'll eat whatever I recommend – and they don't care what time of day they eat it.
Addiction Will Make People Do Strange Stuff
Several years ago, I had a client who was quite addicted to fruit. During in-person coaching sessions – and during any presentations of mine that he attended – this gentleman resisted my anti-fruit remarks with a cold, angry stare.
He also resisted my suggestions to switch to a breakfast that looked like a lunch or a dinner. No sandwiches or soup for him, thank you! He wanted oatmeal.
During a phone coaching session, I finally discovered the real cause of his resistance. He said he planned to change his brand of oatmeal to one that was lower in fat.
Well, the fat content of oatmeal is low and also pretty consistent from brand to brand. I immediately walked to my kitchen. When I mentioned that my brand of oatmeal had much less fat than his new replacement, my client confessed the facts.
He wasn't eating oatmeal for breakfast. He was eating granola.
As you probably know, granola contains nuts. The fat content listed on the label came mostly from the nuts. But granola also contains dried fruit.
This client had lied in his food logs (and in our coaching sessions) to cover up his fruit consumption.
His resistance to a dinner-like breakfast came from his fruit addiction, not from clinging to breakfast clichés.
As a recovered sugar addict, I understood his addiction completely. Predictably, it took a while for this client to decide to quit fruit. When he did give up fruit, his breakfasts started looking like lunches. He started losing weight more easily. His lab tests improved. And he stopped the angry stares.
If you're struggling with any type of food addiction, I can help. I'm committed to helping you conquer food addictions so you can reverse metabolic conditions, transform your moods, and more. Just visit http://www.LastResortNutrition.com and grab your free copy of "3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Quit Sugar."
Brought to you by Dr. Joan Kent, best-selling author of Stronger Than Sugar: 7 Simple Steps to Defeat Sugar Addiction, Lift Your Mood, and Transform Your Health.