Thursday, December 4, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

For the literate and/or the ancient, Breakfast of Champions has dichotomous meanings. For the ancient, it is an ageless slogan for a cereal – Wheaties, hyped on 1950s TV by Bob Richards, an Olympic pole vault champion. For the literate and somewhat less ancient, fellow Hoosier Kurt Vonnegut borrowed the phrase to entitle a novel about decidedly non-athletic characters.

Recalling the Wheaties commercials will date yourself (and have a good time when you do – budumpbump).

But I digress.

I am a big breakfast champion. My theory is simple. If my last meal was consumed sometime between 6-8 PM the previous evening, waiting until Noon to power up with some protein starves the body. Granted, most of us could use some starvation now and then. But our body is not too crazy about that treatment. Just ask it. If like me, your body will talk back to you. Twelve hours between substantive meals is too long. A latte and a bagel just won’t get you past the mid-morning snack-attack urge.

Given the choice, I scramble in the morning. Sometimes I wait until nine or so, after feeding my coffee habit before 7:00. When I do, I am rarely hungry for loading up at lunch, and sometimes even skip it.

There isn’t much that cannot be combined with scrambled eggs. Egg scrambles are akin to casseroles. Once eggs get out from behind their shells, they are very user-friendly and compatible. You don’t even have to make a big production each morning and cook everything from scratch. Leftovers were made for scrambled eggs. Here is a list of ingredients I have included in scrambled eggs at one time or another:

Steak (any kind)
Salmon (smoked and regular)
Roasted red peppers
Sun-dried tomatoes
Onions (chives, yellow, and scallions)
Cream cheese
Cheese (mostly parmesan and cheddar)

With all of these flavors, who needs salt?

If you are cholesterol-challenged, use Egg-Beaters or your supermarket’s equivalent. In Southern California, the Safeway-owned Vons sells a brand called Best of Egg. I do not have a cholesterol problem but I still mix the Vons brand with 1-2 regular artery blockers. Do not scramble your eggs in butter or bacon grease. Use olive oil.

Frequently, when I wait until 9-10 AM, I go egg-less and just reheat some protein and vegetable leftovers. My body is not biased.

If this sounds like an Atkins morning, you’re right. Though not a devotee, I do agree with their program’s approach to jumpstarting my day. Pole vaulting is another matter. Heights make me queasy.

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