Coffee for breakfast

So this is a little off topic – but honestly, by the end you will understand where I am going with this one. Until a year ago (and more realistically until about 6 months ago) I rarely ate breakfast. It was something I stopped doing when I was in grade one – when I first realized that I was not a morning person – and eating at 7:30am was just something that my stomach was not going to want to handle.
Things progressed, I did fine in my mind without breakfast, until about third year university when I discovered the wonders of coffee. From that point on, depending on your definition, I was either a true Canadian, or a coffee addict (or both). My mornings began with coffee, and the drinking continued way beyond when I would first eat something. Probably not the healthiest of habits (just ask my dentist, my doctor, traditional medicine peeps, and my dietician who all ganged up on me this year) but it was one that ultimately lead me to start enjoying breakfast.
It all started when I tried to convince someone that coffee is a complete breakfast in and of itself – it didn’t go over well – but here was my rationing. Coffee comes from beans – so it must be a legume, therefore, it is a protein source, so add in milk (dairy) and sugar, which comes from plants and therefore can be a vegetable – and it’s a complete breakfast? no? Although I did get a “nice try” for my very logical (yet highly irrational) insight, it just was not enough proof that coffee was a) a food, and b) an acceptable breakfast substitute.
So how does this tie in with the idea that one should be able to make something more than cereal for dinner? Although I am not saying that cereal is a bad choice when in a pinch for dinner (for the most part, as long as you put milk on it, and it is not some sugary-food-colouring-rich thing posing as food, it’s quite acceptable and completely balanced) but here’s the thing. Do you really want to be eating the same thing for breakfast that you do for dinner?
The one thing that the last two years has taught me more than anything is that boredom with food leads to poor eating. Plan, simple, fact. If you don’t get excited about what you are going to eat, chances are, that skipping it won’t matter to you. Almost every busy working female I know has been in the position where when there is a choice between going to sleep early after a really hectic day, and trying to make something for dinner, they have chosen the sleep. It’s a bad habit for many reasons. But if dinner is something that you enjoy, you find passion in food, joy in being able to make something that you will truly look forward to, then the choice isn’t that obvious.
Back to the coffee – the reason that it became acceptable had more to do with my dinner choices than it did with my breakfast ones. I didn’t want to eat the same thing in the morning that I had the night before – coffee was the only quick thing I could find that helped me get going in the morning. As much as I understood that it was a poor choice – it got me through the morning. So for those of you that didn’t understand why I was against cereal for dinner, there you have it. It wasn’t against the cereal itself – it was against the fact that when people lose passion for food, they also lose perspective on what it is to actually nourish oneself, and for me, that meant that coffee (or more than 20 cups a day of it) somehow became an acceptable food substitute.


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