Special Breakfasts

Right now, I'm standing in the kitchen, waiting for the chocolate croissants and brown sugar bacon to finish baking. I wish I could say that the croissants were homemade, but they're not; they're from Trader Joe's freezer :) My mom bought them and said they're wonderful. You just proof the croissants overnight and then bake them in the oven first thing in the morning! I can't wait...chocolate croissants are one of my most beloved pastries (yes, beloved!), especially with bits of crisp chocolate inside.

I can't even begin to describe the achingly delectable scent that has taken over my kitchen. It actually makes me feel like it's Christmas morning even though it's Halloween! I just can't think of anything more comforting than the smell of a freshly baked breakfast...sweets mixed with savory. Creamy scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, hash browns, pastries fresh from the oven (croissants, chocolate chip muffins, cinnamon rolls), and a hot pot of coffee laced with the scent of vanilla, hazelnut, caramel or kahlua.

I think breakfast must be my favorite meal; the morning is when I feel the most starved that I do all day! Most mornings, I wake up with the sensation that there's a hole burning in my stomach--it can actually be painful, as if I haven't eaten in two weeks.

I've always believed that breakfast is an important meal to jumpstart metabolism, but, all my life, I generally had cereal for breakfast, which probably isn't bad, but it's not the best. Recently, I started having an egg every morning, no matter what--hard boiled, over-medium, scrambled--however I can get it, I have an egg and I eat it as soon after waking up as possible. It's really perfect; because eggs cook so quickly, I don't spend a lot of time on breakfast when I'm rushing to get to work. With my unending hunger, I think it's extra important that I do this to help ensure I don't gain 500 lbs from snacking, literally, all day long.

I also believe, however, that indulging yourself once in a while is important! In my family, we always had a tradition of eating pancakes on Sunday. For me, that meant pancakes with chocolate chips, Hershey's chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. It makes me so hungry just thinking about those. Though I stopped eating pancakes like that long ago, I did try to carry the tradition into my home life with Billy. Since he often works weekend mornings, it's not a regular occurrence, but when he is home, we definitely eat well! That's how I believe it should be done. If you eat healthy every day of the work week, don't you deserve a little something terrible at the end of it all? I'm not saying to spend a full day devouring chips, cookies, and pizza, but maybe indulge yourself for a meal or two!

Making this breakfast, I realized how much I enjoy eating sweets as an uncommon indulgence rather than something I consume on a regular basis. When you eat a certain type of food really often, it looses its sparkle. Sure, you probably crave it all the time, so it is satisfying when you eat it, but it's not the same as eating something you barely ever have. I never eat chocolate croissants, so you can bet that if I make three of them one random Saturday morning, I'm eating at least two! We also never have bacon, let alone brown sugar bacon, so you can bet that gets devoured (especially by Billy). If we ate these things on a regular basis, though, they wouldn't be nearly as exciting and I love excitement. What's fun about eating the same thing over and over and over?

I've been working in this way on my own eating habits--trying to take the bad food that I crave most and turning it into a happy indulgence that I reward myself with once in a while--but I really want to get Billy...and other people...to learn to do the same. It's really difficult to give up the food you crave the most, but your body actually tends to crave what it's used to consuming. So, once you've gone without pop or chips or cookies long enough, your body stops caring. Likewise, when you start eating healthy foods, like fruit and vegetables, on a regular basis, your body starts to crave those instead! Then, for some special occasion like a party, a holiday, or just a random weekend morning/night, you can allow yourself something your body used to crave...devour it...and not feel guilty about it later! At least, you shouldn't, because an indulgence here and there is nothing to feel bad about.

My policy is to bring only "healthy" food to work for snacking (since I spend most of my day at the office)--bags of all natural chips (and the like) that are low fat and low calorie (based on the ingredients and cooking method, not that they're 'reduced fat' which is just absurd), for when I crave something salty...a bag of dark chocolate covered almonds, for the few times I crave chocolate...and raw vegetables, fruit, and nuts for when I'm just hungry and need to eat something. For instance, at my desk all this past week, I had out a bottle of water, two small apples, and a big container of grapes. I like to keep something handy that's really easy to snack on, like the grapes, because then I can just consistently grab one to pop into my mouth without disturbing my work, but while also not allowing myself to get too hungry. I do the same by keeping a container of cut up vegetables like carrots and celery. Aside from that, I have a small drawer with snacks. So, I'm set all day! Obviously, my lunch is on the healthier side, as well as my dinner.

Because I behave so well ninety percent of the day, five days a week, I think I'm entitled to a slice of cake, a thin stack of chocolate chip pancakes, or (sometimes) a plate of eggs, brown sugar bacon, toast with butter, and a pastry. If I didn't allow myself these indulgences, who knows...I may have such a powerful craving for something sweet one day that I go way overboard and consume, let's say, a five pound bag of candy! Or a whole batch of cookies...maybe half a chocolate cake ;)

Learn to reward yourself once in a while and do it at breakfast! At least you can spend the rest of the day burning those calories.

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