Sunrise Surprise – Most People Eat Traditional Breakfasts

You say oatmeal, I say hamburger! Which is it? What’s the preference these days for breakfast? Of course this presumes people actually eat breakfast. As I was preparing my breakfast recently I caught a segment on "Kathie Lee and Hoda" about the benefits of eating breakfast. I dug deeper and discovered this Time article. New research says people who skip breakfast have more evidence of coronary artery plaque buildup. Yikes! If you’re not eating breakfast, time to start. And perhaps it doesn’t matter if you down a burger or cold pizza as long as you eat something. I began to wonder what people really do eat for breakfast. Donning my scientific research cap, I polled my Facebook friends.
Tell me what you enjoy for breakfast. Leftovers, oatmeal, eggs, soup, yogurt? Even if it’s something you’ve never told anyone – time to reveal. Let’s see what fuels or doesn’t fuel your mornings.
The revelations were predictable, surprising, and in many cases, very specific. For the most part, people (in my Facebook world) do eat something for breakfast. That supports food and consulting research firm, NPD Group’s recent findings that out of the three meal times, only breakfast has seen a growth in traffic. Here’s what I learned from my sort of scientific research. The typical breakfast fare — cereal, fruit, eggs, toast, and the occasional doughnut and coffee — is still the most popular. Yet many are taking creative spins on these items and some even revealed out-of-the-box options. Take eggs for example – the yolk seems to be a forgotten element. More and more people are tossing the yolks, scrambling the egg whites and adding feta cheese, avocado, tomatoes, and veggies. But is it wise to skip the yolks? For some perhaps, as yolks have less protein and more calories (total egg is only 72 calories). But yolks are loaded with vitamins and nutrients  essential for eye and brain health. And they are an excellent source of Vitamin D which we know is a good thing.
Stephanie: I love protein smoothies with almond/coconut milk. I also like Melalueca's Omega-3 Mango Tango stirred into plain Greek yogurt. Yum!
Blended protein drinks, variations on milk (hemp, almond, cashew, coconut) as well nuts and berries ranked high in my informal survey. Granola, yogurt and healthy breakfast bars did also. Easily the most, "Oh my, do you really eat that for breakfast?" belongs to Marie.
I eat whatever was leftover from the night before. Today it was bay scallops and halibut.
And that's followed by this from Sue:
Chocolate, any kind.  Otherwise, just coffee. I know, I know — very unhealthy.
It appears that some breakfast eaters have a morning ritual. One begins her morning with Carnation Instant Breakfast in whole milk followed by proteins such as eggs, dinner meat leftovers or lunchmeat, about an hour later. Another enjoys half an English muffin (cinnamon) with butter and cream cheese and black coffee followed by fresh fruit and more coffee. Most people seem to be more disciplined at home, but enjoying that morning meal out definitely increases the variety of items consumed.
Marna: When out - eggs, bacon, toast, or oatmeal.  On the run guilty pleasure - doughnut. Brunch -  the whole shebang!
I prefer to have some variety in my mornings, and have now devised this every-third-day menu. One day is plain zero-fat yogurt with any and all types of berries, bananas and raw almonds. Next comes steel-cut oats (an excellent source of fiber) with fruit, almonds or walnuts, and occasionally a teaspoon of real maple syrup. And on the third day, it’s eggs! I’m all about the yolks though. My mom would often fry eggs in extra virgin olive oil instead of butter when I was growing up. That’s my go-to today. Just when they’re close to being crispy on the edge, I sprinkle the eggs with za'atar (a tangy blend of dried thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt) available at most spice shops or Mediterranean markets. I top it off with a light sprinkle of pepper, and enjoy it with pita bread or a bagel. Za'atar is very tasty on scrambled eggs if you prefer them to fried eggs. While I know people who jumpstart their mornings with soda if they aren't coffee or tea drinkers; no one fessed up to this in my research. Coffee is definitely the most popular a.m. beverage, and if you’re anything like me, I go the distance and froth my milk for a very delightful morning cup of coffee.

As we get closer to the holiday season, faced with parties, celebratory lunches,  festive drinks, and more, many of us will cut back or even skip breakfast to make room for holiday dinners and desserts. Or we may just say, bring on the pancakes. After all, it is the season for abundance. I happen to like my Facebook friend Lisa's plan.

“The Friday after Thanksgiving – breakfast pie!”
What's your daily--or favorite-- breakfast? Let us know about your first meal of the day by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page
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Cynthia Kallile