Picturing Breakfast


I have always been taught that breakfast is the most important meal in a day. This is because it’s the meal that gets you through the morning hours until lunch, which, in turn, gets you through a few more hours until a quick snack time, before finally arriving home for a nice dinner with the family. Being raised in the Philippines, I have been accustomed to heavy breakfast sets that usually included fried garlic rice (called sinangag), a sunny-side egg and a choice of meat, typically a serving of cured sausage (longanisa), beef (tapa) or salted fish (tuyo), or for a more urbanized version, a choice between hotdogs or corned beef. It’s already a lot, but often times, these meals are concluded with a serving of fruit. And then a mandatory glass of milk or juice. No wonder my Mom lets us walk to school.

So imagine my wonder when I found out about American breakfasts. Cereal, for one. Or perhaps two slices of toasted bread with jam. Or the very convenient protein shake. It’s very minimal, but frequently covers a good chunk of a day’s required nutrient intake. Fruits have become a good staple, and the variety seemed endless due to New York having four seasons instead of Manila’s two. I wouldn’t say that American breakfasts are unhealthy or lacking, but perhaps it can amount to that if one doesn’t choose carefully from the large spread of choices accessible out there.

In my opinion, a breakfast should be nutritious and filling. It should cover the basic food groups without being too heavy that it turns one to be lethargic. A serving of fruit or vegetable is a must, as I find these to be very helpful in keeping me up and filled without that sluggish feeling. As for liquids, milk and 100% juices for kids, and teas for adults. I find that coffee is habit forming, so as much as possible, I stay away from it.

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