The Most Important Meal

Alexa CherryBY ALEXA CHERRY

For the UAS Whalesong

By this point in your young adult life, you’ve probably made up your mind which way to feel about the common adage that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Some people live and die by this saying, and will not leave the house in the morning until they’ve consumed food. In fact, these people are often known to get up well before they actually need to leave the house in order to make themselves, and maybe their friend/significant other/roommate, a wholesome breakfast. My old roommate was one of these people; in fact, one year for Christmas, she got an electric griddle to more easily facilitate the breakfast-making process.

Other people, however, tend to find themselves falling squarely into the opposite camp of thinking when it comes to breakfast – which is that yeah, it’s nice, but it’s not a necessity. Breakfast is hard; if you’re not already a morning person, even the extra 15-20 minutes earlier that you have to rise in order to make and consume a bowl of cereal can seem like a Mighty Sacrifice when you could hit snooze for that amount of time instead. I will confess to being one of these people; I will take any opportunity to maximize on my amount of sleep time, and at this point I’m used to rarely (if ever) eating in the morning.

But lately, I have gleaned information about breakfast that I didn’t know before – and considering that I might not be the only person to whom this knowledge was new, I thought I would share it with the masses. For years, the importance of breakfast has been pressed upon me, and for years, I’ve assumed it was a mostly groundless rumor spread by health magazines and misinformed scientists. One day, however, I heard something that justified this claim of importance and struck a chord with me. It made me realize that I had never actually understood, asked, or been told why breakfast was supposed to be the most important meal of the day.

Breakfast is important because it’s (ideally) eaten in the morning – that’s sometime before noon, for the average young adult, but not necessarily for the average college student – and is the first food you consume in the day. This means that as you go about the rest of your day, you’re going to have more energy (because you’ll have something more substantial than your morning cup of coffee* to turn into energy). You are also going to be more full, which is not something you might notice at first but will when you are no longer barging into the cafeteria between afternoon classes in search of anything that looks good and is filling. I personally have been trying to get better about actually eating breakfast, and I find that when I do, my entire lunch experience is improved. I go from “I’M HUNGRY FEED ME NOW” to “I’m kind of hungry, but not starving, so let me peruse my options and choose something that looks good.” Also, when lunch is not your first meal of the day, it lessens the risk that you’ll choke on something while inhaling your food. In addition, if you’re well-fed before leaving the house, you will be better able to focus in class – I’ve met several professional adults who swear that it’s honestly impossible to do your best at anything on an empty stomach.

It helps if you consider that breakfast is not necessarily a complicated affair. I always make a point of having bananas in my kitchen; you could substitute this with whatever kind of fruit you like, if for some inexplicable reason you have a distaste for bananas. But the point is that bananas are nature’s original granola bar – you just peel and eat, no preparation required. And they’re easy to pair with some peanut butter toast, or even jelly toast. I find that a bowl of cereal is immensely improved with the addition of banana slices, and makes me feel like a better and healthier person (even if the base cereal is 75% sugar – sorry, Mom).

And of course, the cafeteria serves breakfast – which brings me to the most important part, and ultimate purpose of, this article. In case you didn’t know yet, I have exciting news: the Lakeside Grill is now serving breakfast all day. Yeah, that’s right, you heard me, ALL-DAY BREAKFAST. For those who can’t or won’t get to campus an hour before a morning class in order to eat some eggs and sausage, or for anyone who has ever gotten out of their morning class right when the cafeteria quit serving breakfast, it is your time to shine. So get up, get out there, and put some food in your face while the clock still says AM, because now you know why it’s good for you.

(*the author of this article in no way discriminates against a morning cup of coffee, and in fact considers it an essential part of any routine. however, it is still recommended that you pair the coffee with something more substantial than a biscotti.)

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