We’re On A Mission

by Valerie Nusbaum

Randy and I are on a mission to change breakfast for the better. In truth, it was my suggestion, and he’s just along for the ride because he’s fine with breakfast the way it is. I, however, believe that both of us could benefit from some changes.  My number one complaint is that there are no healthy breakfast foods other than fruit. Okay, oatmeal and those other gruels are considered healthy, but oatmeal is loaded with carbs. Plus, I have to add cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla or maple extract, raisins, and apples just to make it taste like something I can swallow. I can’t eat the stuff in the packets, so I have to cook my own oatmeal, and this isn’t doable on the days I have to be up and out in a hurry. And, thanks, but I don’t like the overnight stuff. 

Maybe yogurt is considered a healthy choice, too, but again…yuck. I do eat yogurt and so does Randy. He prefers the regular yogurt in plain vanilla, and I buy the low-fat, low-sugar Greek style. There’s really only one flavor of yogurt I can tolerate well, and I have to run down to Walmart in Frederick to buy it.  If you know me, you know that I’d rather have my teeth cleaned than go to Walmart, so I don’t eat yogurt every day. I also add granola to my yogurt to give it some texture and mask the taste. 

There are a few cold cereals that have healthful benefits, and I eat some of those occasionally with fat-free milk and fruit. None of this stuff tastes good to me, though. I do it for the fiber, but also to avoid eating any of the breakfast foods that actually taste good.  

Anything that’s a vehicle for syrup is delicious, but it’s not good for us. Waffles (which Randy loves to make), pancakes, and French toast are full of carbs and fats. I do use sugar-free syrup, though. Eggs, sausage, and bacon all have a lot of fat and cholesterol, even though they’re proteins. I don’t love eggs but will eat them scrambled if I have to, and Randy does make beautiful and tasty omelets. He prefers his fried eggs with runny yolks, which I find gross, especially when he dips stuff in the yellow glop. Sausage is fine but not something I crave, and neither is bacon, although it is tasty and adds flavor to mostly anything. Toast and English muffins are more bread, and there’s usually butter, and some form of sugar involved with them.  All of that being said, we do enjoy breakfast for dinner on a cold winter evening, and I never turn down Randy’s homemade waffles on a weekend morning. It’s just not food that we can eat on a daily basis.

And forget about going to a restaurant or fast-food chain for a healthy breakfast alternative, unless you want to spend a fortune. Yes, there are egg-white menu items, turkey bacon and sausage options, and whole-grain breads available.  Just don’t try getting a healthy breakfast at the McDonald’s drive-thru because aside from the fruit and maple oatmeal, there’s not much to choose from if you’re trying to be heart-healthy.

I do admit that the hubby and I find the food at IHOP delicious, and we’ve been known to stop there for a late breakfast/early lunch on days when we’ve had to fast for blood tests or medical stuff. We’re entitled to a treat after that, right?  I’ll even go so far as to recommend the “Split Decision,” which includes both pancakes and French toast.  Go ahead and treat yourself but be smart and bring home half of it for another time. By another time, though, I don’t mean as soon as you get home, Randy.

Speaking of IHOP, I’m reminded of the time my mom and a group of her friends were going out to eat at IHOP in Leesburg, Virginia. Maggie was driving, and they were all hungry, but Emma was very disappointed when Maggie pulled into the parking space. 

“I thought we were going to IHOP,” Emma said, “but this is International House of Pancakes.”

I’ve gotten off track here, but my point about breakfast is that I’m hoping someone will come up with a breakfast soup or a salad, or even a vegetable option. That’s all I’m saying. What’s wrong with eating regular food at breakfast time? Like I said, we do have breakfast for lunch and dinner.

One morning at breakfast as we were watching the news, Randy and I saw a story on how Shakira has written a break-up/revenge song about a failed relationship. We noted that Taylor Swift does this sort of thing all the time. So, just for fun, we started writing revenge songs about our own previous relationships.

Randy ended all of his songs with the chorus, “Oh the good times.” I wrote a song about a young fellow I dated in my youth, called “My grandma made that lemon pie.” Seriously, you should try it. We amused ourselves for at least an hour.

Please let me know if you have any viable healthful breakfast suggestions. 

In closing, I’d like to give a shout-out to my old pal, Diana Lewis, who is both thoughtful and talented.  Those greens are still looking good in February! Thank you so much for thinking of us.

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