Skip’s Odd Breakfast
Among the oddities the Beautiful Wife has graciously tolerated these many years, two stand out: I’m cheap, and I’m a bit of a health nut. These behaviors are combined in our morning meal, known as Skip’s Healthy Breakfast. On the chance you want a healthier breakfast, here’s mine, the result of years of research, all for free. You don’t get this kind of value in any other newspaper.
There’s a dark saying that in time all things become corrupted. Take breakfast cereal, for example. Back in 1894, John Harvey Kellogg, seeking a healthy plant-based breakfast, invented the corn flake. He introduced it to the health spa he operated for the rich and famous and the rest is history. Corn flakes inspired a convenient, easy-to-serve breakfast with a healthy image and over the years imitators became competitors. One convenience was to include increasing amounts of sugar in the cereal. In the cereal wars that followed, marketing overpowered good nutrition and breakfast cereals became more like candy served with milk.
In my search for a healthier, and cheaper, breakfast two principles stood out. The American Heart Association (AHA) issued guidelines that women limit daily sugar intake to six teaspoons (25 grams, equal to 100 calories, or about 5% of daily calories). Men are allotted nine daily teaspoons, based on body weight. The AHA says we eat over three times that much sugar; other sources put our sugar intake even higher.
The AHA also recommends we eat more fiber, 25 to 30 grams daily. Americans currently eat about half this amount. The importance of fiber came out of the work of Denis Burkitt, the English doctor who first noted the absence of Western diseases (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, constipation, diverticulitis, etc.) among Africans and credited this healthfulness, in part, to a diet of natural foods high in fiber.
It was an insight that eating 25 grams or less of sugar plus 25 grams or more of fiber could become a health rule—food should contain more fiber than sugar. The factory-made foods in grocery stores rarely meet this rule. None of the breakfast cereals in our pantry did, so I invented my own, a combination of freshly-ground seed-grains and seasonal fruit.
The seed-grains, made fresh using a spice grinder, are: Oat groats, a traditional breakfast grain rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Flaxseed, known for essential omega-3 fats plus lignans, a type of fiber. Sunflower seeds (shelled but unsalted), notable as a source of B complex vitamins (including folate needed to prevent birth defects), and other nutrients.
The fruits follow the seasons: Currently we’re enjoying peaches; in the fall, we’ll switch to apples with blueberries; and in the spring, we delight in fresh strawberries with bananas. There’s no table sugar in our breakfast, though raisins are added as well as cinnamon for flavor. I use heavy cream on my breakfast, not being a believer in the anti-fat campaign of the last 50 years, the BW uses milk. Another Skip oddity is to top it off with whipped cream (like Reddi-wip). All in all, it’s a breakfast that’s healthful and cheap, and tastes as good as dessert. (Email Skip for the complete recipe.) Eating healthy in the time of coronavirus is a good idea. There’s meaning in that.
Skip fell in love with Laguna on a ‘50s surfing trip. He’s a student of Laguna history and the author of Loving Laguna: A Local’s Guide to Laguna Beach. Email: [email protected]
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