Thursday, March 05, 2015


(Picture: Tea Time Magazine, Hoffman Media)

All is well here and I hope all is well with you. 

Years ago I read a health book written by English author, Barbara Cartland. She had observed that when the popular cold cereals and grains began replacing the traditional breakfasts, people were more anxious, upset and tired.  Prevention of quarrels, mood swings, emotional instability and nervousness, she said, was in a good breakfast.  While we acknowledge that the cultivation of good character is essential, we must also admit that food has an effect on our sense of well-being and emotional stability. 

Several books I own that describe the Victorian breakfasts indicate a variety of foods we rarely see on the breakfast table: fish, steak, vegetables, and included  foods saved from the previous evening meal. There was no uniform breakfast food as we use today, however, the morning meal was hearty and substantial. Their cookbooks describe breakfast tables laden with food, and yet as a whole, the society did not suffer from being overweight, as it does today.  A hearty meal at the start of the day is fuel for the day and is less likely to cause weight-gain. If you have no inclination to eat in the morning, a time later on in the morning when your appetite returns will suffice.

Starting the day with a meal high in protein and a balance of other nutrients can sustain you for many hours and keep your mood on an even keel. Think how our grand and great-grand parents ate in the morning, and you will have a fairly good idea of what made them strong, mentally and physically.  Food high in essential nutrients can help us think, plan, create, overcome setbacks and problems. If you have a small appetite in the morning, just eat a small amount of these foods.

That being said, it is sometimes hard to start the morning with a great rush of energy to get the meal on the table. Many of us prefer to have time to ourselves first, and sit by the window to watch the light come in while we have our first cup of hot herbal or fruit tea.  One solution to this is preparing food as much as possible the previous evening and and getting the breakfast table ready.  This meal is the most important one of the day and yet has been treated as the least important for decades.  We need to take the time to "dine" and linger at breakfast. In winter, breakfast by candlelight, with the fireplace lit, is a delight. Put a table in the living room next to couch and chairs for the meal, and the weather will not seem so formidable.

Although Tea Time magazine is for tea time, I have found quite a few high-protein, savory recipes in it that would be great breakfast foods. The advantage of using these recipes is in the preparation:  foods can be pre-assembled and refrigerated, and heated in he morning if preferred. (You can go to Tea Time magazine on the web for recipes.)

To be hungry for breakfast, avoid a huge meal in the evening. Your appetite will wake you up earlier the next day.  

(Photo: Tea Time magazine)


Unknown said...

I have observed in my own life that a breakfast of protein like cottage cheese and turkey bacon helps me so much more than a high carbohydrate meal which makes me feel sluggish. I did not realize the Victorians had such a variety at breakfast. That is interesting to know. Blessings.

Lydia said...

One breakfast menu I have from the Victorian era included a variety of cheeses and vegetables. I think the cold cereal industry overshadowed the hot cooked breakfast. Other instant breakfast foods were designed to eat on the run so you could get to work sooner and get more done. Even a work horse takes its time to graze in the morning.

I have occasionally looks for breakfast cookbooks and been disappointed in how many menus have so many non-protein foods that cannot sustain a busy homemaker, nor a man at work.

ForHisGlory said...

We usually have eggs, bacon or sausage, a smoothie with kefir and fruit, and some sauteed vegetables or fresh fruit. I feel so much better when I eat like this than back when we used to eat cold cereal for breakfast. I have more energy and think more clearly! Less mood swings, too.

Polly said...

This is a fascinating topic for me. I would love to see sample menus/examples of the breakfast foods of yesteryear. I know my grandparents and great-grandparents breakfasted on grits or oats, eggs, toast, sausage or bacon, and sometimes fruit. I try to give my children a substantial breakfast each day, but sometimes fall short--or run low on ideas. I function so much better on a decent breakfast!

When we were in Finland in 2006 we breakfasted on an array of fish, sliced vegetables, bread, yogurt, and fruit. Great fuel for sightseeing!

living from glory to glory said...

Hello. I make mostly egg dishes as we have so many eggs. I prefer hot cereals also.I think breakfast is my favorite meals of the day!My Husband will eat even a dinner leftover even!
Blessings, Roxy

T said...

An old saying from the past was:

Eat like a king in the morning, a prince at lunch, and a pauper at dinner.

I feel better if I practice that.

Also, I adore your blog. :-)