Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why Cookies for Breakfast?

It's common knowledge: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Even my kids tell me so. So, who in their right mind would ever start a campaign to get healthier by eating junk first thing in the morning?

It all comes down to staving off feelings of deprivation. In the past, when I've tried to eat better, I've done what so many of us do. No sweets! No junk! From now on, I'm a changed person! (Or from now until I fit into that dress for my reunion, then all bets are off...) But it never led to lasting change. I felt deprived. I couldn't wait until I reached that goal (whatever it was) so that I can go back to my beloved cookies.

So, this time around, I decided to try a program of no deprivation, which meant finding a way to include some sweets every, single day.

I chose to eat cookies first thing in the morning, because I'm not a big morning person, and I'm just not very hungry for the first few hours after I get up. I've never been a big breakfast eater. So, a cookie or two for breakfast will satisfy. But because it's a "meal" not only does it not feel like deprivation, it feels decadent. Chocolate chip cookies for breakfast? That's so bad! It's so indulgent! Only the worst kind of hedonist would eat an entire meal consisting only of cookies! It's my little way of tricking myself into thinking I'm not missing out on anything.

You're welcome to try it yourself. Of course, it won't work for everyone. I have a mean sweet tooth and a soft spot for baked goods, but you might find that what you need to feel decadent rather than deprived isn't cookies, but a serving of potato chips, fried chicken, cheese, chocolate, steak or a good glass of wine. And it might feel more decadent (and filling) to eat those things in the middle of the day or late at night or with a meal. We all have our own rhythm.

The key for me was to try not to deprive myself of an entire category of food, but to moderate my portion size: a small serving of cookies for breakfast rather than half a package as an afternoon snack. Of course, for some people, this won't work at all; some folks (who aren't me) really do find it easier to cut foods out entirely than to try to moderate their intake. Play around, get to know your needs and rhythms, be honest with yourself and find what works for you. May you eat without deprivation!

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