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The Breakfast Myth (Part 1)
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July 6, 2011
10:40 am
Kam
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hi JS, oops I forgot to check back here after I posted! It was an earlier episode where Angelo mentioned gnolls.com as the Blog of the Week. I haven't gotten to episode 12 yet but I am looking forward to hearing your interview. Thanks again for all the great info!
Kam 🙂

July 6, 2011
11:40 pm
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Kam:

If you can't get enough of me, you'll enjoy Episode 12, because after the interview I basically co-host the rest of the episode!  

JS

August 14, 2011
5:04 pm
Another Halocene Hum
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JS... *sigh*... I don't disagree with your conclusions, but you're right for the wrong reasons. You seem to have little first-hand knowledge of farm life. Also, your economic perspective on agricultural economies is badly skewed. Finally, your understanding of land ownership and apportionment is, well, incomplete.

However, you are absolutely correct that farmers in the United States in the recent past did NOT start the day with breakfast. They started the day with chores. They ate breakfast a couple of hours later.

Ranchers DID start their day with breakfast. A typical rancher breakfast was beefsteak and coffee. When times were tough the beef was replaced with increasing proportions of beans. Cattle herding is a very different life from running a farm, but both belong to the neolithic era.

I have no doubt if I look over the many comments left on this post so far I will find many notes about your extremely narrow lens overlooking breakfast foods across geography and time.

PS: I suggest you seriously look into how Native North Americans (the Inuit, for example) ate and preserved foods, because your notions of how HGs navigated their food environment (heh) is completely spurious.

August 14, 2011
6:51 pm
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AHH:

You can't just leave me hanging like that!  Please share the information sources and alternative explanations that allow you to make bold statements like "You seem to have little first-hand knowledge of farm life", "Your economic perspective on agricultural economies is badly skewed", and "your notions of how HGs navigated their food environment (heh) is completely spurious."

Also, I'm familiar with the making and transport of pemmican, as well as the basics of smoking and drying.  Do you have evidence or references for pre-Neolithic pemmican processing?  

JS

October 17, 2011
12:14 pm
Breakfast Skipping 1
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[...] The Breakfast Myth Part 1 – Gnolls.org [...]

November 22, 2011
11:17 pm
Breakfast Part 3: Bl
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[...] The Breakfast Myth, Part 1: How Did Breakfast Become Snacks And Dessert? [...]

January 9, 2012
8:55 pm
Mich
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Fantastic article. Looking forward to part 2.

January 11, 2012
2:27 am
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Mich:

I see you've already found it -- but in case anyone missed the link, Part 2 of "The Breakfast Myth" is here.

JS

February 7, 2012
4:22 am
Robbo
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Quibble: "Few of us have time to fix such elaborate fare in the morning"
Current breakfast alternates between black pudding and bacon with two eggs scrambled and chili pepper and cheese omlette. Cooking time 5 to 10 minutes. C'mon there's 24 hours in aday, surely there are ten minutes to cok breakfast ?

February 9, 2012
3:05 pm
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Robbo:

You must be one of those strange creatures called a "morning person".  I've heard of them.

JS

February 14, 2012
3:23 am
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Halifax, UK
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You're a man after my own heart Robbo! Black pudding is a must even if it does have rusk (you can find gluten-free varieties). Good lad!

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

April 7, 2012
11:59 am
AndreaLynnette
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I'm wondering if the difference between wanting breakfast and not (if you're Primal/Paleo/grain-free/whatever), is what kind of shape you're in. I'm in terrible shape, very overweight, and just starting to get better. I am moving a lot more, and I think my body is rebuilding atrophied muscles, because I wake up feeling like I'm starving. All I want is fat and meat. Bacon, cream, eggs, sausage, steak.

The first morning after I walked two miles (for the first time in my LIFE), I ate a half-dozen eggs fried in butter, two cups of milk, and two cups of heavy cream. I'm losing weight, so I must be doing things fairly right. But if I didn't eat breakfast, I think I would be useless.

April 8, 2012
4:56 pm
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Andrea:

I'm sure nutrient demand has something to do with it!  Now that I've started weight training, I find myself eating breakfast much more often than before.

And that's why I say in Part II: "...don’t eat until hunger starts to distract you from your tasks."  If you wake up ravenous, then go right ahead and eat a meal!  What I'm trying to break is the habit of eating sugary junk for breakfast, especially if we're not really hungry, because it's "traditional" or "the most important meal of the day."

JS

June 22, 2012
7:22 am
jennifer
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i'm fully aware of the time lapse between kat's comment and this question that her comment prompted in my reading today...sorry.

but, my understanding of how the body works when stressed is that digestion becomes it's lowest priority, so wouldn't fasting actually be helpful when stressed?

June 23, 2012
1:10 pm
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jennifer:

Among the problems is that fasting will cause some cortisol release in order to keep the liver full of glycogen -- which can be a problem if your levels are already high from chronic stress.

JS

September 11, 2012
11:55 am
Sara
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This article inspired me to question my breakfast. I was always someone who made myself eat something in the morning, no matter how full I was, because i was mislead by health magazines and Western doctors telling me that it was necessary to eat breakfast to kick-start my metabolism. However, after letting my metabolism begin running without forcing it, I feel so much more energetic and find it easier to eat real foods such as vegetables and fish when it's not in a rush in the morning.

You have inspired me to share this knowledge on my blog post:

http://www.eatfeelfresh.com/2012/09/

Also- I heard that eating fruits when waking up helps your body wake up because it is easily digestible and best consumed on an empty stomach. Is this true?

Thank you so much for your insight!

September 11, 2012
3:44 pm
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Halifax, UK
Gnoll
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Like you, Sara, I need a little time to wake up. Work days, the most I can stomach at silly o'clock in the morning is a few spoons of yoghurt. Some days, I can mix in some blueberries or blackberries and a few hazelnuts.

This does it for me - good probiotic yoghurt, full fat, of course. That ties me over to lunch, which I like early, around noon: a good bowl of salad, fat (avocado) and protein (chicken, fish, smoked fish and/or shellfish), making a simple formula that ties me over to the main overture in the evening.

The key is not snacking. Eat until you are replete when you do - this means eat less if you're not hungry or so inclined. You can happily ride through eating in the morning and have a big lunch. Some folks are just built that way.

Breaking your overnight fast can be a delicate thing. Some folks like nothing less than a "full English" ... I'm English and can do that at the weekend, but through the week, I don't. Yes, when not in a rush, put together a whole bunch of really good foods, eat and get about your day.

Don't force yourself otherwise. A handful of berries is a good kickstart, but do get some fat down with it. Yoghurt is actually pretty sound. Don't let those die-hard paleos tell you otherwise. I know J has a healthy respect for good dairy, and there is a growing number of paleos who think likewise.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

September 13, 2012
12:31 am
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Sara:

I don't recommend fruit by itself first thing in the morning, because you're just consuming sugar that'll put you on the blood sugar rollercoaster.  If you must eat fruit, eat it as part of a complete meal with lots of protein and fat.

I'm glad you're finding success...when we wait until we're hungry to eat, we're far more likely to consume a complete meal instead of a snack.

Paul:

When starting on a new way of eating, it's easiest to either classify foods as "in" or "out"...it's hard enough to make major changes without adding the stress of sorting out the gray areas.  Then, once you're comfortable in your new habits, you can take on issues like dairy.

Again, my take is "butterfat and milkfat = OK, lactose = OK only IF you digest it, whey = OK, casein = causes problems for many, proceed with caution".  For instance, too much casein gives me acne...but I'm OK with the small amount in Greek yogurt, and so are many people.

JS

November 28, 2012
3:47 pm
Katherine
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I gave up eating breakfast some years back after I stopped sports. I just wasn't as hungry, and I noticed it was easier to skip breakfast and eat a real lunch than try to eat tiny meals.

I am (probably) one of few people who ate oatmeal without sugar. I used to make it with butter and cheese and sometimes sausage meat. I can't do it anymore as I had to give up gluten, and oats had the same effect on me. But at least a few of us exist.

November 29, 2012
9:43 pm
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Katherine:

Avenins (oat proteins) are very similar to gluten proteins, and some people get the same reactions to them that they do to gluten.

And yes, that's one of my reasons: it's easier to skip meals and simply eat to satiation than it is to try to parcel out calories in miserly little portions throughout the day.

JS

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