Mornings have changed in our house—for the better—and it’s all because of the beauty of a sunrise….
I don’t know exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way, I stopped loving breakfast. Or maybe I should say I started disliking it.
I think it had something to do with the whole cooking-a-meal-first-thing-in-the-morning thing. That, and the egg aversion I developed during my second pregnancy. I mean, when you don’t love eggs, it’s kind of hard to love breakfast.
But the bigger culprit more recently? Not getting up before the kids.
Really. I didn’t realize that (or maybe didn’t want to admit it) until it wasn’t the case any longer, but waking up to “Momma, I’m hungry” or hearing “Momma, what can we eat?” before I’ve even made it out of my bedroom in the mornings is, for me, about the worst possible way to start the day. Talk about instant stress, dread, and despise…. I blame BREAKFAST!
And then I went to Jackson Hole.
My husband and I took a couple’s getaway there in March for a little winter escape and a chance to reconnect. Turns out I rediscovered not only how much fun my man is, but also how great food can be. In the morning.
Breakfast at our five-star hotel restaurant looked something like this:
And the view from our table? Like this:
It was everything the opposite of stress and despise. And the only thing I dreaded was this beginning to the day… ending.
I sipped coffee from a cup—while it was hot.
I gulped orange juice with my meal. I never drink orange juice. Why don’t I ever drink orange juice?
And when it was time to finally quit with the coffee refills, I’d down an ice cold glass of smooth, clean, mountain water and leave feeling filled and fueled for my day—in more than one way.
All this only after watching the sun rise on the mountains—and before the time I’d normally be waking at home.
Sitting at breakfast that last morning, I smiled at my own thoughts:
If faith can move mountains, I think I’ll just take these bad boys on back to Iowa with me. 😉
But if not the mountains, then the beauty I experienced in their presence.
The sunrise is astounding in the mountains—it’s just as inspiring in Ankeny.
Breakfast was glorious at The Granary—it could be just such a blessing in my kitchen.
All I have to do is cook a four-course meal every morning and hire a personal assistant to keep the coffee refills coming….
No, but seriously—the least I could do is serve a glass of orange juice with breakfast.
And have food ready (or at least in the works) when the kids wake up.
Easier said than done, of course. I mean, how many times have I “decided to start being a morning person” and then changed my mind when the alarm went off the next morning. So what would make this time different?
Honestly? Experiencing how nice mornings can be. And realizing I want my kids to experience that, too.
They don’t deserve to have their health and habits programmed by a mom who starts the day stressed because she woke up already behind the eight ball—or who proceeds through the day at less than pleasant because the carbilicious breakfast cereal she threw on the table left her feeling sick. (Unfortunately, my body just can’t handle straight carbs anymore.)
So the will to do this is really there this time—the will to see our mornings be as bright and refreshing as that token glass of orange juice the kids wake to find waiting for them.
And that will drives the discipline needed to make my desire a reality.
Here are the practical ways I’m helping myself have more breakfast success.
#1: Setting my alarm, and GETTING UP.
I’ve always argued that, for me, a healthy sleep schedule starts with going to bed on time (which usually hasn’t happened). But my husband has tried to tell me for years, “Honey, it starts with getting up. If you’ll just get up, you’ll have no choice but to go to bed on time because you’ll be too tired not to.”
I hate being tired—like, I’m scared of being tired. But I admit it—he’s right. When I start the cycle by getting up early, I’m just done by the time I should be going to bed. And that’s pretty much the only scenario that gets me to call it a night, so….
#2: Going to bed on time, so I CAN get up.
That being said, I’m still afraid of being tired. 😛 So to keep the cycle going, I have to be disciplined to go to bed when I’m supposed to so I can get an adequate night of sleep.
#3: Having meal ideas, and the groceries to make them.
Sometimes the biggest breakfast stumbling block for me has simply been a lack of ideas. A person can only eat scrambled eggs or peanut butter toast so many times a week, right? So, while I don’t always succeed at officially writing out a meal plan, I do at least have several go-to options in mind when I do my weekly grocery shopping (via Hy-Vee Aisles Online, of course. I’m telling you—that service is a LIFE. SAVER!)
Here are some of the breakfasts that have been frequenting our rotation:
- Fried Egg Sandwiches (I season my eggs with salt, pepper, and Cholula sauce while I’m frying them, then throw them on a warm piece of whole wheat toast with a cheese slice of choice. My favorite—pepperjack!)
- Waffles and Bacon (We discovered this amazing Power Cakes Protein Packed Flapjack and Waffle Mix at Costco, and it’s sure to be a staple in my pantry forever. And my new favorite way to cook bacon? On my husband’s pellet grill!)
- Pork Chops and Potatoes (Speaking of the pellet grill, thin-cut chops make a great breakfast meat! The portion size is reasonable, and they don’t take long to cook. And while you’ve got the grill fired up, dice up some potatoes, season them with salt, garlic pepper, and butter, and throw them on in a foil pouch. YUM!)
- Scrambled Eggs with Choice of Toast (I prefer my scrambled eggs with a quick meat add-in—deli ham or diced up Kiolbassa sausage—and a sprinkling of Cholula and cheese. And since the kids don’t “love” eggs, I like to let them choose their toast toppings—peanut butter and honey, apple butter, jelly, whatever!)
- Breakfast Burritos (Basically, I make scrambled eggs as described above, wrap them in fajita-sized tortillas, and throw them on the griddle until lightly browned and crispy.)
And sometimes, when we’ve eaten a good, healthy, protein-packed breakfast, I offer a surprise serving of “breakfast dessert.” 😀