“Breakfast may really be the most important meal of the day.”
Dr Mark Pereira, formerly of the Harvard medical School, now an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
Registered dietician and blogger Julie Whittington from Lake Norman, North Carolina writes:
“If you are concerned about not feeling hungry in the morning or not having enough time to eat breakfast, perhaps you should re-evaluate your daily routine. Ask yourself the following questions if you regularly skip breakfast or eat an unbalanced breakfast in the morning: (1) Am I dragging by mid-morning? (2) Am I grouchy and lacking concentration in the morning? (3) Do I tend to get very hungry mid-afternoon or late in the evening? (4) Are my other responsibilities (i.e. work, camp, etc.) more important than staying healthy?”
Hold that thought.
EPCOT at Walt Disney World in Florida is in the midst of their annual International Food and Wine Festival.
The Food and Wine Festival is about as gastronomic and gourmet as a theme park can get. At the yearly EPCOT culinary extravaganza, guests can sample food and wine from around the world at international marketplaces and specialty dinners, attend seminars and wine schools and meet guest chefs.
Pretty classy considering in the early days of Disney parks, the fare didn't range far beyond hamburgers and corn dogs.Of course, you can still get the standard theme park offerings, but the variety and quality have, as Emeril would put it, taken it up a few notches. The Disney Magic extends to the kitchen where some menu items seem to be exclusive to the Mouse House.The Kona Cafe located in the Polynesian Resort is famous for one of its breakfast dishes: Tonga Toast. It's decadent,a dentist's dream.
Tonga Toast is made with thick sourdough bread. It is slit and stuffed with bananas, fried and coated with cinnamon and sugar. Imagine this being topped with butter and/or maple syrup....
I love Tonga Toast for a couple of reasons. During the week, I only eat out for breakfast once, on Sunday after church. Otherwise it’s a quick bite at home or on the road at a fast food joint. When I do eat out for breakfast, in the area or on vacation, I enjoy something beyond the ordinary eggs, bacon and toast. And I admit, I have a sweet tooth the size of New Jersey that navigates to the part of the menu with french toast and waffles dripping with fruit and syrup and nuts and whipped cream.
Two of the Chancery locations in Wisconsin are located at hotels, so they open early and serve breakfast. On their breakfast menu is a waffle with all kinds of sweet, fattening stuff dumped on top that rivals the Tonga Toast.
Now, feast your eyes on this plate:
If you're thinking about running out and ordering this, forget it. You're looking at and possibly drooling over the Stacked and Stuffed Caramel Banana Pecan Hotcakes at Bob Evans' restaurants. None are located in Wisconsin. Maybe that's a good thing. Men's Health has designed the Bob Evans Stacked and Stuffed Caramel Banana Pecan Hotcakes as the Worst Breakfast in America.
Here is the nutritional information for the above-pictured gut bomb:
77 g fat (26 g saturated; 9 g trans)
2,259 mg sodium
198 g carbs
109 g sugars
Men's Health says, "Five Egg McMuffins yield the same caloric cost as these sugar-stuffed flapjacks." Here are all the artery-hardening details.
Let's go back to Julie Whittington's questionnaire:
“If you are concerned about not feeling hungry in the morning or not having enough time to eat breakfast, perhaps you should re-evaluate your daily routine. Ask yourself the following questions if you regularly skip breakfast or eat an unbalanced breakfast in the morning: (1) Am I dragging by mid-morning? (2) Am I grouchy and lacking concentration in the morning? (3) Do I tend to get very hungry mid-afternoon or late in the evening? (4) Are my other responsibilities (i.e. work, camp, etc.) more important than staying healthy?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the first 3 questions, you are not alone. These are common side effects of missing out on a balanced breakfast."
OK. Bob Evans and that stuffed stuff is off limits if I want to avoid cardiac arrest. Healthier options?
"Here are some suggestions for healthy breakfast foods:
· One serving of whole grain cereal like Cheerios or Wheaties with one-half cup non-fat milk, one teaspoon sugar, one hard-boiled egg with a glass of water. 270 calories
· One slice of whole grain toast with two tablespoons peanut butter with a 10-ounce glass of non-fat milk. 375 calories
· Omelet made with two eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions, peppers and one ounce of shredded cheese with an apple and a glass of water. 410 calories”
So let's review.
1) The kind of special breakfasts that I like to splurge on every now and then will kill me.
2) Better (boring) choices are those listed above.
3) The experts say I shouldn't skip breakfast, but....
4) When I don't, it's still wrong.
Oh, the hell with it. I'll have an order of
(Tonga Toast photos: Allears.net; EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival photos: Orlando Sentinel)