Getting back to breakfast
I’ve been living in Italy 8 years. When I first moved here, I tried to keep my breakfast tradition of usually-savory breakfast with sometimes sweet (toast & jam). I missed bagels, I missed egg scrambles and home fries, I missed bacon. I remember the horrified looks of my then-Italian roommates’ faces when they walked in one morning and found me rolling ricotta up inside slices of salami.
It did not go over well.
But how else was I expected to make it through the day, sometimes only getting a chance to eat lunch at 3pm with my schedule, otherwise?
I slowly acclimated, through peer pressure and many social breakfasts, to eating cornetto / brioche (the Italian version of a croissant – less butter than a French one) in the morning on occasion. Then I started drinking coffee. Espresso, rather. I often went without breakfast completely but just for my one coffee.
Then I started eating the biscotti, cookies, which are similar to shortbread but not as buttery (see a trend?) When I first arrived in Italy I didn’t understand why they had such dry cookies, until I started dunking them in my morning cappuccino and afternoon tea. And then I understood.
They are delicious, and retain their shape even when getting dunked in delicious coffee. But they provide little to no satisfaction in terms of nutrition. Sugar carbohydrates sugar carbohydrates sugar. And of course, lots of fat.
So I stopped that.
Now I’m back to eating breakfast in the morning, with the aim of keeping me satisfied and healthy. That means protein. Fiber. Savory or sweet? It depends on the day.
These three breakfasts are in heavy rotation right now:
- 0% plain Greek Yogurt or full-fat fruit yogurt with All-Bran (got serious bran cravings last year, now I love this!)
- Oatmeal with nuts and/or honey and/or raisins & cranberries
- Cottage cheese with a savory spice mix (salt, pepper, others) 🙂
What gets you going in the morning?
Some more inspiration:
- Healthy Breakfast ideas and recipes from WebMD
- Is your breakfast making you fat? from the Independent (plus recipes)
- A Chowhound.com thread on needing ideas for protein breakfasts (note: not all healthy)