A Participant’s View: Jump Start Your Day!

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The lesson on eating breakfast was a great reinforcement for me on my contention — en“grained” in me from an early age — that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.   I don’t think in my entire 66+ years of life, I have missed breakfast more than maybe 10 times.  And when I did skip, I know that I felt grumpy and sluggish.

As it says on the first page of “Open for Breakfast,” a webpage on the importance of breakfast put up by breakfast giant Kellogg,

[Breakfast] really matters – you’re literally breaking a fast.  For eight hours, your body has had no food.  Zip. Zero. Think it’s OK to skip it?  Think again.

The page (which I captured as my blog photo for this week) goes on to say:lynne-week-12-one

Your sleeping self is like an idling car — not going anywhere just yet, but still needing fuel to run.  Breakfast will help get your body moving again.

Mariam Webster’s definition of “jump start” seems very apropos:

: to start (a vehicle whose battery is not working) by connecting its battery to another source of power (such as the battery of another vehicle).

: to cause (something) to start quickly.

: to give new energy to (something).

By “connecting our inner batteries” to the “power source” found in protein, grains, and fruit, breakfast helps us “jump start” our day with new energy and helps us start up more quickly after the night’s sleep.

I have always been a “morning person,” and my inner motor always turned on a bit faster than my college roommates or my husband might like.  But, I do find that after I bounce up with glee that a new day has started, I have a tendency to revert to an “idling mode” as I shower and dress before breakfast.  And, after breakfast, I’m off to the races!

For years, my week of breakfasts has looked like this

Sunday –  homemade crepe with fruit

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday – egg of some sort, often with veggies and sausage or bacon

Monday, Wednesday, Friday – cereal, or muffin, or toast, and fruit

Since I began Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less, while I have kept up the same routine as above, I have been more  conscientious about exactly what kind of bread and cereal I eat, and also I have made sure my sausage and bacon are made from turkey or chicken.

During the week after the Breakfast lesson, I found, too, that our instructor Rachel was correct, that I — and I think others in our class as well — tend to skip the grain on my egg day because I am stuck in the “carbs are bad for you” mindset.  But, I realized during the lesson that grain provides the fiber that can keep me feeling satisfied until lunch, or, at least to my mid-morning snack. And protein is a key “energy booster,” along with the natural sugar in the fruit.

So, now, I make it a point to add a protein (usually peanut butter or almond butter) to my MWF grain day, and I add some kind of whole grain (usually half a piece of toast or a wheat tortilla) to my egg day.    And I have some kind of fruit at every meal.

While I don’t want to sound like a commercial for Kellogg’s, I do think the website they have put together on breakfast is full of some good research and “food for thought.”   And they even have a nutritionist available to answer questions live on line.

Here is the link:


But, remember, don’t read the website while you’re eating – breakfast, or any meal.

Notes from Lesson 13: Reduce Screen Time

The big takeaway from this week’s lesson is that TV, computers, i-pads, cell phones are TOOLS, not TOYS.   The more we can use them to get work done…and even to get work done faster — the more we have time to MOVE and PLAY.

At the beginning of the lesson, Rachel asked us to name 3 ways that screen time can help us gain weight ( or at least not lose weight)..  We all pretty much “got it.”

  • When sitting in front of the TV or other screen, we are not being active. (You burn about as many calories sitting in front of TV for 2 hours as you do sleeping for 8!)
  • The commercials — even if you fast forward them — send messages to EAT HIGH FAT FOOD
  • If we eat in front of the TV, even if what we are eating is healthy, we tend to be “mindless” and we often eat more than we should.

Rachel went on to tell us that each hour we sit in front of the TV results in about 50 to 140 more calories to the daily intake.

We brainstormed some ways to be active while watching TV:

  • “walk in place” during the show
  • Don’t fast forward during the commercials, but turn the sound down, and throw a beach ball or balloon around the room for the 3 minutes that the commercials run.
  • Or do # 2, but instead of throwing a beach ball, have Pandora ready on your i-phone and dance during the commercials

Rachel said that while this lesson was mostly about non-work screen time, we should spend a bit of time thinking of ways that we might reduce screen time — or at least get some exercise — during the work day.   Suggestions included:

  • Get a “stand up desk” and walk in place while you work
  • Take 5 – 10 minute breaks every hour or two, and walk around the building, or up and down stairs
  • Put a “sign up sheet” in the lunch room to encourage people to walk with you during your lunch hour.
  • Pack a picnic lunch and walk somewhere to eat it, even if you “picnic” in your building.
  • Bring in some used or extra exercise equipment for everyone in the office to use, and encourage others to do likewise.

We talked through strategies to Reduce Screen Time, and I picked mine for the week:

Schedule my screen time each day and add it to my “To Do List.”