Having breakfast regularly is not necessary and certainly not what our distant ancestors would have done. Have you ever stopped and thought about where breakfast gets its name? It is named after its function – it breaks the fast. More marketing and advertising money is spent on breakfast cereals than any other type of food. Yet, they are one of the most rapidly digestible carbohydrates of all, rapidly turning into sugar once consumed.
For more than 25 years I got annoyed with myself if on a hectic day, with a busy schedule, I skipped breakfast. After all, we have been taught that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We were taught that it sets us up properly for the day ahead; others told us that we can’t function without a good breakfast; while marketers of cereals told us that it kicks starts our metabolism. And then there is the old saying ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper’. So, on days when I just couldn’t fit in time for breakfast, I got angry with myself. Now, however, I have learnt that those days of skipping breakfast weren’t doing me any harm - they were making me healthier. No longer are the low-fat yoghurts, cereals and large glass of orange juice the healthy breakfast option. They are in fact a recipe for disaster.
Now, while there are several reasons why breakfast is dangerous, I am only going to touch lightly on the subject. For a detailed explanation I highly recommend reading Terence Kealey’s book, Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal.
First, it’s important to say that I don’t recommend that you stop eating breakfast until you have broken free from eating CARBS and other sugars. Don’t start this principle until you have turned yourself into a fat-burning machine. You see the problem is this: when our body is used to eating lots of CARBS, after sleeping for seven to eight hours there is very little sugar left in our bloodstream (as it has all been sent to reside in our waistline and other fat stores) and we will wake up feeling hungry. Just like the smoker needs their next nicotine rush, the sugar eater desires their insulin spike.
What’s more, as Terence Kealey demonstrates in his book, any sugar consumed within the first couple of hours of waking cause the body to create an even bigger insulin spike than normal, which of course is highly dangerous, especially for type 2 diabetes sufferers.
Breakfast really is a cereal killer. But, once you start to live more naturally, your body will become used to burning its own excess body fat as energy (see ketosis), and therefore when you wake up you won’t need to fill your face with stuff that quickly turns into sugar. Remember that the body treats sugar (or glucose as it is called once it is in the bloodstream) as a poison. It doesn’t matter if it’s sugar in our tea, fructose in our orange juice, a doughnut or a bagel, cereal or literally anything made of wheat or grain – it’s all going to be turned into sugar before we reach our school or place of work.
But once you begin living more naturally, you rarely feel hungry in the morning and therefore simply don’t need to eat. For me, since I started to eat this way I seldom have breakfast. I don’t even miss it! Occasionally, when I want to get my children to try out something new (they actually like being my guinea pigs so please don’t complain to the authorities), I might eat with them, but the rest of the time I just have a cup or two of coffee.
Pretty much the only other occasion I have anything else at this time of day is when I’m on holiday with my family, and I will join in with their ritual of blending fermented yogurt with lots of different berries. It’s a brilliant way to get the healthy gut bacteria back on track, and the berries come loaded with amazing micronutrients.
You have already read in chapter 1 how corporations mislead us. If you want to learn more about how they screw up your breakfast, then read Felicity Lawrence’s insightful book Eat Your Heart Out, which carries the subtitle on the cover, ‘Why the food business is bad for the planet and your health’. In this book she reveals how Kellogg’s went against government suggestions on labelling and instead pioneered a revolution with other food manufacturers, particularly those who formed part of the Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers (ACFM), to create labels that have misled us for decades.