What’s for Breakfast?

The other night we asked the kids what they wanted to eat for dinner, and they all said they wanted a bowl of cereal. As they were pouring their milk and munching down on their cereal for dinner, I started thinking about breakfast.

On most days, breakfast isn’t breakfast anymore. If we have breakfast at all, we consume it at home on weekday mornings, and it’s only a half of a banana or a bowl of dry cereal, sometimes with milk. Or we may just grab a quick Pop-Tart to take on the road. Based on observing the lines of people at CC’s or Starbucks at the beginning of the workday around Baton Rouge, I’d say that for most people the day’s first meal consists of a foamy nonfat latte or a café mocha with whipped cream.

Growing up, 95% of the time my breakfast was cold cereal with milk. As a kid, I would combine different varieties of cereal, often placing puffed wheat and Captain Crunch together in the same bowl. Or Frosted Flakes with Cheerios. To keep things interesting, I pioneered Sugar Smacks with Sugar Pops, and man, was it good.

Sometimes my mom would scramble eggs, cook bacon and make toast or tortillas. Today, it seems as if life is going too fast, and the downside to that may be that a lot of people have forgotten the value of breakfast.

Health experts tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it is without question the hardest one to pull off. Hectic schedules, busy lives, running late in the morning, sleeping that extra few minutes—all can make getting a real breakfast a challenge. Add kids or families or a long commute, and it’s likely that you’ll barely get a few bites in before work.

The alarming fact is that research shows that those who skip breakfast have a tendency to consume more food than usual the next chance they get. These breakfast-skippers also have a higher tendency to snack on high-calorie foods that keep hunger at bay for a while, but take a toll on health. Traditional American breakfasts—with rich aromas and tastes—make for the ultimate comfort food. Although they aren’t good for us, packed full of cheeses and syrups and sausages, we savor them as we momentarily escape the worries and tasks that beset us as we begin each day. The truth is, fresh fruits, granola, healthy cereals and yogurt are much better fuel for the morning.

So next time you stop in at your local coffee house for breakfast, know it won’t hold you over ’til the lunch break—and even if you think it does, it isn’t helping your body gain the energy needed or burn the calories it should.

One of life’s surprising and often-forgotten truths is that good comes out of bad. Although some experiences are much worse than others, there are silver linings to most dark clouds. And that adage reminds me of Lolo Jones.

2012 was quite a year for the former LSU track star and World Champion hurdler. The media attention and unfortunate scrutiny she faced at the London Olympics, where she finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles, was unprecedented for the 30-year-old athlete. 

Lolo may still compete in the hurdles at the 2016 Summer Olympics, but the Baton Rougean is already turning a new page. Jones made the USA’s Olympic bobsled team and has launched a new charitable foundation in Baton Rouge—one aimed at assisting families and children whose loved ones are in prison.

Amy Alexander spoke to Lolo about her foundation and her future, and you can read our cover story here.

Some of the most inspiring stories are those that show young people taking a negative experience and turning it into a positive outcome that can be used to help others. One such story is of Akosua Twum, a young Baton Rougean who, at the age of 13, wrote Rich Girl Club, a cathartic novel about cliques and bullying based in part on her own experiences.

Twum has a lisp, and a few years ago became the target of bullying at school. Her novel features a character going through similar struggles and working through them to gain confidence, friends and respect among her peers.

Read Michael J. Farrar’s interview with Twum here.

From Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week to SeNSE pitch nights and exciting co-working spaces, the city has a lot of momentum for new ideas and innovative businesses right now. The good news is this newfound energy for entrepreneurship is not limited to technology. Food incubators are helping our area’s culinary creatives bring new concepts from their kitchens to store shelves to your kitchen.

Maggie Heyn Richardson profiles local marinade and dressing maven Lilli Courtney in this issue about this process and her unique products.