Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Starting the day out right

Close-up of breakfast burrito

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Oddly enough, there seems to be a parallel between what I have for breakfast every day and choosing to live a more sustainable life. Disclaimer: I am far from perfect with my monthly trips to the grocery store and choices that do included processed food stuffs. However, breakfast is one where the quantity of processed food has diminished.

Growing up, breakfast meant boxed cereal, a glass of orange juice and a multivitamin. This did not change much during my college years or my graduate school years, but I began mixing it up with some pancakes. I know the pancake recipe by heart and can easily whip up a batch that lasts me two to three days when I store the leftover batter in the refrigerator. I have dabbled with oatmeal, but kept coming back to pancakes. When I began making my own jams, I found two slices of toast, buttered and slathered with homemade jam and a glass of milk (plus multivitamin) were a yummy breakfast.

As I look back now, I was moving ever so slowly away from prepackaged breakfast products to more homemade items: pancakes, jam on toast (using home-baked bread) and now to to more homegrown, sustainable items: breakfast burritos. While the tortillas, cheese and salsa are store purchased, I have been enjoying fresh free-range eggs and organic sausage in my burritos. In fact, burritos have overtaken other breakfast foods as my favorite. And yes, I make these breakfasts prior to going to work each morning.

Why do I mention my breakfast? It is not just to brag about how wonderful my homemade breakfast meals are; it is also to demonstrate that breakfast has evolved both to be more tasty and align with my personal values. The gains are modest, but I derive great satisfaction in using eggs purchased from a colleague at work and frying up some sausage from an organic farmer while making my own breakfast. Furthermore, the things I am still purchasing also shows me where I need to work. This year, I plan to make my own salsa and fruit syrups and possibly my own flour tortillas thus, taking another step forward in my sustainability journey.

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