Give Me All Your Breakfast Foods: Or, Why We Shouldn't Be Afraid to Try New Things

My mom would probably be the first to lament my hatred of breakfast as a child. I distinctly remember going through a phase where all I would eat was chocolate chip Costco muffins--but I only ate them 1) microwaved and 2) upside down. Oh and 3) I only ate the bottom half, never the top because the texture freaked me out. No, I don't know what was wrong with me.

I distinctly remember tipping the top parts of Costco muffins into the trashcan in my family's kitchen, the thunk of it against the garbage bag, then carrying my plate to the sink. What a waste. 

Other weird things I ate for breakfast included burnt toast (something I still have an affinity for) and mini-bagels microwaved with slices of American cheese inside (something I would still eat today if it didn't fill me with shame). I would eat pancakes, but only with butter, no syrup. I would eat scrambled eggs only in a sandwich with toast, never on their own. I didn't like bacon or sausage. I liked cinnamon rolls, but, like giant Costco muffins, that's not really a balanced breakfast. I ate Eggo waffles, but like pancakes, only with butter. I only liked dry cereal and usually only Cheerios or fruity, sugar-coated cereals--but I didn't like eating them for breakfast.

I was a breakfast weirdo, an anomaly in breakfast-obsessed America. In general, I just hated breakfast. I never felt hungry in the mornings and none of the food appealed to me. I went through most of middle school and high school never eating breakfast--not because I didn't have time, but usually because I didn't like any of the foods available to me. 

It wasn't until my sophomore year when I took a walking/jogging class in the accelerated 6-week term that I started eating breakfast consistently. This was also when I started to get really weird about logging, or writing down, everything I ate, a habit that continues to haunt me (I write, as a reminder on my phone chirps so I remember to log my lunch into LoseIt! so I can track my protein intake). After jogging a mile or more, I knew I had to eat breakfast or I would slowly transform into a werewolf throughout my Shakespearean literature class. Just kidding, but seriously: I would get cranky. 

While I recognized my need to eat breakfast, I still didn't necessarily like breakfast foods. At least, not until Danny came to live with me, exactly three years ago. 

Danny is a breakfast eater, especially on the weekends. When he moved in, I would make breakfasts on the weekends and that's when I started to enjoy them. 

I'm not sure when the switch happened. I can't exactly pinpoint when I started to appreciate pancakes or waffles or eggs-sans-toast, but it happened. Something just changed. I even started to like bacon and sausage. 

Being a lifelong picky eater, it's always weird how one day something you always hated becomes something you don't really mind. Like red onion: I've always avoided raw red onion, but six months ago, I ate a sandwich with raw red onion on it and... I didn't die. It tasted good. Why am I so difficult with food? 

I do remember the first day I tried a fried egg. I've never been a big egg eater--and to be completely honest, I don't like eating eggs plain, period--and I'd always rejected fried eggs. I'd learned to make them for Danny, but I never ate them myself. However, when I was between jobs last year, I convinced myself that trying new things would be good for me. So I ate a fried egg... and I loved it. 

Obvious statement alert: tastes change. Things I once thought were disgusting, I now love (and I'm sure being pregnant isn't helping this) and things I once loved, I now find revolting. When I was 14, I redecorated my room to feature orange and teal flowers (I loved orange obsessively at this age). The idea of having an orange and teal room these days sends me into a panic. How did I sleep with orange curtains, orange bedding, and teal accents? Just as my taste in decor has changed, so has my actual, literal taste. 

I think too often picky eaters (like myself) are terrified to try things that feature foods they've always disliked... even if they don't really remember why they started disliking that food. They (and not just "they", but "we" to include me) are afraid to simply try a new thing. All it took for me to start enjoying, and eating, breakfast was to try it, to try different foods, from fried eggs to bacon to pancakes with syrup. It sounds basic as all hell, but to the picky eater, it can be monumentally hard. 

You've probably clued into the fact, by now, that I'm not just talking about picky eaters needing to try new things. It's just the best metaphor available, because lots of people are picky eaters. Picky eaters often spend their time trying to figure out how to avoid the foods they don't like and are unwilling to try again. They're terrified of having a bad experience. 

But if I had been unwilling to try breakfast (waaaay back in June 2012) when Danny came to live with me, I would have never experienced the joy of lazy weekend breakfasts. And what kind of life would that be? 

All I'm saying is, trying something new every once and while, with no schedule or no motivation to change, can be a really, really positive thing.