Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Breakfast - The Most Important Meal of the Day

Personally, my biorhythms don't start thumping in a digestive capacity until around 10:00 a.m., at which point I have already lived four productive hours getting the kids, husband, dogs, laundry, dishes and roomba going, and maybe some groceries bought or bills paid. By 10:00 I am ready for something good, something energizing, but the exact nature of each breakfast varies according to mood.

Yesterday morning I was hopeful for a fresh start for all of us, and especially for my son, who has been beset with migraines. I was optimistic, so the above breakfast reflects that mood -- sweet, elaborate and a bit decadent, though still simple to throw together: ambrosia and toast with chocolate peanut butter. Alas, my optimistic mood yesterday was short-lived. Right after finishing the breakfast I got the call to pick up my son, who was coming down with another migraine. The doctor had not finished the county forms, so the clinic nurse could not administer his medicine despite it being in her possession. It doesn't work if he takes it more than ten minutes after his first symptom, so he missed his window to prevent or lessen this round. GRRRRR, er, I mean OM . . . . OM . . . . OM.  I will say I am getting much better at willfully controlling my own blood pressure through all this practice.

Back to the food -- the toast is Ezekiel, the choco-peanut butter is fabulous and the ambrosia is simply a chopped seedless orange topped with coconut and dried cranberries. I like it plain like this, but you could add agave syrup, maple syrup or cognac if you are making a big batch to serve others.

This morning the mood was different, and the breakfast followed suit. Hans woke with a continuation of yesterday's migraine but took the medicine right away and, having arranged to make up a test he had missed, was hoping for the best. Knowing what things make his misery worse, I kept the mood gentle and quiet as I helped him load into the car, whispering for him to close his eyes to the oncoming headlights (we go to school before sunrise down here in the deep south). We almost made it to school today, and then the retching started. I guess the medicine didn't work because this morning was a continuation of yesterday's migraine, so we were still out of the  first-ten-minutes-window -- darn county forms! I found a good place to make a U-turn, and got him right back home again. Hans stumbled into the kitchen where he promptly lost his breakfast all over the floor. I looked heavenward as I thanked all my favorite higher powers that it was the kitchen floor and not the interior of the car. I gave the dogs a warning glare not to go near the mess (and they didn't! such good puppies!), tucked the boy back into bed (fast asleep now), cleaned the kitchen, called school, e-mailed the teacher who would have been administering the test, and assessed myself to see if there was an appetite for breakfast (I'm sorry if my story has made you lose yours). No, at that point there wasn't, so I did a few more housekeeping tasks and then reassessed. Finally, I wanted something hearty, nourishing and warm, and this fit the bill:

Oats cooked with soy milk and topped with pumpkin seed organic granola, dried fruit and maple syrup will be sustaining through this uncertain day. It'll "stick to the ribs" as we used to say back in the day . . .

For those interested in our progress with the migraines, Hans was able to get three days of school under his belt last week, as well as lacrosse practice and even a game. He also got to see a friend socially Saturday night, and brought her home for us to meet. We have been careful to make sure Hans gets enough sleep. I have removed most sugar from his diet, and have been adding more vegetables. I have been able to cut down a little bit on his dairy consumption, but he is not off it altogether. I have learned that while sugar is terrible for migraines, caffeine is actually beneficial, shrinking the offending blood vessels and alleviating symptoms, so an occasional sugarless cola helps him a bit. I have been disappointed that the migraine medicine only helps him sometimes, even when taken on time. I am most grateful that we have a wonderful batch of teachers currently, who have been in touch with me throughout this saga, and who have been more than reasonable in giving Hans the time he needs to accomplish his work.

I'll keep you posted if there is any more good news. In the meantime, remember to listen to what your body wants in the morning. I do, and it sets my day in a better light. Now for a brisk walk before it starts raining again -- literally and figuratively!

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