My Breakfast and Morning Routine

I am not a morning person. Even if I try, I am simply not as productive in the early hours of the day compared to working mid-morning and late evening. That said, I still maintain my morning rituals and try not to skip breakfast 'coz I might faint. I'm not kidding. So how do I start my day?

Throwback to my younger years:
  • Wake up around 6 to 6:30 in the morning.
    • Since school is nearby (and traffic was not bad then), I didn't have to wake up at dawn.
  • Quick shower then breakfast without the rush, and still get to school on time. 
  • My mother prepares simple breakfast staples with a glass of warm milk for my brother and I.
    • Milk in the morning, then milk when we get home from school, and another glass before bedtime. Seriously, ang lakas namin sa gatas! Kaya siguro big-boned kami. =)
    • School starts at 7:30.
We were skinny and underweight so it's understandable that my mom wanted us to be well-fed. This milk-drinking habit went on until high school, would you believe? Though during that time, I think we had one glass a day na lang before we leave for school.

College days, my wake up time adjusted to different class schedules. Breakfast became heavier, like oatmeal, or rice with ulam from leftovers. But we always had milk incorporated in our regular diet.

There were a few times that I had dizzy spells when I delayed having breakfast. Kaya when I find myself in a rush, I make sure I at least drink something -- like milk or cereal beverage, just to tame my growling stomach and keep me going until I can have a decent morning meal.

My mother has been strict with me and my brother when it comes to having a full stomach every morning before leaving for school or work. Diba, there's also a saying -- eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper. She emphasized on the benefits of regularly drinking nutrient-dense milk, such as:
  • For proper growth and development of our brain and body
  • Ideal food supplement for underweight children like me
  • For better bone health from calcium and minerals.
Kahit hindi daw ako masyadong kumain, basta if I drink milk, I'd be good to go. It fueled me during the early part of the day.

As I became a wife and mother, my body clock went haywire, and so did my morning rituals. Hindi pa rin ako sanay to wake up at 6am. I am constantly adjusting around the schedules of my husband and children.

Present time:
  • Wake-up time is between 6:30 to 7 in the morning (as of this writing), adjusted to the daily school schedule of the girl. 
    • Since I homeschool the boy, and the girl's school is a few minutes away, we don't have to wake up earlier.
  • I prepare a simple breakfast including their milk, plus the girl's snack (baon) for school.
    • Kids can eat leisurely.
  • I bring the girl to school, then I get home in time for breakfast with the boy. 
    • J and my in-laws (who live with us) are used to prepare their own breakfast (unless I make a big batch of pancakes or eggs to be shared by all).
  • 9 am, homeschool begins.
    • I check emails and get some work done in between teaching
    • I bring out food from the freezer to be prepared for lunch
That's basically my current morning routine.

While I grew up drinking gallons and gallons of milk, the sad truth is, my boy and I are intolerant to dairy products like cow's milk. My tween boy shifted to soy and rice milk since he was 4. He continues to drink his milk every morning. The girl, on the other hand, enjoys a variety of cold milk drinks like Alaska Sweet Milk. She even prefers to "eat" the milk powder rather than mixed in water!

I only learned of my food intolerance over a year ago but my cravings for the creamy goodness of milk never waned. That said, I try to sneak in and incorporate milk products in some of the food I prepare for myself and the family. Ang hirap talaga to give up dairy despite the restrictions. =)

Sample of our typical breakfast fare:
  • Fruits and cereal
    • My fave is fresh avocados (if in season) drizzled with Alaska Sweetened Condensed Milk, and topped with chia seeds
    • Bananas, sometimes with maple syrup
    • Mangoes
    • Apples
  • Peanut butter and jam sandwiches, or butter on toast
  • Crispy bacon and eggs -- boiled or sunny-side up
  • Oatmeal, drizzled with Alaska Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • French Toast with honey - kids' favorite
    • Bread slices soaked in mixture of egg, Alaska Evaporated Milk, and cinnamon powder, then pan fried in butter
  • Pancakes
  • Alaska Powdered Milk and coffee

Several years ago, I attended a seminar on wellness and nutrition. Part of the discussion was how parents can monitor the nutritional intake of the children and to read the labels when grocery-shopping. One revelation was a comparative nutritional chart for several milk brands and it showed that Alaska Milk has the highest overall nutritional content among them. Growing children would really benefit most from drinking Alaska Milk regularly. Recently, the Alaska Milk Day fun run successfully gathered thousands of participants across the country which aims to promote health and fitness, and the importance of a milk drinking habit for the whole family. The annual event celebrated World Milk Day and was part of their "Nutrition. Action. Champion." program that reinforces their health advocacy.

When it comes to starting our day, I'd go for nutrient-rich food and drinks. It's not about how much you eat but it's the quality of your diet. With my picky eaters, kahit konti lang sila kumain ok na rin, basta masustansiya.

I am grateful for the morning habit that my mother has set for me while growing up. I learned and appreciated the importance of drinking milk with a proper meal to start our day right. It's what I'm striving to do now with my own family, especially with two active and growing children. The boy and the girl are also skinny, that's why it's takes more effort to make them drink and eat well. It's a daily challenge for moms like me. Let's make milk-drinking a daily habit with our family.

What about you, how do you start your day? =)

Be a real life health advocate with Alaska's "Nutrition. Action. Champion." program 
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