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Time To Eat


liuzhou
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I have a friend*. She is PhD clever. She lives in a different city - Shanghai. Every time we speak (online) she says "Remember to eat at the correct time." It's maybe a bit of a Chinese thing.

 

"I eat when I am hungry and drink when I'm dry."

 

I have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for supper, as my feeling demands.

 

Is there any sensible reason to eat specific meal types at specific times? I seriously doubt it.

 

It's now 10:11 pm. Time for breakfast!

 

I would love to hear other people's thoughts.

 

*I knew that would surprise you!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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I too don't do well with sweet foods especially in the morning and  that includes sweet fruits.  

 

Ha, just had a burrito for breakfast.  

 

I guess it is mainly tradition that dictates most peoples' choice for their meal.  Would be interesting to hear from people who grew up eating like liuzhou and how that influenced what they do today.

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Would be interesting to hear from people who grew up eating like liuzhou and how that influenced what they do today.

 

But I didn't grow up eating that way. Mealtimes and types of meals were strictly regular.

 

It was only later in life that I changed habits and ate what I wanted when I wanted.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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No sweets in the morning for me either.  The very thought of pancakes dripping with syrup is just repulsive .  Now, at night, it tastes just delightful.  Like Shelby, I not only eat leftover dinner for breakfast, I make sure there are leftovers.  Family knows better than  to snack on what will become MY breakfast. 

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I prefer to eat when I'm hungry. I eat small amounts throughout the day so actually there are many days I don't even have a "regular" meal. I am uncomfortable eating a heavy meal late at night so my "dinner" would probably resemble breakfast (cereal, yogurt) most weekdays. Growing up, we had regular, traditional meals at the customary time of day. My mother is aghast at my eating habits at times :laugh: .

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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I rarely eat breakfast at all, at least in the morning when most people eat it. I am told that is bad (and it may well be) but a) I have to take some pills that cannot be taken within at least an hour before eating and by the time that hour has passed I am not hungry and b) I too have a problem with sweet stuff (or tea) in the morning. Perhaps this is a remnant from when I was pregnant (millions of years ago) where I spent a total of 27 months (a full 3 pregnancies) puking my guts (pardon the graphic expression but it really was like that) out all day, but eating anything in the morning was particularly distressing to my system. Seems to me that before that time, I ate on a fairly 'normal/average schedule' as that is how I was raised.  

 

At any rate, I seem to usually have my 'first meal of the day' (to 'break my fast') mid-afternoon. Again, I am sure that is absolutely not recommended by health and nutritional experts anywhere, but, it is what it is - and I have also found I have much more energy before I eat than afterward (even lettuce or pure protein causes a degree of lethargy for me). Since I eat mid-afternoon, bacon and eggs or gooey sweet foods rarely seem to occur to me as the appropriate fare (though I too don't have a problem with sweeter stuff or other breakfast foods in the evening - and often love poached eggs on dry toast then or even a waffle, with or without syrup).

 

Unless I stay up very late though, since I don't eat first till the afternoon, I often only have 2 meals a day, if that much. And those meals will consist of whatever I am in the mood for (eating and/or cooking). I didn't raise my family that way though - they were all fed 3 meals a day in fairly conventional style (whether I also ate them or not - I always sat with them). And if I have houseguests, I pretend I am 'normal' and prepare foods and try to eat at least a little bit with them 3 times a day.

 

Being on my own leaves me with a lot more flexibility to just eat when I am hungry and being the undisciplined person that I am, I take full advantage of that. Perhaps not ideal or recommended, but, it suits me. I just wish eating this way would help me lose or keep off weight but unfortunately it doesn't, even if my calorie consumption is, I think, much lower than when I was cooking for a busy family - probably because I no longer have to rush around in the kitchen preparing and cleaning up after meals 3 times a day.

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My current job allows for a full hour long lunch most weekdays, which is also a social time, so those days I have a pretty regulated breakfast at around 7:30ish (somewhat small, typical North American breakfast food, but not too sugary), lunch at noon and I tend to eat dinner by 6pm in the winter, but in the summer I can wait much later until around 8pm.  All typical NA habits.  But weekends vary quite a bit based on what is going on at work or outside of work.  A lot more snacking vs. large meals and much longer between meals too, especially in summer.

Edited by LizD518 (log)
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Is she talking about time or food......

 

I also prefer savory foods for breakfast.

I have a problem in that if I go more than say 45 minutes after I am hungry; I lose my appetite and don't want to eat at all.

I try to stay hydrated at all times.

I don't like to eat much later than 6 or 7 pm now - used to be 4 to 5 when I was working.  I feel weighed down and lethargic.

I know I'm odd.

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We are a couple of old duffers and eat in an old-fashioned way re the time factor.  Our biggest meal is at noon (when you still need more energy for the rest of the workday) and our supper is either soup or a salad (when you are going to go to bed soon and don't need any extra energy or calories for that matter).  It suits us both fine...but then we are both retired. 

 

What we seldom eat is a regular North American diet.   You know, a slab of meat, potatoes and some vegetables on the side.

 

Then we have our tradition of 'Dessert as Dinner' when we eat only a dessert for our supper.  However, this dessert must include dairy, fruit, grain, etc...sort of a balanced dessert.  This is not chocolate cake! 

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Darienne

 

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Oh yes, dessert for dinner rings a bell with me.  This is the time of year that we often  make a meal of nothing but strawberry shortcake.  Took more than once for our SIL to discover the joys of it but he now considers it one of the things that makes his in-laws the best in the world.  I made that last part up

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"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is a conspiracy.

 

A big sumptuous snack before bed time gives you sweet dreams, calms down your nerves for a restful slumber, and lots of reserved energy the the next morning's rush.

 

Yes, BTW, I am not overweight.

 

 

dcarch

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When we got married, my sister-in-law warned my husband to make sure I ate regularly because when members of my family do not we get very hyper, nervous and fly off the handle. It's true of me, my brother and at least one of my sisters as well as a niece. (Interestingly none of us were really aware of our tendency to turn into Mr. Hyde until my SIL pointed it out.) So I do eat three meals a day - I'm a much nicer person when I do. Breakfast is often yogurt and fruit or bread and cheese and fruit. Actually that's often lunch as well. My husband often works 11-12 hour days (there is little more demanding than running your own business as I suspect many regulars here know very well) and looks forward to a fairly traditional dinner although that doesn't mean meat and potatoes and a starch (what I was brought up on) - usually salad and pasta, maybe grilled veggies and chicken in summer. 

Elaina

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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When we got married, my sister-in-law warned my husband to make sure I ate regularly because when members of my family do not we get very hyper, nervous and fly off the handle. It's true of me, my brother and at least one of my sisters as well as a niece. 

I learned a new word recently - "hangry". I can get that way.

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"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is a conspiracy.

 

A big sumptuous snack before bed time gives you sweet dreams, calms down your nerves for a restful slumber, and lots of reserved energy the the next morning's rush.

 

Yes, BTW, I am not overweight.

 

 

dcarch

 

Usually I consume a big sumptuous snack right before bed.  I call it "dinner".  Sometimes this snack is the first meal of the day (not counting the peanut course) and thus might qualify as breakfast too

.

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Breakfast (on week days) = black coffee no sugar. Weekend= eggs and sausage and potatoes

Lunch (on weekdays) = more coffee and maybe half a sandwich...or a hot dog...or a slice of pizza..or sushi if I have time.

Dinner = real food. Never breakfasty or desserty.  Meat + veg x 2 and probably one is a potato.

Late night snack- cheese and G&T

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Oh yes, dessert for dinner rings a bell with me.  This is the time of year that we often  make a meal of nothing but strawberry shortcake.  Took more than once for our SIL to discover the joys of it but he now considers it one of the things that makes his in-laws the best in the world.  I made that last part up

 

I actually like dessert for breakfast myself.  But then, that is one of the reasons I don't keep ice cream around - when I do I could eat it three meals a day!

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Decades ago I was working a graveyard shift for a short period of time. When I awoke late in the day, I'd eat dinner then go to work. When I got home in the morning I would eat breakfast and after a short period of time, I'd go to bed to sleep. I think that helped me ease better into the transition into the graveyard shift and then later, transition out of it.

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Michael Ruhlman once said:  "Many argue that breakfast is their favorite meal and of course it's "the most important meal of the day" (who came up with this slogan?—I do fine on coffee and Crest)"  I agree.  I adore breakfast food - sweet or savory, but only after I've been up a few hours.  I grew up eating dinner at 7 or later and still like that hour.  Mr. Kim grew up eating at 5.  I accuse him of being raised by seniors.  He used to start hanging around the kitchen at 6 (about the time I'd just be getting started with dinner prep) looking woebegone, but he's used to it now.

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Nothing like a French omelet and a nice little salad for dinner, is there?

 

We're regular breakfast eaters, at an early hour (between 7 - 8 AM) during the work week.  But it's 9 times out of 10 a savory breakfast. Toast with a slice of cheese, or sausage and egg, etc. And generally a bowl of assorted fruit. 

 

Dinner can be any time between, say 6 PM and 10 PM, but I dislike going to sleep within 2 hours of having eaten.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I grew up with a "snacky" type breakfast -- cereal, toast, something to that effect -- a fairly light lunch, generally sandwiches or soup, and a hearty dinner. early, 5 p.m. or so, after my father got home from work. I gave up on breakfast after I was on my own for a long time, but started back at it later in life because I found it easier to control my weight when I ate breakfast. Now that I work from home, my meal schedule is more flexible; I'll generally eat a good lunch, lots of veggies and protein, although it's generally a cold one. Dinner, I tend to stick with a meat and a couple of veggies if my daughter or any of the rest of the fam are eating, and I may skip it entirely if it's just me, or have just an appetizer-type plate of cheese, fruit, olives and so on. I do enjoy breakfast-for-dinner and dinner-for-breakfast, and indulge myself quite often.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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So our schedule has become more wacky as we get older. I am retired, my husband works from home and we stay up late at night. We eat breakfast on the late side: a slice or two of toast for me, more slices for Eric and he also eats cold cereal with fruit (Hollow leg, and all that.) Sometimes in the winter we will cook steel cut oats. I might have a smoothie (at other peoples' lunchtime), or nibble on some fruit. We usually don't eat our main meal of the day until mid-afternoon (unless we have real dinner plans with friends or family) and we call it Linner. That happens around 3pm or 4pm, whenever I get it together to cook. Our third meal of the day is a snack, often for cocktail hour. A drink, maybe popcorn, crackers, small stuff. Or maybe dessert instead if we have anything that qualifies. I think that bears a close resemblance to dessert for dinner. Eric will occasionally need more food and he might make a sandwich afterwards, or polish off some leftovers.

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Well, all very interesting folks. as A retired Dietitian I am familiar with all the quirks that people have with food preferences. I am a savoury breakfast person: eggs, burritos (just because I have an excess at the moment), baked beans on toast with eggs, definitely grilled tomatoes seeing they are in season, cold cuts including a spicy Italian, bacon and hash browns, jalapeño waffles, sausage, even pot stickers for breakfast has been on the menu.

As for lunch we usually have a robust salad which is topped with some kind of protein such as leftover meat slices from dinner, boiled eggs, lean deli slices, tuna, etc. along with a soup which usually has some lentils or beans initial.

Dinner is pretty well anything with an emphasis on vegetables and we now only have 4 or 5 oz. of meat these days.

Dessert is not something I do well with. Seem to get a stomach ache with sweet items.

As for, breakfast being the most important meal of the day, my two cents worth is this:

one has been fasting for 6 to 8 hours while sleeping and the body needs amino acids from protein foods to make enzymes, repair tissues, etc. and all the other functions that amino acids do for our bodily functions. If we do not consume protein from our diet in the morning the body will breakdown muscle to obtain those amino acids for uses described.

In addition, carbohydrates are also required to replace liver glucose stores which have been used to maintain blood glucose levels during the night...all that dreaming by the brain uses carbohydrates. Providing the body with nutrition in the morning will make you feel more energized.

Having said that, people seem to have the most food preferences at this morning meal. If you are not eating breakfast at the moment, please try something in small amounts to see what works best for you. From my diet counselling experience, clients have remarked at what a difference in their energy levels it made.

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