My Breakfast Lies To Me, And I Like It

I’m the King of Wishful Eating.

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Somewhere around the beginning of the year I decided to stop eating pasta every day and give this low carb shit a try. I was committed to calling it out on its hooey and returning to the diet of my choice shortly thereafter. The issue: It’s actually lovely.

I feel like a normal person without constant stomach problems and the visual appearance of perhaps swallowing a whole honeydew melon when I keep my carb intake at a minimum. It’s been an adjustment, but it’s hard to argue with all this abundant energy and lack of discomfort.

It’s a cruel joke, especially for someone who enjoys breakfast as much as I do. If you’ll notice, many of the best breakfast foods (cereal, pancakes, bagels, english muffins, toast, waffles) are comprised entirely of carbs. I’ve gone the egg route in order to circumvent things but my cholesterol and I are starting to feel weird about our relationship. So what’s a breakfast-loving human person who feels better when she doesn’t eat carbs supposed to do when she gets hungry around 8am? For extra fun, I’m lactose intolerant, too.

I’ll tell you how I’ve cracked it, how I’ve survived: lies. It’s all a falsehood, an act of deception that everyone involved is willing to accept. I’ve learned the value of lies, they’ve kept me alive. That’s not true, that’s a line from Three Musketeers with Kiefer Sutherland and Rebecca DeMornay, but it fits here.

Your kitchen is a movie studio of special effects and bullshit when you know how to use it correctly, and I’m happy to help others on their journey toward weaving absolute yarns with the food they eat all in the name of health and proper fiber intake. The highest quality lies are the lies we’ll believe, and my current favorite breakfast is the best lie I’ve ever told myself.

It begins with a Norwegian crisp bread substance I purchased at Trader Joe’s. It’s made of nuts, seeds, and the will to live. I top this with vegan cream cheese, also purchased at Trader Joe’s because there are better versions of it available but I don’t have a car. And lastly, the real deal-sealer, is topping this prison ration with Everything Bagel Seasoning. Then you consume it and remark on how the debris left behind while eating is actually pretty similar to the real deal. You don’t think this is going to be good, you don’t think it’s going to be satisfying, but it’s a magic trick on a rectangle and I love it.

I believe the lie. I believe I’m eating a bagel with its cream cheesy savory seasoning goodness all while consuming no more than ten net grams of carbs total. The breakfast item is so tasty sometimes I wonder if I’ve done something wrong, as if I’ve broken a law of physics in some way. Am I proud of the depths I’ve gone to in order to convince myself bagels are still a part of my life? Yes. Do I still want bagels every day? Also yes. I have found an edible tall tale that’s so good I am willing to dance this manipulative tango.

I hope in sharing this list of ingredients (I don’t think it counts as a recipe if you can remember it all in your head), I am able to bring breakfast joy to the lives of others similarly encumbered by whatever the actual hell gluten does to our innards. I hope I have brightened the day of those sick to death of a random vegetable scramble before the bell peppers go bad. I hope you can all enjoy this tasty, somewhat nutritious, and comically easy foray into carb reduction. This is the best breakfast lies can buy. Believe me.

Written by

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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