Nothing beats the sounds of breakfast on a slow weekend morning—coffee brewing, pans hissing, and idle chatter filling up a sun bathed kitchen. In our house the ritual of weekend breakfast can be just as satisfying as the meal itself—well, almost. Maybe it’s because weekend mornings seem to impart a sense of freedom and opportunity; replacing feelings of hectic schedules and stress with relaxation and enjoyment.
On at least one morning every weekend a dizzying scene unfolds in our kitchen as eggs are cracked, bacon hisses, pancakes bubble on the griddle, and coffee percolates. By the time my husband and I set the food at the table our kitchen is undoubtedly a mess, batter has caked on our clothes, and dishes are piled high in the sink. But as we sit down together with our kids to enjoy a delicious breakfast—and even better conversation—any worries of long to-do lists, looming projects, and hectic schedules seem to just disappear.
Maybe it has something to do with how relaxing breakfast food can be, or maybe it’s my husband’s company that makes it all seem so magical—but taking a moment every week as a family to simply pause, has become so precious and important to me. Over the years, my husband and I have also discovered that our conversations over these weekend breakfasts have led to some of our best brainstorms. Slowly sipping our coffee and pondering the problems of the world, more often than not, we find ourselves refreshed and energized with new motivation to fuel whatever projects that lay ahead.
Our slow weekend breakfasts are also a way for me to incorporate another important ritual—morning meditation. Taking a moment to meditate in the morning helps me to set a more efficient and calm pace to my day. Studies have shown that practicing a meditation or mindfulness ritual helps to boost brain activity, resulting in a clear and focused mind—and let’s face it, this busy Mom of two needs all the focus I can get!
Mindfulness expert, Andy Puddicombe explains “When [you] meditate in the morning, it gets done. By doing it first thing, you can ensure it becomes part of your everyday routine.” It’s possible to apply mindfulness to any situation, “and eating breakfast is no exception.”
By adding a short mindful meditation to a meal of delicious food, and great conversation, our family weekend breakfasts nourish my body, mind and spirit. No week is complete without them and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Here are some of Puddicombe’s mindfulness tips that you can try:
1. Before diving into breakfast, just pause for a moment. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to fully exhale. Notice any impatience or desire to speed things up and acknowledge how you are feeling. The key to eating mindfully is to engage the mind in the physical senses and recognize when the mind has wondered off or become distracted. At that moment, simply bring your attention back again to the taste or the smell of the food.
2. Try taking 20 or 30 seconds to briefly reflect: Where did the food come from? Where was it grown? Is it something that makes you feel healthy or unhealthy? By reflecting in this way, it changes the way you consume the food.
3. Next, focus on what you can see. Look at it. Really look at it. Be interested in what you are putting into your body.
4. Then focus on the smell. Smell it. Really smell it. Notice any associations that arise in your mind.
5. Continue to move through your senses in this way. Each time you focus on a particular sense, you are learning to be more present and aware, making it that much more likely that you will experience a healthier and happier mind.
I’m also going to leave you with one of our favorite family weekend breakfast recipes that will satisfy all of your senses. Enjoy!
ZUCCHINI, CHEDDAR & BACON WAFFLES
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
INGREDIENTS: *available seasonally at the Farmers’ Market
1 ¾ cups flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 medium zucchini; finely shredded (about 1 ½ cups)*
3 oz sharp cheddar cheese; shredded (about ¾ cup)
4 oz bacon; cooked and finely diced (about ¼ cup)*
1 ¼ cups milk*
3 tbsp butter; melted (plus 1 tbsp for waffle iron)
2 eggs; separated*
Maple syrup for serving*
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix in zucchini, cheddar, and bacon.
In a small bowl, whisk milk, 3 tbsp melted butter, and egg yolks together. Add to flour mixture and mix well.
In a medium bowl or stand mixer, whip egg whites into soft peaks. Then gently fold into waffle batter.
Heat cast-iron waffle iron over medium-low heat. Brush iron with butter then spoon a generous ½ cup of batter into the iron.
Cook for 2 ½ – 3 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining batter.
(If you are using a modern waffle maker that cooks both sides at once, simply cook waffles for 3 minutes total.)
Serve with maple syrup and butter.
BUSY MOM TIP: These waffles freeze well for plan-ahead breakfasts too! Simply freeze waffles in between layers of wax paper, and store in an airtight container. To re-heat, pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes until warm.