Our Daily Bread

March 15th

Each morning, I get up before the sun, run or swim for an hour, and then race off to the bagel shop for breakfast before work. I live in the suburbs and commute downtown. The stress of city traffic is less brutal when my stomach is happily digesting a generous dose of carbs. Plus, I can’t wave my arms angrily at cars cutting me off when I’m holding a warm cup of coffee – not to mention what a kinder person I am when caffeine is generously pumping through my system. Some friends regularly comment that my bagel habit is a waste of money. I look at it as an investment in my daily happiness.

This morning I sat in the sun enjoying my breakfast and sipping coffee, with my dog-eared copy of White Oleander cracked open on the table, when I thought how my bagel selection each morning reflects my mood.

Cinnamon raisin, toasted with peanut butter: I’m cranky. I need sweet and salt to start the day and if that peanut butter is crunchy – even better. I’m licking my fingers by the end, enjoying each raisin and feeling more prepared for the tasks at hand.

Sesame, toasted with hummus: I’m pensive. Something is bothering me and I need a bit of time to figure it out. As I eat my bagel and think of the day ahead, I pinch the fallen sesame seeds from the table, carefully returning them to my plate while carefully crafting my plan for the day.

Black olive rosemary with cheese and vegetables: I’m optimistic. I’m hungry for the day and happy with what I have. I love the bright colors and varied textures in this sandwich.

Everything, toasted with egg: I’m carefree. With each savory bite, I enjoy the salt and garlic, without a worry in mind. The sun on my back, a good book in my lap, a cup of steaming coffee in hand.
Life is good.

How do you celebrate the start of a new day?

Posted in
Follow the comments.

43 Responses

  1. when packing for peace corps (as i’m sure you remember as well) we were told one thing: bring what makes you happy. not extra mosquito netting and batteries (as i would have expected). but, perhaps, books and paints and knitting.

    in that vein, hooray for morning bagels. celebrating what makes us happy is never, in my opinion, a waste of time or money. 🙂

  2. Man! I never knew there were so many varieties of bagels and toppings! (You can see I don’t get out much.)

    And how do I start my day? Trying to stay ahead of 6 little ones.

  3. Ha ha, it’s tough to relax when I am stumbling around my apartment in the dark at 6:30am (darn it all DST! I was really liking the whole “it’s light out” when I wake up thing…) TRYING to feed the cat as fast as possible so that she will STOP WHINING and then TRYING to find the coffee pot as fast as possible so that *I* will stop whining. Unfortunately all I have time for weekdays is a bowl of cereal (Kellogg’s Cran-Vanilla Crunch – if you’ve never tried it you MUST – it is so deliciously cran-vanilla-y).

    But on weekends sometimes I get a bagel. Always the same thing, though, an Everything Bagel with cream cheese (Scallion if they have it, second choice is Herb, third choice is Garlic and Chive, fourth choice is Plain (but never fat free!) Always in that order of preference, and if there are no Everything Bagels I *might* get a plain one (if I am desparate for a bagel fix) or else nothing at all. So what does that say about me? 🙂

  4. Love bagels! Have you tried Panera cinnamon crunch bagels? They are to die for! I love your blog!

  5. gasp. I don’t do a formal breakfast. What a good role model I am for my daughter, who grazes on green machine juice, fresh fruit and whole grain something or others. 🙂 I need to improve my own breakfast regimen.

    The first thing I do in my kitchen though is load the coffee pot….

    Love your bagel state of mind though!!

  6. I love bagels with NUTELLA! Nothing better!

  7. Well, coffee, that’s a given. And that’s where I indulge a bit – I want good coffee. In the winter, either blueberries and yogurt or Cranberry-almond whole grain cereal. When it’s really cold, maybe some oatmeal with chopped apples & honey in it. And in the summer, yogurt/fruit smoothies rule!

  8. Good coffee with a generous portion of very vanilla Silk. The soy protien makes me feel better about sneaking a girl scout cookie when the kids aren’t looking.

  9. I start my morning with a steaming cup of tea, 2 sugars, and a spill of vanilla soymilk. I’ve recently decided to cut coffee out of my daily regime…so far, so good. Plus a bowl of whatever cereal my husband has decided NOT empty before I wake up. I spend this morning routine in front of my laptop as I read my daily emails or sitting on my couch while gazing at our gorgeous view of the Alps.

    Bagels aren’t plentiful over here in France.

  10. What about when you randomly have salmon and onion and capers with your cream cheese and bagel one day even though you’ve never had it before? for me that means that i’m pregnant and the baby is apparently a reincarnated New Yorker.

  11. i always thought my mother was crazy for getting up at o dark thirty, but its my favorite time of day now. take a little run, drink a cup of coffee, watch a bit of news. then i can deal with three kids getting dressed and ready for school. and ONLY then!

  12. Now that we’re past the spring time change, I like to get up and head in to work early. That way, I can leave in the early afternoon and have an hour or two to exercise outside, garden, or play with the dog. Having that extra time does wonders for my sanity!

    Also, after I get in to work and get through email, I go with coworkers down to the onsite cafe. The cafe employees are great baristas and the company subsidizes it, so I can get my drink for only $1.39. What a deal!

  13. I just got back from a good South Mountain hike and stopped by Starbucks for my free 12 oz coffee. Special today only from 10 am to 12 pm. And was wondering what I wanted to eat with it. Thanks for the peanut butter suggestion! Toast, not bagel and peanut butter. Perfect pick me up. No bagels at the house. Oh Well.

    That was today. Most every day is diffent.

  14. you are such a good influence. a run, then a bagel? sigh. i stumble into the morning, take two baby aspirin, and maybe pick up something bad for me like gravy biscuits, or like this morning i got 2 dozen donuts. one dozen for work, and another dozen for home. it’s rare though, this donut thing, because the shop closes at noon.

  15. oh my! black olive with rosemary and veggies??? can you please ship one of those my way???

    how do i celebrate the start of a new day?

    usually waking up late and rushing around trying to get the kiddos out the door by 6 am (thats right 6 am) and then to work.

    then once at work, i have my coffee (french vanilla with french vanilla creamer and two sweet n lows) and b.s. with my boss!

    i wish my days started off as wonderfully as yours sound.

  16. One large mug of strong coffee while checking my email and Bloglines.

  17. My breakfast is normally very boring – black tea and cottage cheese with almonds.

    But my *make me happy* morning ritual always includes a trip out to the garden to see what’s new. I may be sweaty and tired from a run or blissful and crackly from yoga, but typically I sit down on the bed bench (Bubba made a couple little sliding benches that go across the paths between beds) and get a good close look at exactly what is going on with each plant, gaze at the bees working furiously, watch the birds fight over the feeders and then I’m ready to face the world.

  18. You are a great writer!

  19. a run, swim, or sole-sucking ride on my trainer (we’re expecting more SNOW here in the east, yuck!)–then meet my friend for breakfast at a local diner where i get either an omelette with goat cheese, tomatoes and asparagus (if i worked out really hard) or 2 poached eggs on a bed of steamed spinach and slices of tomato (if i didn’t). when i’m home, i mix up a concoction of cut cherry tomatoes, feta or crumbled goat cheese, fresh basil (thank goodness for a sunny kitchen) and olive oil, salt and pepper. i save the carbs for lunch!


  20. I like bagels, but I’m one of the boring-kind-of-bagel-eaters & always dig out the inner section. Without all of the extra bread there, I can add more cream cheese…now that’s the yummy part 🙂

  21. Oh, I WISH I were a morning person! Your ritual sounds wonderful to me – if only I could make the time to sit around and enjoy a breakfast…usually I’m showering, taking care of the pets, and flying out the door with a yogurt and piece of fruit in my bag for later.

    I also don’t get up until 7:30 am. Guess what time I’m supposed to be at work? 8 am.

  22. I also share your love of bagels. I’m from NY and we know a thing or two about really good bagels. I live in maryland now and I have a hard time finding ones I love. Everytime I visit my parents my sister and I run to the bagel shop…everything with cream cheese..yummmm.

    For now my mornings consist of 2 cups of strong coffee and whatever is left from my son’s breakfast!

  23. MmmmMMM Bagels! Oh how I miss my old NJ bagel shop! My former roommate used to say, “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” I guess it is the same with your bagel habit. If it gives you this much happiness (and plenty of excuses to bake) it must be good!

  24. Yum, love the bagel shop 😉

    Well, I start my day with a cup of coffee made in the french press, then sit down and enjoy it while reading the blogs, then, at 10:00 (after commuter traffic), the kids hop in the doodlebug trailer behind the bike, I hop on and take off…we ride 4 miles to the coffee shop, have a coffee (me) bagles (all of us) and then ride the 4 miles home again ;).

    Oh, and, now that I am reading back over that, between get up time (6:30) and the bike ride, I clean house and start the kids’ schoolwork…I don’t actually sleep until 10:00!! LOL

  25. Always, the coffee! Like you, I used to always start the day with a bagel but that was back when I ran or swam each day like you do. Those days are gone, temporarily. Bagels are now a special treat but I love sesame with cream cheese and lox – yum.

  26. Well I guess you could say I really am a New Mexican now…I don’t drink coffee but I still love caffeine so I start my day usually driving through Taco Cabana and get a medium dr pepper and 5 piping fresh, hot off the press, tortillas. I love them completely plain, rolled up and I happily munch them as I fight the traffic. Some days I have hot chocolate and maple and brown sugar oatmeal at work.

  27. Jennifer March 15, 2007

    What interesting and varied lives we all lead! I love reading about other people’s daily experiences. On weekdays I have juice and cereal (always!), and either a piece of fruit or a smoothie with yogurt, berries, and flaxseed. My weekend breakfasts are the best. That’s when I have time to bring juice and the paper back to bed, or make eggs and toast, or waffles, or pancakes, or if I’m lucky, the mister will make biscuits from scratch. On a really great day I walk over to the local hole-in-the-wall doughnut shop for a devil’s food with sprinkles, or a buttermilk bar (or both, depending on my mood). I llooooovvvee doughnuts, and will always treat myself, no matter how many arteries I clog. Life is too short for doughnut deprivation. The cost to my sanity is more than that to my heart.

  28. I, too, love reading about how we all start our days. Mine is more hectic than I would like. I am a night owl, so morning are tough. I wake up (after the sun :)) and stumble to the shower after a quick cup of oj. Sometimes I grab a quick bite before heading to work, but most of the time I get to work, settle in and check e-mail before heading to the kitchen. Depends on the day, but it’s either oatmeal with a sliced banana or a wheat bagel with full fat cream cheese (unless I’ve baked for the office :)). Oh and tea or hot cocoa! As spring arrives, I’m going to try to sleep earlier and make my mornings more inspiring. Too funny – your bagel reflections! 🙂

  29. First off, I’d never tell you that your bagel habit is a waste of $ b/c I wholeheartedly believe we all need that little harmless something that makes us happy & pampers ourselves in a good way. I like to start my day off with my French Vanilla roast (Folgers!) coffee & my Bloglines & nobody talking to me. Co-workers know not to talk to me before 8:15 (sometimes 8:30…or 9!) It makes me happy to check in with my fellow bloggers/crafters & see how everyone’s doing. Here’s to good mornings, reflecting on ourselves & others!

  30. Ah Kelli, You are such a philosopher. I love that about you.

  31. Black or chai tea with milk and Splenda.

    Without a cup, I am totally useless. 🙂

    (I used to meditate, but since Rico got back from Brasil I have altered my routine. This should change…)

  32. Milk and coffee (note, not a capuccino)

  33. Today? I just finished blueberry scones I made a few nights ago. It’s was a little stale until I popped it into the toaster oven. Praise the toaster oven! And always, a cup of my favorite coffee–an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe! It’s roasted fresh…that natural sweetness requires so little sugar!

  34. Hey Kelli what happened to the comment you left on my blog, you have deleted it?

    I always start the morning with coffee, milk one sugar, and it has to be in a quiet part of the house where I can wake up gradually!

  35. ( and my coffee that I’m currently buying is Fairtrade Cafedirect from Nicagua bought from Oxfam.)

  36. Judy in Carefree March 16, 2007

    Check my emails, cranberry juice, Starbucks Verona blend, a Slim Fast bar and right now the joy of all joys…a half of a pink grapefruit right off my tree!

  37. I only dream that I had the energy every morning to celebrate the day! Unless you consider rolling out of bed, taking the pup outside to pee, then making my husbands lunch a celebration? Then, that’s it.

    Once he leaves for work, I usually enjoy my “alone time” while I prepare for my day … showering, maybe doing some light cleaning along the way as I make the bed and get dressed.

    It’s soothing. For food though, I’m not addicted to Uncle Sam cereal with banana.

  38. I am not terribly crazy about bagels unless I’m in N.Y.city or Montreal. Here in T-Dot the bagels are generally not that good. I have to have good coffee in the morning and am presently enjoying Kona, which my offspring brought back from Hawaii. During the week I just do ceral but on weekends we do bacon and eggs, it’s a treat…love reading your blog..ciao

  39. i love how your choices reflect your moods… it all sounds quite delicious. i start my day with coffee, and a couple of hours later, yogurt. i keep telling myself to wake up earlier for a proper breakfast but it’s very hard 🙂

  40. A bagel and a cup of coffee is a heck of a cheap indulgence. This post was hilarious – “hummus = I’m pensive.” Loved it.

    All you commenters have really made me WANT to get up early in the morning now, instead of seeing it as a form of virtuous self-discipline. Maybe it’ll stick better this attempt.

    I used to be an Eggo-with-peanut butter-and-go person, but I’ve recently learned to sit down and eat a bowl of cereal – it feels very civilized. I’ve been doing oatmeal with chopped up apple and cinnamon lately.

    And bagel-wise, I’ll go to Noah’s Bagels and get an “egg mit”, which is a scrambled egg, spinach and swiss cheese, on a Cracked Peppercorn Potato bagel.

  41. My breakfast varies from day to day and we don’t have any good bagels here in Korea unless you count the pathetic frozzen Lender’s variety – blech! When I do have a bagel it’s an everything bagel with scallion cream cheese and tomato slices – my favorite! I too love love love White Oleander. I read it years ago and still think about it. The movie didn’t do the book justice, as is the case most of the time for books made into movied. It’s on my Top 5 Favorite Books of All Time List.

  42. I love the discription of your bagel moods! I love breakfast, if the sun is shining then I sit on my bench outside the front door and if it´s too chilly I sit on the kitchen counter and enjoy the same view while I have my coffee, bread with cheese or ham and fresh fruit.

  43. From a purely fiscal/financial point of view – your friends may have a point. However, I am learning more and more not to discount the “quality of life”/”mental health” factor. A daily trip to the bagel shop is much, much less expensive than therapy! I’d consider it preventative medicine 🙂