What came first, the chubby guy or the egg?

These used to gross me out in the morning but now they kind of turn me on for breakfast.

Somehow, some way, I basically made it through almost four decades of life without eating eggs for breakfast. Don’t ask me why, but they grossed me out as a kid and I stubbornly fought them off and protested their appearance on my plate for so long that after a while all I knew was that I didn’t eat them for breakfast even though I had kind of lost track of exactly why I despised them.

OK, I guess I kind of know why they grossed me out as a kid. The sight of a fried egg, sunny side up, bleeding yolk all over the place seemed rather repulsive and the stench of a hard-boiled egg just seemed too vaguely fart-like to stimulate my appetite. And the fact that an egg is part of a chicken’s reproductive cycle also turned the far younger version of me off to the idea of making eggs a staple of my morning routine.

I got bailed out of the whole being-forced-to-eat-some-egg thing when my allergist diagnosed me with a very, very minor allergy to eggs when I was a pre-teen which was a major victory against my well-intentioned parents. If you think I’m crazy for being so anti-egg for so long you’re not alone. My wife always thought I was a nut for having so much disdain for the chicken’s gift to the breakfast-eating world and was determined to eventually get me to eat them in the morning.

Of course, that just made me dig my heels in even more that I would never chow down on eggs for breakfast. Have I mentioned that I can be just a wee bit stubborn at times?

But for some odd reason I gave eggs a try one morning when we were at a restaurant for breakfast and now I’m an egg-eating fiend in the morning. The big moment came at Country Waffles on one of the very rare weekdays my wife and I take off from work where we send the kids to day care and chill out together. My pancake breakfast came with eggs and I just asked to have them scrambled and served on the side with the intention of giving them to my wife.

Halfway through my pancake I got bored and threw some salt, pepper, and Tabasco on the eggs and tried a little bit. A few minutes later I had demolished the little plate of scrambled eggs and had to help my wife get her jaw off the table as she stared at me in disbelief. Just like that, I morphed from egg hater to egg-eating machine and now that I think about it I’m not too sure if it’s been the best thing for my waistline.

About a year ago I finally swore off buying donuts and bagels on my way to work for breakfast and started going with cereal or yogurt and some fruit as part of my weekday routine. I also ditched pancakes/waffles with bacon/sausage and hash browns on the weekend for a ham steak and hash browns. Those were little moves that seemed to pay off handsomely almost every time I stepped on the scale. But eggs have opened up a whole new world of breakfast options on my drive to work and I’m convinced that some of the bloat I’ve been experiencing over the past several months are tied in to my new loving embrace of eggs.

Breakfast burritos and egg sandwiches are suddenly in play Monday through Friday when I cruise to the office in the morning and I’ve been catching myself indulging in far too many of the yummy, filling, calorie bombs. In fact, I think I’ve become something of a connoisseur on the quick-hit egg fixes available to the hungry working man in the A.M. and here’s my ranking of what seems to be out there:

1. Jack in the Box: The steak and egg burrito  is the undisputed king of the stuff-I-really-shouldn’t-be-eating-for-breakfast contest. I just looked up the nutritional value and the thing has a whopping 821 calories with 450 from fat. No wonder I’ve packed on pounds from eating one or two of these a week. Is it a bad thing that the guy at the drive-through window recently stopped offering me picante sauce because he now remembers that I’m the guy who always asks for taco sauce instead? Yeah, I think that’s a bad thing.

2. Any breakfast sandwich from any bagel shop on my way to work: Posh Bagel usually gets my money in the morning because they’re close to work and the staff has warmed up to me over the years. But Sunrise Bagels and Noah’s have also been graced with my egg-loving presence in the morning. Noah’s bacon and cheddar offering  “only” has 599 calories with 265 from fat which doesn’t sound too bad compared to what I ravenously stuff into my pie hole at Jack in the Box. I’m going to assume that the cheese and ham-filled bagel sandwiches I get at Posh and Sunrise blast more calories at my body than Noah’s.

I’m starting to think the fast food egg burrito is actually slow death wrapped in a tortilla.

3. Burger King: The Southwestern breakfast burrito  tends to reel me in when I cruise through the Home of the Whopper in the morning. I just learned that it has 870 calories with 53 grams of fat which makes me wonder why I don’t just cut to the chase and sit down with a can of Crisco and a spoon for breakfast. I didn’t eat any of this stuff until eggs came into my life. Does it help that I usually walk a mile around the shopping complex Burger King is in before I buy a Southwest breakfast burrito? Probably not enough to offset all the calories and fat.

4. Subway: There’s never anyone in the joint when I come in for breakfast which makes me wonder why they even waste their time opening in the morning but I won’t complain since the food isn’t too bad. I think the fact that I can have some veggies thrown on the Black Forest ham, egg, and cheese flatbread melt  I get makes me think I’m being kind of healthy when I’m really not. Then again, now that I look at the nutritional info the 6” melt I get is only 420 calories with 140 of them from fat so I guess this is the place I should be going to more often if I’m going to keep egging out in the morning.

5. Carl’s Jr.: I don’t have a set menu item from this fine establishment to cite in this post since there isn’t a Carl’s Jr. on my route to work but I did get a breakfast burrito here one time when we had to hit the road early on the weekend with the kids and it was really good … which also means it was probably packing about 1,000 calories around those eggs I was trying to get at.

6. McDonalds: When I was a kid I loved Mickey D’s for breakfast because you could always score pancakes with sausage and hash browns. Now that I’ve gone egg crazy I have to say that in my book this place is overrated for breakfast the rare times I’ve sped through the drive-through. Serving sizes and flavor are nothing to write home about and with tastier options within driving distance I don’t frequent the golden arches very often in the morning.

7. Taco Bell: At this point I’m sure you’re reading this list and wondering how I’ve only gained several pounds this year if I honestly eat all this junk on a semi-regular basis. I’m kind of wondering the same thing now that I have it all in front of me like this. I guess it’s a minor miracle and proof that walking several miles a day can do a world of good for a man’s health. But back to Taco Bell as a destination for eggs in the morning. All in all they kind of suck and it has nothing to do with what they serve and everything to do with when they serve it. I was running late one morning and grabbed a pretty good steak and egg burrito on my run to the border but what I’ve learned since then is that Taco Bell doesn’t seem to open for breakfast until about 9 a.m. which is pretty useless for people who always get to the office well before 9 a.m. Why are they even serving breakfast? Then again, maybe they’re saving me from myself by opening so late.

So there it is, my rundown of the wicked, calorie-filled world that eggs have opened me up to over the past several months. At this point it looks like bagels and donuts would actually be healthier for me than what the fast food establishments are offering. Scary thought and one more example that I should just stick to the Vitamix veggie and fruit smoothies my wife whips up for me every morning.

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