Why Eating “Breakfast Like a King” Should be the Next Big Health Trend

Breakfast like a king, dinner like a pauper… is this old saying true or false?

This topic is insanely interesting to me considering the fact that I’ve always been a breakfast-skipper, splurge-at-dinner kinda girl.

But DID YOU KNOW… that when healthy adults ate meals that were identical in both their macronutrient and caloric content at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, their post-meal blood glucose increase was LOWEST after breakfast and HIGHEST after dinner – even though the meals were exactly the same! (Thanks to Dr. Rhonda Patrick for the awesome info).

This suggests that our bodies respond to perfectly healthy foods in drastically different ways depending on the time we choose to eat… which has huge implications for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and so much more.

Why does breakfast get the crown?

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” You may have also heard that humans have a built-in “circadian rhythm” (which can be thrown off by nighttime use of cell phone, TV & computer screens). Interestingly, these two have everything to do with each other, and I’ll tell you why!

Humans are considered diurnal creatures. We are active during the day (eating, working, etc.) and we rest at night. This is controlled by our brain’s “internal clock,” the superchiasmatic nucleus (SCN) which in turn influences smaller internal clocks in our peripheral tissues and organs. In fact, research from the past two decades has established that almost every cell in the body possesses its own circadian timekeeper! These clocks regulate our genes and metabolic processes, including hormone fluctuations, inflammation, insulin secretion, fat metabolism and more.

While light is a major cue for the brain’s SCN (seriously, keep those iPhones out of the bedroom), the timing of our food intake has an influence on our circadian rhythm as well! Eating a hearty meal when you wake up in the morning supports your internal clock’s natural alignment with the environment’s photoperiod, whereas consuming a large meal at night can actually “reset” or throw off that clock (resulting in misaligned metabolism and poor blood sugar control). Eating too much too late is thought to signal your metabolism/circadian clock to start all over again… meaning when you wake up the next morning, your metabolism is already at the end of its cycle!

A 2015 study published in Diabetologia put this old adage to the test with the help of 18 individuals with type 2 diabetes. The diabetic participants were placed on either the “Bdiet” or the “Ddiet” for 7 days.

  • The “Bdiet” group consumed a high-energy breakfast containing 704 calories, an average lunch of 603 calories, and a reduced-energy dinner of 205 calories.
  • The “Ddiet” group followed the same protocol in reverse, consuming an identical 205 calories at breakfast, 603 calories at lunch, and 704 calories at dinner.

Compared to the “Ddiet” group, the “Bdiet” group with the large breakfast and small dinner experienced:

  1. 20% lower average blood glucose (AUCglucose) throughout the entire day
  2. 20% higher average insulin levels (AUCinsulin) post-meals
  3. and 24% lower blood glucose peaks than the Ddiet group.

What I found most interesting was that even though both groups ate the same exact lunch of 603 calories, the Bdiet group experienced 21-25% lower blood glucose scores and 23% higher insulin than the Ddiet group!

The conclusion of the study reads, “High energy intake at breakfast is associated with significant reduction in overall PPHG (post-meal hyperglycemia) in diabetic patients over the entire day.” It goes onto say that the dietary adjustment of a large breakfast/small dinner may have a therapeutic advantage for diabetics, and may even be preventative in terms of the cardiovascular complications that so often accompany T2D.

Although this particular study looked at diabetics rather than your average healthy population, much of the science published in the last 10 years suggests that the benefits of a large breakfast are universal.

A Spanish study published in the International Journal of Obesity followed 420 subjects during a 20-week weight loss program. They found that “early eaters” (those who ate lunch before 3pm) lost 25% more weight than “late eaters” (those who ate lunch after 3pm). The study’s author stated, “The body’s system is better able to cope with higher glucose levels in the morning. The same meal load later in the day is not received as well.

What about fasting, or even skipping breakfast altogether?

Intermittent fasting (also called time-restricted eating) is something I’ve been experimenting with lately and absolutely loving. I’ve been eating in an 8-10 hour window, which means I’m fasting for 14-16 hours each day. I know that a lot of people who do this choose to fast in the morning (i.e. skip breakfast and begin eating at lunch), but because all the information coming out about our circadian clocks, I do it the other way around. Breakfast is still king to me, so I eat my smallest meal around 6pm each day and stop the snacking right there!

My next post will talk all about what happens to your body and blood sugar when you skip breakfast altogether, and I’ll touch on the benefits of time-restricted eating too since it’s something I haven’t yet mentioned on the blog.

Additional References & Resources

Short Lessons About Fireworks

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Over the weekend fireworks starting popping around my house. To my dog the sounds of fireworks are the sounds of the sky falling. To many people the sounds of fireworks is the sound of summer and celebration.

If you or your children are wondering how the fireworks actually work, take a look at the following videos from National Geographic and Discovery News.

Both of these videos could be the basis of a flipped science lesson. In this post I provided an overview of how to use five services to create flipped video lessons.

online PD this summer

This post originally appeared on Free Technology for Teachers

if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission.

An Interactive Display of the Declaration of Independence

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The Digital Declaration of Independence is a fantastic website on which students can learn about the Declaration of Independence and the men who signed it. The Digital Declaration of Independence is an interactive display of John Trumbull’s painting Declaration of Independence, a scan of the text of the Declaration of Independence, and a map of the hometowns of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

When viewing the Digital Declaration of Independence you will see that each person’s head has been highlighted. Click on a highlighted head to be taken to that person’s name, to see that person’s hometown on the map, and to view a short biography of the person.

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Applications for Education

The Digital Declaration of Independence could be a good reference for students to learn about some of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Aside from that, the Digital Declaration of Independence is a great model of what can be done with the Neatline mapping and timeline tool.

online PD this summer

This post originally appeared on Free Technology for Teachers

if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission.

How to Use Speech-to-Text in Gmail

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In Sunday’s Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week I mentioned a Chrome extension that you can use to dictate messages in Gmail. That extension is called Email Dictation. With the extension installed you can quickly have your spoke words appear as text in a Gmail message. In the video below I give a short demonstration of how to use Email Dictation.

online PD this summer

This post originally appeared on Free Technology for Teachers

if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission.

How To Make An (Ice Cream!) Flag Cake

At Food52, we are big fans of the first Flag Cake we first baked up 3 years ago. But we’re not big fans of turning on our ovens in July. Enter: flag ice cream cake! The cake is constructed the same way as the traditional flag cake, just substituting ice cream for the layers (vanilla, strawberry, and blueberry, in case you were wondering). The process is a bit time-consuming because it’s important to let each layer set before you build the next. But the end result is as impressive as it is delicious (not to mention wicked cool).

Here’s what you need to know to get the prettiest flag cake ever:

How to Make a Flag Cake for the Fourth of JulyHow to Make a Flag Cake for the Fourth of July
by Erin McDowell

Equipment

I use the outer ring of a springform pan to build this cake. For maximum impressiveness, make each ice cream layer about 1/2 inch high. If your springform pan is shorter than 3 inches, you can easily make it taller by constructing a ring out of parchment or wax paper and taping it to the upper lip of the pan. You’ll need a small offset spatula to smooth the ice cream in each layer, as well as a guide for the blue layer (more on that to come). Find a small baking sheet or cutting board (one that fits your springform ring fully) and line it with parchment paper. Make sure you have room in your freezer for it to fit (even at its tallest!) before you begin.

We went with vanilla, strawberry, and blueberry.

We went with vanilla, strawberry, and blueberry.
Photo by James Ransom

Allow enough time.

For the cleanest, sharpest layers, you’ll want to freeze the cake each time you apply a layer. There’s 7 layers in all, so it’s not a bad idea to start this project a day or two before you want to serve the cake. Aside from the time issue, this cake couldn’t be easier. You can use whatever flavors of ice cream you want (as long as they represent the colors of the flag to your satisfaction.). Feeling particularly ambitious? Bonus points for homemade ice cream!

Start with soft ice cream.

It’s much easier to spread the ice cream into smooth, even layers if it’s softened. Let it soften at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before scooping it into the cake. Yes, you’ll likely need to chill the cake even longer to ensure it’s properly set, but it’s worth it!
(Some people soften ice cream in the microwave, but I find it makes the outside soft but the inside remains rock hard.)

For clean, sharp layers, freeze the cake each time you apply a layer.

For clean, sharp layers, freeze the cake each time you apply a layer.
Photo by James Ransom

Who needs fire works when you have ice cream?

Who needs fire works when you have ice cream?
Photo by James Ransom

Layering.

To build the flag cake, follow the same assembly as our original, but with ice cream. Start by fully covering the base of the pan with white. Next, cover the white layer with a layer of red. You’ll repeat this process until you have four layers: white, red, white, red. The blue layer is the wildcard. To get the square just on the edge of each slice, you have to apply the blueberry ice cream in a ring around the outer edge of the cake. I use a smaller springform pan ring (6 inches) to help provide support as I make this ring, then apply heat to the ring (using a torch or a hot wet kitchen towel) to remove the ring once the blueberry ice cream is set. Ideally, the blueberry ring should be about 1 inch tall and about 2 inches wide (from the edge of the pan). Once the blueberry layer is set, you fill it with another layer of white and red (smaller this time) to create the final flag look.

Count your scoops.

It can be tough to ensure even layers of an ice cream cake, but I have a helpful tip. Choose one ice cream scoop and count the number of scoops you use when applying the first layer. Use this same number of scoops for the next layer, and so on. Since the blue layer is supposed to be thicker, you can use the same number of scoops as you did for the base layers. The final layers that fill in the blue ring are smaller, so use half of the number of scoops you used for the base layers.

Once the blue layer is set, fill it with another layer of white and red (smaller this time) to create the final flag look.

Once the blue layer is set, fill it with another layer of white and red (smaller this time) to create the final flag look.
Photo by James Ransom

Removing the outer ring.

If you used a parchment or wax paper “extender,” simply tear it away from the cake. At this point, I find it best to remove the base parchment paper. Lift the cake (including the parchment) off of the pan/cutting board you were freezing it on. Peel the parchment paper away, and place the cake (still in the springform mold) on a cake stand or serving platter (again, make sure it fits in your freezer!). Then, apply heat to the outer ring using a kitchen torch for short 30-second bursts or a hot wet towel wrapped around it until it’s no longer warm (repeat as needed), release the springform buckle, and lift the ring up and off the cake.

Frosting the cake.

Freeze the cake for at least 1 hour before you frost it to make sure you don’t muck up your pretty layers. Whipped cream (sweetened with powdered sugar and flavored with a little bit of vanilla) tastes best—just be sure to apply with a small offset spatula for swirls.

Unity and ice cream for all!

Unity and ice cream for all!
Photo by James Ransom

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American Flag Ice Cream Cake

By Erin McDowell

  • 2
    quarts vanilla ice cream

  • 2
    quarts strawberry ice cream

  • 1
    quart blueberry ice cream (this one is really nice and blue: https://food52.com/recipes/30270-blueberry-ice-cream)

  • 2
    cups heavy cream

  • 1/3
    cup powdered sugar

  • 1/2
    teaspoon vanilla extract

View Full Recipe

Here’s How To Get Your $5 Drone Registration Fee Refund From The FAA

Did you pay $5 to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration? Now that an appeals court has overturned the agency’s rule requiring hobbyist drone operators to register their aircraft, you can get your money back and remove your name from the federal database.

If you registered a model aircraft that you fly for fun and not to make money, you can fill out a request form [PDF] and mail it to the FAA at the address designated on the form.

You can expunge your name from the database and get your $5 back, or you can have it removed and let the FAA keep the money, though it’s unclear why anyone would do that.

In May, the FAA said that since drone registration first started in Dec. 2015, more than 820,000 people have registered. Multiply that by $5 per submission, and the agency could have raked in at least $4 million in fees, which includes commercial drone. Some of that money, however, is from commercial drone registrations, which are still required.

The agency is still encouraging folks to voluntarily register their unmanned aircraft. Once the law that the appeals court says the FAA violated — Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) [PDF] — expires in September, you may find yourself forking over that $5 again if Congress decides to allow the agency to require registration again.

7 Incredible New York Foods You Can’t Find in New York City

Talk to me for a couple minutes and you’ll quickly learn that I hail from New York. Now, I’m going to interrupt you — before you tell me you loved your day in Times Square and Central Park when you visited, please hold the phone and take a look at a map of the continental US. New York City makes up approximately .5 percent of New York State’s square mileage.

That’s like, none at all.

If NYC’s relative size to the state was a body part, it would be your toenail. Your gross and unshapely pinky toenail. Most of my beautiful state looks more like this:

new york foods pasture grass

That being said, when it comes to food, the big city is admittedly special. But, what about the rest of the state, you ask? What’s the food like once you pass the city limits and venture North or West?

To be honest… a lot of the time, abysmal.

But there are many, many examples of amazing food native to New York that are honestly quite difficult to find in the Big Apple. Here’s a list of some upstate/western NY classics.

Buffalo Wings

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Do these really need any explanation? No. You all know what these are, and they’re by far New York State’s most popular and far-reaching dish, and for good reason.

Where they were created and where they are done best are hotly debated topics, but head to Anchor Bar in Buffalo for the generally accepted place of origin.

Chicken Riggies

Instagram post by Bruce Richter

Anyone who has tried these just had to hold back the drool from their lips merely from reading the name of this upstate staple. There are a ton of variations, but the dish’s basic formula is chicken, rigatoni and hot and sweet peppers in a spicy cream and tomato sauce.

Often times, the aforementioned Buffalo Wing’s sauce is included in the mix. For a taste of this awesome meal, head to the Utica/Rome region of New York.

Beef on Weck

Instagram post by New York Times Travel

Although shadowed by the region’s spicy bird limb popularity, this Buffalonian sandwich is cherished by locals and visitors alike. The name is short for what it is: roast beef on a kummelweck roll. The meat on the sandwich is traditionally served rare, very thinly sliced, with the top bun dipped in au jus. A “kummelweck” roll is a german salt-and caraway-encrusted hard roll. Usually they’ll serve it to you with horseradish, a dill pickle spear, and french fries. Charlie carves up a mean one!

White Hots

Instagram post by Amanda

The Rochester area of NYS is able to claim it’s own variation on the classic hot dog. A “white hot” is a natural sausage casing filled with uncured and unsmoked pork, beef and veal (the lack of smoking or curing allows the meat to retain a naturally white color). Zweigle’s distributes a killer version of the frank.

According to Wikipedia, the white hot has become the official hot dog of the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Rochester Americans and Rochester Rhinos and was the official hot dog of the Washington Nationals during the major league baseball team’s first season. Pretty neat.

The Spiedie

Instagram post by Angela

The Spiedie is a sandwich very near and dear to my grub-obsessed heart. Like myself, this sandwich was born in Binghamton, NY, and ever since its genesis, it has accumulated the love of everyone with whom it comes into contact.

A spiedie consists of cubes of chicken, pork, lamb, veal, venison or beef. The delectable protein cubes are marinated 24-46 hours (sometimes up to 2 weeks) in a special marinade, then grilled on “spiedie rods” over a charcoal pit.

Lupo’s and Sharkey’s in Binghamton both have a killer rendition of the sandwich, but Spiedie marinade is also available for shipment nationwide for a little taste of central NY anywhere.

Syracuse Salt Potatoes

Instagram post by Brittany🍍

Upstate New Yorkers are like, kinda obsessed with salt. It probably has something to do with going back in the old days and keeping food fresh in the winters when there’s 8 feet of snow or whatever.

That statistic is actually not hyperbolic in nature when discussing Syracuse NY, where some salt-loving genius invented Syracuse Salt Potatoes. The high sodium content of these salty spuds not only keeps them edible through the brutal Syracusian winters, but can also be used to chuck at drunken, orange-clad college students if they get too close to your lawn. 

Utica Greens

Instagram post by Jennifer Guy Cook

This side dish can be found all over central New York, usually accompanying one of the dishes mentioned above. Utica Greens come in many variations – some combination of leafy green veg (usually including escarole, but not always), meat, like bacon or pancetta or prosciutto, peppers of various sorts, and bread crumbs. The exact origins of this dish are unclear, but this killer recipe for the side will be sure to spice up plate.

The 12 Best Ice Cream Truck Treats, Ranked

When I was a little girl, I remember standing at the end of our driveway, dollar bills in hand, waiting anxiously for the ice cream truck to make it to my house. What could be better than prepackaged cool treats delivered right to your driveway every night? I feel like the ice cream truck jingle used to be the soundtrack of my summers.

As nostalgic as I am, I only remember the best of treats (probably because every treat was amazing). Here are some classic ice cream truck treats ranked from least awesome to the best of the best. 

12. Snow Cone

Instagram post by DTan

A favorite at festivals and carnivals, these icy mounds covered in sweet syrup instantly cool you down on a sweltering day. However, they’re best when they’re made fresh, so I wouldn’t go for these pre-packaged ones.

 11. Push Up Pops

Instagram post by AMC

Who could forget the fun of these orange-y, creamy pops, pushing them up from their tube until all you had left was wet cardboard. Beware: These melt so quickly in the hot summer sun that they either have to be eaten immediately, or skipped for a longer-lasting treat.

10. Fudge Bar

Instagram post by Dennis the Foodie

Fudge bars are a classic ice cream pop, with everyone’s favorite ice cream flavor made handheld for easy eating. They’re a bit boring, but if you’re craving chocolate, this is the perfect treat.

9. Strawberry Crunch Bar

Instagram post by Thelma V. Chavez

Made to resemble strawberry shortcake, the crunchy crumb coating covers a vanilla and strawberry center in a pretty pink color that is totally ready for Instagram.

8. Chocolate Crunch Bar

Instagram post by Melissa.R

In the world of ice cream, chocolate always beats out strawberry. These bars provide the perfect crunch of chocolate combined with smooth chocolate and vanilla ice cream to cool you down and satisfy your taste buds.

7. Bomb Pop

Instagram post by Original Bomb Pop

Patriotism never tasted so sweet with these popsicles, which consist of cherry, lemon, and blue raspberry flavors. Now that you’re an adult, you can enjoy these popsicles as shots instead at your next patriotic holiday.

6. Ice Cream Sandwich

Instagram post by FoodField

Over-the-top ice cream sandwiches using cookies or waffles may be a new trend, but this ice cream truck staple remains a classic. With chocolate wafers that always stuck to your fingers and plenty of vanilla ice cream inside, these sandwiches are beloved by all. Try using them to make an ice box cake for your next summertime party!

5. Chipwich

Instagram post by 2 Girls 2 Cones

The best thing to ever happen to ice cream sandwiches — it combines ice cream with chewy chocolate chip cookies, all coated in crunchy mini chocolate chips. The ratio of cookie to ice cream is exactly enough so that you feel satisfied and chilled on a long hot day.

4. Screwballs

Instagram post by libby

These icy cones are filled with a sweet cherry ice, and at the bottom hides not one, but two gumballs. They’re loaded with sugar, so they were perfect for fueling games of kick the can or hide and seek back in the day.

3. Malt Cup

Instagram post by @raph_drastic

These are basically big cups filled with ice cream, and they definitely gave you the most for your money. The other flavors, like cookies and cream, are also delicious.

2. Choco Taco

Instagram post by Joshua Czerkies

I have an undying love for tacos, and these dessert tacos are a brilliant variation. The crunchy waffle shell, soft ice cream, and crispy chocolate coating all combine to make an ice cream truck favorite.

1. SpongeBob Ice Cream Pops

Instagram post by Ajin Sivalingam

The undisputed king of the ice cream truck, these fruit punch and cotton candy flavored pops were the favorite of every kid on my block. And the gum ball eyes were the perfect addition to it’s ridiculous (ridiculously awesome) shape.

So the next time you hear that iconic music coming down your street, grab your wallet and go get a cool treat. You can reminisce about your days spent running around in the summer sun while enjoying a delicious (and probably nostalgic) ice cream. Your inner kid will thank you!

Why Olive Oil is Awesome

For a long time, I thought the only difference between olive oil and standard vegetable oil was the price. But would you ever find yourself dipping bread into plain vegetable oil, even with spices added? Olive oil is special, and Reactions, from PBS Digital, is here to tell us why.

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In this video, we get a chemical explanation for olive oil’s benefits, plus glimpse into the manufacturing process and some advice on using your oil. My advice: Start any meal by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil. After that, it really doesn’t matter what you add, it will be good.