Perhaps the Gentle Reader, not having spent their childhood in the company of Pooh Bear and his motley crew, is not familiar with this meal? Regardless, it is, I have discovered , the most important meal of the day, the one which makes or breaks the rest of your day.
Elevenses are of particular importance for those who are slaves to the 9-5 routine. No matter what I have for breakfast in the early hours, by 11 o’clock, my stomach feels as if a gaping chasm has opened inside, populated by monsters growling so loudly that I am sure anybody standing within 10 metres of me can hear. The kind of hunger I feel at 11 o’clock, I simply do not have at later hours, no matter how late I have dinner. I may feel nauseous, or simply irritable and upset if my other meals are delayed, but that sheer pulsating hunger is something I only get at 11 o’clock, on the dot.
Hence the importance of elevenses. For the easy and indeed the first reaction is to toss in something sweet and starchy to those growling monsters. But who can deal with the accompanying guilt? We cannot simply swap one set of monsters for another. My health! My figure! Fat! Belly! Sugar! As soon as the last bite of whatever delicious stuff has gone down, these ugly thoughts rear their ugly heads, effectively destroying the pleasure I had from guzzling.
Healthy snacks, then, are indicated. It requires dedicated, ferocious shopping skills to ensure you have healthy snacks at hand, for yourself and your children, but it can be done. But what healthy snacks? Nuts, fruit, yogurt? Nuts on an empty growling stomach gives me a belly-ache, fruit doesn’t really appease the hunger-pangs, indeed, may make it worse, ditto yogurt. Last week I had a bowl of stale popcorn, and was writhing in pain by 1 pm.
It is a conundrum, one I trust you share, Gentle Reader. Often enough, I persuade myself to have nothing, and wait for lunch, thus spending the hour between 11 to 12 obsessing over being hungry and food. I am waiting for ingenious entrepreneurs to find and market the perfect food for elevenses, and until then, I will suffer in silence.