Post # 124 What Are All Those Terms?

June 3, 2013 at 3:11 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 124 What Are All Those Terms?

People have many different meals during the day, and those meals can be called by many different names.  I think I’m going to try to figure out what all those names mean.  Start chronologically, here we go.

Breakfast – Typically the first meal of the day.  Way back in the holy yesteryears when the Pope ran the world, the overnight hours were considered a mini-fast.  Before anyone could break that fast, they must first enter the church, worship God, do penance, then go to their morning meal.  They were allowed to “break their fast” only after their religious obligations were out of the way.  Fairly obvious where that name came from.

Brunch – Brunch is often substituted for breakfast and/or lunch.  Guess where the name was derived?  Normally, brunch falls from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.  It’s usually served buffet-style, and in my experience, it is often used in a celebratory fashion.

Lunch – Lunch, or luncheon as it’s sometimes called, is the primary mid-day meal.  In medieval times, this meal would last for hours.  I know sometimes when I’m in a busy restaurant, it feels that way.

Tea – This is mainly a British custom.  Tea, as  a meal, can really be served at any time of the day.  If served mid-morning it’s more commonly called “elevenses” after the time it’s typically served.  In this form, it most closely resembles the American “coffee break” from corporate life.  If served in mid-afternoon, it’s referred to as “low tea”; in late afternoon to early evening, it’s referred to as “high tea”.  High Tea tends to be more formal.  Tea can be a small meal, or a substantial meal, depending upon what you want.

Dinner – This meal seems to be the most confusing in terms of when it happens.  It is normally the largest and most formal meal of the day and can be either the mid-day meal or the evening meal.  Some cultures eat the substantial meal around noon and call  it dinner, while other eat it around sunset and call it dinner.  I eat whenever and call it good.

Supper – Supper has a confusing chronology, as well.  It is usually the evening meal, and originally was less formal in character and substance from dinner.  There was some obvious overlap between the customs of dinner and supper and now the terms are used almost interchangeably except in more formal instances.

Snack – This is a small handful type of meal that falls several times throughout the day, and is used to stave of hunger until the next major meal.  The snack has as many names as there are cultures in the world.  The snack is probably my favorite meal because it’s so varied.

Over the course to time, humans have relegated meals to three main meals – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner/Supper.  The old wisdom to maintain good weight and good health was to eat breakfast like a king; eat lunch like a prince; and supper like a pauper.  What that means (and it makes sense) is to get your body all the wake up energy it needs immediately; maintain but don’t overdo it during the day; and cut way back at night when activity is curtailed and extra calories aren’t needed.  Recently, thought, dietitians and nutritionists are re-thinking this and advocating eating several small but nutritious meals throughout the day about every three hours.  No single meal should be larger than your two fists held side by side.  I’ve eaten this way for years.  It keeps a steady supply of calories going through your body so it doesn’t feel the need to store calories as fat.  Combined with a good exercise program (which I haven’t been as fastidious with), your body will shed or gain pounds until it reaches it max operating weight.  When I first started eating this way, I felt like I was never going to finish all that food.  Six meals is a lot.  As I adjusted to the diet and adjusted what I ate to be more healthy, I found that six meals seems just right.

I hope this helps eliminate some of the confusion about what to call meals.  Holler any time you choose to.

Oh!  On that note, I’ve established a new email address so anyone can reach me about the blog whenever they like.  I’m putting it in my profile and I’m publishing it here.  Feel free to use it!


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