The other day, I was at a fave Jerusalem coffee stop in San Simon, Cafe Agnon, named for S.Y. (pronounded Shay) Agnon Street, the street upon which it’s situated, and more relevant, the author S.Y. Agnon, who actually lived in my neighborhood once up on a time. I had just dropped off my kids and husband, and was on my way to a work meeting, but wanted a quick cuppa and something to eat as I’d missed breakfast.
Cafe Agnon has plenty of enticing looking breakfast snacks, including borekas, croissants, strudel-y things, but, sigh, I know better than to go there and eat one of those, as they’re just fattening and not all that filling. So instead, I chose a carob energy bar from a selection of homemade bars, smiling ruefully at the woman who was next in line and had also ordered a coffee and chosen the healthy bar option.
I commented to her, “Ein ta’am.” Meaning, there’s no point in eating one of the more fattening choices, because it’s just a slippery slope to eating more than one and losing the diet battle. We both laughed and said, together, “Yesh ta’am.” Meaning, well, of course those pastries have taste, utilizing the other translation of ta’am, which is taste.
I walked away, smiling, having had one of those good Hebrew moments, which is so gratifying. And then, I read great news from Tel Aviv University, about eating fattening foods for breakfast:
Seems that dessert, “as part of a balanced 600-calorie breakfast that also includes proteins and carbohydrates,” can help dieters lose more weight.
The key is to indulge in the morning, when the body’s metabolism is at its most active and we are better able to work off the extra calories throughout the day, say Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz, Dr. Julio Wainstein and Dr. Mona Boaz of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Diabetes Unit at Wolfson Medical Center, and Prof. Oren Froy of Hebrew University Jerusalem.
Attempting to avoid sweets entirely can create a psychological addiction to these same foods in the long-term, explains Prof. Jakubowicz. Adding dessert items to breakfast can control cravings throughout the rest of the day. Over the course of a 32 week-long study, detailed in the journal Steroids, participants who added dessert to their breakfast — cookies, cake, or chocolate — lost an average of 40 lbs. more than a group that avoided such foods. What’s more, they kept off the pounds longer.
Like that, right? I’ll be nibbling on some delectable ma’afe (pastry) with my next coffee. Feel free to join me.