For the first 22 years of my life (excluding, y’know, infancy), I ate cereal for breakfast every single day. Every. Single. Day. Always the sugary kind (Cinnamon Toast Crunch being my all-time fave, but Crunch Berries, Golden Grahams, and Cookie Crisp deserve a mention too), and never, ever a correct serving size. I would just pour a giant bowl full to the top with the cereal, add liberal amounts of 1% milk (the thought of which now makes me gag), eat all of the cereal, then pour some more in to eat with whatever milk remained.
It scares me to think how much sugar I was consuming just in that one meal. Add that to freshman year of high school where I also ate a jumbo pretzel slathered in honey mustard and a Chipwich every day at lunch (yeah I was clueless)…I just shudder. How I ever got anything done in school is a mystery.
It was only in early 2007, while working in my first job out of college, that I started to become more interested in mindful and healthy eating. At that time I began to branch out in my breakfast routine, experimenting with oatmeal, fruit (imagine that!), and whole wheat mini-bagels with natural peanut butter to start the day. I’d sometimes still eat cereal as a snack (Barbara’s Puffins were a favorite purse snack for me back in the day) but I pretty much phased it out as a breakfast option, and I don’t think I’ve had it more than a handful of times since then. These days, my weekday breakfasts consist of fruit (either whole/raw or in a smoothie) and/or a slice of whole grain bread or English muffin with peanut or almond butter and hemp seeds. On the weekends I might get a little fancy with a tofu scramble or some sort of breakfast hash.
Don’t ask me why, but for some reason last week I started thinking about cereal again. Of course, at this point in my life I have different ideas about what breakfast means. If I’m going to eat cereal, it needs to have some actual nutritional value (rather than just being “enriched” by adding back in all the vitamins that were stripped out during processing), be low in sugar, and have some staying power (read: fiber and protein).
Here is what I decided on:
I’m not entirely sure what “veganic” means. Obviously it’s vegan and organic, but I think what the company is also going for is sustainability and transparency, concepts I support. On the back of the box (I should’ve taken a picture, sorry) they have photos and stories of three people in different parts of the world who supposedly contributed ingredients that went into the cereal. It’s a little campy/hippie-dippy for me and who knows if it’s even true, but still, I appreciate their effort to show you “Hey, look at where your food actually comes from!”
Bottom line: I like it. I like it a lot.
With 1/3 cup unsweetened almond-coconut milk:
All told, this breakfast has 207 calories, 34 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 7 g protein, and 14 g sugar (7 from the cereal and 7 from the banana). I’ve been eating it every day this week, and find that it keeps me full for 2-3 hours, after which I snack on some raw soaked almonds and fruit to hold me over until lunch (yup, still doing a bit of the detox thing).
It’s tough to picture the teenaged me eating this breakfast. But the 2014 me feels pretty good about it!
How have your eating habits evolved over time?