Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the evolution of breakfast

I'm the sort of person who doesn't see the point to life until after breakfast.

It's not a preference or a routine-- it's a physical imperative.

My first memories of breakfast involve sugary cereal, and that pattern continued through high school. On the 1-to-5 Sugary Cereal Scale, where 1 is sugarless bran twigs and 5 is Cooookie Crisp, I was only allowed to purchase cereals in the 3 to 4 range: Cap'n Crunch, Kix, Crispix, ALF cereal. Not the truly heavy stuff with marshmallows-- unless it was a special occasion. Which is why I ate nearly 1000 boxes of Count Chockula in my early 20's: because I could. If we were out of sugary cereal, my mom would pull the musty, 10-year-old box of Cream of Wheat out of the cupboard, dust off the moths, add some brown sugar, and serve me "chocolate" farina. It was gummy and gritty, but it was sugary, and that was what mattered. And I actually have my own dusty box of CoW for desperate occasions.

By the time I left for college, I had started to really think about nutrition. Kinda. I was a vegetarian, which mainly involved eating lots of white pasta and drinking 2 gallons of chocolate Silk soy milk a day. So I ate my sugary cereal with soy milk for freshman year, then flipped back to cow's milk, then soy (while dating a vegan), then cow. By the time I started my first job, I had actually started reading about nutrition and came to understand that I was a chronically dehydrated lifelong sugar junkie who should probably think about eating some protein and veggies once in a while.

I then bought my first box of tasteless fiber twigs and never looked back, until pregnancy pushed me into "Cap'n Crunch or Death" mode. My first labor was probably brought on by too many boxes of Lucky Charms, and i'm surprised the Biscuit didn't arrive coated in gooey marshmallow stars. I was a slave to my cereal cravings then, and I comfort myself by knowing that I had my full RDA of Riboflavin and the B vitamins every day that I scarfed the Charms.

But now I know better. I eat sunbutter on sprouted grain bread for a healthy combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. I make milkshakes out of protein powder, ground flaxseed, probiotics, and skim milk. I slip cottage cheese, spinach, and mushroom omelettes onto whole grain tortillas. And I follow breakfast up with two cups of hot decaf coffee. Because even though decaf tastes like dirt, caffeine would keep the baby up all. day. long., and I still NEED the coffee. Desperately. It's like the dessert of breakfast, but maybe that's just because of all the crap I put in it.

One of my biggest fears about the future is that food actually *will* come in pill form, because then there will be no reason to get out of bed. Ever. And bed sores suck.

1 comment:

stinestrain said...

yuck, your breakfast now sounds terrible :P there are plenty of good tasting healthy cereals out there!

I'm surprised you can eat cream of wheat but not oatmeal though.