Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Breakfast Cereal Killer

On family trips to the grocery store, my wife has been know to drop me off in the cereal aisle and pick me up after she has worked her way over half of the store. The cereal aisle is the number one reason that I do most of the grocery shopping. I will drive a normal human crazy with frustration as I while away the time in front of 80 feet of boxes.

So, here lies the cereal-eating habits of a man who requires a vast amount of quality carbs due to marathon training. Cereal is low in fat, high in quality carbs (if the right cereal is chosen), and can be consumed with milk, which provides quick, quality protein. It is the perfect snack for those who require a lot of calories or it can be "part of this complete breakfast." Or lunch. Or dinner.

Grab a spoon and enjoy.

HEAVY ROTATION
Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Sorta like harder, crunchier, heartier Super Golden Crisp. This mix of seven whole grains offers serious resistance. If you love to eat healthy whole grains, and you enjoy having the roof of your mouth shredded by hundreds of little oat-razors, this mix is for you. Mystery fact: where else can you get 9 g protein in one serving without ingesting an animal product?

Kellogg's Raisin Bran. No other raisin bran knockoff holds up. I eat loads of generic cereal, but Kellogg's has the best stuff going in the bran/raisin department. The stuff has loads of fiber and the ingredient list is short, which is almost always a good thing.

Frosted Mini-Wheats. Any brand, make, or model will do. These miniature snow-on-hay-bales soak up milk like tiny little sponges, and they pack loads of whole grain. But, they have visible sweetener on them, so it's almost like cheating.

LIGHT ROTATION
Multigrain Cheerios. It's like a daily multivitamin in delicious, toasted, lightly sweetened form. And, like a One-A-Day, it will turn your urine neon green-yellow. Seriously. Try it. It looks like Chernobyl runoff.

SmartStart. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, these flakes hold their crunch so well, that I can only assume that Clark W. Griswold's non-permeable, semi-osmotic cereal varnish is at work here.

Kroger Muesli. Cue up some John Denver, put on some jeans and a flannel shirt, sit on your back porch at sunrise, and chow down on this whole oat, raisin, barley, bran concoction. It is a body-connected-to-the-earth experience that is difficult to match.

OPEN BOX AT OWN RISK
Fruity Pebbles. One 15 oz. box = One Serving. Really, it's flavored puffed rice. There is no stopping point with these little guys. You tell yourself you can stop, but it's like watching a VH1 Behind the Music. You WILL finish it. Your will to stop or turn away plays no part in this.

Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs. I only eat these on special occasions when I am alone. It's kind of embarrassing to howl at the moon over a bowl (OK, seven bowls) of a kiddie cereal. I'm like a crazed night wolf as soon as I get a whiff of these critters.

Lucky Charms. If you have a lot of chores to do, fuel up on a couple of bowls of sugar-coated, refined carbs with a generous smattering of pure, refined sugar marshmallows. They're magically insulin-spiking.

Golden Grahams. Some college rock band-types fall into habits like smoking pot, alcoholism, or heroin. I binged on Golden Grahams. I know that they are scrum-diddly-umptious, but I consumed enough of them in college to fill the Astrodome--so I'm probably done with them for the next 50 years or so.

Froot Loops, Trix, Apple Jacks, etc. Pure, straight trash carbs coated in sugar. It's all about the marketing. It's like a happy meal for breakfast...without the saturated fat, or that pesky risk of E Coli. And, you can almost hear your pancreas cursing at you from the depths of your innards.

BONUS QUESTION
Honeycomb. Have you tried these lately? Something has happened to them recently...and it's NOT good. Maybe bits of endangered Arctic Snow Owls gave them their original delectable texture and flavor. If so, it was still worth it. Now, they are like the old Honey Round rip-offs, but in the REAL Honeycomb box and at the brand name price. Can anyone explain this?

Feel free to share your favorites and make suggestions to this verified cereal addict.



8 comments:

Kevin Burt said...

I'm mildly lactose intolerant, so I do cereal with Soy milk, but other than that, I like some of your choices. Here's one of my top picks:

General Mills "Raisin Nut Bran", like Raisin Bran, but with huge raisins somehow coated with sugary nut pieces. Or something. I don't know how it's done, but good. Also has slivers of almonds in it. Yum.

Mai said...

I like Trader Joe's frosted shreeded wheat. They have a mighty good brown sugar and maple syrup one! :)

I also like their granola. Particularlly their mango and apple flavors.

Amanda Moore said...

As someone else who has spent way too many hours reading all the nutritional labels in the cereal aisle (and who subsisted on cereal until parenthood made me start eating 3 squares instead), I love this post.

I recommend Quaker Oat Bran in the red box as the cereal with the most protein per serving without added soy. Second place is Quaker Oat Squares in the blue box.

Man, I'm hungry now.

Anonymous said...

Cort,
We are one and the same person in cereal selction, but I keep telling you--Kroger "100% Natural" rules! It is granola, but without the mouth-shred. You can even make it hot on its own, or you can cook it like oatmeal. Brandon once told me, "Look at me...it's a-mazing!", Not really, but it is #1 for me. ALL your other choices are right on. A little Boo-berry or Count-chocula never hurt anyone either...
Ron

Travis said...

Almost anything Cheerios is good. Frosted Cheerios, not so much. But Fruity, original, Honey Nut, or Multigrain are all good. And Cheerios are like toasted crack for babies. You will find they are the perfect snack because they can munch and munch on them and you don't have to shake with fear that they're doing irreparable harm.

I love Golden Grahams, personally. But for a healthier alternative I agree about the Kroger 100% natural. Good stuff there.

Great post Cort.

Cort said...

OK, these responses have led me to two thoughts:

1. I am definitely going to give 100% Natural a try.

2. Amanda, I inexplicably left Quaker Oatmeal Squares off the list. They should be in the "light rotation" section. In fact, I believe it was you that got me hooked on those last year at Henry's b-day bash in Benton.

Also, Ron, I ate my fair share of the "Horror Cereals" as a kid (Boo Berry, Frankenberry, Count Chocula). Great nostalgia.

Brandon Andrew Miles said...

I once said, while driving down the road and noticing some snow covered hay bails, "Look! Frosted Mini-Wheats for giants!"

Great minds think alike.

Stellar said...

This is the most entertaining thing I've read in a long time.