Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cereal: Buyer Be Aware!

Great Way to Start the Day or Junk Food in Disguise?

I've long had a tumultous relationship with cereal.  I remember wrestling matches with my sister over who would get the precious piece of plastic advertised on the box as a special prize.  I have so much empathy for my poor mother now. 

As I grew older I recall a conversation with my physician where she told me to eat corn flakes and Special K type cereals to lose weight.  This actual medical recommendation came before I put on 90+ pounds and certainly didn't help my already distorted view of how one should nourish their body.

As a first-time pregnant mom, I remember thinking that Cocoa Puffs were the way to go when I wanted dessert; afterall they were low in fat and calories and at this point I was still a slave to the dieting industry so nutrient-lacking, empty calorie foods were "safe" so long as they were low in fat and calories.

When I at last found balance, it was disapointing and eye-opening to discover that so many cereals were either full of sugar, chemically-contrived food stuff and the better of them often seemed good by the nutrtiton panel but the ingredients list show all kinds of fortified additives and nutrients from fiber to absurd amounts of iron.

The video above is one of many floating around the internet.  Personally, having the desire to get my nutrients met through food as much as possible [go to NutriMirror.com and you can do the same; free of charge], I strive to not eat metal filings, or other absurd tricks of food manufacturers to inflate and enhance food labels to appear better than they actually are.

I could always make my own cereal but I really don't feel like the hassle.    I get tired of reading labels and honestly, the more and more I read, the more I skip the internal aisles of the store almost entirely.  If I do look for cereal, it has to be Non-GMO because byproducts thanks to the many talents of the corn and soy production industries are also not on my list of happy foods.

I grew up on cereal.  I've miss cereal.  I enjoy a bowl in the morning and an occasional bowl for a lazy dinner.  A couple of months ago a big box of goodies arrived from Attune Foods.  In it I was delighted to find NO sugar added to the Original Flavor. 

A good sign of a well-loved cereal is one where the box is immediatey mauled and mangled by the Tiny Tarts.    After we determined that Maya preferred plain and Annabel liked the strawberry flavor, we headed back to the store for more.  We were excited to find Attune's Crispy Brown Rice cereal--served with a spash of non-homogenized, pasture-fed milk and a few banana slices...this is the their current go-to morning dish.

I, on the other hand, have found a great way to fit cereal back into my morning rotation with this parfait.  Today's parfait features defrosted blueberries w/ some fresh grated ginger root, slices of mango, yogurt sweetened with a touch of raw honey, hemp seeds and Uncle Sam's unsweetened, rolled whole wheat berry flakes.  I love it when a box says "whole" and it doesn't mean something that was once whole but now isn't.  And the stats are pretty darn good too!  See for yourself:

nutrition facts

Replace the mango with some strawberries and this sucker would be darn-near patriotic.  Have a great day!

aka: The Country Tart