Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lies My Breakfast Cereal Told Me

You know you're too grown-up when you start choosing a breakfast cereal based on fiber content and not cartoon character. 

Until recently - and by "recently" I mean a few months ago - I saw nothing wrong with being a 36-year old woman and mother of two who ate Lucky Charms for breakfast. I mean, come on, what's not to love? If I believe General Mills' ad campaign, the non-marshmallow part of the cereal is made with "whole grains" or some other healthy-sounding crap like that. Healthy AND magically delicious!

But alas. My husband, who is all, "We need to be healthier so we can live a long time and continue to annoy each other well into our 100s," is into healthy eating, probably just to piss me off.

If this had, like, 15 pounds of sugar on it, I'd totally be into it.

Exercise I have no problem with, when I have the time. I'll walk for miles, I'll do Pilates, I do do yoga every morning. I've even started meditating, so that in those moments when I'm about to lose my shit because all three of my housemates are ganging up on me in what is clearly a well-planned assault on my emotional well-being, I can find my Happy Place, take a deep breath, cultivate inner peace, and not go to prison for stabbing my family. (My matra is, "Pretty fish like me don't do well in prison." *breathe in* "Pretty fish like me don't do well in prison." *breathe out*)

So, you know, exercise is fine with me. 

It's the eating right part of "being healthy" that gets me. 

I grew up in the 80s, when putting cut-up hot dogs in my Kraft Macaroni & Cheese was considered a well-balanced meal because it had 3 of the 4 food groups in it: protein, dairy, and powdered cheese product. Apparently that is not an acceptable lunch for a grown woman.

Other things I grew up eating which I am now supposed to give up so that I don't have a heart attack at age 40 or develop Type II diabetes or have a stroke or some other stupid crap that so-called "doctors" and "scientists" warn us about:

  • Fried chicken
  • Bacon cheeseburgers
  • Pizza
  • Fettucini Alfredo
  • Chocolate ice cream mixed with Double-Stuf Oreos
  • Nutella
  • Potato chips
  • French fries
  • Pretzels
  • Anything delicious

The thing is, if it were up to me those things are ALL I would eat. After pushing 100-pounds of stroller and children uphill in 95-degree heat and humidity for at least a mile, and then doing all my diastasis recti physical therapy so I don't look 6-months pregnant anymore, I think I deserve some fried chicken, French fries, and chocolate ice cream covered in Nutella. I mean, right?

<3 <3 <3

But, oh no, in order not to weigh 900 pounds I have to "snack" on "light cheese" and "fruit," which is not filling at all. I don't like diets, but I don't like the idea of taking up more than one subway seat at a time, either.

And my husband pulls this card on me, which is so unfair but he's a lawyer and uses tricks like this all the time: "I quit smoking to be healthier for you, so you owe it to me and to our children to eat healthy and not die young." He's such a jerk.

So, crappy grown-up cereal it is for breakfast, because apparently Eggs Benedict is not "healthy" in the strictest sense of the term. But here's the thing. The box claims that because the cereal is full of fiber and protein it will help me "Stay Fuller Longer!" Exact words. But an hour later and I'm ready to eat my own arm off from hunger. 


You know what doesn't lie to me? Bagels. Eggs Benedict. When I eat those for breakfast I'm actually full for the next 3-4 hours, not pretend, lying, hippie cereal quote-unquote "full."

When I eat Lucky Charms, I know exactly what I'm getting: a bowl full of delicious, followed by a sugar high, followed by the hangover-like remorse of a sugar crash. At least Lucky doesn't pretend otherwise, HEALTHY GROWN-UP CEREAL THAT DOESN'T EVEN TASTE GOOD. Asshole.


I won't lie to you: I have a Bota Box picnic essay up over at Moms Who Need Wine. Click here to check it out! 


Deborah Badillo said...

Your husband sounds exactly like my husband. I had organic strawberries drizzled with nutella for dinner. Kinda healthy? ;-) I still occasionally have chicken wings, alfredo, pizza, ice cream, cheese burgers, and fries for me it is more about portion control which my husband says come unnaturally easy for me, but he did not see me my freshman year of college.

Marlene Dotterer said...

I wish I could joke about it. It's always heartening to read blogs like yours that show the funny side of weight loss. It's so true.

I happen to love Real Food. I'd probably get sick if I had to eat Lucky Charms. But that hasn't helped with the weight AT ALL. If anything, it makes it harder, because I have to estimate calories, for practically every ingredient I use. It is so easy to under-estimate.

I'm at the point where I think the only solution is to always be hungry. That's discouraging.

Shawn said...

Yeah, you made us laugh this morning. Hubby and me because we can relate, totally! Daughter because she has heard this conversation over cereal (I don't even eat cereal), oatmeal (I actually can eat it when it is "doctored up), but I do like eggs and they WILL keep you filled up.
BTW, make your own nutella with less sugar or alternate (stevia?). I spread my fake nutella over rice cakes!

Dianna said...

I just finished a news article about the effect the drought might have on the US corn crop and, ultimately, the American consumer. Here is a quote:
“For example, even with today's high corn prices, a 12-ounce box of cornflakes would have only about 8 cents worth of corn, said Paul Bertels, vice president of production and utilization at the National Corn Growers Association. That's a very small portion of the $4 or so consumers might pay for that box of cereal.”
Exactly how much is 8 cents worth of corn? Considering that in a blind taste-test, sans sweetener, I wouldn’t know if I was eating the cereal or the box, so much for my sanctimonious sacrifice to a healthier me. To get my money’s worth I probably should toss box and all into a food processor, add a cup of milk, two spoonfuls of honey and hit the blend button. That should provide me with my daily requirement of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and “being healthy” hooey.
And maybe I wouldn't be hungry two hours later either.;-)


I eat a little big of all of it. And on occasion, have a small hamburger, no lid, no bacon, no cheese, a handful of fries, and a couple of sips off Handsome's milk shake. Denying just means craving.

Good luck!

Emily Schleiger said...

It's true, all cereals are liars, just like those infomercials that promise you a 50 lb weight loss in 2 hours with no exercise. Greek yogurt and I are breakfast buddies now. So far it seems like a relationship that's too good to be let me know if there is an expose on Oikos.

Meredith L. said...

Debbie, I believe in portion control, too. Which is why I only ate 3/4 of my roast beef club sandwich the other day instead of the whole thing. Let my will power be an inspiration to the rest of you pleebs.

Meredith L. said...

Marlene, I'm sure you've tried this, but what about focusing on "healthy" rather than "weight loss?" I find that when I concentrate on not wanting to feel like a bloated sack of gas and grease it helps me make smarter food choices.

Also, have you been tested for hypothyroidism? I got it from my first pregnancy, and even with the Synthroid it's really hard for me to lose weight now.

Meredith L. said...

Shawn, I would LIVE on eggs (and cheese and Nutella) if my husband wasn't such a cholesterol nazi.

Meredith L. said...

Dianna, good thinking! I finally tossed the offending, lying box of cereal away. If I'm going to force myself to eat healthy crap that tastes like cardboard, I want it to at least do what it says.

Meredith L. said...

Vicki, thank you! And good luck to you!

I also try not to deny myself - on weekends. That's when I indulge. :-)