There’s a reason I wake up every morning.
One very simple reason my eyes even consider fluttering open come 7 in the a.m.
And that reason is
Eating, naturally, just sets my whole day on fire.
It’s the tradition of it, the routine of eating my favorite foods while lingering at my computer with several [dozen] mugs of hot coffee.
Most mornings, I’m behind a bowl of oats or Greek yogurt. But this past week, I traveled back 20 years to my girlhood and ate nothing but cereal. Cereal cereal cereal.
Now, Annelies knows I’m a whole food-, whole grain-loving lady. She also knows I’m interested in anything that comes to my mailbox in excess (hence the seven boxes). And as a part of the Attune Foods team, she was generous enough to share with me products from Attune, Uncle Sam, New Morning, and Erewhon (gluten-free).
I opened the box of cereal, graham crackers, and chocolate bars, braced myself, braced my pug DeeDee, and then read Annelies’ very stern, very instructive note:
I accomplished that much.
What I love about the Uncle Sam and Erewhon cereals is this: they’re a world more natural than the kinds I find when I’m lusting in the breakfast aisle at the market. All whole grain and with very little sugar, I really found myself wishing I’d known about these guys sooner.
For years, during and after I lost weight, I ate cereal religiously. I searched high and low for boxes that boasted better ingredients than the kinds I grew up with: Lucky Charms and Apple Jacks. I thought seriously about creating my own. Because, all I wanted, all I needed to feel good about my bowl, were the following criteria to be met:
Roughly 150 calories per cup of cereal (because I want much more than a cup in my bowl)
100% whole grains
As short a list of ingredients as possible (And ideally I’d be able to identify all of them)
At least 4 grams of fiber per serving
No more than 2-3 grams of sugar per serving
Crunch crunch crunch
Surprisingly, there were not many options that fit. I ended up going the Kashi route more often than not. And not unhappily- just feeling a bit limited.
But these Attune cereals would have worked just as well, if not better because none of the members of the ingredient list seemed foreign to me. Many of the cereals had no sugar at all.
The stash of the products I sampled:
- My favorite: Honey Almond (shown in all cereal bowl photos)-
This cereal is the kind that almost vehemently resists sogginess. And even when it eventually relents, it doesn’t dissolve into the milk- it plumps and becomes almost muesli in texture. Lovely, really. It’s filling in that way I bet people intend to mean when they say something “sticks to your ribs”- though I’ll never quite know that I want anything to, in fact, stick to my ribs.
The flavor is subtly sweet- malted and nutty with sliced almonds.
- The Corn Flakes were crisp and unsweet- just as I’d prefer. I’m tempted to crush them and coat chicken and fish for baking.
- Cinnamon grahams were my favorite. And by favorite I mean- I ate them in bed by the sixteen-pack. I felt good and healthy about that.
- Chocolate didn’t need a better reputation for me to love her fiercely, but Attune added probiotics to their 100 calorie bars, and I ended up smug with how healthy I could describe my dessert.
Check out the Attune Foods website to learn about their real food approach. They’ve also got a great blog with lots of inspiring blogger contributors.
Have you tried any of these cereals? And if you’re a serial cereal-ist like me, which healthy kinds are your favorite?