Time to kick off my healthy lifestyle series. I’ll start with something near and dear to me…my beloved cereal 😛 I used to be the cereal queen. I ate it EVERY day for breakfast for years. From college to just a few months ago I’d say there were only a few days I didn’t have cereal for breakfast. And that was either on vacation (and even then I usually had cereal) or if I was too sick. In addition to my daily breakfast I snacked on it pretty much every day. I thought, like most people, that cereal was healthy. Low fat. Lots of vitamins. High fiber (the kind I ate was). But sadly that is not the case.
Cereal is quite unhealthy for multiple reasons.
*The obvious is that some cereals are full of sugar. Especially white processed sugar…which is like an anti-nutrient for your body.
*Then there is the white flour. Again, very processed and hard on your body.
*Most cereals are full of artifical ingredients…colors, sweeteners, flavorings, etc. Anything artifical is foreign to your body and hard to digest…putting more strain on your system.
*All big brand cereals contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Another unnatural ingredient that we don’t know the full effects of. GM foods have not been proven safe to eat. They increase the use of pesticides. I personally choose to avoid them at all costs. I want to know exactly what I’m eating…not some mutated, altered food with hidden ingredients. Corn is one of the most widely used GM food. And it’s in just about every cereal. For example, take a look at the ingredients in a box of Kix (supposedly a great cereal for kids)…whole grain corn, corn meal, sugar, corn bran, salt, brown sugar syrup, trisodium phosphate, vitamin E (and some other added vitamins). It’s all GM corn and processed sugar. How is that good for a growing child?
*Most cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Sounds healthy. But in reality they are synthetic versions that your body can’t really absorb. So they don’t do you much good. Maybe some harm actually.
*Finally, cereal (even the organic “healthy” kind) is toxic. Here is some great information from The Healthy Home Economist:
“To make boxed breakfast cereal in the factory, the grains first have to be subjected to such intense pressure and heat that they actually liquify into a slurry. This slurry allows the grains to be quickly and easily shaped into the puffs, flakes, and other shapes that make each cereal distinct. The manufacturing process used to make boxed cereal is called “extrusion” and it is so violent and denaturing that the proteins in the grains are actually rendered toxic by the process. This is why organic boxed breakfast cereal is more toxic than nonorganic – because organic boxed cereal is whole grain and thereby has more protein in it! The more protein, the more toxic the boxed cereal.”
It saddens me that something so bad for you is marketed as being so healthy…and that so many people (myself included for a long time) buy into it. When in reality it can make you sick and is very hard on your body. It especially saddens me that I ate Fiber One (mixed with various other cereals) almost every single day of my pregnancy with Rebecca. Artifical sweeteners, fake fiber, syntheic vitamins, GMOs, toxic substances. I hope it did not harm her development. I don’t like that cereal is one of the first things most people feed their children…baby cereal, Cheerios, etc. I’ll definitely be taking a different route with any future children. I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing all of that cereal had an impact on my digestive issues and my infertility. I wish I would have known sooner how bad it was.
I am happy to say I have not eaten cereal for breakfast for a couple months now. It feels good to be cereal free 🙂 My whole body is thanking me. And I’m glad to start my daughter off on a good path eating real food for breakfast from an early age.
It’s tough to make the switch if you’re a die-hard cereal fan like I was. It’s convenient. It tastes good. But it’s worth it to stop eating it. Honestly, now I think most cereal tastes like fake cardboard. It grosses me out. The skim milk I used to pour on my cereal does too 😛 There are so many other healthy things to eat for breakfast. Here are some of our favorite quick breakfasts. You can make them ahead of time or prep things ahead so breakfast only takes minutes to prepare in the morning.
chewy granola bars
crunchy granola bars
grain free granola
giant breakfast cookies
soaked coffee cake
fresh fruit w/ cream cheese dip
Scrambled, fried or hard boiled eggs are always good too.
Enjoy a healthy breakfast every day…that does not include boxed cereal 🙂