My Favourite Breakfast as a child was Kellogg's Frosties. It also happened to be my dad's favourite cereal too, which is probably where it all started. I blame him for a lot of my faults, but most of all-I will forever blame him for my perpetual sweet tooth.
I don’t want to be bias towards Frosties as a singular cereal- so its probably worth noting I also loved every other Kellogg branded cereals- coco pops, crunchy nut, rice pops, cornflakes, and then eventually Special K (the ultimate demon for anyone with basic anti sugar knowledge)
Cereal for me was the ultimate go-to meal. It worked perfectly for breakfast, lunch, and dinner or as a pre-bed snack.
Think about it- it has every component for a delicious sensory experience.
The first few bites are the perfect combination of crunchy resistance and the milk- crisp cold. Wait for the middle section, and the top cereal is still holding strong on the crunch but the under layers have wavered slightly...and lastly your devouring a glorious sweet soup consistency (because lets be honest, who doesn’t always get the milk to cereal ratio wrong?) with the odd left over cornflake.
As you can tell, I was passionate about cereal- but I was also seriously addicted. The problems arose when my bowl size became too small for the amount I wanted to consume.
OOPS Lets re-phase that, the more I ate, the bigger my portion sizes would become.
What started as a decent bowl of Kellogg’s crunchy nut, soon developed into 3 super sized bowls of sugary nut bowls (the cereal kind). This might not sound that uncommon considering the amount literature (now) concerning sugar in our diets.
Its quite simple really, so if you’ve ever wondered what truths to take from the anti sugar overload in the media today- I've condensed it into two sentences for you.
1. SUGAR IS MORE ADDICTIVE THEN COCAINE (FACT).
2. THE MORE SUGAR YOU CONSUME, THE BIGGER YOUR SUGAR INTAKE WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME.
Unfortunately these common sayings "Balance is key, a life of moderation, a little of everything" didn’t work for me.
I would start with a square a dark chocolate ( I’m sorry, its never as good as milk and I will never be persuaded on this) and 4 minutes later I would have devoured the whole bar, id be donning my boots to walk to the corner shop for a secondary bar, and maybe some popcorn too...
...Ok, I’m lying, I never carry cash so I always had to spend a minimum of £5 on sweets. You can actually buy a lot of bad food for £5- it would often look like this- along with my mental thought process.
£1.50 Dark Chocolate BAR
£0.99 Sweet Cinema Popcorn (most of the time on 2 for 1 offer- so why the hell not, ya know?)
£1 Cadburys Dairy Milk BAR (re consider the dark chocolate doesn’t cover it statement)
£1.50 Pringles (got to balance the sweet/salty ratio)
£4.50 Häagen-Dazs Tub (F*ck it, I’ve got to spend £5 anyway, may as well continue as you mean to go on…)
YIKES- just reading this is sending me crashing into a sugar comedown.
I’m going way off track here, but your following the jist- I liked sugar, I liked cereal and most importantly, I hated myself for it.
It’s worth noting I was also perpetually feeling like cow dud on a hot day. Slightly hazy, pretty low in energy and kind blobby. I miraculously wasn’t fat, because I exercised regularly, but I was somewhat squishy around the edges.
Enter 2012 and the 'Clean and Lean' storm hitting social media- more specifically instagram. I would scour these hash tags daily, and soon began to clock on to an alternative path of existence from my sugar ruled life.
Information is not cheap- or that’s at least what the media, or Instagram health fanatics would like you to think.
I cant tell you the amount of wannabe fitness "stars" (cringe) on insta charging RIDICULOUS ££'s for basic health food knowledge. Nevertheless people bought it-quick information equals money.
I didn’t however; being from the North of England means I’m always on the hunt for a bargain. So I thought hang on a momento here- I’m sure I can find these recipes out for free!
I began stalking the not so well known profiles of the wannabe fitness stars and low and behold, it was all the same info but for free- more often the not, the exact same recipes copies from a less known fitness fraud wanting to gain followers.
Ewwww Shit social media makes me feel ill when I write about it, its so superficial, but i still love it.
I was thrown into a world of 'good fats' and “pre-work out meals’ (sounds good), along coconut oil in your coffee (WHAT.THE.FUCK?).
All interesting and motivating stuff mind, its actually quite hard to not get sucked in and start posting the #cleanandlean additions onto your own instagram page (I did it, and I’m sorry).
In fact the world of the clean eaters is sort of like a smaller American MAFIA. If your in- YOUR IN- and their going to retweet, repost, like and share the shitta outta ya page until you reach 100k of followers.
If your not- SOZ-zero interaction is coming your way sista.
Nowadays I take everything I read on the Internet with a pinch of salt, I have chosen to abide by the rules that worked for me.
Truthfully and I’m so embarrassed to admit this-I once read I should start swirling coconut oil around my mouth for 20 minutes a day, pre my morning coffee- its called oil pulling.
I honestly tried this for 4 days- before the realisation of what I was doing hit- I began thinking surely there is more to life then this? So I stopped immediately, and have never looked back.
The point is- don’t believe everything you read on the internet, and don’t believe every different fitness fantastic fraud. I have seen the same 'weight loss before and after photo' posted on 3 different pages- each claiming to be that insta's personal client. YAWN.
Back to breakfast, and back to Kellogg’s. This cereal is probably the worst fuel I could ever put in my body, and it was a long process to accept this.
I've now been cereal clean for almost 3 years now- I have the occasional relapse where I gorge on 3 bowls of sugary crunch for a day, and then I remember why I don’t do that anymore and I’m ok for 6 months.
Instead the best alternatives for me is homemade granola.
You can read in recipe books, health blogs a million breakfast alternatives, but truthfully who can afford smoked salmon, eggs, avocado on sourdough toast everyday? Not me currently- I’m working on it.
Instead I can make a massive batch of granola for less then £4.00 and it last my 2 weeks.
So here’s the recipe.
500g Rolled Oats (any brand Flanagan’s is a good'un)
4 large teaspoons of Coconut Oil (This might set you back a bit initially but it lasts enough to make loads of batches)
3 teaspoons Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
3 handfuls of Almonds, cashews, brazil nut mix.
Small handful of raisins/cranberries/goji berries
100g Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut
Basically its simple.
Whack the oven onto 180' Fan oven.
Melt the coconut oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon on a low heat in a pan.
Chop the nuts into small bits, and combine with the oats into a large bowl.
Mix melted oil combo into nut and oat mix.
Swish around and cover until all is fairly saturated in oily goodness.
Whack it into the oven for around 20-40 minutes. After 15 minutes, give it a stir and then watch it like a bloody hawk as it can go burnt at any time after 20 minute
Afterwards let it cool and add the raisin mix onto and then the coconut. Then transfer it to one of those nice jars that everyone seems to have on Pin interest.
- Serve with whatever you want. Personally I like, natural yoghurt (full fat, of course), almond milk, Coyo (coconut yoghurt- if I have the budget), blended into a smoothie, OR straight out of the masons Jar and into my mouth!
That’s pretty much for now, its a long process the sugar free diet, so there’s plenty more instalments like this to come.