Ok, so we’ve tackled oatmeal and we’ve talked about pasta. We still have several more starchy carbs to get through this week. Stay tuned through the end of this week to hear my thoughts on (and a few good recipes pertaining to) bread and rice.
Today, however, let’s return to breakfast for a moment and talk about cereal.
Cereal is one of those things that perplexes many post-ops, old and new alike. First, let’s get the most frequently asked question out of the way. Yes, technically eating cereal with milk is eating and drinking together. Whether you do it, of course, is up to you, but the dynamics of the pouch don’t change just because the pairing of cereal and milk are customary and fundamental to our way of thinking of the food.
As such, I don’t eat cereal with milk. I rarely eat it by itself as an intended meal or snack. That’s mostly owing to my commitment to eat carbs with protein. But one really good opportunity we have with cereal is that a good cereal — a nutritionally balanced cereal that has low sugar (and no added sugar), not too many calories and a realistic portion size — can have a lot of benefits. Food companies pack lots of great nutrients into cereal and they can give you a LOT of fiber.
Whether you eat it as a meal or as a yogurt topper, for breakfast or for dinner, here are my top 5 picks of cereal brands you should check out.
Kay’s Naturals Protein Cereal
If you haven’t heard of Kay’s Naturals in general, you need to get informed! This wonderful company makes tasty snacks that work for OUR plan. It’s not a bariatric targeted company, but they seem to get that people want whole grain, high protein, low calorie and even gluten-free snacks. We Americans love our snack foods! Kay’s makes three flavored cereals. I’ve only tasted one – the apple cinnamon. It tasted like a less-sweet version of apple cinnamon Cheerios. They also make French Vanilla and Honey Almond. The only thing I do NOT like about Kay’s Naturals is that their serving sizes can be wonky. The bags are 1.5 oz. and the serving size is 1 oz. I mean, who are they kidding? I’m going to eat the other half ounce! But even when you factor in the other half serving, it’s not a bad choice at all!
(You knew I was going to do list this) Fiber One
Now I am partial to the Original and it’s the only kind I eat, but it is noteworthy that they make other kinds of Fiber One that also give you a good portion of your daily value of fiber. But you just can’t beat the stats on the original! I use it to top yogurt, on my cottage cheese, as breading for all sorts of things, even as crust for my protein cheesecake. This versatile little cereal packs 57% of my daily value of Fiber and gives me the crunch I like!
Kashi Go Lean!
7 whole grains, on a mission. That’s Kashi’s tagline (which, as a communicator, I should say is genius). When Kashi first started selling cereal it was sort of strange. It was too chewy and tasted sort of like corrugated cardboard. But they were smart. They listened to their customers and they made it better. Now Kashi has a variety of cereals (hot and cold) that are both tasty and beneficial. I am partial to Go Lean! Crunch myself. That cereal + Greek Yogurt + a little Splenda + a few pumps of sugar-free hazelnut syrup = BIG Love!
Nutritious Living Hi-Lo Cereal
I actually tasted a sample of this a friend gave me and that day ordered a box for myself. It is vanilla-almond flavored and puts in me in the mind of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (texturally speaking) meets Honey Bunches of Oats (Flavor wise). Like many healthier cereals, the sweetness is a lot lighter than your standard commercial brand. That’s ok with me because I tend to put cereal on things that I sweeten like cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.
Splurge: Chocolate Cheerios
Ok, ok so I may take some flack for this one but here is my pitch. I love chocolate Cheerios. I, like many women in the U.S., am occasionally (read: monthly) afflicted by an insatiable desire for chocolate. Now, on my plan a few squares of good, dark chocolate is a perfectly acceptable indulgence, but during these…periods of time…my cravings for chocolate go beyond the “one serving every now and again” realm. Chocolate Cheerios are a great way to satisfy the choco-monster while still getting whole grains and limiting my caloric intake. For those who can truly moderate this type of thing (and that’s a personal decision…if you can’t moderate cereal do not go and buy this and then blame me for noshing out on it…) it’s a very sensible swap if you can’t make some chocolate work in your day.