Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Bowl Of Hot Cereal

A simple bowl of hot cereal.

I decide to have a bowl of hot cereal on this very cold morning.  ("Have you considered green smoothies?  They are the best way to start your day.") ("Cereal?  Have you thought about a veggie omelet?  It's really important to start your day with protein.")  ("I'm not hungry in the morning, I usually skip breakfast.")

I've burnt the bottom of my smallest sauce pan so I decide to make it in the microwave.  ("A microwave?  Are you kidding me?  Don't you know they change the molecular structure of your food?!? Not to mention the radiation they leak.")  ("Oh, I couldn't live without my microwave!  It makes heating up leftovers so much easier and the kids can make their own hot chocolate.")

I get out my Bob's Red Mill Creamy Wheat Farina ("You eat wheat?!?! Don't you know that eating grains causes inflammation, ruins your digestion and is really bad for you?)  ("Is that wheat whole grain?  You really should only eat whole grains.)  ("That sounds so nice.  I love how content I feel after eating a bowl of hot cereal on a cold day.  It reminds me of when I was a kid and my mom made hot cereal for us in the winter.")

I get out my organic raisins.  ("You are mixing fruit and grains?  Don't you know that you should always eat fruit first thing in the morning and *then* eat your cereal?")  ("Organic is good!  Got to avoid those pesticides.  But where are they from, are they local?")  ("Raisins?  Ick!! Raisins look like bugs in my cereal.  I can't believe you like raisins.")

Once my creamy wheat is cooked to the point of being creamy, I add in some butter.  ("Butter?  Is it organic?  Is it local?")  ("Animal fats are really good for you, since you're a vegetarian it's good that you eat butter.")  ("Butter?  Don't you know that butter leads to high cholesterol?" )  ("Butter?  Why would you add fat to such a great low fat food?")

And then I add a touch of soymilk.  ("Seriously?  You still drink soymilk?  Haven't read the studies?  Soymilk is so bad for you!  Have you considered raw cow milk?")  ("I love soymilk on my cereal.  It makes me so happy to know that I am not supporting the veal industry, and it's good for me, too.")  ("Soymilk?  Have you considered a nut milk?  Or maybe hemp?  That would be so much better for your body.")

Finally, I sprinkle the top with brown sugar.  ("Refined sugar?  You eat grains and refined sugar?!?! Do you want to end up with diabetes?  Don't know know that sugar destroys your immune system.  I seriously thought you were smarter than that!")  ("Have you considered honey?  Honey from local bees would be best.  And make sure it's raw.")  ("Oh yum, I love brown sugar!  I can eat it by the spoonful!")

And I sit down at the computer.  ("You eat at the computer?  Don't you know about mindful eating?")  ("You eat alone at the computer?  Don't you eat together as a family?  Families that eat together all the time have better relationships.")

And I enjoy eating my cereal.

I think about my friends for whom eating a bowl of wheat cereal would result in an immediate and unpleasant response in their bodies.  I think about how thankful I am that I have food to eat, raisins for my cereal and butter in the fridge.  I think about the people who would take my simple bowl of cereal, one meal on one day of my life, and turn it into something tragic, some horrific act against my health, a social cause and reason for political action, an excuse to get up on their soap box and bang on their pans (should those be aluminum free, cast iron, soap stone or stainless steel?)  And then there are those people who would barely give what I'm eating a second thought as they continued on with their own lives.

And I wonder.  Why is what I eat so important to you?  You probably don't even know me.  Why do you care so much about my bowl of hot cereal?  Does my way of eating threaten your way of eating?  Do you think that everyone on the planet should eat exactly like you do?   What button is my bowl of cereal pushing?  If you do know me well you might know that some days I do have green smoothies and some days I have a veggie omelet.  Some days I just eat fruit in the morning and some days I have a nice soothing bowl of creamy wheat farina.

May your pantry be full, your fridge over flowing and I hope you enjoy whatever you eat today.


  1. :) Isn't it funny how a simple act can come with so much chatter in our brains. Sometimes I wish I didn't read so much. I wish sometimes that I could eat my bowl of oatmeal with toast like I did when I was 8 w/o all the "information pros/cons" and just enjoy the experience in and of itself. Great post!

  2. Snicker! All I can say is I'm delighted that I'm not allergic or sensitive to anything which could be considered "food" even by someone whose taste is more catholic than my own, which, when it comes to "food", is pretty wide-ranging. And green smoothies taste like grass. Chloe told me so when she once sampled one of Ronnie's, so I saved myself the unpleasant experience of actually having to taste one.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm off to watch football on tv while enjoying a Hostess Tigertail with a Coke after my earlier brunch of bacon, eggs, and toast with butter and orange marmalade, washed down by a cup of hot malt Ovaltine made with whole (but not raw) cow's milk.

    De gustibus non disputandum!

  3. Excellent! Earlier I enjoyed not just fruit with cereal, but cereal that comes with the fruit already included ("with real strawberries") plus at least 5 different forms of sugar in the ingredients-list, honey being one of them.

    Maybe my organic milk canceled out some of the sins against Nature, my body, and local farmers?

    Haha. Maybe I didn't really care at that moment. I just enjoyed my damn cereal. :) Great blog, Jenna.

  4. Fabulous blog, Jenna....

    I have been, or tried, perhaps I should say (on advice from various naturopaths from the naturopathic college, as well as licensed Dr's and instructors) to live on a wheat-free, dairy-free, anti-inflammatory, nightshade-free, soy-free diet... when I'm already a vegetarian. What the heck CAN I eat ???

    Not only did it make life so complicated and frustrating, not to mention discouraging, for me... but also very frustrating and complicated for my family to try to accommodate my diet.

    I was told it would help me have more energy, and feel less achy and arthritic, and perhaps it would if I could do it consistantly. And if it was a life-threatening thing, then yes I would definitely have to work hard to give up those things. But, as it was, I didn't really notice a significant enough difference to make all that trouble (and extra cost!) worth it, for myself, and for my family. So, I quit trying. Perhaps I shouldn't have, because I feel tired and achy pretty much every day. But, it's my choice to live with it. At least for now.

    As one who my daughter calls "pedantic" because I have this compulsive "need" to read and learn and research and analyze "EVERY thing to death... " (with a frustrated roll of her eyes LOL ) I sometimes find myself obsessed with pretty much ALL of those various lines of chatter at random times, due to things I have heard and read. Argh! It drives me crazy. I hate the mind chatter. And, I hate when it comes out as judgemental advice to the rest of my not-so-health-conscious family.

    I am learning, as I have said to you at other times... to try to lighten up... not only on myself... but to them, as well. Hopefully I am succeeding. Sometimes I am a slow learner.

    But, for right now, I think I am going to go enjoy a bowl of hot cereal for myself! Steaming hot Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal... with butter.. .and lots of yummy brown sugar. Too bad I don't have some buttermilk to go with that! It's fabulous with with fresh buttermilk, but I haven't enjoyed a delicious bowl of Scottish Oatmeal in so long that I haven't been keeping it around.

    Thanks for such a great, amusing, light-hearted blog, about such a simple subject. It made my day much sweeter. =0)

  5. "May your pantry be full, your fridge over flowing and I hope you enjoy whatever you eat today."

    i've been guilty of being a member of the food police in the past. one thing i have discovered happening as i move farther from that place of fear and judgment is i enjoy my food and eating with others so.much.more - a true gift for all involved.

    the last few weeks i have craved and eaten many bowls of plain white rice heaped w/ butter and salt - and my inner food cop has been pretty quiet as my body has been so sated by this simple meal.

    next time ya have that bowl of steamy wheat cereal enjoy a spoonful or two for me ;)

  6. That totally rocked! Made me realize just how silly {and annoying} all of that usual chatter about food is. :)

    I will NEVER DO IT AGAIN. :)