The experts will tell you, you need to ‘jump-start’ your metabolism each day with a wholesome, healthy breakfast. They’re all about breakfast, those experts. They’re like nine-grain cheerleaders.
“Get up! Wooot! Is it 5a.m.? Ok, it’s 5a.m. Great, great, let’s eat! Your mouth tastes like sawdust? Ok! Go brush! Brush up! Let’s eat! No, don’t pee first, we gotta jump start! Jump start the metabolism! Get going, you’ve been awake 4 minutes already! Food, food, food! Woot!”
I don’t really like food very much until I’ve been awake a good couple of hours. It doesn’t seem civilized. I don’t think tastebuds are in proper functioning order till the brain’s been awake at least a little while.
But the experts, y’know, they’re all in agreement.
So I have my fall back choices. Oatmeal! Oatmeal is comforting if not delicious, and those experts say oatmeal is manna from God. Whole grains, baby. Lowers cholesterol, steady release of sugar into the bloodstream over a period of hours. We sing your praises for this dense bowl of porridge.
But oatmeal takes two minutes in the microwave, and sometimes I forget or lose interest. Y’know what’s really unappetizing? Oatmeal that’s been neglected for an hour and a half.
My other fall-back is ‘Smart Start’. I believed in Smart Start. I believed in all the snappy, athletic pictures on the front, and the little catch-phrases ‘Anti-oxidant power!’ ‘Heart healthy!’ ‘Whole grains!’.
I had such blind belief in my Smart Start that I did not even entertain the notion it might have high fructose corn syrup in it. When Rachel suggested this to me, I said “Bosh! Bosh, I tell you!” (I didn’t really say that though, cus I was munching, and also I would have sounded like a loony-bin.)
But a seed of doubt had crept into my brain.
I took up the box (later, you know, when no one was looking) and checked the ingredients with the hopeful uncertainty of someone who really needs to not have to think about breakfast.
Real, wholesome, plantation sugar; the kind they sell children into slavery to produce on the Ivory Coast. Well, that’s a load off my mind. Wait, even better, honey! Honey was listed a few ingredients down (not in the prominent #3 spot, like sugar.) Wow, honey- the wholesome, regurgitated glue of fuzzy bugs. There was no killing my belief in Smart Start now… and.. oh, hey, it also has molasses! Gosh, it’s just, like, chock full of wholesome sweetener this stuff. Honey again? Er. Right. Cus there’s both flakes and clusters, and- high fructose corn syrup?!?
No wonder I like it, this shit is practically junk food!
I sit. I sit at the table, combatting a gloomy fit. Wtf?!? I could have had candy for breakfast, why soil a bowl? It’s just amazing it’s got that much crap in it, cus, you know- while the cluster bits are rather tasty, the flakes themselves? Not so much. It apparently takes this much sweetener just to make them taste neutral.
I turn sadly to my tea. I’ve become, since October, a full-fledged tea person, and that kinda makes it seem like I like the stuff.
I do. But not because it tastes good. On the contrary- I think it’s fascinating how much it doesn’t. I bought all these caffeine free herbal samplers in 85 million different flavors, right? And it’s crazy, the tea industry has figured out how to make it sound and smell absolutely delicious; they can create any scent under the sun, from ‘Guava Passion’ to ‘Purple Crayon’. And then you drink it…
Let’s not forget the text. I’m a big sucker for text. Rose hips… hibiscus… roasted chicory.. cranberry and apples. Then you hold up the tea-bag and it looks exactly like every other tea-bag- a little pouch of pencil shavings. You’ve spent money on an exotic idea, and ended up with another 12 pouches of what looks like dead weeds.
Amazing. The idea of tea is a great one. The aroma, it moves me. But the taste?
Let’s be honest: Tea basically tastes like brackish water. And good quality tea just tastes more so.
How do they do that? How do they make a little pouch that smells like an acre of peaches, and tastes like diluted urine? It’s amazing. I’ve drunk cups and cups of the stuff. I’ve had it with honey and lemon. I’m here to tell you, fresh hot water with honey and lemon tastes far, far better than a cup of tea.
Still, I drink it. Today I drank ‘Cranberry Apple Zinger’. It smells like Christmas. It smells like a big pot of mulled spider and spices. The ingredients gave me an orgasm. I was so excited.
You breathe it in and expect apples in your senses. Then you taste it. And it’s mud puddle. Hm.
Sweeten it. Like the Smart Start, a big scoop of sweetener and you end up with something neutral. Sorta kinda sweet, but not really, like? You know? It was a terribly unsatisfying experience, this tea. Every sniff got me ready for something that just wasn’t there.
So I had a brain storm and poured some apple juice in it. Threw in some cinnamon.
And now… it’s kinda like… super diluted apple cider.
God, ya gotta love tea.