Breakfast Woes

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?!?

Good grief!

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.


13 thoughts on “Breakfast Woes

  1. I laughed at this……tea is one of those things I drink because it’s there……just occasionally you get a really good cup, like every one in ten…..I got to wonder why I drink the other nine. But basically I’m a coffee drinker and that doesn’t let you down.

  2. I’m a big fan of tea and find them all to have different tastes, but that’s just me and I realize we all have different tastes (and taste buds). I rarely use tea bags (or, if I do, I make ’em myself) so I don’t know if using the whole products (leaves, flowers, whatever) makes a difference or not. I like watching the tea leaves unfurl in the hot water (which is why I usually steep it in a glass mug).

    Cereal is a good example of differing tastes. Everyone in my family likes Cheerios. I think they taste like cardboard. They disagree with me. (I can’t even stand the smell of Cheerios.) There aren’t many cold cereals I like, and the ones I do like are loaded with sugar (Honey Bunches of Oats, for one).

    Oatmeal, though, I like. Pinheads (usually called steel-cut oats) are great and they take 30-40 minutes to cook so I’m not forced to eat them as soon as I roll out of bed. (I have to roll out of bed. Jumping out is impossible when you sleep in a waterbed.)

    I can’t eat as soon as I get up either. My mouth is not awake and my body isn’t capable of the straight shot of moving food from the bowl/plate to the mouth. I’m not even sure where my mouth IS when I first wake up. I need an hour or two to figure out the grand scheme of things, including how my body works. Instead of eating I do crazy things like exercise. It’s so much easier to zone out during a walk or run when I’m half asleep. Jump starts the metabolism too. ;)

  3. I love tea – and Cheerios (Robin)!

    I eliminated HFCS from my diet about 4 months ago and boy was that an eye opener finding out how many things have it. Yogurt was the big disappointment for me. Thought I was doing a good thing having my Yoplait low fat every day – HAH. Now I have gotten used to the taste of Vons organic and I prefer it. that’s the key really – retraining your taste buds. They are so used to the really sweet HFCS flavor that you think anything else is too bland.

  4. Don’t listen to the experts. They’re idiots. ;) Eat healthy food, when you want it. I keep reading these things that say that eating early is a myth, and not eating late is a myth, and what’s important is that you eat healthy food, and not too much. That’s it. So if you want to wait a few hours to eat, go for it! (I can’t eat first thing either. Food is gross early on. I wake at 6, and eat at about 8:30. I exercise first thing.)

  5. When I looked at the title, it says:

    Breakfast Woes
    with 5 comments

    That sounds like a cereal to me!

    Anyway, RE: tea, I started drinking mine without sweetner! I’m hardcore!

    (I usually just drink coffee, though.)

  6. I’m diabetic. I am starving when I wake. Sometimes I wake up when BECAUSE I am starving. So I must have something for breakfast. I usually have oatmeal. I cook it on the stove, not the microwave and I stay away from the one in little packets because it is high in sugar and way too expensive! The quick oats take one minute on the stove. I add cinnamon (which naturally lowers blood sugar) before I add the oats.

    I love tea! I think maybe you need to experiment with how long you’re brewing it. Add sugar substitute to make it taste better if necessary. I like mint and lavender tea. I have my own mint plant and I have lavender that I got at a lavender farm at the end of summer. Both make a delicious tea, alone or together.

    Another good breakfast…granola with yogurt. Quick. Very yummy.

  7. The problem with the tea is that you’re being suckered in by marketing. The best tea is good plain strong black tea, like Assam, or plain green tea, or plain jasmine tea, or plain mint tea. All this high-falutin’ crap is just … beverage whoring. Yes, that’s what I said, and I meant it. The wholesome, stimulating wonder that is tea is being sleazily cheapened and turned into a pox-riddled slut by Corporate Greed.

  8. jo- No, I suppose it doesn’t. I’ve never developed a taste for coffee, probly cus my parents were so mad for it. I hope you had a wonderful trip! Welcome home.

    Robin- I bet it does make a difference. The idea of making tea from flowers sounds exotic.

    I think Cheerios are tolerable, but I’m with you.. there’s very little taste to them. Exercise probably would be a better day starter. Just a question of getting moving a bit quicker in the morning.

    tpgoddess- I know it’s astounding, isn’t it! HFCS is in everything! Even a lot of regular wheat/grain breads. I’ve seen Vons, maybe we’ll try it since you like it ok.

    J- what you say makes sense to me, although I seem to remember some studies done about skipping breakfast versus skipping dinner, and the evidence was pretty major.

    But eating healthy, moderately… that makes intuitive sense. Do you know, I think it gets hard as an adult to do that, cus a lot of people aren’t very in tune with their bodies. Routines, and externals so often dictate eating habits.

    jaynova- Took me a minute, but I hear it. You are hardcore. I think it’s actually possible to get addicted to the brackish water taste. Oddly enough.

    aefiel- I skipped you. Nutty.. heh. Is this news? You had that special tea you linked too, I’ll hafta look around for that.

    mad- So you *are* a bicycling baker, right? That sounds really just pretty darn awful, those two things together.

    Corina- i didn’t know you were diabetic. Though now that I type that, it’s kinda like DeJa Vu. Can’t imagine what it’s like to wake hungry- I wake thirsty. Every day.

    Lavender tea does *sound* delicious. But so many of them sound that way. How long should tea steep? The box always says 2-3 minutes.

    david- That was the most colorful description of tea I’ve ever heard. Pox-riddled slut, that’ll stick with me when I go in for some Celestial Seasons.


    O my.

  9. Experiment with the steeping time. I like it around 3 or 4 minutes but that’s me. If you’re not finding the flavor in the tea, try steeping an extra minute. Adjust from there.

    And I agree with David. Get the real stuff. I love Celestial Seasonings but after a while, all the flavors taste the same. So I’m sticking with my home grown mint tea and lavender tea and when I have neither, I take out my green or black tea.

  10. Pingback: Tell me « Bountiful Healing

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