The Birth Of A Carb Addict – Beating the Dirty Cereal Bowl Blues

The Birth Of A Carb Addict
Photo by Nyana Stoica on Unsplash

Those Low Down, Dirty Cereal Bowl Blues

Introducing Sonya Tilley

I’ve been enthralled with cereal since I was three. I watched a commercial on television where they were introducing cereal in snack packs. Back then, a snack pack was a box of cereal with individually cellophane wrapped portions of cereal. The announcer, a Donna-Reed-looking lady, opened the little cello-pouch, poured out the cereal, and wadded the cellophane up in a ball and it disappeared! I was awestruck and I begged my mother to buy this new snack pack.

She did.

The Birth Of A Carb Addict

Cereal In Snack Packs

The next morning, I got up before everyone else to survey my kingdom and found the magic snack pack in the kitchen cupboard. This wasn’t difficult to do at three years of age because the kitchens were built with children in mind. They had a set of three drawers that could be pulled out to varying degrees to form stair steps. Using these, I could get up on what is now called the counter. I viewed it as raised flooring for the vertically challenged. It was then a simple matter to walk along and inspect the contents of the cupboards.

I took out the snack pack and got a bowl. Removing the first little pouch, I opened it and poured the contents into the bowl, rolled up the cellophane and opened my hands. It plopped, unceremoniously, to the counter. I picked it up and tried again, this time wadding it up really, really small. Again, it fell to the counter. Hmmmm… That one must be broken. The second and third, in fact, all twelve were broken. When my mother arose, judging from the ferocity with which the downstairs neighbor banged on the ceiling with her broom handle, I think it would be fair to say that my mother expressed her feelings about what I had done with a bit too much pique.

And then, the punishment came. It seemed logical to my mother to make me sit down and eat all of the cereal I had opened. So, there I was, a pudgy three-year-old, sitting at her kid-sized table and chair with a three-quart mixing bowl full of milk and cereal in front of her. I didn’t view this as a punishment. I would have been perfectly content to sit there for several hours munching on the cereal. I’m one of those uncommon people who like the cereal when it gets soggy, too. My mother, in a rare fit of rationality, decided to revoke all former punishments in this instance when she saw that eating all that cereal wasn’t making me sick or unhappy, and spanked me and sent me to my room.

And thus, it started – I had a carb addiction

As I got older, my typical breakfast was two or three bowls of whatever dry cereal was on sale that week at the local grocer. You know the drill: you pour out a bowl of Os or flakes or crispies and pour milk in until the cereal, which is floating, starts to spill over the top of the bowl. Then, you eat. The cereal is gone before the milk is, so you pour in more cereal so you do not waste the milk. Before you finish the cereal, the milk is gone, so you have to add more to keep from wasting the cereal. Back and forth, forth and back until it comes out even. Some days I could keep this going for an hour or more. When I got home from school, I’d have a bowl of cereal to tide me over until supper time. Then another bowl before I went to bed. Thank the Lord I never developed a taste for the sugar-coated cereals!

This habit continued for my whole life until I discovered low carbohydrate eating. For the whole first week of induction on the Atkins plan, I kept thinking, “If someone would make a low carbohydrate cereal for me, I would make him rich beyond his wildest dreams of avarice.” Breaking the milk and cereal habit is the hardest of the carbohydrate addictions I have had to deal with until recently.

I was sitting at my desk at work, trying to choke down my tuna fish… Why oh why is the solid white albacore, expensive-type tuna so stinking dry even with a ton of mayo? I had brought Bran-a-crisp crackers to spread it on. Well, folks, I have dentures, upper and lower, and biting into one of these crackers pops them both loose. So, I broke the crackers up into little bite-size pieces and dropped them into the bowl. They came to rest on top of the super-white tuna/mayo combination and sat there looking like… like a bowl of cereal. Cereal? Hmmm… I wonder…

Beating the Carb Addiction with Scandinavian Bran Crispbread

Scandinavian Bran Crispbread

The next morning, I took one of the Bran-a-crisp crackers and broke it into cereal-sized pieces, put it into a bowl with 2 ounces of cream and doused it with Splenda. I played around with it till it started to absorb the milk and then ate. Wow! I’ve got my cereal back! (I quickly said a little prayer of thanks to the low carbohydrate gods.) Now, I fill up on the omelet and bacon and top it off with my tiny, but supremely satisfying little bowl of cereal.

A healthier solution to carb addiction.

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