I’ve probably had more bowls of cereal in my life than any other meal. (If you consider it a meal, even.) But this isn’t because my mom didn’t love me enough to get me toaster strudel when I was a kid. Actually, I think I really tipped the scale around that poverty-stricken period during and immediately following my college years. This was approximately when I decided just eating cereal was an acceptable meal for a mostly full grown human being to have at any time of the day. Plus, it was cheap! If you’re not too picky about brands the knock-off stuff in the bag really is just as good and about a third of the price.
The real problem with the bowl of cereal as a meal isn’t the price though. The problem is that it’s not actually filling at all if you’re over the age of 8 years old. This means I usually end up eating 3 bowls of Fruity-O’s or Choco Pellets in a single sitting, and then I just gross myself out, because look at how much cereal and milk you just ate!
Now, I know this is going to make me sound like one of those terrible California healthnuts, but if you haven’t tried swapping out your normal breakfast ritual for a big bowl of greek yogurt and granola, you don’t know what you’re missing. Co-op grocery stores like Berkeley Bowl or Rainbow here in SF sell a range of flavored granolas that rival your typical bodega cereal aisle and they sell it in bulk so you can stock up easily. Get that greek yogurt we were talking about as a peanut butter substitute and have at it. If you’ve got some berries or fruit on hand, or even just some preserves (we’ve been over that too), you can mix it all up in the leftover container from last week’s Thai takeout and now you’ve got a smart-looking and portable parfait that would normally run you $4 at Starbucks. (PRO-TIP: Put the yogurt and fruit in one container, and the granola in another until you’re ready to eat. Because no one likes soggy granola.)
And the best part? If you’ve still got some of those Fruity Pebbles to use up, put some yogurt in the freezer for a couple hours and wait until it’s mostly frozen. Then sprinkle on the sugar cereal along with some real fruit, write “Pinkberry” on the side of the cup, and call yourself Lauren Conrad, because that’s like 2008 hotness right there. It’s practically vintage at this point.