Friday, January 4, 2008

My Year Of Resolve: Day Two

Tip Of The Day: A Mocha Vente Latte for breakfast is NOT going to trim your butt or budget. Instead, you have to actually EAT BREAKFAST AT HOME. Oh, the horror, the horror. However, you can buy a box of cereal and a container of skim milk, which will last you over two weeks, for the same cash that would net you just two coffee drinks. With the money you save, you can buy a pair of skinny jeans AND fit in them, for once.

Bonus Tip Of The Day, Which Means Two Entries Today, Because THAT’S HOW MUCH I Care About You, The Reader: Where-to-go shopping tips from readers and friends. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my obsessive need to spend less. Thank you for validating me.

Tip For Tomorrow: Cheap and interesting forms of exercise brought to you by me and my EVIL TRAINER WHO IS TRYING TO KILL ME. Or at least, whip my ass into some semblance of shape. Same thing.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Raise your hand if you missed breakfast. Yup, that’s everyone. However, endless amounts of research and researchers and dieticians and scientists and moms and lab rodents have proven that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So it behooves us to listen to what they keep yammering about and eat up.

Personally, I try to ignore scientists and their blathering about my health. It is bad enough they made me quit smoking. What’s next? I’m afraid they’ll discover that the combination of chocolate and America’s Next Top Model causes cancer in lab mice. But I digress.

So we need to eat breakfast. And to save our money and waistlines, we need to eat it at home. Eating breakfast at a restaurant or coffee shop will cost you big time in calories and cash. But what should we eat?

First, accept that breakfast can’t always be a fatty, bacony, sugary free-for-all. Second, also accept that to get the healthiest bang for your buck, you have to, HAVE TO, eat something with fiber in it. Like fiber-rich cereals. With the aforementioned skim milk.

If you don’t believe me about fiber, watch Dr. Oz the next time he’s on Oprah. GUARANTEED he will bring up fiber, and in conjunction with fiber, poop. Your poop. And the fact that Americans poop wrong and bad and not enough. Seriously, it’s a big fecal fest when that man is on Oprah. But I digress again.

If I’m going to eat a cereal for it's fiber content (as opposed to the prize inside or the marshmallows), I want to get the biggest bang for my buck. With that in mind, here are my two favorite fiber-rich cereals, available at any grocery store or Super Target. Yes, everything is available at Super Target.

1. Kashi GOLEAN, $2.99 a box, regular price. This stuff tastes pretty good, if a bit dry, so dump on the milk. It has 140 calories per cup, 10 grams of fiber (40% of your daily allowance), and 13 grams of protein (20%). Protein in cereal, along with fiber, helps you stay full longer. One bowl at 7:45 am will keep me full until 11 am. Then I need a snack. And Kashi makes snacks! Of course, so does Dove Chocolate. P.S. The Kashi GOLEAN Crunch is tastier, but has less fiber and protein. However, it’s better than that Capt’n Crunch I see you reaching for.

2. Kellogg’s ALL BRAN Bran Buds, prices range from $3.49 to $4.49, depending on the store. Okay, the name Bran Buds says it all. This stuff tastes like sweetened dry cardboard, so you’ll need much milk to get it down your throat. However, what it lacks in fatty-bacony-sugary goodness, it makes up for in fiber content. Just 1/3 cup has 13 grams of fiber, which is 51% of your daily allowance. That means, if you eat 2/3 cup (measure it out, that’s probably the amount you’d normally eat) you don’t have to eat any more fiber for the REST OF THE DAY. Bring on the chocolate, hold the veggies!

Try eating cereal at home for breakfast for four weeks. At the end, if you’ve saved no money and/or haven’t lost a pound, you have my permission to eat a pound of bacon in one sitting, like I did last week. What, like you've never done that.


Larue said...

Those of us who are Gluten-free can find many lovely rice cereals, as well as corn cereals, with equal amounts of fiber. Those who can tolerate oats can actually have a nice big bowl of oatmeal in the morning.

Personally? I hate breakfast. I don't like eggs, so there goes that idea. And the lack of flour in my diet eliminates french toasty goodness (also allergic to yeast folks).

Therefore, if anyone has any good ideas for breakfast for those of us who are GF, don't like eggs, and are supposed to be avoiding ALL grains to include corn and rice, lay it on me, sister.

It just can't involve baked beans. Those things are nasty.

And what the heck are you doing advocating skinny jeans? For shame.

The Cheap Chick said...

Hey, if you can wear'em, wear'em. I actually own a pair, and I think I look quite nice in them.

You could go the Asian route for breakfast - broth, salmon and seaweed. Check out "The Man Who Ate Everything" for details. No, really. I'm being serious.

The Material Girl said...

A couple of things...Although I am not by nature a breakfast person, I swear by Cub brand Nutty Nuggets (faux Grape Nuts) - not because of my budget, but because 1/2 cup contains 90% (yes, I said 90%) of my recommended iron for the day. As a vegetarian, I am always (mildly) concerned about my iron intake, so this is huge for me. I'll have 1/2 cup Nutty Nuggets and 1/2 cup milk (210 calories, 5g fiber, 6g protein and the aforementioned 90% iron) and a serving or two of fruit (dried berries, banana, craisins, whatever), along with a Diet Coke (I'm not a coffee drinker - get over it) and I'm good to go.

For Larue, I would say let's focus on what you do like. How about some fruit or vegetable and protein? Apple and peanut butter or cheese (go for natural peanut butter and low-fat cheese); spinach and turkey; sautee some peppers and throw in some leftover chicken breast; whatever works. We don't always have to do the traditional breakfast fare and fruits and veggies are loaded with fiber, so you can take that route instead of grains. Add in some yogurt or milk (soy for those who can't do lactose) and you're doing even better.

Note to Larue: call or email me if you need some more ideas (don't worry - I am a professional).