Breakfast of Champions

breakfast, championI used to fix myself a bowl of cereal every morning.

I hate cereal.

I hated it as a child; I hated it when I fixed it for years as an adult; and I hate it now, whether Cheerios or Shredded Wheat or Raisin Bran.

My mom is the reason I hate cereal (she’s smiling and protesting at the same time as she reads this, I bet.) But really, that’s what our “big fights” were about when I was a teenager.

“Pammy, you can’t go to school without breakfast.”

“I hate Wheaties,” I’d moan.

“Wheaties are good for you. Look at your brother – he’s on his third bowl.”

“Well, he’s a champion. I’m not,” I’d retort. Sarcastic for a 15-year-old, but my brother was a successful swimmer – trophies all over the house – so a bit of sisterly bile sprang out sometimes.

Maybe he’s the reason I hate cereal!

No matter, at 16 I discovered chocolate Instant Breakfast.  I’d drink it at 7:30 am in front of my mom’s scowling face. She’d explain to my dad: “At least she’s not going to school on an empty stomach.”

And then, fast forward to years later.cereal, breakfast

I found myself making my children eat cereal before school. The difference was that they LIKED it. I still didn’t, but I felt like I had to be a good role model, so I’d scarf down a small bowl while my son and daughter cheerfully compared cheerio holes every gosh darn morning.

Until suddenly, a year ago, I stopped pouring milk into my shredded wheat bowl mid-stream and said out loud: “why the hell are you doing this?!” I threw out the cereal and milk and the next day bought a fresh loaf of wheat bread.

Now my routine is a slice of toast with a dollop of peanut butter and strawberry jam on top.

I’m sure there’s a bigger message in here somewhere, like:

  • we adults get so stuck in our routines, we need to stop and think about what we really want. Or,
  •  life is short, give up what is unnecessary. Or,
  • live life to the fullest – enjoy every minute, and every morsel.

But really, all I’m saying is that I’m so much happier with my mornings.

What gets YOU going first thing? A bowl of Fruit Loops? A piece of chocolate pie? I dare you to divulge your breakfast secrets here.

toast, breakfast, free will

29 thoughts on “Breakfast of Champions

  1. Ooooh, I forgot about Instant Breakfast. I used to love that stuff. I’m totally going to buy some this weekend.

    As of right now, I don’t eat breakfast. Instead, I have a cup of coffee while driving to work. It’s bad, I know.


  2. I loved your mom’s response; we grew up on Cream of Wheat, ugh, and Oatmeal, and fried hotcakes fried in lard, in black fry pan, put butter on top, and feel like you ate a bowling ball if you ate too many. Nowadays; i get on the computer, and eat breakfast late, oftentimes a tidy scoop of omega 3 peanut butter, but eewww, couldn’t but jam on top; has to be separate, must be the virgo in me! liked your piece


    • I must admit, I do love cream of wheat – but it takes too long to make, and it only tastes good with lots of butter melting on top, so I never have it. But no, if you HAD to have it growing up, of course you wouldn’t like it! And maybe you can’t mix your butter with your creamed wheat anyway. :+)


  3. My daughter is just like you. Just yesterday she looked at me after I told her to get some breakfast and told me, with her hands on my shoulders and looking down on me (she’s taller than me, sigh): “Oh Momma, breakfast just depresses me so much.”

    But she and her little brother (who LOVES breakfast) wolfed down the grasshopper pie I served them one morning this past spring. ; )

    As for me, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, be it cereal, cheese grits, oatmeal or cream of wheat.


  4. What to choose; bacon and eggs, porridge, Cream of Wheat, buttermilk pancakes, home-made waffles… I love all those but I’ll have to go with French toast made with cinnamon-raisin bread. Yummy!


  5. I am extremely glad that you discovered, as an adult, what you like to eat for breakfast. I am also extremely guilty of acting just like my parents toward my children, at times. I often eat a bowl of grain with fruit. But sometimes go wild & crazy, like the last two mornings, and stuff a tortilla with raspberries, strawberries, vegan cream cheese and mushed banana. To die for, dear roughwighting! Thanks for asking.


    • Oh my GOSH. That’s the best-sounding torilla filling I’ve ever heard.The only thing that would make it even better is a spoonful of vanilla ice cream on top. (Ha, just kidding…kind of.)


  6. Hi Pam, your mother succeeded, a least for a long time, where mine failed. My mother never did convince me to eat breakfast. Nowadays I at least make an effort – I have a drawerful of granola bars in my office – but most of the time I’m too busy/distracted to even open the drawer. But you know what? I suspect that your post was actually about more than breakfast! I think it may also have been about clinging to routines, just because they’re familiar, long after they have ceased to serve any purpose! And who among us doesn’t do THAT? Thanks for your post!


    • It’s funny how just a little ‘routine’ thing like breakfast can make us sit back (suddenly, finally) and say, “what am I doing??” Yes, I hope to pay more attention to each of those little things, and see if I do them because I want to, or just because….

      Thanks for stopping by and reading, and commenting!


  7. Ooooh! I do enjoy the new Cream of Wheat with fiber and protein…. a little cream and my Splenda…… BUT, breakfast out, eggs & bacon, once in while does get me going faster in the morning!! As always, I really enjoy your writing….it makes me think!
    p.s. I, too, used Instant Breakfast when in h.s.!!


  8. When working, it’s usually oatmeal with banana, if I have one, maybe a little strawberry jam. Weekends we go all-out with bacon & eggs, or pancakes or French Toast, or omelets. On a day off, if I’m the only one around, I’ll just have coffee, maybe a granola bar & juice. I won’t eat a full meal until 12 or 1 p.m. I do agree, Kathy’s tortilla does sound scrumptious, though. 🙂


    • I just love love love French Toast, and I haven’t eaten any in years. I even used to make a mean French Toast back in the day. What am I waiting for? Just ran out and bought some eggs and fresh bread. :+0


  9. I agree that everyone should live life to its fullest. And good for your for doing so!

    But, do forgive me. I need a moment to wrap my brain around the idea that someone doesn’t like cereal.

    No cereal at all?

    None of it?

    There are thousands of different kinds.

    Maybe if you…



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