Thursday, 24 May 2012

Cereal, Bowl, Spoon

Be-be-be-beep, be-be-be-beep, be-be-be-beep... “Shut up! Shut up! It can't be time to get up!” I grumble and roll over to silence it. Where am I? What day is it? Groan. I'm in my own bed and it's a Monday. I yawn and stretch. 'Get up, get washed and dressed', an inner voice says, 'then you can have breakfast.' I stumble out of bed, wash, dress and groggy with sleep wander into the kitchen. “Cereal, bowl, spoon. Cereal, bowl, spoon.” I repeat this morning's memory test over and over...My brain nudged into life as I open cupboards and drawers for equipment. I mentally match the list in my head with the items before me; bowl tick, spoon tick... I'm missing the most essential ingredient: cereal. I pull open a door to reveal my stash; a space filled with dried fruit, nuts and cereals. An eye-level sight that excites and disturbs me, my mind veering between empty bowl, food, empty bowl, food. The average morning breakfast debate has ensued.

Everyone has a vice they say, mine happens three times a day if I'm good, and starts with breakfast. The most important and my favourite meal of the day. A confirmed cereal muncher, I can quite happily eat it dry on its own, or with milk or yoghurt. An early introduction to Kellogg's was all it took to acquire this habit. As an addict, I should have been called 'Three-bowl Heather', one bowl was never enough to sustain me. I blame the variety pack, the milk turning chocolatey and competing with cousins for the toy cleverly concealed within. Cereal is moreish and a perfect any-time-of-day snack and as a child I exploited that.

This period of my life is long over, but it takes She-Ra strength to maintain it. I consume one standard sized bowl, not three, and breakfast leisurely. This is my time and nobody else's, my alarm clock set to allow me to enjoy it; me, a bowl and a book or paper. If I left the flat and went without it I'd become one of the seven dwarfs. I've seen this same effect on others who skip and during the morning commute I mentally compartmentalise them: Dopey, Sleepy or Grumpy. Which one are you? Is failing to break the fast worth it?

Breakfast is the theme of this year's National Vegetarian Week, so why not wake up to different breakfasts? Rise to the challenge: make breakfasts taste 'grrreat' and healthier!