Based on my own personal experience and also from talking to friends, boxed cereals from the store can be one of the most difficult "junk foods" for people to give up when they want to start eating more of a whole foods diet. Perhaps it's all of their slick marketing and false health claims. Perhaps it's the sheer convenience. Perhaps it's the good memories of fishing all the marshmallows out of your Lucky Charms as a young child. It's easy to see why Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, and Fruit Loops are bad for your health, but I have also learned that even the so-called "heart healthy" brands like Cheerios are highly processed foods that are no good for your health, either (or your pocket book, might I add).
It's a lot easier to give up sugary, expensive boxed cereal when you are trading for eggs, bacon, and sourdough toast with lots of butter. However, most mornings, my hubby and I are in a rush and need something we can easily grab and go. Hard boiled eggs are wonderful but get old after a while. Smoothies are great but do take about 10 minutes or so to throw together. My latest obsession for breakfast has been what I call "yogurt bowls."
How to make a yogurt bowl:
There's really no recipe here, but this is what we do.
Pour about 1/2 to 1 cup of yogurt (see my post with my thoughts and recommendations on yogurt) in the bottom of a pint mason jar (great for on-the-go) or a bowl. Add on top your choice of:
- Nuts (it's usually truly raw almonds around here, which would ideally be made into crispy nuts).
- Fruit (sliced bananas, sliced apples, frozen berries, sliced grapes, peaches, etc. - whatever is seasonal and available to you - I wouldn't do more than 3 different types of fruit, though, or it might get overwhelming).
- Granola (optional - the nuts can fill in just fine if you don't have any on hand, but be sure to check out my recipe for easy, delicious soaked homemade granola)
- Healthy sweetener of choice if desired (around here, it's usually raw honey, but you could also use sucanut or real maple syrup).
You can be as creative or simple with these as you like. These yogurt bowls will make you never want to eat a Yoplait or Dannon with way too much sugar (or aspartame or high fructose corn syrup, as the case may be) and mushy fruit in the bottom again!