Friday, February 3, 2012

"Part of Your Balanced Breakfast!"

I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons as a child (back when they really were cartoons, with  anvils being dropped on many characters, booby traps exploding in their faces, and steamrollers making the "bad guys" as flat as a my laptop screen). Now THAT was good Saturday morning TV!  Sitting in the living room eating apple wedges and Skippy peanut butter, I would also watch all the commercials in the old black and white TV. It seems like kid's cereals paid for everything on Saturday morning. Lucky Charms ("They're magically delicious!").  Cocoa Puffs ("I'm cuckoo for cocoa!"). Trix ("Silly Rabbit. Trix are for kids!") And they all came with a special toy inside! I know that I pestered my mom to buy me cereal solely for that little diving submarine that came inside.

I also remember a line in every commercial: "Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs! Part of your balanced breakfast!" And they would show a bowl of their cereal with milk and a strawberry, a piece of white bread toast and a glass of orange juice.  (Translated to nutritional values, that was carbs in a bowl with milk, carbs on a plate, and carbs in a glass.)

Things have changed since then. Saturday morning TV has few animated cartoons (Bugs Bunny and Road Runner, et al. are long since retired in favor of Japanese-style anime.) And I no longer buy cereal based on secret toy surprises. Now I buy it based on nutritional labels. But what do I look for? I like a cereal with fiber, low sodium, and some protein. Up until this week, my cereal of choice has been Kellogg's All Bran Original. It meets all my requirements.

Last weekend I was shopping at Aldi (my preferred grocery store) and found a new option. It's their store brand ("Millville") and the cereal is called Fiber Now. I bought a box. It is great. I will show you the numbers and let you compare them for yourself.

The Aldi cereal has 50% more fiber and 25% fewer calories. However, it is not perfect. It does contain 25% more sodium, 50% less protein, and 40% less potassium. But personally, I am not worried about getting enough protein, because I have a protein smoothie almost every day, and I get about 1000mg of potassium in my coffee (I add 1 tablespoon of black strap molasses to my 20 ounce coffee mug every day.)  I am always concerned about fiber and calories, so Aldi's choice hit my target.

One other comparison. Kellogg's All Bran costs $3.50-4.00, while Aldi's Fiber Now costs $1.89.  (Financial budgets are as important as calorie budgets.)

So, what does MY balanced breakfast look like? Today's was this:

That is 1 cup of Fiber Now, topped with 1/4 cup fresh blueberries. I added 4 ounces milk (2% milk fat). Then I fried two large eggs and warmed up two slices of pork (leftover from a meal last weekend, saved for this purpose.) The pork totaled 3 ounces. The eggs were seasoned with Penzey's Arizona Dreaming (salt-free) and topped with a total of 1/4 of mashed avocado.

The nutritional numbers for the entire breakfast:

Calories:            523           20% of the day's calories
Fat    25.2g  35.4%
Saturated Fat    6.8g
Cholesterol   474mg
Carbohydrates  64.3g  40.1%
Fiber  34.3g
Protein  39.1g  24.4%

This breakfast is a VERY balance meal, and net carbs of only 30g!  Cholesterol is higher than what is generally suggested to consume, but I have never had a problem with serum cholesterol so I don't really consider that to be a number of concern (however, if you have cholesterol issues, then maybe only use one egg, or two egg whites only.)

(Full disclosure: I have no financial interest in Aldi, Penzey's or any other company or product I mention. If I talk about it, it is only because I am a very satisfied consumer. That being said, if anyone who reads my blog is the CEO of any of these companies and wants to talk with me further, I am always open to negotiations!)


  1. That is really cool- thank you!

  2. Thanks for your comment! I always appreciate feedback!