Cheerio Cheerios

IDShot_225x225Remaining in the ethos of this blog I have been aware of treading carefully through any changes to the way we eat- bearing in mind the knock-on effect to our finances. When committing to a sugar free food plan I was a little nervous that it may end up to be totally unaffordable. Fresh salads and veg can be really pricey at the moment- but pricey or not, I do believe that our health can’t afford to do without them. The TV licence would go before I had to sacrifice a brocoli.

However, it far easier to shop than I imagined possible. Hardly anything is processed, hardly anything comes in packets and where supermarket shopping can be a little overwhelming this list has made life so much easier. There is an aisle full of breakfast cereals. 30 metres dedicated to grains that have been pushed and pulled through countless machines to be made into different shapes, flavours, sizes and textures. They have been added to, preserved with nasties with all kinds of names we have never heard and the labels are all so coded that we have no idea what chemicals we are eating. If we head for the granola we are picking up a pack of more sugar than we thought possible and even the really posh ones in the very small and elegant boxes (that cost a fortune but look very healthy) are typically more than 10% sugar.

A 600g box of Cheerios costs £3.19. This box would provide 20 lots of (ahem) 30g servings. I say “ahem” because even my children laugh at a 30g serving. My guess is that the amount of salt and sugar contained in these little 0’s mean they can’t reccomend anymore than that. So for my family of 4 a box of this size should last us 5 days (its probably more like 2/3).

A 750g pack of Organic oats form Tesco, on the other hand, costs £1.59. It ‘allows’ 50g servings so a pack should contain 15 servings…but 50g of oats will fill me up a lot longer than 50g of cheerios would. Cooked up with half full fat milk and half water for a cheaper but still rich texture and even if you do need to add a sprinkle of sugar (which I don’t need anymore) I would still be eating less sugar than in a typical bowl of cereal. At half the price, even for organic, it is a saving option. If I don’t need to save I can bulk buy other ingredients to make up granola or just add in a couple of scoops of nuts and seeds to get my good healthy fix. (I’m currently loving making up batches of the granola from the first I Quit Sugar book…adding in the oats and some cocoa nibs which taste amazing in it.) I’m starting to understand that investing in good food choices is actually financially beneficial. We are snacking far less than ever. We’re throwing less away. We’re also looking after our bodies. The B vitamins in porridge oats are great for looking after our nervous system and these magical little oats are even thought to go about cleaning our arteries, helping to fight against them getting blocked.

Of course, breakfast can be so many other things other than grains and milk- I am still working on getting my head round that – but the cereal aisle is a far less overwhelming place. So far the only other cereals that pass the sugar-free test are Wheetabix and Shredded Wheat. That big aray of cartoony boxes now takes me apox 30 seconds. Hurray.

Unfortunately its bad news for cereal box requests for school craft. Sorry about that teacher.

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