January 20, 2011


My best friend Jill and I love to play the "desert island" game. Basically, you assume that you're stuck forever on an island, so what would be the three to five things you wish you had with you? (The quantity depends on how ambitious we're feeling that day, I guess.) These have to be the favorites to beat all favorites, because they'd be your one choice for the rest of your life.

I'm definitely a lady who knows what she likes, but still, we can get pretty intense with our discussions and justifications, which makes it all the more fun. My desert island movies are "A Fish Called Wanda," "The Royal Tenenbaums," and "A bout de souffle." My desert island books are "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "How to Cook a Wolf" by M. F. K. Fisher, and "Bee Season" by Myla Goldberg. And my desert island foods? My mom's eggplant parmagiana, banana ice cream, and cereal.

I know it seems completely ridiculous, but cereal is one of my favorite foods. Maybe because there are so many different kinds ... and oh, how I love them all. Back in the day, a box of cereal would be a great binge for me - it would satisfy my fullness need while also horribly cutting up my mouth from eating it too fast. It was a pain that distracted from the pain of my daily reality, and I loved it.

A quick visual: a serving of most cereals is usually 3/4 to 1 cup.

one cup
This is the bowl I would use for my cereal binges.

my old blue bowl
I don't even want to think about how many servings that is.

i can't believe i used to do that
Once I was sprawled out on the couch, clutching my stomach and nursing a post-binge stomachache, and I told my sister Katie that I could eat cereal for every meal of the day. She told me that even though it sounds amazing, it would eventually kill me.


Katie is an exceptionally bright young lady, and she definitely paid more attention in science classes than I did. She agreed that cereal is completely delicious, but the problem is that it doesn't have all the things you need to survive - even if you had some special cereals with more of one vitamin or extra protein or fiber, it wouldn't be enough. You could overeat constantly, be completely full of cereal, and still suffer from malnutrition. This baffled me at first, but it totally makes sense. Eating a variety of foods not only helps makes life diverse, but is necessary in order to have all of our nutritional needs met.

So unless I find myself on a desert island with inexplicable magical abilities, I don't think I'll be subsisting on only cereal any time soon.

What about you? What's your "desert island" food? Are you able to find a way to incorporate your favorites into your healthy lifestyle? And how do you manage food diversity?


Amy said...

My brother used to be the same way with cereal, we had special big cereal bowls for him and he would eat cereal at 2-3 times a day. It was ridiculous. My mom always bought us healthy food but she also bought Koolaid and sugar cereals. I didn't like cereal when I was kid and it was most likely due to the fact that my brother ate it in crazy quantities and that so wasn't for me (I LOVE it now).

He was one of those lucky kids with a metabolism he couldn't keep up with. He'd order a huge meal, not finish it, and 20 minutes later be starving again. Rail thin. He actually was measured for his body fat once and it was sooooo low that they said he had to make sure he was always eating because it was on the same level as a starving person. Yup that's who I grew up with. It finally started to catch up to him in his last year or so, but that's mainly from all the beer he drank.

For me if it was an actually desert island with no tropical stuff growing, I would bring a loaded salad that includes baby spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet onions, red peppers, avocados, feta, sunflower seeds, chickpeas and an oil and vinegar dressing... pickles and movie theatre popcorn. I would be a-okay with that for the rest of my life.

Life as a Caterpillar said...

Oo Oo Oo! *hand up* I like this post, it gave me lots of thoughts.
I never eat cereal- i just don't buy it. I figure breakfast is a great time for me and the kidlet to get a lot of nutrients in, so i make a different breakfast each day. Poached eggs with baked beans, fruit salad and juiced carrots, homemade fruit pancakes, porridge with caramelised fruit, bananas baked with nutella inside, scrambled eggs on toast and, at weekends, reduced fat croissants with half fat cheese, baked in the oven for 10mins...mmm toasty.

Breakfast is a proper, full on meal with us. I make coffee and tea and everything and we always sit down to eat it. Even though it's still dark outside!

I have no idea what would be my desert island food. I really LOVE food, so it's hard to say what is my favourite. I might say eggs though, since there's so much i can do with them, and simply boiling them and mashing them in a cup with salt and pepper is the tastiest thing ever. Yes, send me off with a chicken and a gas stove, pelase :)


Jessica said...

My binge food of choice is spaghetti. I love the stuff! Now that I use wheat pasta, it is not as bad, and I am fine when I use spaghetti squash, but if you give me regular white spaghetti noodles and meat sauce I can't stop. It is insane...I know I am overeating and I don't care! Needless to say, I seldom make regular spaghetti anymore.
I think my desert island foods would have to be apples, peanut butter, and popcorn. I think I could be okay with that :)

Anonymous said...

My desert island foods are homemade breakfast burritos on wheat tortillas with salsa, eggs and turkey sausage, pizza...any kind, and fajitas. Lucky for me, my desert island foods can all be made as healthy as I wish so I haven't had to remove these from my diet. There's something about pizza and burritos that I love and I think it's the idea that everything you need is on one slice or in one tortilla...dairy, veggie, meat..all in one place. It's a beautiful thing.

My favorite ceral of all time...there are 3...Cinnamon Toast Crunch (before they made it with less sugar), Fruity Pebbles, and Golden Grahams. YUM!

Tim said...

I'd have a traditional British Sunday Roast.

Lamb for the meat, carrots, sprouts, swede, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, plenty of mint sauce and lots of gravy.

TMLfans.ca said...

Cereal is awesome - especially the unhealthier ones :) As for the desert island, hmmm, I'd say fruit, omelets, and ribs. Cheers, Rick

Unknown said...

Oh, wow! I've never been a huge cereal eater, but I'm always surprised how much I DO love cereal when I am eating it. It's like I forget or something!! I'd want to bring pizza, but I'm guessing that would kill me too :) Pizza was always my problem food!

michelle said...

man. i love cereal, too, and find it sad that i can't just eat cheerios for life. milk definitely makes the cut for my desert island, but i'm not sure what else i'd take. my favorites are things i know aren't overwhelmingly healthy nor would i want them every day for the rest of my life. i do incorporate my faves in my healthy eating... i just may have gone a little overboard this week

SheZug said...

Oh yea cereal, definitely cereal with whole milk, non of that skim stuff. Tortillas are a must and finally ranch beans. Yum. I could live off those.

Joy said...

My new favorite meal is salad, turkey burger with a lettuce bun and baked sweet potato fries. So yummy!!! That's what I would take for sure.

Love cereal too much, right now I limit myself to oatmeal. Makes me pretty happy!!

Keep focused!

Shannon said...

Great post! I had the same problem with cereal, and my bowl was just as big as yours!! In the past, I would eat a whole box of Cocoa Puffs or Cocoa Pebbles in one day!! So, I just don't buy them anymore because if its in the house I will eat it. Now, for breakfast I eat a cup of Cheerios in a very small food - not as tasty, but much better for me!