Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Addicted to My Granola

We all have our favorite foods. Some of us not only love particular foods, but we like to have them every day, at the same time of day. My friend, David, enjoys a bowl of oatmeal mid-morning, after his tennis game. My cousin, Claire, loves her nightly bowl of ice cream. And for my friend, Steve, an evening isn't complete without his after-dinner snack—a big bowl of Cheerios. My favorite food is Stark Sisters Maple Almond Granola, eaten for breakfast every day.

Aside from the fact that all our favorite foods involve carbs, I share with David, Claire, and Steve the satisfaction of repeating a pleasurable daily ritual. Long before I found Stark Sisters, I looked forward to a particular food each day. As a child, I needed my orange juice in the morning. As a young adult, a bagel with a little muenster cheese on top was the essential way to start the day. I went through a ritual lunch stage at about the same time—yogurt and a piece of fruit daily. For a few years in my twenties, the only meal that varied was dinner.

Not that I don't like trying different foods. I have wide and varied tastes. I'll try any ethnic cuisine and usually find a lot to like. But it's comforting to anticipate eating a particular food at a particular time each day, knowing for certain it will be something I'll enjoy. Before Stark Sisters, my longest run was Haagen Dazs ice cream. I did allow some flexibility in flavors, choosing nightly among coffee, chocolate, or chocolate chocolate chip, but an evening rarely passed without my indulging in a dish of creamy, rich Haagen Dazs.

My Stark Sisters phase began innocently enough and overlapped with the Haagen Dazs era. I often ate cereal for breakfast and was always searching for a good granola. Many granolas include cinnamon, which I don't like in cereal, but I do love maple flavor and oats. I came across Stark Sisters Maple Almond Granola in a bin at Whole Foods. With my first bite, I knew I had found THE ONE. It became my breakfast staple. Since it's rather sweet, I usually combined it with shredded wheat. And I topped it with fresh blueberries whenever possible.

Then came the crisis—when we began spending half the year in Florida, Stark Sisters Granola was nowhere to be found, not even at the local Whole Foods. I tried other granolas, cooked oatmeal, switched to eggs and toast. Nothing satisfied like Maple Almond Granola. Then I had an inspiration—the Internet. I googled Stark Sisters. Sure enough, they had a website. And they sold their granolas online! I ordered enough to feed an army. I even sampled their other flavors, which were good, but not quite as good. I stayed with my Maple Almond.

For several years, I started my days with sweet, delicious Stark Sisters granola and ended them with sweet, delicious Haagen Dazs ice cream. I finally decided that too great a percentage of the calories I consumed daily were sugar. Not healthy. Add to that the saturated fat content in Haagen Dazs, the richest of rich ice creams, and the ice cream had to go. I found it easier than I expected to let go of my ice cream habit. Instead, I often eat fruit in the evening, but I'm trying not to be too rigid about it—if melon's not in season, an apple is fine. And I still can look forward to my Maple Almond Granola in the morning.

So, yes, I'm an addict, but I can think of worse things to be addicted to than organic rolled oats, pure maple syrup, oganic rye, sliced almonds, organic barley, expeller pressed canola oil, natural maple flavor, and vanilla.

1 comment:

  1. My cereal tasted better after reading this this morning (Organic Oat Bran Flakes) :-)