a serial cereal eater

You know how they say you shouldn’t go grocery shopping while you’re hungry? I think the same can be said about blogging.

I had a little downtime at work this morning and while I originally planned on cranking out a “Courtney Confessions” post or writing about my expectations for my 27th year on earth, every time I started typing on my keyboard, the only thing that came out was an accolade to cereal.

That’s right, CEREAL.

I don’t know about you other runner guys and girls out there, but I am alarmingly ravenous during the tapering phase of half marathon training. I’m monster hungry even when I’m not training, but when I’m winding down to prepare my body for a big race, my appetite becomes virtually insatiable. I do nothing but daydream about proteins, fantasize about carbohydrates and think about what I’m going to cram into my pie hole next. My tummy echoes and gurgles all day long with the fury of a million different stomach acids, even if I just filled it with food.

If I get this bad tapering for just a half marathon, I’m willing to bet that runners training for full marathons are climbing the walls and ransacking grocery stores. My sister-in-law just completed her very first marathon last weekend (so proud of her!) and if she can make it to her race without shutting down a Golden Corral then dangit, so can I.

I did a little internet research (emphasis on “little”), but I couldn’t really find a straight answer as to why a runner’s appetite can increase so drastically while their weekly mileage decreases. (For those of you who don’t know, “tapering” is the period of time immediately following the peak of a training program where you drastically reduce the amount of miles or exercise. Most programs, regardless of the event, suggest that the taper should begin 2 weeks prior to the race or competition. Tapering gives your body a chance to rest and repair so you have fresh legs on race day.) I’m sure it has something to do with your body’s heightened metabolism and need to store fuel. 

So that brings me to my relentless obsession with wanting cereal 24/7.

I freakin’ love cereal. Breakfast, lunch or dinner—I can eat a bowl of cereal at any given moment during the day (and I love to eat it in my favorite cherry boob bowl!). Why? Because cereal always sounds amazing!

Last Friday I went to the Dollar Store after work to purchase a few cheapo decorations for our office’s upcoming Halloween party (and I’m still getting compliments on the skeletons I put up in the window, thank you) and while I was shopping I thought, “Why not pick up some candy, too?” I walked up and down the entire candy aisle twice, but nothing caught my eye or provoked me to toss it into my shopping basket. The Snickers, Milky Ways, and MnM’s all looked delicious, don’t get me wrong, but they just didn’t feel like the kind of treat I needed to satisfy my appetite.

Ah, hold on. I have to change my Pandora radio station like, immediately. I have it set to a 90s Hits station and while I totally appreciate the back-to-back Phil Collins every 10 minutes, I simply cannot have Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On” blaring through my speakers while I try to write. I just lost my train of thought because of that stupid tin whistle intro. I didn’t even notice what song it was at first, but then I stopped typing and was like, “Why do I suddenly want to slit my wrists?”

So anyway, back to the Dollar Store … 

After shooting down all of the candy vying for my love and affection, I wandered into the cereal aisle and spastically lunged at the display of Malt-of-Meal’s Frosted Mini Spooners (a true lover of cereal doesn’t discriminate against generic brands). Dropping my Halloween decorations to the floor, I tore the bag open before I even made it to the check-out counter. It was after 5 p.m., breakfast had ended hours ago, and I had no milk, but whatever. This was happening.

Then I sat in the parking lot and shoveled Mini Spooners into my mouth for a solid 5 minutes before deciding I could just as easily go home and eat my snack … and would probably look a heck of a lot less desperate.

The bag didn’t even last until the end of the night.

And you know what the best part of eating Mini Spooners or any other kind of Frosted Mini Wheat-type of cereal? When you’re down to your very last bowl and pouring out the remaining few pieces, a giant mound of sugary powder comes sliding out of the box. The milk in your bowl is filled with a glacier of glistening frosted crumbs. 

I wonder if anyone has ever tried to snort that?

So yes, as a confession of sorts, I crave cereal like a mad woman. And I love all kinds! Sugary, healthy, nutty, with dried fruit, granola-based, marshmallow-filled, with milk or without—cereal can do no wrong in this blogger’s eyes. It’s the perfect food. It’s easy, quick and comes in just about any imaginable texture your mouth may fancy.

My top 5 favorite cereals:
Frosted Mini Wheats
Lucky Charms
Honey Bunches of Oats Pecan Clusters (which can sometimes be hard to find)
Oreo O’ (discontinued, but forever in our hearts)

Wow. I just talked about cereal for far longer than what is probably socially acceptable to be talking about cereal.

What food have you been craving lately? And more importantly, what's your favorite cereal?


  1. First of all, I feel honored that you mentioned me. Second, I ate EVERYTHING in sight when I was tapering. Tapering is horrible for a full marathon compared to a half. I wanted to eat everything, yet, I was never satisfied. I tried to eat healthy items so that helped a little. However it was no Golden Corral, it was definitely our pantry that I destroyed. The reason why you are so hungry during tapering is because your body is trying to replace the energy used in your hardest workouts, AKA your long runs. I I have been craving cookies, actually, I always crave cookies. My favorite cereal is Life. So GOOD!

    1. Ah, thank you so much for telling me that! I can totally tell that the training program I used this time around burned up tons of energy because I seriously cannot stop eating. It's never been this bad. I was pretty hungry during my actual training, but it was NOTHING compared to the tapering phase. I'm terrified to think what is going to happen to me when I finally decide to train for a full marathon. Luckily I'm mostly stuffing my face with cucumbers (I always want sliced cucumbers with my lunch) and homemade oatmeal. I actually refused to buy any baking items this week because I don't trust myself around a batch of cookies!

      Why is Life cereal so good!? Seriously, it's such a boring cereal, but it's delicious!

  2. I, too, am a lover of cereal. My hubbykins, however, can and has eaten an entire box in a sitting. We have giant serving bowls that we got for wedding presents and I kid you not, he dumped a whole box of cereal in it, got a serving spoon and went to town. I came home and he's got this giant bowl in his lap and this giant spoon shoveling Captain Crunch into his mouth and all I could think was, "This is why I married you."

    My favorite cereal changes weekly. This week, I was all about honey bunches of oats (generic brand) but I'm digging on the idea of Corn Pops next week. We shall see.

    Even more than cereal, my favorite food of all time is edamame. That may sound ridiculous but I had it for the first time a couple years ago and I have not been able to go more than a couple of days without it. I fracking love it. It can't be too salty though. That ruins it.

    1. Ha! That's hilarious, Cat! I haven't been brave enough to eat an entire box in one sitting, but I sure have wanted to! I think the serving size for a bowl of cereal is a joke ... or it's designed for a child or very tiny person. I need at least triple the recommended size!

      Is it the generic Honey Bunches of Oats from Wal-Mart? I love that stuff. I ate nothing but that cereal for breakfast for like, 4 months.

      Right now I'm back on a mini wheats kick and we scored a great deal on some Special K last night.

      And I LOVE edamame! It's the perfect food! I order it every time I go to the Cheesecake Factory.

  3. Oh, cereal. How I miss thee.

    Cereal used to be my favorite thing in the world, until I found out it was one of the things that was making me sick. Daggone gluten.

    Back in the day, frosted mini wheats and Honey Bunches of Oats Pecan Clusters were tied for number 1 in my book.

    Le sigh.

    1. You can't eat cereal at all!? Do they non-gluten options available? That would be awful to learn that your favorite foods are making you sick. :(

    2. There are gluten-free versions, but they're just not the same. Some are downright terrible.

      I do use gf "rice krispies" to make some amazing browned butter & vanilla bean rice krispie treats. Good LORD are those things delicious!


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