Attune, Uncle Sam, and Erewhon

by Andie Mitchell on January 18, 2012

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There’s a reason I wake up every morning.

One very simple reason my eyes even consider fluttering open come 7 in the a.m.

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And that reason is

breakfast.

Eating, naturally, just sets my whole day on fire.

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It’s the tradition of it, the routine of eating my favorite foods while lingering at my computer with several [dozen] mugs of hot coffee.

Most mornings, I’m behind a bowl of oats or Greek yogurt. But this past week, I traveled back 20 years to my girlhood and ate nothing but cereal. Cereal cereal cereal.

My dear friend Annelies, a gal whose writing and spirit I’d like to bottle and wear, sent me no less than seven different kinds of morning crunch.

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Now, Annelies knows I’m a whole food-, whole grain-loving lady. She also knows I’m interested in anything that comes to my mailbox in excess (hence the seven boxes). And as a part of the Attune Foods team, she was generous enough to share with me products from Attune, Uncle Sam, New Morning, and Erewhon (gluten-free).

I opened the box of cereal, graham crackers, and chocolate bars, braced myself, braced my pug DeeDee, and then read Annelies’ very stern, very instructive note:

“Andie,

Enjoy.”

I accomplished that much.

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What I love about the Uncle Sam and Erewhon cereals is this: they’re a world more natural than the kinds I find when I’m lusting in the breakfast aisle at the market. All whole grain and with very little sugar, I really found myself wishing I’d known about these guys sooner.

For years, during and after I lost weight, I ate cereal religiously. I searched high and low for boxes that boasted better ingredients than the kinds I grew up with: Lucky Charms and Apple Jacks. I thought seriously about creating my own. Because, all I wanted, all I needed to feel good about my bowl, were the following criteria to be met:

  • Roughly 150 calories per cup of cereal (because I want much more than a cup in my bowl)

  • 100% whole grains

  • As short a list of ingredients as possible (And ideally I’d be able to identify all of them)

  • At least 4 grams of fiber per serving

  • No more than 2-3 grams of sugar per serving

  • Crunch crunch crunch

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Surprisingly, there were not many options that fit. I ended up going the Kashi route more often than not. And not unhappily- just feeling a bit limited.

But these Attune cereals would have worked just as well, if not better because none of the members of the ingredient list seemed foreign to me. Many of the cereals had no sugar at all.

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The stash of the products I sampled:

Uncle Sam Healthy Breakfast Cereals

  • My favorite: Honey Almond (shown in all cereal bowl photos)-

    This cereal is the kind that almost vehemently resists sogginess. And even when it eventually relents, it doesn’t dissolve into the milk- it plumps and becomes almost muesli in texture. Lovely, really. It’s filling in that way I bet people intend to mean when they say something “sticks to your ribs”- though I’ll never quite know that I want anything to, in fact, stick to my ribs.

    The flavor is subtly sweet- malted and nutty with sliced almonds.

Erewhon Gluten Free Cereals

  • The Corn Flakes were crisp and unsweet- just as I’d prefer. I’m tempted to crush them and coat chicken and fish for baking.

New Morning Organic Graham Crackers

  • Cinnamon grahams were my favorite. And by favorite I mean- I ate them in bed by the sixteen-pack. I felt good and healthy about that.

Attune Probiotic Chocolate Bars

  • Chocolate didn’t need a better reputation for me to love her fiercely, but Attune added probiotics to their 100 calorie bars, and I ended up smug with how healthy I could describe my dessert.

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Check out the Attune Foods website to learn about their real food approach. They’ve also got a great blog with lots of inspiring blogger contributors.

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Have you tried any of these cereals? And if you’re a serial cereal-ist like me, which healthy kinds are your favorite?

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner January 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I like cereal a little *too* much! If any sweet cereals enter my home, I can’t stop pouring bowls until the box is empty. I really like having cereal for a quick and easy breakfast, so I stick to things like unfrosted shredded wheat, total, and grape nuts. Right now I’m on a kick of having grape nuts. Filling and not so delicious that I can’t stop!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh January 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Lurve me some cereal! It all depends on my mood. Sometimes bran flakes and I add my own raisins (don’t ask), Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Special K either Blueberry or Oat and Honey, Fiber 80 on rare occasion but this past 2 weeks it was all about the Cinnamon Life. I have to throw in a few fun ones to break up the ones I get for fibers sake. That’s how you know you’re an adult, when you buy it because it’s got X amount of fiber over how colorful it is.

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Michelle H January 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Informative post on these cereals from a fellow cereal lover! On a side note, I give Attune bars to my little girls on the rare occasion they have to take antibiotics. (Most people don’t know to look for them in the refrigerated section.)

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I love Uncle Sam cereal! Delicious! My all time favorite, though, is Aldi Banana Nut granola. I don’t know what they do that granola but it is seriously addictive.

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Krystina (Organically Me) January 18, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I have an irreversible, fierce love for Kashi cereal. Regardless of which cereal I try, I always find myself going back to Kashi. I just bought their new cinnamon crumble Go Lean Crisp and it is heaven in a bowl.

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Mindy January 19, 2012 at 4:08 am

Hmmmm, was going to have oatmeal with banana, but this is giving me pause for thought! I will have to look for these next time I shop.

My favorites are Grape-Nuts, any kind of granola cereal (but all the sugar and calories, oh my!) and Honey Nut Cheerios. I rarely eat cereal in the morning because I tend to want more protein, (eggs or Greek yogurt) but I love a good afternoon cereal snack.

Have a great day!

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Sarah@The Flying ONION January 19, 2012 at 5:38 am

I love cereal too! I’ve been on such a kick lately. I like plain ol’ shredded wheat with bananas and vanilla soymilk on top. Or Natures Path Heirloom Grains (which have kamut, quinoa, etc.)..it’s nice and crunchy and pairs perfectly with sliced *frozen* bananas.

Of course, I’m a big member in the Kashi fan club too. :D

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Linda January 19, 2012 at 6:07 am

For the last six months I have been eating Erewhon Strawberry Crisp cereal during the week. I mix it with 4oz of Stonyfield O’Soy Yogurt and it’s surprisingly a very filling breakfast.

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Mosaic Magpie January 19, 2012 at 7:18 am

My daughter sent me the link to this post. I LOVE UNCLE SAM CEREAL!!! I have told others how good it is too! I think it is one of the best kept secrets. Sometimes it is a little difficult to find, so I usually purchase 4 boxes whenever I see it!
Deb

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Sarrah January 19, 2012 at 7:37 am

Thanks for this! I was just thinking about what kind of cereals I could eat while I am on my weight loss journey that would be filling and satisfying. Think I’ll just have to try some of these!

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Christine F. January 19, 2012 at 8:29 am

Oh cereal, how I love you. I am currently munching through a box of Cinnamon Life. Glad to hear that someone else likes more than a cup – I want to be full after breakfast but not start the day with food regrets. Will happily try Uncle Sam and the others that the previous commenters mentioned! Thanks Andie!

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Caitlin January 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

I love cereal! Even eating it today brings me back to being a kid, enjoying a bowl of cereal in front of Saturday morning cartoons (Recess and Pepper Ann, anyone?) I love Kashi because I always feel so wholesome eating that and also, Peanut Butter Puffins. Can’t wait to try these brands though..

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LMF January 19, 2012 at 10:42 am

Cereal is one of my scary foods. I usually don’t let myself eat it because I feel like I could easily over indulge and there are so many better options. These look great though! Your cereal rules look pretty similar to mine. It’s so hard to find the one’s that don’t have sugar and don’t have a huge list of ingredients.

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Kelly January 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I am for sure a serial cereal-ist just like you! That is my breakfast of choice. Every morning, I too, look forward to eating my daily bowl. I LOVE Kashi GoLean Original. TONS of protein and fiber and very little sugar. I enjoy mine with light vanilla soy milk, half a banana and a cup of green tea with a lemon wedge. Delicious! And also keeps me feeling full and energized until lunch.

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Jenna Z January 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I am in love with original Uncle Sam. I use it as an ingredient in cooking and I add it to oatmeal and yogurt for some crunch factor. It’s one of a handful of cereals that have zero sugar added, along with original Shredded Wheat, GrapeNuts, Nutlettes and a few others.

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Jan January 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I’m a serial cerial-ist too! My favorites are special k red berries, honey nut cheerios and the guilty pleasure lucky charms. Just had a bowl of kashi granola for lunch too with blueberries and banana! YUM!

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tK January 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Do you have Oatmeal Crisp in the US? The almond one is DIVINE! And with a handful of nice fresh summer raspberries? Drooool…

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admin January 20, 2012 at 5:10 am

oooo, I don’t know if I’ve seen that kind! Will check next time I’m at the market :)

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kristen @ verbs and vignettes January 21, 2012 at 6:14 am

oh my, have i been pining away for cereal all week.

it hit me a few days ago, how long it had been since i had a great bowl. i did my grocery shopping for the week, and came home with not much else, but THREE boxes of cereal…. which is a lot, since i never finish one before it’s gone stale.

i didn’t go the healthy route, though (well, not entirely), and i have been back in love all week – multigrain cheerios, special k red berries, and cap’n crunch berries. the latter has held the number one spot for me all week. :-) so happy.

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