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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

my morning struggle

I had a Frankenfood today, first thing in the morning. A Frankenfood is a genetically modified food, but in this case, I'm defining it as a food that you're consuming and you're not even sure what you're really eating. They often have tons of ingredients you can't pronounce. And while they resemble a real food, it relies on food substitutes and additives to give it flavor, texture, color, etc.

I had to get gas this morning and while I was at the gas station I picked up an iced coffee.
This iced coffee from Bean Street Coffee and Gate gas stations.

My first problem was that I decided to get food from a gas station. Michael Pollan warned me against this, but I'm weak in the morning.

If I had any sense, I would have made my own iced coffee the night before. But I had a night out with some friends and didn't plan a single thing for today, including breakfast, lunch, and gym clothes. I'm so bad at planning, I think it's best to not leave my house after I get home from work, just so I can plan for the next day, but what type of life would that be?

My first sign should have been the spew of powder that came out of the coffee machine. It seemed consistent with hot chocolate mix. Then cold, milky-looking liquid mixed with it. I took a sip and quickly noticed this did not taste like coffee. It also didn't taste like milk or even any type of sugar I have had before, but it was sweet. They certainly relied on sugar to mask the chemically taste of whatever else they put in said coffee.

And I drove on to work, sipping my radioactive "coffee" (note: I haven't been able to find nutritional info online), I got really depressed. Because I do this every morning. 

Each morning I wake up in search of my coffee fix. Since I like espresso and don't have my own machine, I usually do Starbucks or Panera espresso drinks which are loaded with calories and chocolate syrups with an ingredient list miles long. I'll occasionally brew my own, but I hate cleaning out the coffee maker (don't ask, weird pet peeve), so I like to avoid it. 

It's gotten to the point that I feel guilty, or silly, or a mixture. How many plastic Starbucks cups have I thrown away? And coffee drinks are approx. $4. After three weeks sans coffee I could be saying hello to a new pair of shoes. Also, going to places like Starbucks, Panera, or worse, the doughnut shop that serves the best iced coffee, I'm tempted and often cave to sweet morning pastries.

Many people find it easy to eat very healthy in the morning, but it's the hardest meal of the day for me. I'm frequently unprepared, impatient, and groggy, also picky. I prefer cooked foods to cold things, which makes my breakfast search more of a challenge.

So I'm thinking maybe I should just stop with the coffee. I would have more time to focus on creating a better breakfast. My teeth would be whiter (!). And I'd save some money. 

But I'm terrified. I don't know how long it's been since I've last had coffee.

Have you given it up? How was it? Also, what do you do for breakfast.

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