Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review: Raisin Nut Bran

I think I am now officially hooked to cereal...seriously.

Several months ago, I opted to be a member of MyBlogSpark and during the holidays, I was very pleased to have received several coupons in the mail.  General Mills sent coupons via MyBlogSpark that entitle me to purchase any of their cereal products not exceeding $6 per individual purchase.  This made me quite excited since I've always been a fan of General Mills cereals such as Cheerios, Honey Kix, and Nature Valley, to name a few.  So when I headed out to the supermarket, I was all geared up to try out something new that the whole family would enjoy, especially Noah.  

For my very first purchase using one of the coupons, I opted to grab Raisin Nut Bran.  I was hoping to find something high-fiber but not cardboard tasting and since on the box it says "with almonds and nut-covered raisins", I thought it would be interesting, to say the least.  

I was extremely thrilled with how it tasted and I was doubly thrilled 
when I saw how much Noah loved it!  It's usually difficult to get him to eat cereals since he doesn't enjoy the bland tasting ones, but at the same time, I don't want to feed him the all-sugar varieties that are actually more junk than real food.  Well, this one is really delicious!  He really enjoyed the crunch of the almond pieces that are not just 'token' almonds in the cereal.I think they are sufficiently distributed all throughout and the raisins lend sweetness and further textural interest in every bite.  

I must admit though, that if you're looking for an extremely 'healthy' cereal, this would probably not fall within that category only because the total carbohydrate-to-sugar ratio is not the most ideal.  Yes, it does have 5grams of fiber and it's all whole grain, which is great!  However, as I've read, the most ideal thing would be to have no less than a 4:1 carbohydrate to sugar ratio  (e.g. if there are 24g of carbohydrates per serving, the sugar should only be as much as 6g per serving), and this product does not have that desired ratio.  If you are watching your carbohydrate and/or sugar intake pretty strictly, this may not be the best cereal for you.  

Overall, suffice it to say that I absolutely love/d its taste and will most likely purchase another box.  I really enjoyed this one and I think it's pretty cool that, as I enjoy my bowl in the mornings (and afternoons and evenings!), Noah insists on sharing it with me as well!  

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The new year has just begun and yet here I've been, being so nostalgic and utterly sentimental about the past.  I'm not entirely sure what brought this all on, but since the end of last month (and of 2009), I've been looking for, and downloading a lot of OPM (original Pilipino music) songs, and those I can't find via Itunes, I've been youtube-ing.  I've also been trying to remember and go back to my most favorite songs early on in the past decade and just simmering in the emotions they trigger.  To top off all of the drama, the 'best' (or worst?) part is that I bought myself the entire DVD collection of the series Ally McBeal, on which I was extremely fixated when it first came out in the late 90's up until around 2001.  

It is kind of odd to do all this 'looking back' when the New Year commonly translates to looking forward.  But I don't know.  Besides, I never really liked the New Year as a holiday.  I find it so anti-climactic and almost treacherous. I mean, here we are, holding our breaths in anticipation of Christmas as early as September sometimes, getting all geared up for the festivities and everyone is joyous and happy and wrapped up in pure, unadulterated glee, and then comes January 1st and it's just all over.  Everything is just done and it always feels like one giant deep sigh of disappointment for me as I think of another year of waiting for the end of the year's joyous atmosphere to come again.

Well, perhaps it is this slight dislike of the coming of the new year that I am somehow rebelling and choosing to look back.  If I were to overanalyze a bit further, I could also probably say that it's my way of also preserving the past. Not everyone likes their past and some would really just rather forget it.  I, however, love it, despite all its challenges, heartaches and chaos.  I've been known by close family and friends to be somewhat of a (closet) drama queen.I say 'closet' because I'm not overtly dramatic, but thrive in it somehow...the feelings, the intensity, the complexities, and might I dare say it, the pain.Yes, I am somewhat of a masochist as well.  Despite my pronouncements that pain sucks (and it really does!), the truth is that sometimes, I find that tiny part of myself wanting to simmer in past painful emotions.  In other words, there is a part of me that's just naturally drawn to the 'drama' of my past.    

I do this because especially now, I see my past as some form of an anchor and a beacon.  I believe we can best rely on our past in terms of showing us who we are and how we're evolving.  In my case, my past reminds me of my pains and heartaches and also of how I survived all that.  When I look back at my loneliest and darkest times, I also see how my family and dearest friends stood by me, comforted and enlightened me.  Amidst the brokenness and desperation, I am also able to feel all the love I felt and was willing to give, regardless of whether or not it came back to me in the way or form I expected.  

All the sacrifices, questions, tears and memories of how my heart got pulverized in some way or another, turn into feelings and images of wisdom and evolution on hindsight.  How can anyone turn away from all that and choose to forget?  As far as I'm concerned, when I do all my reminiscing and reliving of my 'select past', I simmer in both pain and joy, agony and exaltation, hopelessness and faith, all simultaneously.  It's almost like an extremely spiritual and cerebral drug for me that I find myself needing a fix time and again.  Besides, in my case, (and I believe for most of us), it is during those times of extreme heartache, when you're all wrapped up in a dark cloud, that, ironically, I experience the most profound depth and clarity of thought.  

I'm now reminded of something I wrote almost a decade ago and I still stand by this personal truth.  I wrote this in the context of 'moving on'-----  

"...Evolution and growth, however, do not mean denying one's feelings and burying the past.  The past is part of the present and we continue to carry it with us.  Carrying the past with you, and allowing it to get in the way of the present, are two totally different things."  (8.17.01)