when i was little, we were TOTAL health freaks. ok, we kind of still are, but back then it was muuuch worse.  for my very first birthday, my mom decided it’d be a good idea to bake me a completely sugarless, unsweetened cake, which needless to say didn’t go over too well with anyone. we never kept chips, cookies, or kool aid around the house like most kids did, and my mom baked all of our own bread (which she still does,) and even used to make our own yogurt. i’ve come to really appreciate all of this now, but when i was little i definitely wasn’t too fond of some of the rules…

i’ll always remember how i wasn’t allowed to eat any sugary cereals – those were right at the top of the no-no list for us. no kix, no frosted mini wheats, and definitely no fruit loops- those were the worst of all. i remember during the height of my mom’s no-sugar craze, i would stand in my friend calla’s pantry whenever i’d go over to play, and gaze up at the well stocked shelves of cereal boxes in awe. i couldn’t believe she was lucky enough to actually have all of it sitting right there in her house -in my mind, it seemed comparable to living in willy wonka’s chocolate factory. maybe even better.

this was what we had in our house (we called it leaves and twigs, which isn't much of an exaggeration. if you look closely, it even has the word twig on the box)

this was what we had in our house (we called it leaves and twigs, and if you look closely, it says "bran twigs" right there on the box) yum.)

ahhh the ultimate splurge...i mean come on, which would you rather have? sugary cinnamon squares, or twigs?

(*just as a side note, what’s up with the weird names here? what are you supposed to say? “sweetie, did you eat your good friends this morning?” or even better, “did you eat your life?”)

being the rebellious children we were, (i say we, but it was definitely my idea,) we’d grab boxes of life and frosted flakes when no one was looking, and run with them. all the way down to the end of her yard, down into the wild, overgrown area with brambles and 4 foot tall uncut grass, and there we would proceed to eat an entire box, grabbing handfuls of the dry cereal with our little hands, and stuffing it into our mouths like there was no tomorrow, until i finally got my fill. i don’t know what we thought would happen – that someone would chase us down and catch us, red handed with half eaten boxes of life? or maybe that her parents would notice the empty spaces in their pantry and call my mom to rat me out? in my little 5 or 6 year old mind, it seemed like the baddest, and most rebellious thing i could ever, ever do.

ironically, i don’t even eat cereal now. i have total free reign to buy any cereal i’d want, and you’d think i’d be in heaven now from all those years of deprivation, but i can’t even really stomach a whole bowl of cinnamon toast crunch. oh and mother? i still to this day feel kind of guilty when i eat the blue m&m’s (but I still eat them,) cause of the extra bad for you food dye or whatever you always said was in them, so consider your job well done.