Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Worst Part of Waking Up...

Bleah.

I keep a box of instant oatmeal packets at work, for "running late" mornings.  Since I like sleeping and hanging out with my family more than I like commuting to work, I'm often running just a bit too late to eat breakfast before I get to the office.

Last week, I decided to try a new brand of instant oatmeal (called Nice!), even though I'd been quite happy with my months-long habit of McCann's Instant (maple and brown sugar).  I was fooled by spare packaging into thinking the Nice! oatmeal might be a new, independent brand. Then I tasted it, and doubted my uneducated guess. It turns out that Nice! is the store brand for Walgreens, the drugstore company that bought our local Duane Reade chain. And it's not so "nice." It's certainly not "nice-with-an-exclamation-point."

Now, until I get through 7 more packets, at-work breakfasts will be my least favorite way to start the day -- because I'm just not enthusiastic about this oatmeal. The flavor is too sweet and the oats have an uninviting, mushy texture. I know instant oatmeal is often mushy, but this seems mushier than strictly necessary. It doesn't really taste like brown sugar or maple syrup. It just tastes sweet.

Next time I want to broaden my instant oatmeal horizons, I'll go with expert advice and try Trader Joe's. Because there's nothing nice! about dreading breakfast.

Do you eat breakfast at the office? What are your go-to products?

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6 comments:

Unknown said...

I was almost fooled by this branding as well. Until I noticed that nearly everything else in Walgreens was Nice! too.... dratted designers. I hate it when I am made to feel like a target market.

Since I bought some 8 oz nalgene bottles that can be thrown in a bag full of (almond) milk with no risk of leakage, I have been taking cereal with fruit to work and have been very happy with this arrangement. Plus, you can eat it in the container you bring it in, which is somehow more satisfying than having to go scrounge in the kitchen for a never-the-right-size bowl. I got them at REI. Truly life-changing, as far as small plastic bottles can be.

Anna said...

That was my comment above there. Didn't mean to come off as so anonymous.

angela said...

You could try to bring a large container of quick oats mixed with brown sugar (I also like to add salt/cinnamon/butter :) Then you can make it to your taste. I would just put it in a glass jar and take it in my lunch bag, but since there are not food vultures at your work (prepared to attack and consume any unmoving calories not claimed/watched) I think the big container would work. then you could add dried apples or whatever fruit/nuts you felt like that day.

betsy said...

Angela's idea is excellent. Work snacks are a place where I succumb to processed food temptation - I like Kashi snack bars and the new protein nut bars. I've also kept a small jar of peanut butter at my desk.

Mechanic said...

There is a brand called Oat Revolution! (exclamation theirs) that I like. It is a little sweet as well but really flavorful!

Jennette said...

Anna, Y'old anonymous so-and-so!

Great idea, Angela! I definitely have food vultures, but I can hide a container like that.

Work snacks are such a problem for me. I buy ridiculous things. Whole boxes of PopTarts, giant candy bars, and more. Peanut Butter is a good thing, too, but I have to keep it hidden from coworkers.

I should do a post just on food with exclamation points.

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