Friday, January 4, 2008

The LDS Missionary's Breakfast of Champions

When I went on a Mormon mission they didn't like for us to eat unwholesome food. It was a time of whole wheat and wheat grinders so at the dining hall at St. Francis School in the LTM they served us Wheaties: The Breakfast of Champions. I had eaten Wheaties as a kid growing up I always wanted to be on the cover of the Wheaties box. Any way the only way most of us could stomach them was to put tons of sugar in them. I would have a pink grapefruit every breakfast with my Wheaties which also had tons of sugar. Of course they were side dishes to the bacon, sausage, eggs, and pancakes. You needed that sugar shot to get you started. On my mission whenever I splurged I liked to eat Frosted Flakes, which were a souped up version of Wheaties. The two reasons I ate them were: One I was too lazy in the morning so I didn't like to buy sugar to put on them and second I liked to see Tony the Tiger and yell their great every few bites to drive my companions crazy who weren't quite awake till I hollered.

I came across an interesting missionary quote from Earl C. Tingey in 1998 that shows missionaries haven't changed much when offered cereals like Wheaties to more sugary concotions: "Most missionaries receive special training in one of the 15 missionary training centers throughout the world. The largest, in Provo, currently has approximately 3,000 missionaries in residence. I thought you might be interested in several statistics shared with me during a recent visit to the MTC. In one month the missionaries consume over 5,000 pounds of dry cereal. That is over 2 1/2 tons. Of that amount, 2,200 pounds is Lucky Charms. Lucky Charms is a popular breakfast dry cereal. Maybe one of the best preparations for being a missionary is to eat Lucky Charms. For you parents who try to focus your young men’s eating habits on what you may consider is more nutritious food, you might be aware that in one month missionaries consumed only 16 pounds of All Bran."

In some countries in the world you can't get Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms for that matter. The strange thing in some foreign countries is that you can find Wheaties, Cheerios, or Rice Crispies variations. Sister missionaries had a partiality to buying Rice Crispies and making Rice Crispies treats for the elders occasionally. I had one companion in Canada who was a bit upper crusty who made us eat whole wheat pancakes with vegetable juice he saved up for vitamin content with pure maple syrup and butter or Granola. The Granola cost double or triple a box of Frosted Flakes. I would mooch some off of him occasionally.

In Italy where I served for seven months before heading over to Toronto we ate fresh bread and butter, vanilla pudding, some kind of peach cobbler made by a cake mix with peaches on the bottom, and rolled oats with raisins and dates. In Italy we could buy Wheaties but the milk there was terrible. It came hot in little tiny boxes that tasted like the wax cartons it came out of. In some countries you can get a liter of cold milk but it cost more than a half gallon in the U.S.

Annette Lyons at LDS Living suggests you can add a little zip to your Wheaties by adding dried cranberries or blueberries. She says to avoid sugary cereals which put the pounds on. Healthy Chic has suggestions for missionaries eating healthier: "Eat breakfast; Drink 100% fruit juice (canned, from a carton, or freshly squeezed) with breakfast, or take a can to drink when you tract; spruce up your breakfast--a banana or handful of berries will liven up your cereal, yogurt, waffles, or pancakes; Take a piece of fruit to munch on during your morning appointments." I don't know if the author ever went in to a missionary apartment since I don't think they come standard with juicers. Unless they have changed in the last thirty years.

I wonder what things missionaries remember eating on their missions.

No comments: