The Cereal Quest: Days 287 – 293 Oatibix Golden Oat Flakes

So after my Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Multi Grain Shapes Strawberry things could only get better, so there would never be a more opportune moment to try another heavily oat based cereal (why do manufacturers insist on oats, oats and more oats?), this would be the perfect time to start an oat based cereal in a positive mood, positive because no matter what cereal I had, it surely couldn’t provoke my gag reflex as much as my previous cereal. Clever planning Phil, clever planning.  In then, steps Oatibix Golden Oat Flakes, a cousin of the first cereal on the quest Weetabix, these have been somewhat transformed in to a primarily oat based flake shaped cereal, to the untrained eye they look like bran flakes, to my trained (self trained) eyes they are a paler, thinner, less durable version of a bran flake. They actually don’t taste terrible, admittedly by the last serving I was ready for the end of the box but they are certainly not the worst cereal I will encounter on this quest.  They needed a sprinkling of sugar to bring them alive as on their own they have little more flavour than paper but the sugar brings out a more homely, countryside taste, a natural taste.  Truthfully if you are needing help with getting more regular bowel movements these will be perfect, they go down easily.

Here are the vital statistics and my Oatibix Golden Oat Flakes:

Cereal Cost: £2.79
Real Servings per Box: 6
Cost per Serving: 46.5p
Pros – Far better than it’s predecessor.  Good for sorting out constipation.
Cons – Hardly exciting, do get a bit dull.

The Cereal Quest: Days 279 – 286 – Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Multi Grain Shapes Strawberry

This had been a cereal I had been dreading, I don’t like the idea of strawberry flavouring in cereal, I find it unnatural and awkward, I had waited and waited for an opportune moment to cross these off the cereal quest list and finally I was in Tesco’s and saw Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Multi Grain Shapes Strawberry on offer.  I knew the time was now, I know that I have peaked to early on my favoured cereals and I had to put in some really tough hard yards with the next few cereals, starting with Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Multi Grain Shapes Strawberry.  Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Multi Grain Shapes Strawberry were nothing short of terrible, the ‘strawberry’ flavour tasted as much of strawberries as I do, its jus a weird flavouring that then repeats on you like a scotch egg throughout the morning after consumption.  The actual texture is vile, each spoonful, each bite is gives you that ‘fingers down a blackboard’ feeling, you start shuddering towards the end of the bowl as you physically struggle to chew without vomiting.  I have no idea who buys these to keep Kellogg’s manufacturing but if it is you I urge you to stop so they can replace them with something nicer.   It also gave me some weird dreams, dreams I couldn’t fathom any reasoning behind.  I woke up one morning and stared at my fingers, I had been dreaming for what felt like all night that my fingers were covered in beetroot juice, every time I washed it off I looked down and more had appeared, each time staining my skin more and more.  I was torn, do I wash it off so more appears or do I leave my hands dripping beetroot juice all over the shop, staining carpet upon carpet that I walked across.  Of course, this was a dream so I didn’t stain any carpets but it had become clear to me that my frustrating dream was because I was eating this indigestible misery of a cereal.  To make them even worse they haven’t improved my knee injury either, I am not impressed, you may be able to tell.  Ordinarily I wold suggest trying them for yourselves so you can tell I am not lying but your purchase would only encourage Kellogg’s further so please don’t buy, just trust me.

Here are the vital statistics and review for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Multi Grain Shapes Strawberry:

Cereal Cost: £2.79
Real Servings per Box: 7
Cost per Serving: 39.8p
Pros – Vomit inducing, if that is your cup of tea.
Cons – Taste, texture, odd dream givers and disgrace to the cereal world.

The Cereal Quest: Days 272 – 279 – Banana Nut Cheerios

When my sister phoned me to tell me she had bought me a cereal she knew I had not tried I panicked, my sister is borderline crazy so I worried, you may remember she once gave me directions to a cruise terminal by saying “look for a boat and aim for it!” but on this she did not let me down, she came up trumps, this is what she gave me:

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Put simply this cereal is amazing.  If you have a keen eye like me you are probably wondering “what is the difference between ‘real’ banana flavour and ‘natural’ banana flavour?”  good question and in all honesty due to a lack of replies by General Mills (the American branch of Nestlé as these are an American cereal) I have no answer for you.  Now the cereal I had this week was always going to struggle to make me feel great, after last weekends 160 mile bike ride I needed something to not only give me energy but my biggest need was to provide me a new knee, even after this week of Banana Nut Cheerios I still can’t walk down the stairs properly as my right knee doesn’t bend.  No cereal would be likely to help but I can confirm despite Banana Nut Cheerios tasting great, for those who are looking for the perfect cure for a dodgy patella these are sadly not the solution.  The sweetness of this cereal is beautiful, they taste like banana milkshake, to be specific they taste like Crusha Banana Milkshake but strangely do not make the milk taste like banana. They stay crispy for the entire bowl and taste incredible, if they were readily available in the UK and I wasn’t bound by this quest to choose other cereals I would go out and find some from wherever I could get them.  A big thank you to my little sister Vicki for these!

Here are the vital statistics for Banana Nut Cheerios:

Cereal Cost: £5.99 (in the UK)
Real Servings per Box: 7
Cost per Serving: 88.5p
Pros – Beautiful flavour, great texture, perfect.
Cons – Unbelievably expensive in the UK and does not help heal a tired injured body.

The Cereal Quest: Days 264 – 271 Honey Monster Choco Wows

These strange treats were to play a part on one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life.

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Honey Monster Choco Wows are a bizarre breakfast cereal and certainly one of the best efforts I’ve seen of a cereal that looks chocolatey and appealing for children but has got good stuff in it too.  Although the picture I took doesn’t show them clearly they are chocolate rings that are nice and crunchy but they have got bits of oats scattered randomly on to the rings.  The combination is an odd one, you get a chocolatey kick but then there is a dull oaty aftertaste, this is when they are eaten in a traditional manner, i.e. with milk.  However, this week was not an ordinary week.  This week included doing the ‘Alderholt 150′ challenge.  I had been training for about 6 weeks for this challenge which was essentially a challenge taken on by a team of about 13 people to ride what turned out to be over 150 miles in 3 days, 6 weeks ago I tried riding my bike less than a mile and by the end I was sweating buckets and was out of breath, a knee injury (due to riding a childs bike) and a change of bike kindly lent to me by my good friend Ian and all was now going a bit better.   The first day of the ride was tiring, I thought I had now learnt what a hill climb is really like, I wanted to stay professional and continue my cereal quest so I had a serving before I left and a serving for lunch but this time they were bone dry, I snacked on them throughout the day and they gave me a great energy boost, they also tasted a lot better as a dry cereal as the milk wasn’t there to wash away the chocolatey flavour.  The second day of the challenge I had another more traditionally served bowl of Honey Monster Choco Wows, this day was to be the day I really understood what a proper hill climb was, somewhere on the way from Devizes to Gillingham we were riding and another rider turned to me and said “you know that we are now riding alongside a river, there isn’t a lower point, there has to be a big hill soon.” he was spot on, the most ridiculously long hill to pedal up, this was late afternoon and the energy gained from breakfast was now gone, I had been riding about 50 miles so far and had been kept up a bit the night before by a friend who sounded like he was chewing crisps in his sleep.  The third day however saw a worse issue than this hill.  My wife won’t allow me to publish full details but all I can say is a sincere sorry to the cleaners of the lovely church hall in Gillingham, I have learnt that if a huge bowl of oaty porridge is offered to me, no matter how rude I feel by saying no I should  kindly refuse the offer, sadly this day I didn’t and my body simply wasn’t prepared to store oats for more than about 5 minutes.  All in all this cereal was good, no where near as good as Chocolate Cheerios in my opinion but it was a nice treat.

Here are my vital statistics for Honey Monster Choco Wows:

Cereal Cost: £2.69
Real Servings per Box: 7
Cost per Serving: 38.4p
Pros – A good disguised healthy cereal for kids.
Cons – Very odd oat scattering and weak chocolate flavour.

The Cereal Quest: Days 258 – 263 – Kellogg’s Smacks

As I arrived in to work this morning I was overjoyed to see this box sitting on my desk.

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I had never had Kellogg’s Smacks as for some reason Kellogg’s do not do them in the UK, I can only assume that it is because Honey Monster Foods have cornered the sugar coated puffed wheat market and Kellogg’s don’t think they could compete, especially as the Smacks mascot is a green frog and Honey Monster Foods have the Honey Monster.  I was planning on popping to the shop to get some new cereal but this saved my journey and increasingly expensive petrol.  Smacks are very similar to Sugar Puffs, but there are definitely differences, Smacks stay stronger for longer and have a bit more of a crunch when you bite them, something which surprised me and one of my molars.  My main thought when I saw these was to wonder if these will make your wee smell of them in the same way Sugar Puffs do.  After day one on the wee smell front I was hugely disappointed, I was confused, why would they not work.  On day two however their fumes came out all guns blazing, they left a trail of Smacks goodness in every toilet I frequented.  It was (probably) a joy for all people who used toilets after me.  Another side effect of these was that they made me feel a bit shaky, whether it is due to the sugar content or due to the feeling of guilt and betrayal I felt for cheating on Sugar Puffs with a foreign replacement, we will never know.  I will admit that if you had to choose between the two I would still go for Sugar Puffs, they are slightly easier to chew and have a faster effect on your fluids.

Here are my vital stats for my review of Kellogg’s Smacks:

Cereal Cost: €3.05
Real Servings per Box: 6
Cost per Serving: 50.8p
Pros – Crunchy til the last, sweet and leave you highly energised.
Cons – Not available in the UK and not as good as Sugar Puffs.

The Cereal Quest: Days 252 – 257 Kellogg’s Raisin Wheats

I had completely expected Kellogg’s Raisin Wheats to be very similar to last weeks Orchard Fruits, a smooth transition I had thought.  I was wrong.  These are not manufactured by the same company and as such the wheaty outer was different.  The Kellogg’s Raisin Wheats were stronger on the outside and the filling of course was different.  For those who have had gerbils as pets they may be familiar with the look of gerbil poop.  This is what the filling of Kellogg’s Raisin Wheats is like, it just looks like a parcel of poop, however taste wise they are excellent.  After the first day I was a bit down-heartened about the taste but after reading up suggestions I sprinkled a very thin layer of sugar on them and it absolutely transformed them, they were a much better cereal for the addition of a bit of sugar.  Like all heavily wheaty cereals they cause certain IBS issues, especially with raisins adding extra roughage but overall they were a good.  Good quantity of filling, strong against milk, thats two boxes ticked.

Here are the vital statistics for Kellogg’s Raisin Wheats:

Cereal Cost: £2.69
Real Servings per Box: 6
Cost per Serving: 44.8p
Pros – A hearty and welcoming cereal once you add sugar.
Cons – You do need to add sugar.

The Cereal Quest: Days 249 – 251 – Shredded Wheat Orchard Wheats

These little parcelled up shots of intense fruitiness continued lovingly to caress my inner get up and go.  I was flittering and fluttering any which way I was needed to go, I was constantly getting things, doing things, collecting things, until the last afternoon on the Shredded Wheat Orchard Fruits, almost as if my body new they would not be topped up any more I started to crash, my enthusiasm was lacking and on the last day  I had to go to Asda to pick up some Soda Stream syrups because a) they were an amazing deal, and b) because I really am that cool.  When I went through the checkout a seemingly very happy man was scanning my items, then in a sad tone said “Are you going to the Air Show next weekend?” to which I said no and explained that the traffic alone is reason not to bother going let alone sitting for hours staring at the sky, just think of the neck issues.  He then went on t explain that Asda will in no way let him have the time off, he was clearly upset.  After I had finished at the checkout I had to check if the newest edition of the Peppa Pig Magazine had been released (this is what’s happened to my life) and I wasn’t far away from the checkout I had used, it was so sad in the end, the guy working at the checkout told every person he served the same news about Asda not giving him the time off, he was gutted so please Asda if you are reading give him the day off!  A happy worker is a more productive worker, currently you have a bitter worker!  His sadness seemed to encouraged my laziness and sadly the last night of these was hardly get up and go, more got up and gone.

Here are the vital statistics for Shredded Wheat Orchard Wheats

Cereal Cost: £2.69
Real Servings per Box: 5
Cost per Serving: 53.8p
Pros – An enthusiastic look at life is the the reward for eating these.
Cons – Not particularly cheap.

The Cereal Quest: Day 248 – Still Got the Get Up and Go

So there I was thinking it may have been the Kellogg’s Multi Grain Shapes that was giving me get up and go, these Shredded Wheat Orchard Fruits have taken it up a level, soon after eating my bowl I headed to work and went in to the kitchen which looked like a filthy disgrace, glasses that over 4 days ago had had a smoothie in them had turned lumpy and brown and looked like a dirty protest, the whole place was a right state so I sorted it out and cleaned it up myself, I don’t know what is happening to me recently, I cleaned the garage out on Sunday after my bike ride, I did loads of chores around the house last night before football and now I am tidying at work, I feel like a heavily pregnant woman nesting except I can use a baby as an excuse for the size of my stomach.  It is crazy stuff, my wife will be most shocked and impressed with the ‘new me’.  Lets see how long it lasts, will Shredded Wheat Orchard Fruits maintain the momentum, I’m sure Mrs B must hope so.

The Cereal Quest: Day 247 (Part 2) – Shredded Wheat Orchard Fruits

So after a busy day at work and an almost dazzling display on the football pitch tonight I was a hungry young man and wanted something quick so I turned to my next breakfast cereal, Shredded Wheat Orchard Fruits, I decided to have these so soon after Shredded Wheat Summer Fruits so I could give a good comparison (and because these were also on offer).  Texture wise they were identical to the Summer Fruits version but taste wise they were different, these have a plum and apple filling, it is also claimed there is cinnamon inside but I did not taste any tonight.  It is hard to gauge their initial benefits as pretty much as soon as I finished the bowl I have written this and will soon be asleep.  Until tomorrow.

The Cereal Quest: Days 241 – 247 Multi Grain Shapes of Boredom

I had predicted that these Kellogg’s Multi Grain Shapes may well have been mind-numbingly boring, and I was correct.  I just don’t really see the point of them and can’t fathom who would want to purchase them, they have no flavour, the milk has a stronger taste.  They did make me feel like I was eating healthily because I couldn’t taste anything I may as well have been chewing air.  I am currently in ‘training’ for a charity bike ride for The Trussell Trust, the same charity I am raising money for doing this quest so I need some energy, in the middle of the week a very kind man who is organising the bike ride came round and set the bike up for me to try and stop my knee being in pain and he did the trick, we went for a short ride and had no pain at all, I briefly thought it may have been the cereal but in reality my newly adapted saddle height and angle may be bigger contributors, I did seem to have quite a big of energy this week including various tasks around the house and on Sunday even got up at 6am and went for a ride which ended up being 44 miles all on my own, whether these spontaneous and self-disciplined actions have been prompted by the Kellogg’s Multi Grain Shapes remains to be seen but it may be no coincidence that I have got better at riding since I started eating them.  The ride we are doing is 150 miles in 3 days, the group is a mixture of a couple of experienced riders, and then the rest of us and a tall man with a back injury so it will be a tough few days. The good things didn’t stop at an increased ability to do things, the highlight was on day 246 when I poured out my cereal and out popped my ‘discovery cards’ which were exciting for a small amount of time, each with a different picture on that reveals itself when rubbed or put under water, thank you Kellogg’s, it isn’t the most exciting thing I have ever had out of a cereal packet but it  was something at least.

Here are the vital review statistics for Kellogg’s Multi Grain Shapes:

Cereal Cost: £2.79
Real Servings per Box: 8
Cost per Serving: 34.8p
Pros – Seem to give me loads of energy and get up and go and free gift!
Cons – Tasteless.