Banter Bites

The Breakfast (And Marketing) Of Champions

Wheaties may be called the "breakfast of champions," but how do you define "champion"?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Wheaties have been around 100 years, and for Red, just the "name" brings back memories of eating breakfast cereal as a kid, but Black's first thought isn't about breakfast but about how cereal's a big (and interesting) business.


Black remembered learning about the industry when getting her M.B.A. Besides the fact the product was created by accident, Wheaties is a perfect example of the power of marketing. Over the years, the choice of athletes has come under scrutiny, but the cereal has, even with the focus on eating healthier, stood the test of time.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, when we learned that Wheaties was turning 100 (along with some other fun facts), we realized neither one of us has ever eaten them. Not a single Wheatie flake. It doesn't mean that we're not familiar with them, but it's entirely due to recognizing the famous athletes (so famous that even Red usually knows who they are) featured on their boxes.

So, why no Wheaties? Well, for Red,

Growing up, I preferred the traditional breakfast cereals that all kids love. You know what I'm talking about – the ones that were full of sugar. My favorite? Without a doubt, that would be Cap'n Crunch. And even today, I'd never buy a box because I'd probably devour it in a single sitting. Ok, that may be an exaggeration; it might take two. But let's be real – a 20 oz box claims it's over 20 servings. What are they using? A teacup instead of a cereal bowl?

And Black? Well, surprisingly, she wasn't much better than Red,

I was a Kellogg's Frosted Flakes girl, as was our father, although I preferred eating mine dry and right out of the box. I guess I was into efficiency at an early age. Regardless, I have wonderful memories of the two of us bonding over cereal, which sounds like a very healthy breakfast to me.

As adults, both of us have been known to eat cereal for a late lunch and sometimes even dinner. Although we now make healthier choices. Red incorporates her favorite triple berry granola with fresh berries and Greek yogurt (thanks, Starbucks, for the parfait inspiration!) And Black will eat oatmeal (not sure if that's technically "cereal") with fresh bananas and berries late in the afternoon before going out for an evening that includes wine and alcohol. Leave it to Black to eat before going to dinner!

Two years ago, on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And the power of dreams. And as long as there's social unrest and social injustice in the United States (stop and think about the first word … as we’re supposed to be united), the more we can learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof of the power of peaceful protests.

For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: There's so much one can say about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, and whose leadership was fundamental to the ending of legal segregation in many parts of the United States. But regardless of your position on segregation, it's almost impossible not to acknowledge, yet alone appreciate, how incredibly powerful and inspiring his words were and the impact they continue to have on the civil rights movement. But don't believe us. This goodreads post provides more than just a good read, it's a seemingly endless list of inspirational quotes while a great "refresher" course on Dr. King is available at History.com.

We grew up in New York, where bagels are almost sacred, but even though they may have started as a Jewish food in Europe, they’re now enjoyed by everyone everywhere (including Red and Black, but in very different ways) – why else would there be a National Bagel Day?

National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.

Keep Reading ...Show less

Another year and another National Clean Your Desk Day (yes, that’s actually a thing). So, is Red’s desk any better than the “disaster” it was last year? Well, believe it or not, it may not be perfect, but it’s significantly better. Is it because she finally listened to Black’s advice (see below) or somehow found a “secret” of her own? As it turns out, it was a combination of the two as Red discovered, even if the rest of her life isn’t “nice and neat” (that’ll never happen), she loves walking into her workroom in the morning and starting the day in a (somewhat) organized space, which provides the best motivation for keeping it that way. (Luckily, Black never brought up the science of messy desks.)

A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.

Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,

Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.