Yes! Like the fitness nut I am, I have been meaning to post this for a while just because I can. So oatmeal it is.
For most of my life I have hated oatmeal with all my heart. My mother tried to make me eat it when I was a kid, and I loathed the blasted thing. She cooked it in different ways, but I always thought that it was a funny tasting, totally bland, uninteresting brand of gruel.
Years later, various friends, colleagues, boyfriends and [ex]husbands, did their best to demonstrate that oatmeal was good and not disgusting. Fat chance. I still avoided the darned thing like the plague. To memory, the only time I actually ate something resembling oatmeal, which I found comforting and even tasty was after I had given birth to my Dark Child. I was so exhausted and hungry after the whole ordeal that, when the nurses brought me a bowl of cream of wheat, I thought it was the best thing I had ever eaten.
So okay, it wasn't oatmeal. It was it's cousin cream of wheat, but you get the drift.
At rate, once the novelty wore off, I never ate it again.
It's 2008 and I have learned that oatmeal is not disgusting if you use it as a base for protein pancakes. In fact, it is quite delicious -- probably because in pancakes you cannot taste it. But I started consuming high quantities of it.
Still, not capable of eating a bowl of honest-to-goodness cooked oatmeal.
Fast forward again.
It is 2009, and my trainer mentions that she eats it cooked and mixed with protein powder. She is eating it with gusto and, quite frankly, it looks pretty darned good. I decide to give it a try at home, and after some experimenting I come up with a good recipe that I can not only tolerate, but that I have found to be addictive and ridiculously healthy.
RECIPE FOR A KICKASS BOWL OF HOT OATMEAL FOR BREAKFAST:
1 cup of water (boiling)
1/2 cup of old fashioned dry oatmeal (I love rolled oats)
1/4 cup of fat free milk (optional)
1 scoop of protein powder (I like Gold Standard's French Vanilla)
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp raisins (about 15)
Cinnamon -- a dash
Cook the dry oatmeal on the boiling water. Spoon it in bowl. Add milk if desired (I like my oatmeal kind of runny). Mix the scoop of protein powder. Once it's integrated, add the walnuts, raisins and cinnamon and enjoy. It's a great breakfast, and it gives you tons of energy through the morning.
Last but not least, here is some info on the different types of oatmeals and their energy/nutritional properties. (I am using a three point system for rating.)
Steel Cut Oatmeal= Also called Irish oatmeal. It is simply oatmeal that has been cracked and cut, and has the most nutritional value. It takes about 20 minutes to cook, and it gives you the most energy and flavor. I usually eat this on weekends, when time is not a factor. ENERGY: 3, FLAVOR: 3, CONVENIENCE: 1
Rolled Oats= Also known as old fashioned oats. This oats have been rolled and steamed. They need to be cooked, but they cook in about 10 minutes -- much faster than the steel cut ones. This is what I usually have for breakfast. ENERGY: 2, FLAVOR: 2, CONVENIENCE: 2
Instant Oats= These have been pre-cooked, and all you will need is hot water. They don't taste half as good as the other varieties, and the consistency is more gummy. It's still a decent option in a pinch, and it's terrific for traveling. All you need is to carry an envelope of instant Quaker Oats plain oatmeal, a baggie with protein powder, nuts and raisins, and all you will need is hot water. Voilá, you have an instant meal, which is way better than any airport of plane food. Travel with a small covered container like Tupperware if desired, in case there isn't a bowl available. ENERGY: 1, FLAVOR: 1, CONVENIENCE: 3
Note: If you can, avoid the envelopes of instant oatmeal that come already flavored. It's better than Froot Loops, admittedly, but it comes with a bunch of artificial flavorings that you don't need. Just sayin'.
And that's it for today.
This has been a public service by your Friendly Neighborhood Fitness Maniac
See you next time!