Remember mom telling you to eat your oatmeal before it gets cold? Or eating it when it wasn’t hot anymore? Yuck! Well, I’m going to tell you how to eat it cold and you will love it as much as your body does! I’m not selling anything. I’m just sharing. If you’re busy like me, you will want this little idea tucked in your repertoire of quick fixes! Here’s my story, and the recipe! Enjoy!
I started doing this new thing for my health. When you work full time and then have all the other things in life to do when you’re single, (cuz no one’s gonna do them for you)sometimes you let things slide. I have never been one to get up in the morning and have enough time to eat AND get ready for work. Let me be clear. Getting out of bed is THE hardest thing I do every day! When you don’t sleep well and you aren’t ready to get up, EVERY day? Well, you get the drift.
Since I have never had a stomach that wanted to be fed upon waking since…ever, I guess; this made passing on breakfast an easy thing to do. Seriously, even in high school, my first meal of the day was usually lunch. Now that I am getting older, so much older, (You have to sing that part like John Mellencamp) I do find myself hungry earlier in the day. Usually around 9:00-10:00. (MAYBE 8:30, but I just don’t eat until I’m hungry-whenever that is-but it’s never at 6:00 or 7:00 a.m!)
This has left me with the dubious task of figuring out what I could eat while also working. I’m not afraid to tell ya, there were many trips to the vending machine where I fed it money in return for being fed….well, crap. Plenty of sodas with a candy bar or maybe they’d have stale cinnamon rolls; as long as it stopped my tummy from screaming “FEED ME!” and it tasted good, I was all about THAT!
I was also lucky in that up until around my mid-forties, I could consume all the food I wanted (junk and/or otherwise) and never had to step into a gym. Which didn’t preclude me from taking a step or Zumba class here or there for fun, or playing on a local softball team. I stayed relatively active, but I had made up my mind I was not interested in “working out.” Besides, I didn’t have to. I wanted to do “fun things.”
If I put on a few pounds, I’d just quit the soda for a while and then I was good. It was relatively easy for me to lose weight, and maintaining was a piece of cake. Then my body just went to hell in a hand basket and it has been a living nightmare ever since! When you are a size 7 or 8 your whole life and then you bump up to a 12 and then 13 or 14 rather quickly….you notice! What’s more, I was walking (briskly) on my morning break, my afternoon break, and trying every diet known to man. Nothing. It just would NOT come off! it is nothing short of frustrating to be stuck with this weight on your shoulders (literally) when it was never an issue before. Looking into a mirror and seeing this person you don’t even know anymore can be down right heartbreaking. It was hard enough for me to love myself with all the shortcomings and faults I already had. Now there was this OBVIOUS “flaw” looking me in the face. The cute clothes that once showed off my figure were a thing of the past. I only wanted to hide it as much as possible. The faces people who had not seen me in a long time would make…It was obvious they were thinking, “Boy did she eat some cake, or what?!” I would almost want to blurt out, “Pasta!” just to answer their unasked questions, but that would only make me look fat AND crazy.
I took up running for a while, and that yielded results, but when you have arthritis in your back and whatever else going on, it’s basically murder on the body. I’ll just say that. As hard as it was, I pushed through it, but it still didn’t answer my question as to why I put on so much weight so quickly, or why I had to eat like a bird AND run to lose it. Given some of the other “female issues” I started having at around that time, I have concluded it’s hormones. They are the root of all evil, just like money, if you ask me. Several years (and doctors-& about 20 vials of taken blood) later, I am still trying to get them back on track and stop the dang hot flashes that are supposedly all in my head. (Insert eye roll here.)
I did this thing where I made breakfast sandwiches for a while. I’d cook up a bunch of eggs and some turkey sausage/bacon and slap ’em on an English muffin with some hot sauce and freeze them. Good stuff Maynard! But let’s face it. After working all week, I’m tired. And since I’m single, no one is running to the bank, doing the shopping, fixing the toilet, mowing the lawn, cleaning, washing my truck, or doing the laundry, but me. Just writing about it all makes me tired! Add trying to do some spiritual growth and maybe a sliver of fun to it, and it’s becomes quite clear that there’s not a lot of time, nor energy/desire (for me, anyway) to stand over a stove and cook up meals for the week.
Thus began my favorite stand-by for breakfast. It was so easy to grab and throw in my bag on the way out the door. It left me searching for a toaster everywhere I worked. You know what? There has always been one! Now, I know, there’s a microwave too, but that also meant some form of cooking or work too. As in, heating up my homemade breakfast sandwiches. No, my favorite breakfast (Aside from a sausage McMuffin with egg and a hash brown with OJ) was the good ole PopTart. Strawberry please!
Until I asked my co-worker how she made her breakfast and decided to give it a try. When she told me she was eating cold oatmeal out of that jar, I thought, “ew.” But, I asked her one day what was in it. It didn’t sound so bad. A few days later, I asked her for a “recipe” and she told me. I gave it a try.
I absolutely LOVE it! No, I CRAVE it! It’s not a lot of work, it’s something easy to take with me and I am going to share it with you! I love it so much, maybe you will too! I wish I had discovered it sooner, or that it was my novel idea. Nay to both. Regardless, I think you (or even your kiddos) will like it! So, make your breakfast and go to bed and sleep in tomorrow! You will love it!
Get yourself a mason jar. If you don’t have one of those, clean out a small pickle jar real good and use it. We can (as in canning) around here, so mason jars are not in short supply. You don’t need the big one. Not the tiny one either. You want the mid-sized one. It will be juuust right. (Think Goldielocks here.) This allows you to take this wonderful concoction with you and you don’t have to worry about spilling anything, or toxins from plastic, etc. I also buy organic, but you don’t have to. (Though I strongly suggest it for the strawberries, at least. They are on the top of the list for having the most pesticides again this year!)
BTW…if you are on a budget, like I am; you don’t have to buy all your fruits and veggies organic, or vice versa. Most citrus is pretty hearty, and so farmers don’t use a lot of pesticides on them anyway. But you can google “Clean fifteen” and get a list of “safe” fruits and veggies that you would not need to concern yourself with buying organic. Then google “dirty dozen.” This will give you the list of the fruits and veggies that are “dirty” with chemicals and you want to buy organic. To reiterate: strawberries-top of the list again this year.
Ok, on with the recipe, and you can find ALL these ingredients organic. (If you want.)
In the jar, place 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats.
2 tsp chia seeds (These have no taste but supply some protein.)
1 cut up banana (or half, depending on what you want to use.)
Some strawberries. (I use frozen, but either is fine.)
Pour almond milk into the jar until it reaches about halfway through the bananas. (I use the vanilla flavored.
1 tsp pure cane organic sugar (optional)
Put the lid on, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, add some blueberries, and shake! (or stir-you may want to add a tad more almond milk also, depending on the texture you desire.)
Grab your spoon, and your jar, and go!
Soaking your oats overnight helps break down the enzymes and makes them easier for your body to digest and utilize. Some people actually have a hard time digesting oatmeal unless they soak them overnight. You can use any variety of fruit you want. I like peaches too! You now get a healthy meal with fiber, protein, your fruits/antioxidants-depending on which ones you use, and it’s non-dairy! I can’t brag about it enough and I hope you love it too!
Have a great day, and top ‘O the morning to ya!