Goooooood morning and happy Tuesday! I am currently off to a meeting with a client of mine, so I wrote this post on Sunday and set it to post today while I am a busy working today!
Have any of you ever seen that video of the little boys who had all of their halloween candy “eaten” by their mom? If you have, you know exactly how I came up with this post’s title 😂 If you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, please have a laugh or two and watch this video.
I love this video. I think I discovered it almost 10 years ago and I am still quoting it. (Mom, I hope this title made you chuckle a little)
Anywho, besides talking about cute kids getting upset with their candy-eating-mother for eating their hard earned Halloween candy.. I want to talk about the sneaky oatmeal I like to make for myself.. and Ian 😉 That sneeeeaky Brittany!
How I make my “sneaky” oatmeal
Oatmeal on it’s own is a very nutritious way to start off your day. In fact, as many of you may already know, oatmeal is often advertised as a way to reduce coronary heart disease. In fact, the FDA has actually gotten behind these labels and has approved of companies such as Quaker Oats advertising the health benefits of their oats.
But what exactly makes oatmeal so healthy? Well, let’s get scientific with it!
Oatmeal is rich in:
- Fiber (insoluble & soluble)
- Primary soluble fiber: beta-glucan – which helps slow digestion, increase the feeling of fullness, and suppress appetite. It can bind with cholesterol-rich bile acids in the intestine and then transport them out of the body through the digestive track. In other words, it helps you poop out some of your cholesterol – yay 🙃 !
- Beta-glucan fiber has also proven to be helpful for those with diabetes due to its potential ability to prevent sharp rises in blood sugar and insulin levels after eating a meal. (Note: this is more so with steel-cut oats and is not the case with highly processed instant oats)
- Oatmeal often can be filling due to the ability of beta-glucan fiber to attract water, therefor increasing the volume of food in your gut.
- (source: Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health)
- Phosphorus helps to:
- build strong bones and teeth
- filter out waste in your kidneys
- aid in muscle recovery after exercise
- managing the body’s energy usage and storage
- Phosphorus helps to:
- Thiamine (or Vitamin B1)
- Vitamin B1 enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy and plays a key role in nerve, muscle, and heart function.
- It helps prevent complications in the nervous system, brain, muscles, heart, stomach, and intestines. (source: Medical News Today)
- People with ulcerative colitis, persistent diarrhea, and poor appetite may also receive thiamin prescribed from their physicians.
- Regular consumption of alcohol can lead to deficiencies in Vitamin B1
- Something to keep in mind: tea and coffee contain tannins, chemicals that may interact with thiamin, making it harder to absorb. (source: Medical News Today)
- Important for:
- Bone health
- Calcium absorption
- Glucose metabolism – helpful especially for those with diabetes
- Heart health
- Magnesium is necessary to maintain the health of muscles which includes your heart
- Consuming magnesium has also been found to help with:
- Lowering the risk of osteoporosis
- Activating Vitamin D in the kidneys
- Properly metabolizing calcium – which can aid in the prevention of kidney stones (source: Medical News Today)
- Reducing the risk of diabetes
- Reducing the risk of hyper-tension or high blood pressure
- Reducing the risk of atherosclerosis – a fatty buildup on the walls of arteries
- Migraine headaches (small study done on this. source: Medical News Today )
- PMS symptoms
- Relieving anxiety
- Great sources of magnesium include:
- Almonds (1 cup: 420 mg)
- Sunflower seeds (1 cup: 512 mg)
- Spinach ( 1 cup: 78 mg)
- Cashews (1 ounce: 74 mg)
- Oatmeal (1 cup: 58 mg) – yay!
- Broccoli (1 cup: 51 mg)
- Hard to overdose on magnesium. Anything you don’t use, you pee out! Although, definitely don’t try to overdo consuming magnesium (usually done through eating a lot of it and taking supplements as well)
- Important for:
- Necessary for a healthy immune system
- According to the European Journal of Immunology, the human body needs zinc to activate T lymphocytes (T cells). T cells help the body in two ways:
- Controlling and regulating immune responses
- Attacking infected or cancerous cells
- Zinc may also help with:
- Treating diarrhea
- Regulating how neurons communicate with one another, affecting how memories are formed and how we learn. (source: Neuron)
- Treating the common cold
- Healing wounds or ulcers
- Reduce inflammatory diseases (source: Oregon State University study)
- Prevents cellular damage in the retina, which helps in delaying the progression of AMD and vision loss.
- Male fertility
- Preventing osteoporosis
I mean, I can go on and on… but I think you get the point. Oatmeal is really good for you. However, I like to add a little more kick to my oatmeal. It’s so easy to add more nutrition to oatmeal, so why not?!
My favorite additives:
- Protein powder or almond butter – great for keeping me full for hours
- Collagen powder – great for my joints, hair, skin, and nails
- You can find this naturally in bone broths.. but I rarely eat bone broth so I like to supplement with collagen powder. For this reason, I really don’t actually use much (well, and because of how pricey it is). I currently use Vital Protein’s collagen powder, which has a serving size of 2 scoops, but I tend to use around .75-1 scoop.
- Chia seeds
- Chia seeds are awesome because they:
- Are loaded with antioxidants
- Are high in fiber
- Are high in protein (for how small they are)
- Are high in Omega-3 fatty acids – in fact, chia seeds have more omega-3s than salmon does when comparing them gram for gram (source: Healthline)
- Omega-3s are great for: fighting depression & anxiety, improving eye health, improving risk factors for heart disease, reducing symptoms of metabolic syndrome (which is a collection of conditions, including central obesity – or, belly fat), and more!
- Overall: Omega-3s are great for improving mental health
- Have calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus – all all which are great for your bones
- May help reduce blood sugar levels
- Chia seeds are awesome because they:
- Honey is rich in antioxidants, can reduce high blood pressure, and also has been found to help improve cholesterol (which is shocking to me).
- Note: it is still high in calories and sugar, so I always use it sparingly
- Berries and/or banana – great for getting in extra vitamins & antioxidants
- Ground cinnamon
- Cinnamon is also loaded with antioxidants and is great for increasing insulin sensitivity (which lowers blood sugar levels)
- Note: most cinnamon sold in grocery stores tends to contain coumarin which in high doses, is apparently not good for us. The healthiest cinnamon typically is labelled at ceylon cinnamon and can usually be found in health stores or is labeled as organic. You can also find this cinnamon online on Amazon, but I usually just purchase Simply Organic’s cinnamon which is found in nearly every grocery store for around $5-6.
To make my oatmeal, I keep things really simple. I put 1/2 a cup of oats in a bowl with 1 cup water and throw the bowl in the microwave for 90 seconds. Once the oats are cooked, I throw in the additives mentioned above and use a little almond milk to add more moisture/creaminess. I then top my oatmeal with banana and/or mix in blueberries.
And voilà, an extremely healthy breakfast that takes a total of 3-5 minutes to make!
If you are really hard pressed for time, you can throw all of the ingredients mentioned above into a jar with milk (or milk alternatives) and leave the jar in the refrigerator overnight. You can then take these overnight oats on the go and eat them as you rush out the door! I used to do this a lot when I had 5 am practices and it was seriously a life saver. However, I do prefer the taste of warm oatmeal to cold oatmeal, so just keep that in mind.
Now your turn!
~ What do you usually eat for breakfast?
~ If you like oatmeal, what do you enjoy putting in it?