A date with oatmeal

July 26, 2010 § 24 Comments

Today was an oatmeal kind of day.

Yes it is the middle of the summer, and yes it was after I was on the elliptical for 40 minutes and did about 15 min of light yoga afterwards–I was sweaty. But after that cinnamon roll yesterday, I couldn’t help craving for something warm, toasty, and, well, cinnamony.

When I first got introduced to oatmeal, my toppings were just the same old: cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, and occasionally some chopped walnuts. I experimented with it more as my relationship with oatmeal grew stronger, occasionally adding in chopped apples, chopped pears, stirring in bananas, or throwing in some mixed nuts in the end. And then I met the foodie blogworld, where everyone made their oatmeals in the morning look like desserts.

But sometimes, the good old can be just as good and somewhat nostalgic.

My plain-Jane oatmeal:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 almond milk
  • 1/2 water
  • 1/2 banana (okay, maybe I cheated a little here)
  • dash of salt

Toppings

  • cinnamon sugar
  • raisins
  • chopped walnuts

Delicious, and hit. the. spot.

Okay, I may have cheated more than once. I couldn’t resist but throw in a handful of blueberries and a blob of sunflower seed butter after I’ve devoured half. 😛

Today while I ellipticalled, I cracked open my new-found book: The Yoga Body Diet.

One of the things mentioned in the introductory chapter that really caught my attention was the principle that we should eat 3 square meals a day without snacking. Their belief is that by not snacking between meals, we allow our digestive systems to properly digest everything and clear out the digestive tracts before our next meal. When we snack, we clog up the digestive tract with undigested food while the stomach has to get to work on the incoming food.

Which made sense, but what about the eating every 2-3 hours to help stabilize your blood sugar principle? Personally, I find that if I go too long without eating, I’d be starving by the next meal and just scarf down everything in sight. Not very healthy and friendly to the waist-line either.

So what’s the dealio?  I’d have to find out as I continue on reading. The book includes some sample meal plans and types of food to eat according to the three main body types: vata, pitta, and kapha. In Ayurveda (which literally translates to The Science of Life from Sanskrit), each one of us is born with all three of these doshas, or body types. However, we all have one predominant dosha. The doshas are based on four elements: fire, air, water, and earth. Vata types are made of air, while pitta types are made up of fire and water, and kapha types are made up of water and earth.

Another thing that I picked up from what I’ve read so far today is that we should always, always eat in a stress-free environment. Heart of the fight-or-flight response? Yep, that’s our sympathetic nervous triggers. Back in the days when humans are not snobby predators on top of the food chain, our stress responses were useful when we were running for our lives away from sabertooth tigers and what nots. When this particular switch is flipped on, our body starts storing fat as energy reserve, ’cause when you’re running for your lives, you don’t have time to down an energy bar or fuel up with some coconut water. You run like heck, and who knows when your next meal is?

Nowadays, there are so many stress triggers around us, from blaring TV’s to honking horns, 8+ hrs workdays to endless errands–we live in a stressful environment folks. And then our body would mistake that for a lion chasing us down in Africa and start storing fat.

So I know all of us bloggies like to hug our laptops while we sip our coffees and munch on breakfast in the morning. But reading and typing while eating in itself is causing stress, believe it or not. There are distractions, and your brain is thinking and thinking. Food won’t be digested properly, and you’re less likely to savor each bite of food. You also tend to eat more if you distracted while you’re eating.

This morning, I ate alone. In silence. No laptops opened, no books, nothing. It was me, my oatmeal, and some water. It was almost like having a one-to-one conversation with my oatmeal. Hi how are you? Fine, just dandy, and you? Oh I’m feeling glorious this morning. You’re delicious you know that? yes I know, and please give your full attention on me. I will.

What usually is a 5-8 minute breakfast for me lingered for more than 15 minutes today. I could feel my tummy filling up with each bite. I could feel when it was not hungry, and it was just below the line of being full. Fantastic, fantastic date with my oatmeal.

Unfortunately, my dinner wasn’t as distraction-free. Dmitri was watching Supersize Me on his laptop while we were eating.

Have you watched the documentary before? I watched it back in high school during our Health class. That was when I stopped eating at McDonald’s.

I tried making some sort of curry but failed miserably. No curry taste at all! I shouldn’t have added the half can of tomatoes in since it just overpowered everything.

I sauteed some onions in a pan with curry powder and a little tumeric till soft, then added in the canned tomatoes, cauliflowers, and cabbage. I covered the pan to let the whole thing simmer and steam a little. In another pan sprayed with cooking oil, I sauteed cubed tofu with curry powder till crispy, then threw the tofu into the veggie mix and combined everything.

Nutritional yeast saved it…sort of.

I almost poured some Almond milk into the picture to make it creamy. Fortunately I knew better, especially when the almond milk is vanilla-flavored. Vanilla-tomato-curry stir fry? I don’t think so.

Two more days till home-free! :D:D:D

—————————

+ Anyone have good curry recipes out there?

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§ 24 Responses to A date with oatmeal

  • teenagehealthfreak says:

    yeah..i gota eat every few hours or i litterally feel bad..but some people can go longer..but my blood sugar drops and things will get black if I don’t eat some protein/fat/sugar!! sry I’ve never made curry..I really should though.

  • kat says:

    Ya there’s no way I can go 3 meals.I need a snack, even if its just some grapes. I look forward to snacks, but I have never been a huge meal eater. My meals never really top 300 cals

  • kbwood says:

    ive NEVER HAD CURRY!!!
    yeah i def can NOT just do 3 big meals! I have 3 “meals” and 2 large snacks.. so basically 5 meals a day!

  • Ohhh this post has my name written all over it; I love my oats, and I think they make the perfect date 🙂 I tried the whole one on one thing with my meals, but I actually found that I enjoyed them less… I was just in a hurry to get them down so that I could go do something else. When I have distractions, I tend to eat a lot slower and savor my food. Weird, I know, but it works for me.

    The whole 3 meals a day thing, on the other hand, does NOT work for me. If I don’t eat every few hours, I get really shaky, cranky, and tired. I guess there’s no one size fits all when it comes to eating.

  • jqlee says:

    sometimes i like straight up plain oatmeal, just water. haha. weird i know 🙂

  • kaztronomic says:

    I’m such a snacker. I tried to do the 3-square-meals thing, and it left me bloated, sick, hungry, and with indigestion. I really prefer my smaller meals at odd intervals. 😀

    I wish I could appreciate me-and-food time, but I find if I’m just sitting there eating, I get bored and wind up eating faster so I can do other things. I actually like eating at my computer because it stretches the meal out longer and I can enjoy it more. x)

  • Monet says:

    I watched Supersize me in high school…and I stopped eating at the Yellow Arch too. I think that for me personally, snacking throughout the day is much better than eating 3 square meals. My blood sugar dips too low if I don’t eat every few hours. However, I completely agree with the importance of eating in a stress free environment. It is definitely something I have been working on!

  • Chelsey says:

    “So I know all of us bloggies like to hug our laptops while we sip our coffees and munch on breakfast in the morning.” – You know me too well! 🙂 I don’t know how I feel about only 3 meals per day and nothing else. I get shaky, light headed, irritable, and tired if I don’t eat every 3 hours. Seriously! My body needs fuel, and I feel it works best for me to eat almost constantly. 🙂 I know a lot of people who are the 3 meals a day and nothing more type of people.. I don’t know how they do it!!!

    Emily at http://www.frontburnerblog.com has a lot of good curry recipes – I have yet to master it though.

  • I’m guilty of adding everything to my oats – but when I remember to keep it simple I am always in awe how sometimes the simplest things can end up being the best – banana oats are a definite case in point 🙂
    And that’s very interesting about the 3 square meals. I don’t think I could do that – I NEED to snack! Maybe if I ate a meal about twice the size as usual I’d be okay – but then I’d feel awfully uncomfortable. Totally hear you on the eating without stress, though. I’m guilty of eating with my computer on my lap, but am starting to break it by eating without it every other day. I always enjoy it so much when I just DO it, too. Just me, a delicious breakfast, and nature. The only reason I tend to gravitate towards reading something while eating is that it helps to slow me down.

  • brandi says:

    I’ve always wanted to learn more about Ayurveda – it sounds interesting, but I don’t really understand it.

  • Sometimes I feel like writing a book espousing some sort of crazy eating schedule, just to satisfy my curiosity and see who would buy into my load of crap. Really… everyone’s body works differently, and it’s just sad that society pressures people into believing that they need to eat a certain way.

    That said … I find it extremely difficult to eat sans crossword puzzle. 😉

    ❤ ❤

  • Haha I’m def guilty of reading blogs while eating!! 🙂 (Maybe it’s because all the pictures make me hungry!!! haha) And I did watch Super Size Me awhile back. I never really eat fast food, so it didn’t really bother me, I already knew that stuff was bad for you!!! Still, it was interesting to watch 🙂

  • CourtandWhit says:

    It is way too hard to only eat 3 meals a day. I agree, that my tummy will be rumbling. lol. But the book looks like a really good read.

  • We just watched Super Size me again with our kids the other night. It was so interesting watching it with a 9 and 12 year old! I am just now adventuring into curry, so we will see what I come up with. Oh and I am a plain jane with my morning oats. I go crazy with my snack oats though!

  • i’ve actually never had curry!! i have always wanted to try it thought.
    i could never go longer than 4 hours without food otherwise i get super crabby/achy

  • lisaou11 says:

    I’m tired of being told “how to eat”. I think your body lets you know when to eat and when your food is digested etc–so my rule is I just eat when Im hungry.

  • Lori says:

    My problem: I love snacking. It’s bad, I know, and I know that waiting a few hours to eat definitely helps me digest and not have so many tummy issues… oh well. lol
    Interesting concepts in the book. I do believe in the Ayurveda way of eating, I just can’t figure out which one I connect with more closely.

    And I love the eating without distractions thing. It’s hard at time but so so so beneficial! Glad you liked your date with the oatmeal (which looked awesomely good by the way). 🙂

    Curry recipe that is pretty good:
    http://www.whatrunslori.com/2010/07/the-odd-dish-award/

  • I’ve got some yummy curry recipes on my blog 🙂 Pumpkin sweet potato and then a chickpea tagine, both delicious!! I don’t think you would be disappointed with either!

    ~Alyssa

  • I’ve never seen that book before, but it sounds interesting. I think I’d starve if I could only eat at meal time! My scheduled lunch time at school is later than I’d like it to be and without a quick snack between calsses, I’d never be able to make it! Interesting theory behind the idea though.

  • actorsdiet says:

    haven’t watched supersize me in a while – might be time to add it to my netflix queue! i’m sure i’d see things differently these days, knowing all i do now…

  • ive done a lot of studying on the adrenal glands and our fight or flight response and i agree, its incredibly fascinating!! stress is our essense in our modern world. we are controlled by it. topped with high doses of caffeine, long hours of work, emotional stress, poor diets etc. its no wonder our health can fail miserably.

    xoxo ❤

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