Posts Tagged ‘oats’

Eating Less Sugar (plus a new way to cook oatmeal!)

Hello!

How’s everyone’s week going so far?

I always feel like Tuesdays are the worst days of the week. Does anyone else feel that way? You’re no longer riding the wave of the previous weekend, and it’s still too far from Friday to feel stress-free about about your to-do list.

Anyways, today I wanted to tell you guys about a recent change I made in my diet: reducing my sugar intake.

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Many of you probably recall that I’ve dabbled in Paleo during the past few years. Although I’m no longer following the strict Paleo guidelines by any means (hi, oatmeal and sandwiches every day),  last month I decided to re-adopt the Paleo “no sugar” rule.  And by no sugar, I mean processed sugar and (gasp!) fake sugar, such as Splenda. (In other words, not the sugars naturally found in fresh fruit.)

I forget what the actual tipping point was, but I had a light bulb moment in May where it finally sunk in that processed sugar is not at all necessary for our bodies to function. Duh, right? In actuality, sugar is the only part of our diet that truly has no nutritional value whatsoever. It got me thinking that maybe it wasn’t in my best interest to routinely indulge in fake sugars, or even foods that were surely highly sweetened but whose nutrition labels I just never paid much attention.

Now, it’s not that I ever ate a boatload of candy or ice cream – I actually don’t even like most sweet stuff (except chocolate – I’m a cookie gal). But you guys, sugar is seriously snuck into everything. It’s sort of crazy.

Sugar is in so many of the seemingly good for you snacks I was used to enjoying on the daily, from yogurt to granola. I have mainly stuck to plain Greek yogurt in the past due to my passion for swirling peanut butter into it, but I’d gotten on a recent kick of enjoying some of the more flavored varieties…which can have 13 grams of sugar and up. And heck, even a lot of peanut butters have added sugar! Not to mention my former daily Luna bar habit. Certainly not sugar-free either.

The more I thought about it, the more sugar I realized I was actually consuming every day without even noticing it.

Not that any of those snacks are “bad,” but all that sugar? Gosh, it adds up! I was starting to wonder what all of that sugar was actually doing to my body, even though I am (thank God) in pretty good health. And really, just why it was necessary to have in my diet period. Ya know? That was the main issue for me.

As for the Splenda, I’ve long felt like my attachment to a packet of Splenda in my morning oatmeal and regular soy mistos at Starbucks was maybe not the most ideal.  To be frank, I have no idea if the chemicals in Splenda or any other “fake” sugars are really eroding my stomach lining or yours, nor is that actually my primary motivation here. Honestly, I just didn’t feel comfortable anymore knowing I was relying on a chemical rather than just trying to kick an (albeit relatively small) sugar reliance altogether. Chalk it up to my perfectionist/Type A-ness. 🙂

So, instead, I’ve been focusing on eating more real food and less energy bars, and reducing my sugar intake altogether.

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Snacks like avocado toast and mixed nuts instead. Boom.

Any energy bars I do have in a pinch have been sugar free or under 5 grams. I’m also enjoying far less Splendas per week than I used to.

If anyone else has struggled to eat unsweetened oatmeal, here’s a tip I learned from my cousin while in D.C. last week: instead of adding sliced fruit and berries on top of your plain oatmeal post-cooking (i.e., what I have done for years), heat the oats with 1/4 of a banana or 2-3 medium  sized strawberries right in the water/milk. I usually microwave it all because I have zero patience to wait for stove-top oatmeal to cook.

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The finished product is a naturally sweetened bowl of oats, ready for topping with nut butter. Stupidly easy, right? And so yummy!

Bottom line here, though, is that the less sugar I consume on the regular, the less I find myself interested in having it, and actually? The better I feel. (I’ve always known this about myself with chocolate, but never really paid attention to other forms of sugar.) In other words, I don’t miss it. Does that make sense?

Let’s be clear though, you guys – I am not at ALL perfect, nor am I striving to be. I mean, I regularly have syrup with my pancakes, and my peanut butter cup snack on Saturday? Totally delicious. I have no interest in blacklisting all foods with sugar 24/7; I’m human after all. But I’m striving to not make sugar a regular guest in my diet.

Have a great day!

 

How do you guys feel about sugar? How about “fake” sugar?

Friday Favorites

TGIF!

I wanted to share some things on top of my favorites list lately, since I can’t really stop thinking about them. K? Ready, set, go!

1. Pumpkin oats.image

I went through a phase courtesy of my Paleo-fied life where I’d forgotten oatmeal existed.. but I’ve been on a kick big time lately, mainly because I’m trying to ingest as much pumpkin as humanely possible.

2. That two of my very FAVORITE D.C. ladies are coming to visit me in January. image

(They’re the lookers on the two ends — but I love you too, Stacey!)

Trip is already booked and I’m already looking into how many cases of wine we may need. I’m already dying of excitement…Regardless of how much I love living in SD now, I miss them so much!

3. Weekend football.image

Whoa, never thought I’d say that……… but football has recently entered my life in a big way. Let’s be honest – I’m in it for the tailgating, but still… Fight on. 😉

4. This dip from my love, Trader Joe.image

How did I just discover it? SO GOOD, especially with whole wheat flatbread (also from TJ’s).

5. Fall get-togethers with friends.image

My lovely friend Michelle is having a fall themed dinner party at her house tonight, complete with a mug-swap. How freakin’ cute is that?

6. Spot-on horoscopes.image

If you follow me on Instagram, you may recall how I used to be obsessed with my daily horoscope in the Washington Post before I moved. Well, now I have a {frighteningly accurate} horoscope app (thanks, Clare). Not that these things are always correct or even real, but they’re fun to read (sorta like fortune cookies for your day). Lately it’s been making some big promises, so I’m curious how they’ll deliver. Fellow Virgos, look alive!

7. “Pretty Little Liars.”MV5BMTU3NjY0Mzg1NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODg5OTY0OQ@@._V1_SY317_CR10,0,214,317_

(source)

Apparently I’m a few years behind in knowing this show existed, but I just started season one on Netflix and am hooked.

Happy Friday!

 

What’s topping your favorites list lately? Share in the comments!

Back in the kitchen

Good afternoon! Okay, so that’s not D.C.

D.C. is a little gloomy today (but SPRING, so whatever), sooo I thought I’d share this photo of Colorado this morning.. Penpal is there and sent me this awesome shot of the Rockies. I wanna gooooo (Katie, adopt me?).

Anyways! Like I mentioned the other day, I’m moving.

Uh.. yeah. It’s a little sudden, but there was an issue facing my roommate and the only way to solve it was for us to break our lease. Not ideal, but it’s over with and now I’m looking for a lovely one bedroom around town that’s not a million dollars, and trying to get myself back to normal/stress-free.

You know what I’ve realized, in the midst of all this drama? That I have barely (BARELY is generous) been cooking in the last few weeks. If you want to call tearing open a bag of Trader Joe’s Buried Treasure (like Pirate’s Booty – it’s my krpytonite) and devouring it near my kitchen table “cooking,” then sure.. I’d been doing lots of that. 😉

And cooking (+ baking) keeps me sane. It does. That and eating, and it’s hard to do the second (and not go broke) without doing the first. One person can only eat so much pizza from Whole Foods, ya know? And really, I need to be sane right now… too much lease jargon and Craig’s List ad-stalking to do.

Even if it just involves unscrewing the lid of the pb jar. That’s something!

It brings the world back to order and makes me feel myself again. And yeah- even just making oatmeal and getting back into a routine in the kitchen each morning has brought back some stability. Totally not Paleo, but I’m cool with that right now. I have bigger fish to fry (like not being homeless, no big deal).

Otherwise I’m just a hot mess without a purpose. Rockin’ out in the kitchen, even to whip up easy, peasy meals like oatmeal, give me a purpose. Am I freak? Maybe, but I bet one or two of you can relate.

Now I just need to pump up the veggie quota back to its usual astronomical serving size portion in my life, and I should be set. 

Back to work! Happy hump day.

 

Anybody else going through a cooking lull lately? 

 

Paleo “oatmeal”

It’s SNOWING here.It’s not sticking, but still – as a result, I feel like you should all make something warm. And since I’m on my Paleo Whole 30.. well, I might as well share something grain-less. Right?

Right.

Now, one of the things I miss most since starting Paleo has been cozy grains at breakfast.

Pancakes.

Waffles.

Peanut butter toast.

Bagel sandwiches.

Oatmeal.

I never feel like my breakfast is complete if I haven’t had some sort of carby item! Talk about major life habit. So imagine my delight when I read Tina’s post last week about faux oatmeal, aka oats with zero oats whatsoever.

I’ve never used plain flax in my life (only pre-mixed into peanut butter), but I ran out to Trader Joe’s to pick up a bag and see if this magical recipe could be real. I tweaked a few things because I can never leave a recipe as is, but oh. my. goodness.

Hallelujah.

Who knew flaxseeds, eggs, and almond milk could create something so similar to oats? I mean, it’s almost creepy. But creepy in a “I’m going to make this every day” type of way.

The bowl I whipped up didn’t quite taste like oatmeal, in my opinion, but it did taste carby and super duper fluffy, and that’s all I was really going for.. Actually, the taste was sort of similar to a bread pudding, i.e. thick and little eggy. Not in a bad way, but more like in a baked good sorta way (I have a heavy hand with the cinnamon). Weird, I know.

And holy protein, Batman! I originally made this one egg and one egg white, but I think it tastes better with just two egg whites.

This breakfast kept me full for literally 4 hours. That has NEVER happened to me with real oats.

Moral of the story: make this and let me know what you think! Including all of you oatmeal haters out there. 😉 I think this will surprise you.

Paleo “Oatmeal”

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

1. Whisk together egg whites, and almond milk in a small bowl.  Stir in ground flax, banana, vanilla, and cinnamon. Blend well. Note: Be sure that your banana is very mashed, or else you will have lumpy “oats.”

2. In a small saucepan, warm mixture on low heat, stirring frequently to reach desired oatmeal-like  consistency. Approx. 5 minutes.

3. Dress bowl of “oatmeal” with whatever you would usually top your oats with (I usually go with sliced banana, blueberries, a spoonful of nut butter, etc.) and enjoy!

Serves 1

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