Sucrose. Honey. Maple syrup. Corn syrup. Good old Mrs. Buttersworth. Coconut sugar. Brown sugar. Dark brown sugar. Saccharin. Alcohol. Nectar. Agave. Fruit juice. Sugar Cane. Sugar, sugar, sugar, sweet, sweet, sweet.
It is my internal and external battle. The battle between me and me over sugar is real.
I really enjoy chocolate chip cookies or a dark chocolate cake. And, what about creme brulè or raspberry white chocolate bread pudding? Oh, and lemon squares or blueberry muffins? Oh oh and a moist pound cake or a soft ginger molasis cookie. Pump the brakes MK. My mouth is watering. There are tons of articles on sugar and addiction. So much so that I am not going to go into that because it is extremely controversial and a lot of information that I just don’t want to dig into now. I am not a scientist or even a nutritionist. I simply go by how I feel before, during or after I eat something. I also go by the results of my clients that often times vary from person to person but the core of things are usually the same. In the long run, too much sugar can wreak havoc on our body. Do I always walk the straight and narrow? Ha- no thanks.
To horang my cravings during the mornings, I have been making good old fashioned oatmeal. Oatmeal eliminates a few things for me that I am trying my best to avoid. I want to test my body into noticing the difference in how I feel. I can also test my body when I have a doctor’s physical which will read blood work on cholesterol and my hormones. The things I am eliminating are cholesterol from eggs every morning, the cold of a smoothie in 20 degree weather, and yes the sugar and gluten from hot fluffy muffins, croissants, or bagels. My body doesn’t easily forgive me when I abuse it with certain foods or drinking anymore. I understand what my “elders” where trying to warn me of. And why is it that I have to experience something before I actually believe what someone is telling me??? I forgive you if you don’t take my word. However, test out how you feel yourself by eliminating certain foods. You can do it. It isn’t easy but I don’t believe the good stuff is on easy street or lazy street.
My mixture of oats and steel cut oats warms me up and fills me up. I know it is an “old” meal. But I think we need to bring this back to the forefront. Oatmeal is really good for us. I make extra and put it in the refrigerator for another day, especially when I am having a busy week. Busy, stressful weeks do not need the added yuck feeling of my poor eating habits. It is super quick to throw my oatmeal in the microwave or stove top to reheat and then mix in my extras. The list of ingredients that you can add to your oatmeal really is as long as the sugars I’ve listed above. Exploring your pantry for items that need to be used before expiration is a good way to start experimenting, too.
So, for those of us on our new year’s resolutions of no sugar, no dairy, no meat or if you are just looking for a great way to start the day with a warm bowl of breakfast this winter, then this is for you.
1 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
Pinch of salt
The next three ingredients are per bowl
1 tablespoons almond butter ( or any nut butter) (check your labels for any added ingredients- just plain old almonds should be your ingredient)
1/2 pink lady or honeycrisp apple diced (no need to peel if organic! Just wash and chop)
1-2 pinches cinnamon
Start by boiling your water, then add your oats and salt. Lower the temperature to a simmer and stir often. I like a nice textured oatmeal. When the water has absorbed and the oats have cooked enough turn off the heat. This takes about 10 minutes. At this point you fill your bowl or bowls and save the rest. Add your almond butter and mix in. Top off with your apples and cinnamon.
This is my basic go to. I don’t always add the apples but it is a great way to calm my sweet tooth from biting my hand off. She does get vicious.
Other toppings that I have added are chia seeds, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, fresh blueberries or blackberries, and fresh pear.
Now, this oatmeal isn’t the same as our childhood oatmeal that had a sprinkling of brown sugar (or a heaping spoonful of brown sugar) but that isn’t our aim here. And believe me, I have craved it, but everytime that I omit it and eat the healthier version I feel great. I feel full, my sweet tooth has been tamed with the fruit, and I have energy that is real and not from the sugar that will take a steep dippy dive after 20 minutes. I would love to hear some of your favorite healthy toppings. Please leave a comment below!
Cheers to healthy eating!