Baby, it’s cold out there! And while I love smoothies and smoothie bowls with the best of them, when the temperature dips below 50, I need something warm for breakfast. My go-to warm breakfast is always oatmeal!
Eating a bowl of oatmeal each morning is the perfect way to start your day off on the right nutritional foot. To be clear, the oatmeal I’m discussing is NOT the instant kind that comes in different flavors. I used to eat those (Apple & Cinnamon was my favorite) but sadly, they’re just SUGAR BOMBS! The real stuff is the plain oat flakes from a gluten-free brand like Bob’s Red Mill. Oats are naturally gluten-free, however because of cross-contamination they often contain gluten. To be sure you get the real deal, ensure your package says gluten-free.
Oats are a perfect fiber source, containing both soluble and insoluble fiber. According to the American Cancer Society:
- Insoluble fiber’s cancer-fighting properties are due to the fact that it attacks certain bile acids, reducing their toxicity.
- Soluble fiber can reduce LDL cholesterol without lowering HDL cholesterol. LDL is bad; HDL is good.
- Soluble fiber slows down the digestion of starch. This may be beneficial to diabetics because, when you slow down the digestion of starch, you avoid the sharp rises in your blood sugar level that usually occurs following a meal. This helps you decrease your risk for pre-diabetes and diabetes AND maintain stable energy.
- It has been found that those who eat more oats are less likely to develop heart disease, a disease that is currently widespread in the United States.
- The phytochemicals in oats may also have cancer-fighting properties.
- Oats are a good source of many nutrients including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. Oats are also a good source of protein.
The difference between insoluble and soluble fiber, is what they actually do in your body.
- Insoluble fiber’s main role is that it makes stools heavier and speeds their passage through the gut, relieving constipation.
- Soluble fiber breaks down as it passes through the digestive tract, forming a gel that traps some substances related to high cholesterol, thus reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
Oatmeal has a pretty bland taste which is great so you can totally make it your own!
Here are my top tips for AMAZING Oatmeal!
- Make the oatmeal with non-dairy milk instead of water. This will increase flavor and creaminess.
- Add raw honey or pure maple syrup to your oatmeal. It will naturally sweeten up the taste without adding sugar.
- Stir in a scoop of collagen protein powder for an extra boost of protein.
- Add in some of your favorite flavored protein powders after its done cooking. This gives the oatmeal a pretty good taste plus it adds protein.
- Add fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries and apples for added antioxidants and fiber.
- Mix in a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter for an extra protein boost
- Add some raw cacao powder for a delicious chocolate treat
- Try topping your bowl of oatmeal with toasted nuts, shredded coconut, goji berries, etc. Vary up the toppings for great texture!
Play around with the ingredients until you find a taste that you fall in love with. Your body will thank you for it!