I have grown to really love oatmeal over the past few years. I didn't always. As a kid, it always seemed ultra sticky and I would tend to grumble and complain whenever my mom made it for breakfast, begging for Cap'n Crunch instead. My poor mom. As I've grown, I've discovered the health benefits of this breakfast food and also some tips that improves my overall oatmeal experience without having to add all the preservatives, chemicals, SUGARS, etc found in the prepackaged varieties.
One half cup of old-fashioned oats has 5g protein.1 Protein is important to every single cell in the body, and is the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. These proteins are also fundamental to enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. 2
Fiber helps you to feel fuller longer which can aid in weight loss. It's also takes longer to chew, allowing your body to recognize the signal that you've had enough to eat. High-fiber diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts can help to trim the waistline as well as reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, diverticultis and constipation. 3
I always thought that if I wanted to have fast oatmeal that I'd have to buy those tiny packets in a box. Hey, all you have to do is add water, right? Exactly. Except...boxed is NOT THE ONLY OPTION!! I was meal planning this weekend and thinking about what types of breakfasts would be most beneficial to my training for Rigby Tri that is coming up soon.
Oatmeal was on the list for it's high nutrition but I'm going to need to get out the door at some pretty early hours to get it all in. Then the thought occured to me...why can't I make my OWN instant oatmeal? If I put it together then I'll know that it is without all the additives and SUGAR and most importantly, WITH enough food to keep me satisfied through my workout (and my morning).
So, that's what I did! I grabbed 7 snack bags, 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats and 1 Tbsp ground flax seed, placed the oats and flax into each snack bag, zipped it up and put them in a quart sized storage bag. Took me about 3 min to put together breakfast for a week!
Now, before an early long ride, I can grab a bag, dump it in a bowl with 1 c water and throw it in the microwave for about 2 min. I cut up any fresh fruit and spices I have on hand to add flavor. I particularly like it with cut up bananas or chopped apples, nuts and cinnamon. YUM!! And super, duper fast!
Don't let lack of time be an excuse for poor breakfast nutrition. There's always a way to make it possible. Also, be careful of letting a childhood distaste get in the way of trying a nutrient packed food again. With a little experimentation you may find that you actually really like it.