It was easy to choose Erica (@missoatstagram) as my Oatmeal Enthusiast this week. Take a look at her gorgeous photos!
Hi fellow oatmeal lovers!
My name is Erica, and I’m a 19 year old college student studying dance, finding my way in NYC, and of course eating a daily bowl of oats! (When not roaming the streets of the big city, I can be found on Instagram @missoatstagram).
Growing up, my mom has always been an incredible and avid baker and cook (following in the footsteps of her Italian mother and grandmother), and I guess the gene was passed down to me as well. I especially love baking, and find it incredibly soothing. In high school (and even now when I go home for breaks), I can always remember asking my mom “what can I bake?” Don’t get me wrong, baked goods are wonderful, but at some point your mom cuts you off because the flour supply is constantly low and there’s only so many baked goods a family can eat. Well, with a desire to bake, but a limit on how much I could, I found this blog. You mean I can make a single served baked oatmeal for breakfast? I was sold, and from there my casual, every once in a while oatmeal breakfast turned into a daily ritual and well, obsession.
Although I was originally drawn here for the baked oats, I slowly started trying other recipes on the blog, and have since discovered the beauty of stove-top oats. I may still have baked (and overnight) oats on occasion, but I have since transitioned to the beauty of a big bowl of warm stove-top oats each morning. My “base” is typically the same with 1/2 c old fashioned oats, 1/2 c water, 1/2 c almond milk, 1 T chia seeds, and from there I get creative.
Oatmeal is “me time.” In this insanely busy and tiring college life filled with lots of dance, academics, a social life, and all the craziness NYC has to offer, I find the whole process incredibly calming from stirring the oats to sitting down with a big bowl of deliciousness. I think my roommates are now used to my morning oatmeal cooking, but for a while they were intrigued and perplexed I would spend so much time in the morning preparing oatmeal.
This could seem like an exaggeration, but oatmeal, most importantly, is currently saving me. I’d prefer not to go in depth with my personal difficulties, but I will admit I have also been struggling and am in the process of overcoming many mental hurdles I have temporarily covered by over-controlling my intake and exercise. But I’d rather focus on the positives here, and how oatmeal is really a key component in my recovery. Skip oatmeal? NEVER. Oatmeal (and all the wonderful things you can do to it) has been so helpful in re-teaching myself how to properly nourish my body.
So thank you to oatmeal to giving me the fuel to dance and do what I love. Thank you to oatmeal for calming me when I’m stressed. And thank you Lauren for choosing me as this months Oatmeal enthusiast!
Day 1: Pumpkin Pie Oats
I am often confused when it turns fall and everyone suddenly becomes obsessed with pumpkin. Pumpkin should be enjoyed all year round! Not only is pumpkin delicious, the creamy consistency you get when pumpkin puree is added to oats is too good! I was also lucky enough to find some pumpkin morsels hidden in the pantry from October, so added them on top along with greek yogurt, almond butter, banana, and dried fig (too many yummy toppings to chose from!)