Happy April! Meet this month’s Enthusiast, Rachel. You may know her from Instagram as @rachelhoatmeal, but I know her as the person whom I secretly thought was my sister-in-law for several months due to the fact that they share a first name and last initial, and I’m stupid like that. 😂 I eventually convinced myself they were not the same person, and I’m happy to share Rachel’s story here today!
Hi fellow oatmeal lovers! My name is Rachel. I am 18 years old and a high school senior in Missouri. I am a very active person, involved in gymnastics, track, student council, yacht club and AP classes. A busy lifestyle like mine requires much energy, and I get a great deal of my energy from a hearty bowl of oatmeal each morning.
In elementary school, I always ate breakfast at school; then throughout middle school I usually had Pop-Tarts or chocolatey cereal for breakfast. Sometime around my transition from middle school to high school I decided to try making chocolate oatmeal with instant oatmeal packets I found in our pantry. Unfortunately, I was not too pleased with my first oatmeal concoction. Following my first oatmeal blunder, I began to put Nutella and/or chocolate protein powder in my oats and thus began my relationship with oatmeal. Pinterest helped me discover many more ways to spruce up the measly instant oatmeal packets, besides Nutella and protein powder, soon I started using oats out of the carton instead of the packets. I happened upon Lauren’s blog when I was googling recipes, and I hopped onto the oatmeal bandwagon.
My sophomore year of high school was when my oatmeal enchantment really took full swing. I was infatuated with all the different recipes to try on the Oatmeal Artist and many of the overnight oat recipes on Pinterest that I enjoyed after morning weightlifting for track. Most often I made oatmeal with ⅓ cup oats to ¾ cup almond milk and water because the instant oatmeal packets were a ⅓ cup. However, during this time I also began to develop an obsession with working out and eating healthy. This year was a great time for me in track because my height in pole vaulting increased two and a half feet, but my weight dropped into a low percentile. Eventually my mom took me to the doctor who instructed me to gain weight for my health. Following this ordeal, I began to make my oatmeal with a full serving of oats. This aided in my recovery, but I also learned to love my body for all it allows me to do.
[Note from TOA: Yes!! Instant oatmeal packets come in smaller portions so they can say it’s “100 calories” or “150 calories” on the front of the box. Ugh!]
At the beginning of this year, I showed my friends the wide variety of oats I had on my camera roll, and they suggested I make an Instagram account to display my oats. I was hesitant but gave in, and my friend Emily named the account Rachel Hoatmeal, as a play on my last name and the word oatmeal. I have constantly made Lauren’s recipes, but until the beginning of this year I had never shared them on social media. I do really enjoy sharing my oatmeal in the mornings and my Instagram has become like own little oatmeal collection.
Day 1: Dark Chocolate Dreams Overnight Oatmeal
This is a bit of a twist on Lauren’s Dark Chocolate Dreams Oatmeal, but I made it overnight oats because I had track weight lifting before school. To make this an overnight recipe I used equal amounts of oats, almond milk, and Greek yogurt, then put some strawberries and bananas into it along with chia seeds and mixed everything in a nearly empty peanut butter jar. I usually eat a banana and maybe drink some coffee before weights then eat my overnight oats afterwards because I don’t like to eat a whole lot before weights and because it’s quicker in the morning to just pack already made oats then eat them at school.