Every month as I select the Oatmeal Enthusiast, I try to find variety. However, after searching on Instagram for the last year, I was only finding the ladies in their teens and 20s! (Thanks for using the hashtag, ladies! ^_^ ) I knew that wasn’t an accurate representation of my blog. I realized that if I wanted to find some diversity in my Enthusiasts, I was going to have to look at my other platforms–not just Instagram. That’s how I found Rochelle. She is a frequent poster on Facebook and a commenter on my blog posts. Hooray for change!
Hi! I’m Rochelle! I have two wonderful children, I work two jobs, I’m in school to get a degree in the medical field, and I dedicate any extra time to exercising and eating healthy. I love reading and learning new things. (Who takes an American Politics class for fun?! I DO!) I enjoy doing anything outside: swimming, basketball, biking, rollerblading, running, snowboarding, or sledding. I will be building some snowmen this weekend. (I’m from Chicago and we just got another 3 inches.) I might be brave and take on the Polar Plunge at Lake Michigan too! The family and I try to take advantage of the wonderful city we live in by heading to the Brookfield Zoo, Museum of Science and Industry, Navy Pier, and of course, the beach in the summer!
I didn’t always enjoy oatmeal as much as I do now. When I was younger I was told I had to eat breakfast and it mostly consisted of high sugar cereals. When my mother passed away 2 years ago, I was a heavy drinker and smoker. My dinner consisted of ramen noodles (yuck!) at 10 o’clock at night and some days I would only eat one meal a day. (I want to clarify that I did not smoke in my house or in my car and what I ate for dinner, didn’t mean my children ate that.) My kids knew I smoked and my son had been asking me for months to quit, but at that time in my life, my bad habits spiraled out of control.
Four months after my mother passed away, right after my 28th birthday, and a thousand nags from my son to quit smoking, I did. At the same time, I quit drinking. (I figured if I was going to do it, go big) I realized I had 2 amazing children that needed me… alive. I knew I had to change my lifestyle because I had heard so many times that people that quit smoking gain weight. This is when I decided to try yoga to help me relax and gain control of myself in times that I would get upset or stressed and usually had a cigarette. I fell in love with it. Then I started running and I could tell such a huge difference in my breathing.
People started noticing a change in my weight and this inspired me to change the way I ate. I have been a vegetarian for 20 years and kind of a crappy one at that. There are so many options out there for protein and I shoveled pasta, breads, and cheeses into my mouth. I know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. (I hear my mother telling me every morning.) So I wanted to start with changing the first meal of the day.
When I discovered Pinterest from a friend, I couldn’t believe all of the recipes there were. I knew oatmeal was good for you, but I didn’t want the instant packets or plain boring oatmeal. I was searching for something exciting. This is when I stumbled across Lauren’s Oatmeal Artist page and I was in oatmeal heaven!! I couldn’t believe there were so many possibilities for oatmeal! My breakfast didn’t have to be boring, but adventurous and filling at the same time. Who knew zucchini would taste so good in oatmeal?!
There are times I have oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In place of ramen, I make oatmeal with paprika, garlic and onion powder, topped with shredded cheese and sliced scallions. For dinner, sometimes I make a vegetarian meatloaf with oatmeal or have an oatmeal burrito for lunch. I love how versatile oatmeal can be. There’s savory or sweet, old-fashion or steel cut, baked, overnight, and stove top.
I feel so much healthier now that I have changed my lifestyle and eating habits. I have yet to get my kids to eat oatmeal, but I won’t stop trying! I love when I eat oatmeal in the morning, I’m not hungry for hours later. If I eat something else, I’m hungry in less than an hour. I have lost 37 pounds since I started my journey and I couldn’t be happier. A huge thanks to Lauren for her oatmeal page that I turn to religiously every day. Thank you for letting me be a part of your blog and sharing my story.
This is Lauren’s Berry Cream Cheese Baked Oatmeal. I used a mix of frozen cherries, blueberries, and strawberries. I did use a whipped cream cheese instead of a regular kind. This was my first time making this oatmeal and I’ve made it 2 more times since. The cream cheese and berries are perfect together. I like how baked oatmeal turns out, but the downfall is how time consuming it is.