Happy April, everyone! It's my favorite month, and I've been enjoying having my window open and sunshine peeking through my curtains later into the evening. For this beautiful month's Oatmeal Enthusiast, I found Lyndsey on Instagram. She's been posting oatmeal pictures almost daily with the #oatmealartist hashtag for months! Like me, she also turned to oats to control a diet-related syndrome, and the habit stuck!
Hello, oatmeal lovers! When Lauren invited me to be her April Oatmeal Enthusiast, I was ecstatic. I have been following (AKA stalking) her blog ever since I found it on Pinterest last fall and I love the creativity of every recipe. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I could write a post on her blog! This has been such fun and unique opportunity. I am also proud to be representing the younger generation of oatmeal fans.
Let me introduce myself. I'm Lyndsey, a fourteen year old singer, actress, student, clean eater, Disney-lover, big sister, Starbucks addict, Midwesterner, yogi, and, of course, oatmeal lover (hence my Instagram name, @oatmeallover14). I perform in professional musical theatre, and I work hard to balance a busy schedule while keeping up with schoolwork. One day I hope to move to NYC to perform on Broadway, but would also enjoy working in the medical field.
I have become interested in organic and clean eating in the past year or so, for health and environmental reasons. However, I believe in moderation, and I know that a treat from time to time won't kill me. But most of the time, I lead a clean lifestyle filled with fruits, veggies, and protein, and low in saturated fats, processed food/artificial dyes, and refined sugar. I don't eat a ton of gluten, but this is mainly because of food preferences, not diet choice.
Now let's talk oatmeal. I have always enjoyed a creamy bowl of oatmeal, but my passion for porridge really took off a couple of years ago, when I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. At one point before diagnosis, one of the only foods I could tolerate was oatmeal, and fortunately, I could load it with enough protein and calories to maintain a healthy weight. My Crohn's is now under control, but oatmeal has stuck with me through thick and thin, and has become my breakfast of choice every day. Sometimes I eat in twice a day... But you won't judge, right?
Here's what a typical week of oatmeal looks like for me!
Sunday: Banana Brûlée Oatmeal
This oatmeal was a delectable breakfast packed with nutrients that tasted like an indulgent dessert. The caramelized bananas were definitely the highlight of the dish, and I would recommend it to anyone that is a fan of bananas. And if you like this blog, you pretty much have to be a banana fan. :) [Editor's note: She's right!]
Monday: Clean Shamrock Shake Oatmeal
While the vast majority of Americans were slurping down's the McDonald's version filled with artificial dyes and a week's worth of sugar and fat, I enjoyed this clean version of a St. Patrick's Day treat. Free of artificial everything, and packed with a heaping of spinach to fuel you throughout the day. This is my kind of Shamrock Shake. PS. I posted my own recipe on my Instagram page a few days before her, but you can find The Oatmeal Artist's version here.
Tuesday: Snicker's Oatmeal
Some days I like to add spinach to my oatmeal, but other days I just like to splurge. And this recipe was definitely splurge-worthy. The best part was, it had no added sugar besides the drizzle of caramel sauce, and had a dollop of peanut butter for nutrition. Win-win. :)
Wednesday: Strawberry Cucumber Oatmeal
I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to try this recipe, since I have never seen anyone use cucumber in oatmeal before. But then I thought, if I have tried spinach, carrots, and zucchini in oatmeal, how bad could cucumber be? In the first bite, I regretted not trying this recipe earlier, because it was delicious. Cool from the cucumber and naturally sweet from the strawberries. This recipe would be perfect for a warm summer morning.
Thursday: Caramel Frappuccino Oatmeal
This was another recipe that tastes and looks indulgent, but is secretly pretty healthy. Again, the only added sugar comes from the caramel sauce, and the 'ice cream' on top is really just frozen milk. This is a great recipe to satisfy a craving of a high sugar Starbucks drink. Although, I do love Starbucks… :)
Friday: Blueberry Muffin in a Bowl
This is all-time favorite oatmeal recipe. Partly, because I have an obsession with blueberries, and also because blending rolled oats after cooking them on the stove is my favorite way to eat oats. The thick texture melts in your mouth, and I swear it is heaven. Anybody who likes oatmeal at all needs to try it at least once. The recipe can be found on Chocolate Covered Katie's blog.
Saturday Breakfast: Chocolate Raspberry Oatcakes
This was my first time trying Lauren's Oatcakes and I wish I had tried it sooner. These 'pancakes' would be great for someone with a gluten allergy, who is trying to avoid gluten, or simply for someone who loves oats (such as me). I took The Oatmeal Artist's basic Oatcake recipe and added some dark cocoa powder and raspberries.
Saturday Lunch: Broccoli Cheddar Oatmeal
Like I said, sometimes oatmeal manages to sneak its way into my lunch or dinner, which is, of course, fine by me. Broccoli Cheddar Soup is my favorite soup ever… so I was so excited when this healthier version popped up on The Oatmeal Artist blog. I made it right away, and it was so yummy!
That concludes my week of oatmeal, although there are so many more amazing recipes out there that I would love to share with you. To see more of my daily oatmeals, follow me on Instagram at @oatmeallover14. I would love to meet more oatmeal fans like me! Thank you again for this opportunity, Lauren!
[Editor's Note: If you're interested in becoming my next Oatmeal Enthusiast, be sure to show your enthusiasm by tagging your oatmeal pictures with #oatmealartist on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Thank you for all your love and support!]