Happy 2015, oatmeal lovers. I searched long and hard for the first Enthusiast for the new year, and I am pleased to introduce you to Abby. She’s an avid oatmealer (obviously) and a fellow fruit and veggie lover. Yay!
I adore living a healthy, plant-based lifestyle that keeps me energized, strong, healthy, and happy. Oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas, and peanut butter are my favorite foods in the entire world- I eat at least three out of those four things daily (Anybody else have skin a slightly orange tint?)! I am thinking about one day pursuing nutrition as a career, and spend a lot of time learning about what really is healthy- and not what people trying to sell you a quick fix say is healthy (grrrr I hate the diet industry).
Theatre is my other half, getting on stage, analyzing scripts, and making unbreakable bonds with amazing people is something I also want to do for the rest of my life! But, lets go back to the reason why everybody is reading this post: Oatmeal!!
My first oatmeal experience?
Well, it involved disgust. I can easily say the thought of oatmeal, for the longest time, was not an attractive one to me. It conjured images of soupy flavorless mush; an unappetizing and “less fun” cousin of jello.
I first tried those instant packets, but little 5-year-old me didn’t understand the directions, and just added water thinking it would magically cook in one minute. It didn’t, surprise surprise! It reminded me of vomit- it was just chunks of stuff in murky water ew ew ew. So, oatmeal was rapidly replaced with Fruit Loops. How nutritious.
A few years later, I gave oatmeal another go; my mother made it for me one chilly morning before school. I love my mother, but she could not make oatmeal to save her life. Needless to say, I was thoroughly disappointed; I gave up oatmeal altogether, sticking instead to the more classic American choices of toaster waffles and Yoplait yogurt. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as Fruit Loops, but it was certainly not healthy.
So what changed? Well, I rediscovered myself, I discovered of a magical little blog that I am featured on right now (excuse the informality but OMGGGG), and I felt the powerful desire to change.
I won’t go into too much detail, but almost a year and a half ago, I drastically changed my lifestyle and became obsessed with an idea of “healthy” and “thin”. Don’t get me wrong here: being healthy is wonderful. Exercise is wonderful. Dodging social events, crying over excess calories, and going from overweight to underweight in a minimal amount of time is not wonderful. To say the absolute least.
However, as cheesy as it sounds, food saved me again. And it started with oatmeal. Strange, I know, but I eat oatmeal in some form every single day, and have throughout my recovery. It gives me something to look forward to, something to create. It allows me to try new things, to achieve new flavors, to experiment. It began healing me, bowl by bowl. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that’s how I feel about oatmeal! I love it so much, sometimes I will eat it for dinner or lunch as well as breakfast. Now that is dedication!
I started checking food blogs daily, and really challenged myself to try new things. I started liking food again- and started cursing the disease that made me scared of things I should enjoy. It limited me socially and personally, and was utterly exhausting. So, I started to recover. It didn’t happen overnight, but it slowly got better and better for me. My doctors and family were overjoyed, as you can imagine. And I was thrilled to be living a life again. To be alive is one thing, but to live is another.
I consider myself fully recovered from my eating disorder at this point in time, but those who suffer know that the thoughts still creep in. So, I regularly challenge myself to kick those nasty voices down! And I usually do so by sneaking fears into my oatmeal. Somehow oatmeal makes things less scary for me.
Wow that was cheesy. I need to marry oatmeal ASAP, apparently.
Some of my oatmeal experiments from this week are as follows:
Oh excuse the lighting- my 6 AM wakeup call for school does not allow for natural lighting. But, I can assure you, the oatmeal was still quite wonderful. Friday brought me a wonderful bowl of strawberry vanilla oatmeal, topped with sliced pear, a banana, pomegranate arils, and walnuts. There should be some PB on that baby, but I was all out. Trust me, the sadness was real.
I have a love affair with pomegranate. If I am not munching on some arils, I am sipping on some juice. The lovely oatmeal bowl pictured was cinnamon egg white oatmeal, topped with a splash of pomegranate juice, raisons, walnuts, and some beloved peanut butter (I bought more!!!!!).
Traveling is always hard. We had to wake up at the crack of dawn to make it to my grandmas before midnight. So, to fuel up before sleeping some more was overnight cranberry sauce zoats in a nearly empty peanut butter jar. Yes, I keep all of my peanut butter jars so they can be repurposed in this way. “Waste not, want not!”
Breakfast at grandmas was cinnamon vanilla oatmeal, topped with strawberries, banana slices, and PEANUT BUTTER (can you see the addiction??) This was my christmas morning oatmeal, and it was perfect before a day of celebration!
We skip a few days here- I was with family and they thought it was weird that I was taking pictures of my oatmeal for 20 minutes before I sat down. That’s ok, I was perfectly fine waiting until I got home, my oatmeal bowls are much better here anyway! First oatmeal back was strawberry peach oatmeal, topped with walnuts, dried apricots, crushed dark chocolate, and copious amount of peanut butter.
Carrot Cake obsessed right here!! (Did I mention I am orange?) Anyway, carrot cake oatmeal with raspberries, raisins, walnuts, and a waterfall of peanut butter.
A breakfast to celebrate some snowfall. Nope, it didn’t stick at all. That is why I was celebrating!! Almond-coconut protein oats, topped with a banana, some almonds, some raisons, and tons and tons and tons of peanut butter.
There we have it! A week of oats. Fabulous as usual!! I would like to give a big thank you to Lauren for allowing me to be featured on her amazing blog! And I would like to thank you for reading this post!! I hope your day is filled with oatmeal, peanut butter, and hugs from (slightly orange) people that love you!
Wanna be the next Enthusiast? Tag your oatmeal pictures on Instagram and Twitter using the #oatmealartist hashtag.