Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to thank Lauren for everything she has done for me. Not only has she picked me to be The Oatmeal Enthusiast of May, but her blog has also been a big inspiration to me for the last few years.
I have struggled with an eating disorder for 8 long years, but it got very bad in 2011. My anorexia took over my life, and I was no longer able to enjoy food. I found Lauren’s blog in 2012, and even though I was still very much in denial and did not want to get better at all, there was something about those delicious looking oatmeal recipes that caught my attention! I suddenly had an interest in food again, which was both scary and exciting. I started experimenting with my breakfasts, and although I was too afraid to follow the actual recipes, it was still a step in the right direction.
I went inpatient for 4 months in the summer of 2012, and as I was getting better all I could think about was going home and finally be able to try all of the recipes on The Oatmeal Artist’s blog. Unfortunately I had a very bad relapse, but even through that relapse I continued to eat oatmeal almost every single morning, and that was without a doubt one of the reasons I made it through. Today I consider myself recovered, and Lauren’s blog has definitely helped me get to where I am now.
My passion for health and good food started about a year ago when I decided to start treating my body with kindness instead of abusing it. I was not exactly a super healthy child. I was a very picky eater and I would often refuse to even try things I thought I wouldn’t like. I was a meat and pasta (or fries) kind of gal, and I would sometimes skip breakfast and lunch and eat ice cream or cookies instead. I also hated any kind of exercise unless it was gymnastics or badminton and I would usually just sit on the couch all day long.
That has certainly changed now! I make it a priority to move my body, keep it hydrated and feed it well.
I became vegan in September last year and it’s probably the best decision I have ever made. I feel so much more connected with nature, and it has done amazing things for my body. I recently decided to try the 801010/rawtill4 lifestyle, and even though I feel incredible eating this way, I may have to give it up because of some stomach issues I have developed (caused by my eating disorder).
Now let’s talk oatmeal!
I was just a baby when I had oatmeal for the first time. Back then the only toppings I got were milk and sugar, but that was more than enough to make my tummy smile. I stopped eating oatmeal for quite a long time because it was just easier to eat toast in the mornings before school.
I rediscovered oatmeal in 2012 when I went inpatient. It was one of the breakfast options, and I still remember the first bite. I expected it to be bland and boring, but it was far from it. It was nothing exciting, just oats cooked in water with raisins, a pinch of salt and drowned in milk, but at the time that was the most delicious breakfast creation I had ever eaten. From that moment I was sold. I had oatmeal every single morning throughout the 4 months I was inpatient.
I discovered Lauren’s blog at the end of my hospital admission. I was looking up oatmeal recipes and accidentally clicked on a link that took me to theoatmealartist.blogspot.com. Seeing all of the different ingredients and toppings blew my mind! I never knew oatmeal could be so versatile! I started to experiment with different spices and fruits, and that’s also when I developed my love for bananas and nut butters, especially peanut butter. I add mashed banana and some kind of nut butter to almost all of my oatmeal creations; it’s just not the same without it! [TOA: I agree!!!]
I started to really experiment with oatmeal in the fall of 2013, and I have even managed to come up with a few savory kinds like pizza, Mexican and curry style oatmeal. My oatmeal journey is far from over, and if I ever have kids they will be served oatmeal every single morning!
Monday: Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal
This is so easy to prepare and it’s perfect for a busy morning. I layered it with banana coins, apple slices and fresh dates. I topped it with almonds and peanut butter!
Tuesday: Baked strawberry and chocolate oatmeal
I love baked oatmeal because it means I can have cake for breakfast! I went all in on the chocolate and topped it with both a chocolate and peanut sauce, cacao nibs AND chocolate chips!
Wednesday: Spicy pear and banana oatmeal
This is one of my all time favorites! It’s sweet because of the banana, but the cayenne pepper is what makes it pop!
Thursday: Vanilla and cinnamon oatcakes
This is very much inspired by Lauren herself! I shared one with my brother but I had the rest all to myself. They are delicious!
Friday: Kiwi and pear oatmeal
I had never tried this combination before but it was surprisingly good, and the pecans added a very nice flavor as well.
Saturday: Berry and coconut oatmeal
What makes this oatmeal so good is without a doubt the coconut aroma, and it goes so well with berries!
Sunday: Vanilla and dried fig oatmeal
I decided to get fancy and make something extraordinary since it was Sunday so I topped it with a hazelnut and coconut sugar crusted caramelized banana – yum!
[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!]