TOA: What drew me to Kira’s oatmeal posts on Instagram was how creative she was. She would take my recipes and add a personal touch that I always found appealing. I guess you could say she and I would make a great team!
Hello fellow oatmeal lovers,
I was over the moon when Lauren asked me to be the Oatmeal Enthusiast for October. Not only because I had been dreaming about being an oatmeal enthusiast, for any month, for months, but because I was secretly hoping it would be for October as I turn 18 this month. I was actually talking to my mother about it a week or two before Lauren asked, and when I told her it actually happened she was elated. Best 18th birthday present EVER!! (Cue painfully big smile, weird happy noises, and ecstatic bouncing up and down/irish dancing).
I hyperventilated on the spot, re-reading her message a bajillion times before I could fully understand it. No joke.
Now, let me introduce myself. My name is Kira, I’m seventeen, but not for much longer. I’m a proud Brit, currently doing my second year of A-levels in media, general studies and most important of all, film studies. I dream about being a part of the world of film production either as a screenwriter or director.
Just over a year ago I made a life changing decision to completely change up my diet and overall lifestyle. I started exercising more regularly and dived in at the deep end when it came to food. I quit cold turkey and cut out everything I was 100% sure was pure ca-ca. Bumping up my clean-eating regime with fruits and veggies and leaving the fast food behind me. Thinking it was going to be just that easy. I lost 25 pounds in just a few months.
Now I’m not going to lie, I have had my struggles with food and exercise. For months I fell into a dangerously additive downward spiral of restrictive dieting and over-excising. I won’t go into any detail but I will quickly bring this post back to a positive mood by saying I am steadily making my peace with food, not restricting and giving myself enough rest days a week to keep me balanced. Even starting an online nutrition course to properly educate myself. I no longer desire to be stick thin, but lean, strong and powerful. I wholly enjoy my ‘diet’. My, do I hate that word. On the clean lifestyle I follow now I feel fantastic, and have made amazing progress with my physical abilities i.e strength and endurance. I have fallen back in love with foods like bananas, a beloved stable on this blog, as well as discovered new ones like pomegranates, avocados, zucchinis, beetroot. I even eat brussel sprouts now. To the shock and awe of my family.
I still treat myself regularly though.
On to oatmeal. My mum actually winces whenever I call it that. “It’s porridge. You’re not American.” I pefer ‘oatmeal’ though. It sounds so much more appealing. The first time I tried it, I hated it. I loathed it even. Though looking back it was all down to the fact that I had no idea what I was doing when I first made it. But to 2012 me, oatmeal was disgusting, it was gloopy, tasteless, grey mush. I had to add FIVE TBSP’s of sugar and even then I only had two more spoonfuls before chucking it in the bin and making a bowl of cereal.
I left it a year before I tried it again. This was when I was just starting out trying to eat healthier. It still sucked. Thinking about it now I’m kind of ashamed. I had cooked it in the microwave, and it was an overcooked, stodgy mess. Even worse this time, I added Splenda. No offense to anyone who uses it. But artificial sweeteners…it makes me cringe to see people use them. When there are such better alternatives both for health AND taste; honey, maple syrup, stevia, FRUIT!
Fast forward a few months and I realised that its better straight from the hob (The stove for all you Americans). And with milk. Unsweetened almond milk being my liquid of choice. And most of all, laddened down with lots of fruits, jam/nut butters, nuts, chocolate chips etc, etc. Midway through this period of oatmeal adventureous..ness..ness (That’s not a word is it?), I came across one of the best discoveries I have made. Lauren…and her blog. I was overwhelmed with just how many different combinations she had created, and because of her I found other blogs (Oatgasm and the Cinnamon siliqouy) which gave me even more to try out and enjoy. Oatmeal has so many benefits, and because I can make it with gluten-free oats it doesn’t give me a tummy ache afterwards either, I suffer from IBS, irritated significantly by gluten, so this is a big selling point for me.
Now. Even more months after that I still follow them and others, checking everyday for new posts, and have even started up my own blog where I post my own creations. Writing this, I thank my lucky stars that I decided to choose a healthy lifestyle, and more over that I found Lauren and ‘The Oatmeal Artist’ because I have no idea where I would be now. Not enjoying a new, exciting, delicious AND nutritious breakfast every morning that’s for sure. And I do eat it every morning. Without fail. My day doesn’t start till I’ve had my oats. Which brings me to the end of the ‘get to know me’ segment of this post. (Sorry it was so long!)
If you’re still reading after that lot… Well done. I mean it. Now how about I get down to it and show you the main attraction of this post? My breakfasts for the week.
These were my oatmeal dishes from the 14th-21st of Septemeber. Hope they were worth it 😛
Lauren and I had the same idea this week. A baked variation of Mexican hot chocolate oatmeal. I just added a chocolate centre. I found that this calmed some of the heat and made it extra indulgent. I had some yogurt on the side so it was like having a posh dessert for breakfast.
For Lunch: Blueberry and Peanut Butter Oatcakes
I have Mondays of from college. So every Monday I take advantage of being at home and have oatcakes for lunch. Each week is a new flavour. But this week I decided to repeat the oatcakes I had the week before. Because they were just that good. I love the ‘PB & J’ combination with a passion and this was just another variation I had wanted to try out. Blueberries were just coming out of season and I wasn’t going to let them go without enjoying them one last time. The peanut butter and ‘plain’ oatcakes were layered with fresh berries, both whole and blended, and maple vanilla and PB2 greek yogurt. The tower was topped with PB2 sauce and chopped peanuts.
Chocolate Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
with chocolate greek yogurt frosting
Carrot cake is good. So it can only made even better by adding a little, or a lot, of chocolate. Right?
The carrots were joined by chopped walnuts for extra crunch and the frosting was made by simply whipping greek yogurt into melted milk chocolate. Some may say this is a little bit too indulgent for breakfast but it I don’t think so. I mean you’ve got one of your five a day, some healthy fats, and extra protein. Plus a little chocolate’s always good, for the soul, more than the body of course.
In my mind a mini frosted cake is the best way to start a day. Cause you start it with a smile.
Today I decided to have one of Lauren’s recipes, one that I had been meaning to try for ages. Now I’m not a big fan of almond butter but Lauren seems to be slowly converting me. Her Roasted Strawberry and Almond butter stove top oatmeal is one of my all time favourites. And this breakfast didn’t disappoint. Annoyingly my almond butter seemed to get thicker the more almond milk I added, so it was more of a mousse-like frosting than a drizzle.
Pecans are my favourite nut. They have an almost candy-like feel to them. Based off a cupcake recipe I found this was a fantastic bowl of oats. I soon plan to make a baked version. Still topped with marmalade. It was fruity and sweet with great crunch.
My college schedule was actually changed this week. So I’m in earlyWednesday-Friday. Meaning I can’t spend as much time on my breakfast. So I resort to stove top or overnight oats to set myself off right for a long day of lessons. These oats were greatly refreshing. The mint complementing the pears amazingly.
I’m the October Enthusiast. I had to do something Halloween themed. This oatmeal is the first of my seasonal specials. Walking the line between cool and gross this oatmeal had a molten strawberry jam centre that oozed out to make my breakfast perfectly ghoulish.
I love baked sweet potato and served hot and slathered with nut butter. So I made it into a baked oatmeal, that I had for lunch. It was inspired by Lauren’s sweet potato pie. Which I can say whole heartedly is amazing, especially drizzled with extra maple syrup and top with mixed nuts.
In this one I used cashew butter but I look forward to trying it out with peanut and almond when I get the chance. Of course there was extra sweet potato leftover so I just had to eat it as my ‘during cooking’ snack, I’m a big fan of those, smothered with leftover cashew butter. I don’t know how but I managed to leave a little for topping.
What do you know? More PB & J. I had this oatmeal at work. I work every Sunday, in the cafe of a garden center, but that doesn’t stop me from having a good breakfast. This was one of Lauren’s recipes again. My favourite sandwich combo, loaded up or down, however you want to think of it, with GoRaw’s original buckwheat groat granola and chopped peanuts. My co-workers always comment on how healthy my breakfast are, smiling as I devour my bowl of oats.
Well. That’s me. And my week of oatmeal’s. Again I thank Lauren for giving me such a great opportunity. If you would like to see my other recipes check out my blog.
I hope you liked my post as Oatmeal Enthusiast. I certainly loved the whole experience. Thank you for having me.
Have a great October everyone,
TOA: 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!