Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet Tyler!

I’m pretty gosh darn excited to introduce August’s Oatmeal Enthusiast. I’ve admired @tylaaeats and her oatmeal for quite some time, but a few months ago, she took her bowls to the next level. First, there were pocky bowls. Then there were Oreos. Even donuts. Whaaaaat? And that gorgeous blue background. I just couldn’t get enough! Thankfully, she agreed to be the next Oatmeal Enthusiast and tell us her story.

For most of my life I’ve been overweight. Every doctor’s visit was the same: “Tyler, you’re at serious health risk. You need to start thinking about losing some weight…” Just like any 17 year old at the time, it went in one ear and out the other. I continued to eat whatever I wanted with no regards for the doctor’s warning. I was living a lifestyle with dangerous consequences. Looking at my life before the big change, I’ve realized the main reason I never showed signs of changing was being in a constant state of denial, lack of motivation and drive. At one point in my life my uncle graciously tried to help me lose a decent amount of weight by enrolling me in the YMCA tennis camp in Bethesda, MD. He even showed me what to eat and gave me good nutritional advice. But it still wasn’t enough for me to change. As soon as camp was over I reverted back to my old ways and gained all the hard work and effort back.  

Now fast-forward to my first year in community college. I was still eating like I was at 17 years old. Still in denial, I assumed since I could fit in my clothing I wasn’t gaining that much weight. After the first semester I truly hit rock bottom. I was placed on academic probation because I was solely focused on my new job and had my priorities all mixed up. My whole world was shattered. I never felt so low in my life. I just wanted to crawl in a corner and cry. This was the wakeup call I needed to change my life and get my priorities in line. I started to change all aspects of my life, including my eating habits. I began making small changes like omitting sugary drinks and soda, focusing on drinking more water. Also I started setting alarms so I was able to eat breakfast in the morning. It was during this time I came across Lauren’s website. I was completely astounded by oatmeal possibilities. The first oatmeal I ever made from her website was the Thin Mints Oatmeal. Then the rest was history.

Now let me properly introduce myself. My name is Tyler Campbell and I’m majoring in microbiology at Virginia Tech. I love oatmeal because it’s so versatile. It could be savory or–my favorite–sweet. But my favorite part is the toppings because it allows me to be whimsical and creative. I generally choose my toppings according to my oatmeal flavor. For example if I’m feeling in a birthday cake mood I’d generally top it with bananas or strawberries, a funfetti cookie or two, nutella or any chocolate spread I have on hand, sprinkles and my favorite soy chips. Now if going a more savory route my go-to savory oats is a play off of shrimp ‘n grits.

Sunday: Cookies & Cream

The key to great tasting oatmeal isn’t the oatmeal base or whether you used coconut milk instead of water. It’s the toppings. Today I’m enjoying a luscious cookies and cream themed oatmeal bowl. The base is made by either using a cookies ‘n cream protein powder (my favorite is the one by @questnutrition) or simply crushing up a few Oreos and adding a hint of vanilla and stevia. For aesthetic reason every oat base I make sits on top of 2 tbs of chia seeds. Mostly because chia seeds look like little bugs. Since the theme is cookies ‘n cream I chose to use banana slices, a Hershey spread, toasted cookies ‘n cream protein bites and fudge strip cookies.

Monday: French Toast

Todays themed oatmeal bowl was inspired by @oatmealartist French Toast Oatmeal recipe. For this recipe I decide to experiment a little by adding dannon’s light & fit vanilla Greek yogurt. Which surprisingly work and it added an additional creaminess and sweetness. Now to the fun part the toppings ?. They are: unsweetened coconut shreds, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, strawberries and cinnamon roll spread.

Tuesday: PB&J

Every time I eat peanut butter & jelly I always find myself reminiscing about my elementary school years. Where my mom would pack me a PB&J for lunch when we went on field trips. Today’s oatmeal was inspired by the good ole days where we didn’t have to worry about bills, paying off loans or working. As for the main attraction, the toppings I chose to keep it simplistic with bananas, raspberries, natural grape jelly and nutter butter bites. ?

Wednesday: Snickers

Snickers Themed Oatmeal Bowl (by Tyler)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: serves 1

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tbs dark coco powder (or chocolate protein powder, just add more coconut milk to accommodate)
  • 1-2 tbs PB powder
  • 1/2 tsp caramel syrup (I used the sugar-free version)
  • stevia to sweeten
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

How to make it:

  1. Add your coconut milk, pb, coco powder and stevia to a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Once it comes to a boil add your oats and reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until all the water has dissipated.
  4. At this point you can add your caramel syrup. Also if you opted to use protein powder I advise to mix in at the very end before. Just add more liquid if it's too thick.
  5. Now you can serve it on top of chia seeds like I do for pictures or on top. Whatever makes you happy!

Just an FYI:

Originally posted on Tyler's Instagram.


Thursday: Banana-Walnut Bread

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 9.05.52 AMI promise you there’s oatmeal under these delicious toppings ? Today’s oatmeal is banana-walnut bread oatmeal topped with some of my favorite toppings and they are: sliced bananas, diced brownie quest bar (which is amazing when they slowly start to melt on the oatmeal), walnuts & Nutella of course ?.

Friday: Peanut Butter Chocolate Lovers

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 9.06.03 AM

PB Chocolate Lovers Oatmeal Bowl ?❤️ You just can’t find a better combination. As for the toppings I chose strawberries, banana slices, Reese’s cups, Hershey spread & chips ahoy pb chocolate cookies.

Saturday: Berry Blackout

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 9.07.03 AM

Oatmeal Artist’s Berry Blackout Oatmeal with a tylaaeats twist. I stumbled upon this recipe while I was trying to find inspiration for Saturday’s oatmeal flavor. Instead of using chocolate PB2, I microwaved a double chocolate chunk quest bar for 1:20 minutes. Then add to 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk and slowly mix as it heats up in the sauce pan over medium heat. Doing this incorporates the quest bar with the milk. After that you can add a bit more stevia and continue to cook your oatmeal normally over stovetop. Now for the main attraction, the toppings. To stick with the name I chose to use raspberries, strawberries, blueberries an blackberries topped with unsweetened shredded coconut. To top it all off a generous spoonful of Nutella because everything is better with Nutella ?.

It’s been a complete honor being August’s oatmeal enthusiast. After documenting my oatmeal for the week. I’ve become slightly addicted to making themed oatmeal bowls.

About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master's degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

3 Responses to Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet Tyler!

  1. Cassie says:

    Wow, Tyler has such amazing creativity! I love the way she decorated her oatmeal. I also can relate to her in which I too was overweight for a great deal of my childhood, but I started my health journey when I was thirteen or fourteen years-old. It’s been so amazing for me! Anyways, back to the oatmeal–the flavors are phenomenal! Snickers, banana walnut bread, cookies n’ creme, they’re so clever and seem so tasty!

  2. Tyler!! You are beyond amazing!!! I see a lot of myself in you as a community college student and having to change my eating habits for the better. What I strongly admire about you is your creativity, strength, wisdom, determination, and ability to show that balance is key! Rock on!!

  3. Kelsey says:

    Tyler has such an inspiring story! And I absolutely agree that the toppings are the best part about oats, although all of her gorgeous pictures make me feel like I need to step up my game (:

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