How many times have you found yourself making excuses for why you don’t eat good “Old Fashioned” oatmeal every morning?
“It tastes so… blah. I need more flavor!”
“It takes too long to make.”
“I don’t eat breakfast as it is, and you want me to eat that?”
“Instant oatmeal is easier/more flavorful/faster/etc.”
“I can’t ever get the consistency right. It comes out like glue/soup.”
Guess what, kiddies? I’ve used each and every one of those excuses myself, my entire life. Until I got my Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, I pretty much refused to give it another chance. Granted, while oatmeal is proven to lower cholesterol my cholesterol levels are fine, and there’s no clear and present danger to my heart, the bottom line is that I need to lose weight and I need to do it right. Oatmeal is going to help, and I’m here to tell you: Cooked oatmeal really isn’t all THAT bad.
Why Oatmeal Will Help You Lose Weight
Old-fashioned oatmeal (sorry kids, not the instant kind) is absolutely packed with dietary fiber, which is the stuff that makes your world go ’round if you’re on a diet. The more dietary fiber you consume, the less fat you absorb and the more you flush out your *ahem* system.
Clearly, the better your digestive tract is working, the less time you’ve got food and toxins building up in your body. The less time for fat to absorb into your bloodstream. No, oatmeal isn’t going to make you crap your pants like Alli or Olestra, but it will keep things moving the way they should be. Know how your grandmother had faith in bran muffins? Yeah, that.
I could also get into the whole Glycemic Load stuff - if you’re interested, the oatmeal itself has a GL of 13. As comparison, brown rice has a GL of 17. The lower the GL, the longer it takes to digest the food which means a longer stability of metabolism and blood sugar levels. Also, the longer you stay full, the less you eat, the more weight you lose. :)
So anyway, how does one actually cook old-fashioned oatmeal quickly, and make it taste good?
Here’s what I do:
1 cup old-fashioned oats (yep, out of that big round cardboard box) into a bowl.
2 packets of Splenda
dash of salt (maybe a little more than a dash)
LOTS of ground cinnamon (I’ll explain this later)
1/2 tbsp light butter (sometimes I will omit this)
3/4 - 1 cup 2% milk (depending on the day, how chewy I want it to be; chewy uses less)
stir it up and pop it into the microwave for 2 minutes
add fruit or flavorings, stir up again, and enjoy!
I kid you not, I’ve got the process down to less than 4 minutes. I’ve even seen so-called “nutritionist blogs” out there saying that it can take 10 minutes to cook this kind of oatmeal, to which I call “Horseshit!”
Oh, and about the whole cooking it in the milk thing… One of my friends claims he prefers to cook his oatmeal stovetop, in just enough salted water for it to absorb into the oats, and then add a splash of milk to it after it’s done. I’ve never tried it that way, as I said, I like my oatmeal chewy, not soggy or soupy, and that’s the only thing I can imagine would happen using water.
Here are some of my favorite things to add to my oatmeal in step 7:
2 tbsp canned pumpkin puree
blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or any combo of them all
1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
a dozen semi-sweet chocolate chips
I’m not a fan of raisins, but I do like craisins (dried cranberries). Problem is they have so much sugar in such a concentrated form. I rarely do the chocolate chip thing because of that too. But for a treat, a change of pace, it can’t hurt once in a while.
I seriously eat oatmeal almost every morning for breakfast. If I’m not eating that, I’m eating some kind of Egg Beaters omelette or something, but the oatmeal actually takes the least amount of time and is quite versatile.
The cinnamon thing…
Ground cinnamon has been shown to actually lower blood sugar in diabetics because it enhances your body’s sensitivity to insulin, which regulates the blood sugar. I swear to you, I put it in just about everything now. I even added it to chili once!