Oatmeal is one of the staples in the Lifestyle Balance Plan Diet. From an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, oatmeal makes for a great energy dense grain. Not only is it excellent first thing in the morning for breakfast but it has so many other wonderful uses: great in protein pancakes, muffins, cookies, meat loafs, as “breeding”, and so much more! When eating oatmeal it is important to be aware of the various types. You could easily be eating oatmeal everyday and thinning you are eating “healthy” when in fact you are your “healthy oatmeal” could be the one thing halting your weightless goals. Beware of the instant varieties loaded with sugar.
Oatmeal is an excellent Choice and we are so lucky to find oatmeal just about anywhere we go. Eat out for breakfast, it is sure to be on the menu! Go to Starbucks for even McDonalds for coffee in the morning, you’ll surely find it there! Maybe you stop at Jamba Juice for a Smoothie and decide to complement it with some oatmeal– yes, surely Jamba Juice carries Oatmeal too! Maybe you stop at Subway to grab a sandwich for lunch, Yes, Subway was Oatmeal too! Just about everywhere you go, you can find a healthy breakfast option. Keep in mind, you can surely make a completely Gina Approved Breakfast option completely unhealthy and NOT Gina Approved by adding some of the additions that these Fast Food or Restaurants include with their “Hearty Oats”. Be sure to omit the Brown Sugar, limit the Dried Fruit and Surely don’t add the Pure Cream. Go light on the nuts and add a Natural Sweetener and this is a great On the Go Breakfast option!!
Did you ever wonder what the differences were between the variations of oats? Steel Cut Oats, Old-Fashioned Oats (regular) and Quick Oats (instant)…. Here is a breakdown to help you understand the differences:
1. Studies show that eating oatmeal may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. According to Quaker, “all it takes is 3/4 cup of oatmeal each day to help lower cholesterol”. The soluble fiber in oats helps remove LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while maintaining the good cholesterol that your body needs.
2. The soluble fiber in oatmeal slows down your digestive process, i.e. feeling fuller longer and keeping your metabolism going for a longer period of time.
3. They are inexpensive and come in so many various forms (quick oats, steel cut, regular oats, organic, etc)
4. Oatmeal may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. The soluble fiber in these foods help to control blood glucose levels.
5. With the exception of certain flavored varieties, oats are 100% natural. If you look at the ingredients, you will usually see only one ingredient… rolled oats.
6. Due to the soluble fiber in oatmeal, a diet that includes oatmeal may help reduce high blood pressure.
7. Oatmeal contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates and iron.
8. The fiber and other nutrients found in oatmeal may actually reduce the risk for certain cancers.
9. Oatmeal is quick and convenient. Every type of oatmeal can be prepared in a microwave or stove top. Even when cooked on the stove top, both old-fashioned and quick oats can usually be made in less than 10 minutes. And instant oatmeal… under a minute… incredible!
10. Oatmeal can be absolutely delicious! Whether instant, cooked on the stove or baked in the oven, the combination of flavors you can add to your oatmeal is unlimited.
MAKING OATMEAL MORE TASTY WITH THESE ADDITIONS:
-Unsweetened coconut OR Almond Milk
-Natural Sweeteners (Stevia) and Stevia Flavored Drops are great!!
-Spices (Cinnamon, AllSpice, Pumpkin Pie Spice)
-Extracts (vanilla, almond, lemon, etc.)
- Nuts/Nut Butters
-Flax or Chia Seeds
-Add Protein Powder for flavor and added protein (any flavor of your choice– Banana or Vanilla are my favorite!)
-Non Fat or Low fat Greek Yogurt
With all the variations of Oatmeal, different ways to prepare and serve your oats, there is surely a way you will learn to love your oats!!!
*Keep in mind, most oats do contain gluten so if you are folioing a gluten free nutritional program, look for oatmeal that specifically are “Gluten Free”.