Oats. More specifically, rolled oats. At least 9 days out of 10, I start my day with a big bowl of cooked oats. Nothing but pure, natural, oaty goodness. Have you tried them? They take about three minutes to cook in the microwave, so they’re fast. And do you know the full, energized feeling you get from them? Oats can keep you going strong until lunch time – without the sugar crash you can get from boxed cereals or (vegan) pancakes with syrup.
Perhaps you think oats are for grandpas? I did, and with good reason. My grandfather ate a dish of oatmeal every day for breakfast until he died at age 94. It worked for him – and it seems to work well for me, too. But I still think oats have an image problem. “The Quaker” may be iconic, but he’s definitely dated – and severely lacking in the sex-appeal department. My suggestion is to take a hint from the other cereals with their pictures of the athlete du jour on the box. Instead of human athletes, though, why not pictures of famous horses on a little “feed bag” – along with a few fun facts. Wouldn’t you like to enjoy your oats while looking at an action shot of a scandal-free athlete, like Snowman, the fabulous jumping horse? And why not read a few blurbs about his rise from disregarded plow horse to national champion?
Maybe you think you’ll get bored having oats day after day. Again, I did too. Here’s what you can do to keep it interesting and fresh:
- Rotate in a variety of seasonal fresh fruits to top off your bowl. A few of my favorites are blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and black raspberries. You can add them alone, in combination, or together with sliced apples, peaches, or bananas. Quick Tip: buy organic fruit – and oats. You’re worth it!
- Use frozen fruit (esp. blueberries) if nothing seasonal is available. It’s very comparable, nutrient-wise, to the fresh stuff. Quick Tip: Scoop a portion of cooked oats into your bowl, cover with frozen fruit, and add the remaining oats on top. The warmth of the cooked oats will thaw the fruit without it becoming mushy.
- Add chopped walnuts, chia seeds, and/or ground flax seeds for an extra boost of tastiness. But go easy on these if you’re minimizing your fat intake.
After more than 10 years, I have yet to tire of eating oats. Lately, in fact, I’ve started having oats for a snack any time of day. Oats – for champions like you, and not just for breakfast any more.