Oatmeal: The Ideal Way to Start Your Day

During the daily struggle to get ready in the morning and bolt out the door toward another painstaking commute and workday, most people tend to completely disregard their body’s need for some sort of edible goods, preferably of the nutritious type. Instead they leave their stomach hanging until the hunger pangs become unbearable or they simply grab something quick at Dunkin Donuts because sadly, “America runs on Dunkin.” Nothing like a healthy donut and coffee to get us ready for a long distance day! On second though, I think I’ll run on an empty stomach.

As much as I would love to pound away on my keyboard and produce countless pages bashing the breakfast food industry until my fingertips bleed, I kind of like my fingertips. So instead let’s focus on the alternative: writing about a healthy, nutritious, and homemade breakfast! The type of breakfast that will carry you over directly to lunch and beyond without any stops in Fatigueville, for the daily festival called Crashfest.
Of all the healthy breakfast options I’ve tried over the years, there is one particular food that I come back to time and again for that ideal morning fill. It is the show stopping, cholesterol lowering, blood sugar stabilizing, immune system boosting, weight controlling son-of-a-gun, Woooooooooooo!, yeah baby, Ooaaatmeal! The nature food for this Nature Boy, Woooooooo! And even though oatmeal will not turn you into Ric Flair, it may reduce your risk for type II diabetes, reduce high blood pressure, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and provide the body with an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. So why are we not eating oatmeal all day, every day?

Most people know that oatmeal is good for them, and you, and me, and everyone else, but it’s far from the most consumed morning meal. One reason for this is flavor. Let’s face it, plain oatmeal is not particularly tasty, unless you’re a fan of warm Styrofoam or slow cooked bamboo. The breakfast food industry has done a good job making oatmeal taste better, but that comes at the price of consuming unnecessary sugar, the mysterious “natural flavors”, caramel color, maltodextrin, and other crappy ingredients that do not belong in oatmeal. McDonald’s has championed the bastardization of oatmeal (surprise!) by managing to place a slew of senseless ingredients into their oatmeal when there should really only be one ingredient: 100% oats, preferably organic.

A second reason why folks tend not to consume oatmeal in the morning is the preparation time. Yet cooking oatmeal in is not that daunting of a task. The time it takes to boil a little bit of water, place the oats in it, turn down the heat, and swirl the oatmeal around occasionally until the water is absorbed and the oatmeal cooks is probably the same amount of time one would take to drive up to Dunkin Donuts, walk to the door, stand in line, make a poor dietary decision (also known as ordering), and get back in the car. Hence not having the time is a poor excuse. We simply need to access the motivation to provide the body with the high quality breakfast that it deserves.

Now that you’ve attained the inspiration to make oatmeal, how do you make it taste good? You add stuff to it, other healthy stuff that is. One way to make oatmeal absolutely delicious is to chop an apple into a separate pan, cover the apple with cinnamon and a light coating of organic honey, and cook, stirring the ingredients together until the chopped apple gets warm and softens a bit. Pour this tasty mixture over your oatmeal and you have some lovely flavor. You can also chop a banana into the already cooking oatmeal to provide it with a sweet flavor minus any excess sugar. Keep an assortment of fruit on hand to accompany your oatmeal. Fruits that I’ve seen hanging out with oatmeal include blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, mango, bananas, pineapples, and whatever other fruit you may like. Yogurt is also a great addition to your oatmeal to give it a pleasant taste and a smooth texture. You can also add goji berries into the boiling water and cook with the oatmeal to provide a serious health boost. The combinations of healthy ingredients are plentiful and you can mix and match to the desires of your taste buds.

At the end of the day, the beginning of the day does matter. Our breakfast choice should provide us with energy and satiety, avoiding a bout with starvation prior to lunch. It should prevent us from playing food consumption catch-up for the remainder of the day, which can lead to late night meals and bedtime snacking. Once we set that strong foundation of a solid and healthy breakfast, it will stabilize the remainder of our meal choices throughout the day. America should be running on oatmeal, not a menu filled with fried fat, sugar, and caffeine. That’s not a quality way to start the day and it never will be. So please, don’t let all of the above persuasion go to waste. Eat oatmeal with fruit and other healthy goods, your body will really, really appreciate it. And so will I.

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