“To change your health, think outside the box! Outside the pizza box, the cereal box, the cookie box, the cracker box…“Me.
There are so many advises on health these days that I regularly get confused about WHAT I should eat and WHEN I should do so. Should I eat pancakes or fruits for breakfast? Should I eat straight after waking up or fast until noon? When there is one thing I can advice you with today it is this: Don’t do what everybody else does just to fit in. Do what YOUR body craves and feel free to eat whenever you are hungry!
And always eat OATS!
Which diet should I follow?
Believe me I have tried them ALL. The “raw-till-four”, the “intermitted fasting”, the “starch solution” and many more. But following specific guidelines has not worked for me. It never satisfied my cravings and sometimes I felt like “I had to follow a certain plan, just to fit a specific diet”. When I finally started to listen to my own body, listen to my hunger and my cravings for a certain dish, I not only felt more satisfied but I also became a lot healthier.
By that I mean that I finally gained healthy muscle weight, my skin started to glow, my hair became thicker and shinier, my body gained its normanl weight again (I was underweight for a long time); and even my mood started to shift from always feeling tired and moody to being in a happy and healthy state most of the time! Without taking any magic pill or visiting a dietician, I finally gained back my life!
Your body knows what it needs
Many foods fall in and out of favor as health trends come and go. Not oatmeal. This whole-grain powerhouse has been packing serious nutrition and hearty flavor into breakfast, lunch and dinners for generations. It’s one of the few comfort foods that are as good for you as they are just plain good.
What’s on my plate?
As some of you may know, I love huge, delishes and nutruitious buddha bowls. In summer, I love to make up a big bowl of mixed salads with a staple such as quinnoa, rice, or potatoes and whatever veggies and fruits I can find in my fridge. I have these for lunch and dinner and can never get enough of it. I mix them up with different herbs and dressings, add berries, avocado-mash, and beans, hummus or lentils (for extra calcium). This way, I always get a whole new tasting experience.
In winter, I usually crave something warm such as a creamy curry accompanied by some rice or a comforting carrot-ginger, pumpkin, potato, lentil or brokkili-cashew soup (or anything else I can easily toss together). I just add some fresh bread and top everything off with a sprinkle of nuts and seeds. I also love to roast and fill a big sweet potato with a dullop of hummus, avocado and top it off with a handful of roasted bbq-chickpeas or smoked coconut bacon. For those of you not having a clou about what I am talking about here, feel free to comment down below and I will make sure to post the recipe in a future post.
How to best start your day
Now to breakfast. As I am usually not hungry straight after getting out of bed (about 7am), but definitely cannot wait until lunch time, I eat the first meal at around 9-10am. Whereas sometimes when it is very hot I just crave a big cold smoothie (-bowl) or “nicecream” for breakfast (e.g. when I am in Bali), I usually go for the same thing every day: OATS!
Many people think that oats are “boring” or “tasteless”, but I want to let you know that there is so much more than porridge or mueslie that you can do. From overnight oats, to baked oatmeal, savoury dishes such as burgers, pizza or stews, regular oatmeal, and even baked goods like brownies, cakes and many more! Some of you may have seen one of my latest raw-chocolate-caramel (alias vegan Twix) creations, where I added oats for the layer as well 🙂
Why I eat oats every day
Well, first of all oats are among the healthiest and cheapest grains on earth you can get. They are a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Moreover, oats are a safe grain alternative for celiac disease sufferers or those who are avoiding gluten in their diets. Oatmeal gives you 13 grams of protein in one small half-cup serving. One tiny quarter-cup serving of oatmeal gives you almost 100% of your recommended daily intake of manganese. Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits. These include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease. The low-glycemic impact (GI) of a bowl of oatmeal eaten in the morning provides a good source of energy throughout the morning hours, without a dramatic increase or drop in blood sugar. Maintaining lower blood sugar levels over a longer period of time helps the body regulate insulin usage.
Oats are also high in the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which has numerous benefits. It helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promotes healthy gut bacteria and increases feelings of fullness. Thus, oats can be a great addition to a healthy diet. They can be eaten as oatmeal (porridge) for breakfast, added to baked goods and so much more.
How do I eat them?
During summer, I love to take a jar of cold over-night oats soaked in coconut or oat-milk over night, top it off with some fresh berries, toasted nuts and seeds and enjoy it when I arrive at work while checking my first E-Mails. When I am craving a smoothie, I always make sure to add a cup of rolled oats into the blender.
In winter, I love to heat my oats up, add a ripe banana, some extra turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and other warming spices and top it off with some fruits (high in vitamin C), caramelized nuts and seeds (high in protein and heathy fats). I always add some sliced dates and something crunchy (nuts, seeds, granola) as I like to have different textures all packed together in one meal. Swirl in a bit of almond butter. Or sprinkle walnuts on top (which are called “brain food” for a reason as they are rich in heart-healthy omega-3s). Just writing about it makes me hungry. On Sundays, I always prepare my favorite, fluffy (vegan) pankaces – and guess who is the main character of the dish?
Why not buy a pack of cereal instead?
Be careful though to not confuse the whole-grain oats (which are called “whole grain” for a reason) with the endless variety of processed oat- or cornflakes at the supermarket. Here are some nutrituonal facts that will hopefully stop you from grabbing the wrong product the next time you go for a grocery shopping hunt.
|Kellog’s Special K Classic (100g)||Oats (100g)|
|Price||1,00 Euro||0,05 Euro|
Be it a quick fix for hunger pangs, a light and hearty evening snack or the much needed energy to carry you through your hectic morning, oats is the one superfood that can easily fit itself to suit your needs or crunchy granola. The variety is endless reaching from steel-cut, rolled and instant oats to oat flour and bran. When I have a sudden craving at work I just grab one of my all-time-favorite oat-bars or muffins and feel instantly satisfied. I also have a recipe for an awesome oat-crust pizza, some pretty good chocolate-oat cookies and a deliciousely soft banana-bread (just for those of you who are interested).
Which oats do I use and why?
As I am usually in a hurry when getting up or just too lazy to prepare my own mixture of oats and spices, I go for a store-bought mix. My favorite is the ginger-turmeric-orange mix, but the apple-strawberry-ginger or the wake-up porridge with coffee are great as well. I always add a spoon full of the fruity passionfruit Omega 3-6-9 oil to the mixture, if I don’t add it to any meal later that day. This scientifically developed cold-pressed oil consists of nothing less than flaxseed oil (90%), argan oil, passion fruit oil, pomegranate and orange oil – all the vital fatty acids we need to survive.
The importance of good fatty acids
Good fats and oils are vital to our body. It leaves the central tasks for our immune and nervous systems, for hormone changes – and a strong heart. But, it is important that they are the right fats: the best quality oils with a high content of more unsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids include omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. Omega-3 supports the fluidity of the blood. Omega-6 is distinctively important for protection against inflammation. Omega-9 is involved in regulating cholesterol levels. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can not be produced by our bodies. We have to add it through the food we eat. This is best done with a high-quality oil, which is particularly rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
This combination alone makes up all the nutrions I need on a daily bases. Because of all the spices in the porridge (including ginger, curcumin, cinnamon, vanilla and many more) and the healthy fatty acids, it is loaded with more antioxidants than the human body needs in a week!
(BTW: this is NOT a paid promotion or anything alike, I just did a lot of research on the benefits of oats and the different spices to know what is best for a healthy and happy life.) You can also buy the porridge-spice-mixture alone and add it to your own oats, mueslies, smoothie bowls of (coconut) yoghurt. If you want to know more about the health benefits of oats, Omega-3-6-9 fatty acids and spices (turmeric and ginger in particular), I highly recommend to check out Dr. Macgregor’s website. He has a lot of ressources about these topic among many more.
Eat the RAINBOW!
I LOVE pretty, colourful meals so I always make sure to add a variety of different toppings to my oats. Apart from nuts & seeds ( or nut butters) and spices, I like to add a handfull of regional “superfoods” such as blueberries, flaxseeds, etc.. I try to not add exotic ingrdients like goji- or acai berries but instead focus on regional produce. As I a big fan of berries of any kind, I love to add them to every oatmeal I make. Since this gets complicated when they are not in season, or when I am travelling to another country, I have started to use freeze dried berries instead.
Freeze drying removes water from the fruit yet preserves the flavor and nutritional value. It is a particularly gentle drying process in which the fruits are first frozen and than dried in a certain way, whereby the liquid phase is completely discharged. Thereby, the fruits retain all their vitamins and are particularly durable.
SuperGoodFruits was inspired by regional superfoods and is derived from Superfruits and Supergood. Their range of products is not only very healthy, they also taste delicious. What I really appreciate is that all their berries are grown organically and regionally, which also speaks for the high quality of these. Unlike many berries in most online shops or supermarkets, their fruits contain no additional sugar. Supergood right? 🙂
SuperGood Muesli Recipe
Here is a quick, easy and super healthy recipe for my all time favorite muesli (lasts about a week).
- 4 cups rooled oats (toasted in the oven)
- 1 cup Rise & Shine Superfood Shake powder (tastes like creamy chocolate melted in coconut milk, and brings me right to my childhood days)*
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds (rich in magnese, phosphorus & magnesium)
- 1 cup mixed nuts (rich in healthy fats)
- 1 cup dates (rich in protein, iron & vitamins)
- generous sprinkle of desiccated coconut, cinnamon, and vanilla or anything else you like
Any ratio of these ingredients is fine – just make it how you like it! I love to add this mix into a big bowl with some fresh oat milk or coconut yoghurt. You can sprinkle it on top of your favorite smoothie bowl or simply add it to your porridge or banana-bread for some extra taste 🙂
BTW: If you prefere a crunchy granola (I usually do), just toss the muesli in some coconut-oil and add some maple/agave syrup (or any sweetener of your choice). Then bake it on medium to high heat for 25-30 minutes. Don’t forget to toss it once in a while so it doesn’t burn! Extra tip: add the shake-powder after baking so that all the essential nutrients are restored. Enjoy!
*With the Code Nila10 you will all get 10% off your entire order from InnoNature. Click here for more information.
Last but not least
Feel free to let me know what you think about my little talk about oats and why and how I incorparate them into my daily diet 🙂
Thank you so much for reading. I hope you got some inspiration to try it out yourself. Believe me, it has not only saved me a lot of money, but also changed my entire live. This brings me to my final advice, and goes back to how this blog post started:
“To change your health, think outside the box! Outside the pizza box, the cereal box, the cookie box, the cracker box… and inside your bowl of delicious (homemade) oats!”