December 3, 2009
On most mornings, I usually have a "few" cups of coffee and a nice hearty bowl of oatmeal. I'm not talking about that "instant" garbage, loaded with sugar and artificial flavorings, no, I'm talking about real oatmeal. "Old fashioned," is the kind you slow cook on the stove or in the microwave (set on 50% power). Oatmeal in my opinion, is the best way to start your day. It's loaded with a host of health benefits and it's complex carbohydrate content wort off any feeling of sluggishness created by our poor selections of sugar laden breakfast alternatives (Trix anyone?) and provided you are not loading your oatmeal up with tons of sugar and butter. Oatmeal is most noted for is cholesterol lowering capabilities due to it's soluble fiber content and it helps to regulate digestion with it's insoluble fiber content. The best thing about oatmeal is its versatility. There are endless ways to dress up oatmeal, anything from fruit (fresh, frozen, or dried), to nuts (and nut butters). You can add flavoring such as vanilla, almond, and orange extract, zests, and spices like cinnamon, allspice or cardamom. My favorite combination currently is oatmeal prepared with vanilla soy, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and splenda (for sweetness), finished with a dollop of peanut butter. I use oatmeal as a precursor to my workouts: it breaks-the-fast, "breakfast" of at least 8 hours of sleep and provides the slow-released energy to power me through my workouts. Oatmeal also contains muscle building proteins and healthy (unsaturated)fats. My suggestion for anyone making a healthy lifestyle change, to start with breakfast and more importantly start with "oatmeal."