Awesome Oatmeal

OatmealFrom time to time I get into a food rut. Basically, this is when I’ve found healthy food options that I enjoy (and I’m pretty picky because I have a little bit of a sweet tooth) and I buy them on autopilot, I guess.

Lately, I’ve been having just French toast, pancakes and egg whites for breakfast. Then one day I remembered how my mom would make old-fashioned oatmeal (I thought instant oatmeal was all that and a bag of chips!). So I went to the grocery store and bought a big container of store-brand whole oats.

It could be the middle of the summer and my mom would still make oatmeal for breakfast. After doing a little research I completely understand why. According to Mother Earth Living, oatmeal can do incredible things such as lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and lower the risk of you developing diabetes. These three attributes alone are worth all the diamonds in the world to me because both heart disease and diabetes run in my family.

It’s surprisingly easy to make, but what astonishes me even more is how I can add the most seemingly random ingredients and it always tastes incredible. At first, I only added spices like ginger and cinnamon; then I’d add honey. I can’t wait to go to the grocery store and get a bunch of raspberries, blueberries, cashews, pecan and almonds and see how they can make the oatmeal even better than it always is!

Good thing I listened to my gut and gave the old-fashioned oats a try 🙂

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Cinnamon

cinnamon

Cinnamon is an incredible spice that not only brings zesty flavor to your favorite foods, it’s also believed to be a powerful antidote against multiple ailments, including arthritis, diabetes, headaches/migraines, and LDL (bad cholesterol).

Western medicine has yet to commission detailed studies on how this ancient Chinese herb can improve your health, but there are fabulous resources, such as GreenMedInfo, that focus on alternative medicinal therapies like spices and herbs. GreenMedInfo does a fantastic job of differentiating between the two main variants of cinnamon, Cassia and Ceylon.

Most cinnamon available in the United States is Cassia (milled mainly in China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Vietnam); this is the weaker of the two but is still an awesome source of manganese. Manganese helps to build healthy bones and increase your carbohydrate and fat metabolisms. Cassia cinnamon should be avoided if you are taking blood thinners like Coumadin because it contains higher traces of coumarin, a natural blood thinner.

Ceylon comes from India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean. This variant is considered the “true cinnamon” because it is sweeter, lighter and more refined than cassia.

Long story short, both kinds of cinnamon will adequately flavor the dishes you use it on, but it’s important to heed the warning about cassia consumption.

Sleep and Weight Loss

sleep and eating

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep to let our bodies heal itself from the wear and tear from that day. What we eat impacts how well we sleep.

I’m sure there have been several studies on this, but I like to try things out for myself before I back anything… and those studies are TRUE!!

When I ate junk like soda, Kraft macaroni & cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs, candy, and the like regularly I always had problems falling asleep for more than an hour at a time. Now, that I use simple ingredients in my recipes, I sleep like a baby and I can count on falling asleep at a specific time every night!

I’ve done a little research and apparently all of the sugar and chemicals from the boxed crap we eat keeps us from falling into what science calls “Delta sleep.” WebMD defines “delta sleep” (link here) as a stage in the NREM (non-rapid eye movement) cycle where the body can repair/regenerate tissue, build bones/muscles and strengthen your immune system!

So the next time you feel a little sleepy, listen to your body and take a quick nap!

SlimVox

SlimVox

I don’t believe that diet pills should be the crux of anyone’s plan to change their eating habits, but they might be helpful if you need to lose weight but can’t work out.

A prime example is be when I was on bed rest for my back injury: I could barely move without excruciating pain, let alone exercise. Despite my limitations, I was determined to do SOMETHING to change my destructive eating habits, so I started doing research on what kinds off supplements were available to me. One day I came across SlimVox and I noticed I could pronounce the ingredients and that stoked my curiosity. The more research I did on SlimVox, the more it impressed me, so I ordered it to see how it could help me during my recovery.

Supplementing.com has a terrific in-depth YouTube review on the ingredients in SlimVox; the concept behind the development SlimVox and the fact that they used NO artificial ingredients were the main catalysts that helped me decide to give it a trial run.

SlimVox was developed by women for women because we fully understand how hard it can be for us to shed those unwanted pounds. Men say women don’t lose weight as fast as they do because we’re lazy (a MONUMENTAL cop-out, in my opinion!), but that is NOT the case. A woman’s body is genetically engineered (link) to store more fat than men just in case we get pregnant.

The women who developed SlimVox underscore this point and use all natural ingredients to help us shed those unwanted pounds, with proper diet and exercise!

My favorite ingredients in SlimVox are kelp, ginger and green tea. The fact SlimVox included kelp in the formulation intrigued me greatly. I had heard many times how marine plants like kelp and seaweed were helpful in absorbing toxins in the digestive tract and easing them out (after all, sushi rolls are usually wrapped in seaweed!). Since I had 25+ years of junk food in my system, I wanted something that could really kick-start the detoxification process.

Ginger is an incredible spice because it is an intestinal spasmolytic (something that is really good at soothing the intestinal tract and makes it easier for it to expel toxins from your system). This was important to me because during the first five months my recovery, I could not stand long enough to make a fiber-rich salad or heart-healthy bowl of granola.

Green tea sealed the deal for me because of the potent antioxidant properties that could help repair the damage from my injury (and it had just the right amount of caffeine that gave me a much-needed boost of energy while I took the time to recover from my injury).

Greek Yogurt is a FANTASTIC substitute for fatty oils and butter!

chobani-conversion-chart_web_final1A few weeks ago, I was watching Dr. Oz and he was discussing how Greek yogurt is the best kind of yogurt you can include in your diet. It’s got a taste and texture that will take a while to get used to, but once you do, you’ll never want to eat any other kind of yogurt!

Towards the end of the show, Dr. Oz had a guest explain how she substituted oils and fats in her favorite foods to make it healthier and much more flavorful. She had recipes for some of my favorite indulgences like  chicken alfredo and brownies.

A special thank you to Allyson for the neat conversion chart!

I can’t wait to try this in some of my favorite recipes!