Cravings, Be Gone!

Today I had a thought about my food plan…

For a while, I have been skipping my daily sojourn in search of lunch and instead have been eating my first meal of the day later in the day, beginning with home-made oatmeal at lunch.

I’ve also switched to almond milk, instead of dairy on my oatmeal.

I’ve made sure I have fresh fruit to go with the oats, which already has walnuts in it.

When I baked my last batch of the baked oatmeal, I used half the amount of sugar that the recipe calls for, and it’s still sweet with 1/3 cup of raw sugar added to a 9-10 serving batch.

I replace half of the oil called for in the recipe with natural, no-sugar added applesauce.

I usually put blueberries on top before digging in.

It’s all good tasting, good for me, and a slow-acting infusion into my blood stream that results in lower BGLs and its helping me stop the cravings!!!!

What I realized today is that not getting in the car, not searching for lunch when I’m already hungry, and not eating something sugar-laden or factory-made (ie: highly processed foods), is helping me help myself.

Used to be, the time between lunch and dinner was my hardest time with food. It was that time of the day when I craved a snack the most.  I think it was more about boredom than hunger, but nonetheless, in the afternoon was when I wanted to get in trouble with food.

I talked with another compulsive over eater this week, discussing plans for eating boring foods at supper in an effort to quit the mind games we COEs suffer from.  The way this individual sees it, planning a supper that doesn’t include “favorite” foods, even if one can eat them other times, provides for a more tranquil day.  I’m in!!!

Serenity now, instead of in some distant fantasized time!  Sounded good to me!

It made sense, and this afternoon I realized that I had been doing the very same thing, but in my own way.  Ha!  Together, we get better!

Do you have a specific time, day or night, when you want to eat more than you need?  What tactics have you employed in order to fight back against food cravings?

Here is my Baked Oatmeal recipe again…

Lori’s Baked Oatmeal

2/3 cup raw sugar (I cut sugar in half, but recipe calls for this amount)
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup no sugar added applesauce
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla (optional)

2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
3 cups old fashioned oats

Raisins and walnut, as desired (I add a handful of nuts and half handful of raisins.
Directions: Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add the fruit and nuts, mixing well. Spray an 8X8 pan with Pam and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
I take it out when the top is a little brown, but if you want, you can finish at 30 minutes.
Serve warm or pack it for lunch. Its incredibly satisfying and good for you!
Makes 9-12 servings

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Light Shows and Cereal

000NEPA sunrise JAN 21

Natural gas well burning off in the early morning light?

Spot light promoting a sale at the local Walmart?

Scotty beaming somebody up?

Nope, just one more fantastic early morning light show in NEPA!

A friend said this morning’s light show reminded her of the fire department her husband belongs to and the many calls they have gone out on this past week.  Winter is notoriously busy for the fire companies ’round here,  as wood-burning stoves light chimneys on fire and cars lacking good winter treads slide off icy roadways.

Me, I prefer to think of this sunrise as my own personal pillar of light leading the way to the promised land.

NOW FOR THE CEREAL PART OF THIS POST

I told my readers I would share my recipe for Baked Oatmeal today.

This recipe, according to my careful, but not professional calculations, has about 276 calories per serving (when the whole batch is divvied into 9 portions).  We say things like divvied in NEPA.  It means divided, for those reading who do not know our PA ways. 😉

I love baked oatmeal! It tastes more like a cookie or cake than a sloppy bowl of cooked mush (which I also happen to like).  It bakes up easy and it lasts a long time.

I love easy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Don’t you?

I like baked oatmeal so much that I actually order it for breakfast when we go out, and when I travel, I always eat it for breakfast at the hotel.  There is a restaurant in my hometown that does it perfectly, and they serve it up with a tiny pitcher of milk, walnut halves and raisins, and brown sugar.  Yum!!!  When I eat there, I take half the portion home with me.  Those folks know how to do cooked oatmeal, baby. I wonder if they do it in the crockpot???

Baked oatmeal is so beloved by me, in part, because it keeps me “moving”.  For that reason alone I would eat it, but really, I love it!  I eat my baked oatmeal with 1% milk and nothing else, but you could easily put some fresh berries on it and still come out with a decent count on your morning calories.  You could also skip the milk, or use skimmed milk–blergh!–and you could substitute maple syrup for the turbino sugar; all options that would lower the calorie count further.  To my way of thinking–and remember, I love oatmeal–the benefits of eating this cereal far outweigh any downside, calorie wise.

So there you have it, my romance with baked oatmeal.  I eat it every day!

Lori’s Baked Oatmeal

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup natural applesauce
2/3 cup turbino (raw) sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder (non aluminum, please)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk, 1%
1/2 medium apple, roughly chopped
1/2 cup walnuts pieces
3 cups old fashioned oatmeal

Mix all ingredients, beginning with fats and sugars, and bake in 355° F oven for approximately 35 minutes.

I make this recipe once a week and eat off it all week long.  It is nutritious, delicious, and very filling. I’m never hungry before lunch!  Enjoy!

What is your favorite go-to breakfast food?  Are you a cereal lover, or do you prefer eggs and bacon for breakfast?

This Week’s Goals

000boy-eating-vegetables1I’m having trouble meeting my goals for this week.  Ugh.  I have done nothing about trimming calories by 100 pts, and I have had a hard time getting in my breakfast veggies.

Thinking that last goal was a mistake.

I worked so hard to eat oatmeal every day during the summer, in order to build a fiber habit. What was I thinking making this change?

My habit brain keeps saying I should be eating oatmeal!

If the difference between who I am and who I want to be is what I do, I best put a lil more thought into 1. Who I want to be, and 2. What I am doing in order to become that person.

How well are you meeting your goals this week?  What one thing do you feel needs to be tweaked in your life to make you who you want to be?

Meltdownchaostastrophy Over

As I was coming down from my meltdownchaostastrophy last Thursday, I heard a lil whisper telling me to check out some of my old blog posts for help with this current plateau I’m facing. So, I did!  Here is one you might enjoy reading.  I heard God speak through that post.

I love it when He speaks to me in that still, small voice.

I always know something good is headed my way when I hear that whisper.

Sooo, I read a few more of my past blog posts.

I found some good help.

I copied and pasted that help into another document I then printed. I will read it many times over the next few weeks, and I know it will help.

Repetition is the only form of permanence I can achieve. 

It’s important for me to remember to do the same right things over and over again. When it comes to food, I forget, ALOT!  It’s time to go back, re-read, begin again, and take my own advice.

I’m back to journaling and calorie counting.

It’s also time I re-read some past posts from other bloggers, things that have helped me before.  I’m doing that today.

Because its Monday, I wanted to share one of my Meatless Monday favorites: KIND bars.  I sometimes eat KIND bars for breakfast, when I take a break from the oatmeal with raisins and walnuts.  I love the almond and coconut variety.

Almond and Coconut bar, 190 calories

Almond and Coconut bar, 190 calories

Speaking of oatmeal, I haven’t made baked oatmeal in a while.  Instead, I’ve been cooking my oats on top of the stove, but it’s not the same.  I need to make me some baked oatmeal.  It’s a stick-to-your-ribs kinda breakfast that I love.  Here’s one of my favorite recipes for baked oatmeal.  It’s taken from the Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Super Natural Every Day.

Heidi Swanson's cookbook. One of my favorites.

Heidi Swanson’s cookbook. One of my favorites.

Heidi’s Baked Oatmeal

YIELD: Serves 6 generously, or 12 as part of a larger brunch.
Ingredients
• 2 cups/7 oz/200 g rolled oats
• 1/2 cup/2 oz/60 g walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
• 1/3 cup/2 oz/60 g natural cane sugar or maple syrup, plus more for serving
• 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
• 2 cups/475 ml milk
• 1 large egg
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch/1 cm pieces
• 1 1/2 cups/6.5 oz/185 g huckleberries, blueberries, or mixed berries

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter the inside of an 8-inch/20cm square baking dish.  In a bowl, mix together the oats, half the walnuts, the sugar, if using, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, if using, the milk, egg, half of the butter, and the vanilla.

Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the berries over the top. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish a couple thwacks on the counter top to make sure the milk moves through the oats. Scatter the remaining berries and remaining walnuts across the top.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter on the top and serve. Sprinkle with a bit more sugar or drizzle with maple syrup if you want it a bit sweeter.

Note:  I eliminate several ingredients from this recipe when I make it.  The bananas I leave out, just because they are really mushy when baked at the bottom of the pan, and that turns me off. I also don’t use the maple syrup.  I sometimes use nuts and seeds, instead or berries, but I often use raisins and lots of cinnamon.  I like this recipe because of the milk already in it when it bakes. The oatmeal stays moist, while others get hard a day or two into the week. I eat from this pan all weeks long, which makes getting ready for work a whole lot easier.  Enjoy!

Picture Perfect Food

Finally, I got the camera to sync with the computer, so I thought I would post a few picture of what I ate Tuesday.

Breakfast was baked oatmeal with blackberries and walnuts.  This is how it looked dry.

DSC_0843

Baked Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast cereals/foods.  I used to make it all the time, but stopped because the recipes I was using were full of oil, and I do mean FULL of oil.  I didn’t want all those calories, and my liver didn’t like all those saturated fats.  This recipe uses milk, egg, and about 3T of butter to create a whole pan (8×8) of moist, flavorful, hot breakfast that fills the house with a cinnamon aroma and calls everyone to the kitchen.  Yum!

For lunch, I had a chicken wrap Panini at a nearby restaurant, while hubs had a spicy Panini sandwich.  No picture of that to share, but it was likewise yummy. I ate part of the pickle spear that came with the whole wheat wrap, but left the chips on  the plate.

I’m a sugar addict, so savory and salty don’t call my name.

For supper, I ate this…

DSC_0841

This is an 8 inch plate supper is served on, and the meal includes a half slice of whole wheat banana bread with mini chocolate chips, a handful of red grapes, a half cup of milk, and homemade stir fry, featuring cabbage, onion, bell pepper, garlic, potato, cauliflower, asparagus spears, chick peas, and tiny chunks of ham (about 1 cup to make 6 servings), with a lil bit of soy sauce over top.  I stir fried the veggies in a tablespoon of coconut oil, which is why it glistens so much.  The cup with the milk in it is a children size tumbler, so while it looks like there is more milk in it, it’s really only about 1/2 cup, maybe less.

I did 60 minutes on the bike after supper this night.  I was sore afterward, lower back issues, but it felt good to have gotten through the day with good eats and exercise behind me.  I was in bed by 10pm, and slept well.

I thought it would feel weird to blog about my food, and to share what I ate here, but it doesn’t feel that way.  At least not right now.  I’m trying everyday, to make changes that will last for a lifetime.  Learning how to portion my food, choose the right foods to heal my body, and abstain from eating too often can only benefit me in the long run.

What about you, what did you eat today?  Which foods make you feel full and satisfied? Which ones don’t?