Do You Eat? If So, Please Read: “Killer Oatmeal” (Why and How to Make It)

I’ll never try to convince you to eat sardines, man…and I’ll leave the broccoli sales pitch for another time.

But oatmeal? C’mon. It’s incredibly good for you AND perfectly good to eat. So, please invest a few minutes to consider this case for oatmeal (and tips for how to make it an easy part of your morning).

by

I’ll never try to convince you to eat sardines, man…and I’ll leave the broccoli sales pitch for another time. But oatmeal? C’mon. It’s incredibly good for you and perfectly good to eat.

So, please invest a few minutes to consider this case for oatmeal (and tips for how to make it an easy part of your morning).

Context: Typical Breakfast Alternatives

The case for oatmeal is especially strong because common breakfast alternatives are not healthy.

⇒ No breakfast: bad idea; slows down metabolism and leaves your body and mind without energy.

⇒ Cereal: Most are high-sugar or made with refined flours (“bad carbs”). There are certainly good cereals out there—I’m not condemning all cereal!

⇒ Bagels/toast/pastry: Broad category, but most bread-based breakfasts have same issues affecting mass-market cereal (and without the milk, they don’t bring protein). Pastries are basically dessert, dude.

⇒ Eggs: Unless you’re actively managing cholesterol, a fine thing to eat. But “eggs” often also means cheese, fried potatoes, unhealthy bread, packaged meats, etc.

Common Objections to Oatmeal (and Why They’re Misguided)

I see five reasons people don’t eat oatmeal.

1. Oats aren’t a “fit” for some people’s digestive system. If you have gastrointestinal (GI) issues like bloating, reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s, or other inflammatory conditions, this “oatmeal infomercial” is over! (But note, oats are gluten-free).

2. Belief that oatmeal is bad for managing weight. This is partly due to “prepared” oatmeal mixes (e.g. Maple & Brown Sugar) that are high-sugar. Here, I’m talking about plain oatmeal with your own, not pre-packaged, additives!

Also, ultra-low-carb advocates criticize oatmeal’s carbs. Me? I don’t think very-low-carb is advisable long-term. If you’re heavily cutting carbs for short-term weight loss, bookmark this and read it once you reach the “how to maintain healthy weight over the long term” stage.

3. Fuzzy awareness of oatmeal’s benefits. Most guys are vaguely aware of this, but I want you to be specifically aware. Oatmeal is high in:

⇒ Fiber. It protects your heart by helping clear LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from your body…helps ward-off diabetes…keeps your regular (“like a champ” comes to mind)…and keeps you full for hours.

The “full for hours” benefit leads some experts to recommend oatmeal for weight loss, despite its calories and carbs.

⇒ Important vitamins, minerals & antioxidants that help fight cancer

⇒ High-quality energy (carbs) for athletic performance.

Not surprisingly, oatmeal appears on nearly all mainstream nutrition authorities’ “healthiest foods” lists.

4. Belief that oatmeal is bland, mushy, etc. Of course, I can’t tell you what tastes good. But I think the “killer oatmeal” described here will be somewhere between “pretty good” and “awesome” for many of you.

5. Reluctance to “cook” in the morning. Mornings are rushed, for sure. But in the same time it takes to get coffee going, you can have oatmeal, cooked in the microwave and eaten in the same bowl.

Killer Oatmeal: Ingredients and Logic for Them

Here’s what I eat:

5/8 cup of Quaker “Old Fashioned” Oats. I know quantity seems random. For me, it’s 2.5 measures of a quarter cup measure we have. It just feels like the right amount to eat.

½ cup of 2% milk. Less liquid than typical instructions say. I find standard recipes make for a soupy result. I use lactose-free milk because I need to.

1 teaspoon honey. A more-or-less thing; I put about a half-dollar-sized circle of honey on top after cooking.

Cinnamon to taste

1 oz. chia seeds. Protein, omega 3, fiber…and help keep you full. Drink additional water afterward, because they soak up liquids around them.

1 oz. shredded coconut. Helps make it taste good; also beneficial fat.

Walnuts (7-8 halves, broken into smaller pieces). Great for you in multiple ways. Use “raw” or organic (I like raw ones better).

Note: I don’t put fruit in my oatmeal, but if you do, low-sugar berries are best, as opposed to raisins or even bananas.

How to Make It

1. Combine oatmeal and milk. If you have a food scale (<=$20), you can even avoid a measuring cup. Just put the bowl, and the oatmeal in it, on the scale. Then add 200 grams of milk!

This might sound like ridiculous process overkill. But if you’re going to make oatmeal on 10,000+ mornings like I am…it’s nice to avoid the measuring cup.

2. Microwave on 50% power for 4-4.5 minutes, depending on microwave. So many smart people have a blind spot about adjusting microwave power. Go half-power and you’ll never have spills.

3. Stir in all the other stuff

Nutritional Analysis

The “% of daily amount” analysis for carbs and protein are controversial, since the FDA and some men’s health experts differ on daily intake. I give perspective on this oatmeal mix relative to differing views on daily totals.

576 calories
= 23-29% of daily calories, modeled on a 2,000 or 2,500 total daily goal.

63 grams of carbs
= 21-23% of FDA total and perhaps 30-35% of a lower total within a smart/moderate carbs approach. (Frame of reference: new FDA guidelines say 275-300 grams of carbs daily; low-carb advocates say WAY less.)

21 grams of protein
= 32-38% of FDA’s recommended protein intake, and more like 15-25% of amounts advocated by eat-more-protein evangelists.

12 grams of dietary fiber
=32-40% of recommended daily fiber (FDA lowers recommendations for age 50+). Based on what I’ve seen oatmeal help do to improve my cholesterol #s in the last 10 years or so, I’m a big believer in fiber!

###

So, to recap: Eat oatmeal. Include ingredients like those mentioned here, that enhance its nutritional value and make it taste good. Cook it the easy way. Repeat. At least, try this for 2-3 months and then see how you feel.

“I met a strange lady, she made me nervous. She took me in and gave me breakfast.” (Men at Work, Down Under – click to listen)

If you think this would be useful to others, please help spread the word about OlderBeast by sharing this post with the social media buttons below. THANKS, MAN.

You may also like

article-image
Fitness Planning & Gear , Nutrition & Recipes

Weight Maintenance? Why You Need Some “Loss” Days to Balance Inevitable “Gain” Days.

Unless you live with otherworldly consistency, even “weight maintenance” will have small ups-and-downs. Some days, calories from food and drink exceed those you burn. For maintenance, then, you need other days when calories burned exceed those consumed.

Here’s an illustration of how inevitable—and how high-impact— “calorie surplus” days are. And then, suggestions for how to balance them with modest, measured “calorie deficit” responses.

article-image
Fitness Planning & Gear , Nutrition & Recipes

Your Pig Day — Surprising Key to Long-term Nutrition Discipline

Eating well for life is partly about having a sound and practical plan, and (even more) about following that plan. We shouldn’t discount the importance of the “plan” part. So many “diets” or “programs” are harder to stick to than they need to be (or have a cost level few can sustain for the 10-20,000 days of living and eating we OlderBeasts have in front of us).

But this post is about the second challenge – following the plan. Let’s start with two premises:

1. We are all going to “cheat” vs. any plan sometimes (for me, that’s pizza and ice cream)

article-image
Nutrition & Recipes

Small Trick to Help You Eat Better: Best Way to Stir “Natural” Peanut Butter

OlderBeast address vital topics like lifelong fitness, nutrition, happiness…and now, peanut butter.

For those of us who eat “natural” or “old fashioned” peanut butter, stirring together the peanut/oil separation when you first open a jar is a messy PAIN.

Here’s the solution I figured out – just recently, after a decade or so of dealing with this low-grade pain.

article-image
Health & Medicine , Nutrition & Recipes

Here’s Something to Seriously Consider Taking: Turmeric

I’ve been conscientious about vitamins and minerals for a while now—via a high-quality one-a-day and also — most importantly — what I eat. But there’s also a whole world of herbal/natural supplements out there. These are ones for which the US FDA hasn’t asserted a firm stance and thus hasn’t announced any official “RDA” (Recommended, or Reference, Daily Allowance).

Awful pun intended, I take a lot of the “miracle herb or spice” claims with a grain of salt.

But I decided to start taking turmeric supplements recently based on the emerging evidence of its many benefits. Turmeric is a spice that’s a main ingredient in curry, and so it’s something people have been consuming for thousands of years.

You may also feel barraged with “miracle” health headlines; maybe even a bit cynical. I get that. But please read on for a minute or two, because I’ve come to believe that turmeric is an exceptional thing: a substance with many, many benefits and no real downside.

5 Comments
  1. Tom B. 1 year ago
    Reply

    Mark – Here’s to the next 10,000+ breakfasts! Oh, and in the Men At Work song, wasn’t “breakfast” a vegemite sandwich? (I promise I haven’t hit the tune link yet! )

    • Mark Teitell 1 year ago
      Reply

      Good recall about the vegemite sandwich…though in my recollection, that wasn’t breakfast. Rather, it was what the guy from Brussels (who was 6 feet 4, and full of muscles) handed to the singer when he asked “do you speak my language?”

      But as always, I stand ready to be corrected / educated if I’m wrong!

      -Mark

  2. […] I like coffee ice cream as much as the next guy. I use honey to sweeten oatmeal. So I’m not urging you to be a zero-added-sugar zealot…but to be wary of added sugar, […]

  3. […] me, hall-of-famers among these include oatmeal, whole grain tortillas, “ancient grains” type cereals (with things like spelt, millet, […]

  4. […] easy for “measured” things like oatmeal (about half the time, I eat 20% less than normal of my killer oatmeal). For other things, consciously put a bit less on your plate. Or if it’s something you buy […]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.