Health & Food

Overnight Oats and a Holiday Challenge!

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My first experience with overnight oats was a disaster.

I typically like my oats hot, but on this particular evening I knew I would have no time in the morning to make my beloved oats, so I decided to try overnight oats so they’d be ready in the morning and I wouldn’t have to do anything. I used a recipe from The Broccoli Hut All of her overnight oat recipes. The recipe called for oats, water, Greek yogurt, pumpkin, and a few other not-so-important ingredients, which I didn’t use. The next morning when I opened the fridge I was sad to see my oats had turned to glue. BLAH! I ate them anyway because I was in a hurry to get out the door to my 7am meeting. I added a bit of almond milk to make the texture more bearable.Overnight Oats and a Holiday Challenge! 1

As I was eating my oats, I thought to myself, “what went wrong?”. I know there had been other “blogger fads” that had not been my favorite (oats in a jar….), but I figured overnight oats would not be one of them. As I thought more about it, I decided I made two fundamental errors.

1) I let them sit overnight for too long. I didn’t wait long enough the night before to prepare my oats, therefore they sat for over 11 hours. Gross.

2) I used too much yogurt and not enough liquid. Although I followed the recipe, I think I like more of a runny texture to my oats, compared to most people’s preferences.

So I tried again. This time I used; 1/2 cup oats, 3/4 cup soy milk, 2 T whole milk yogurt, 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin, and some vanilla flavoring.Overnight Oats and a Holiday Challenge! 2

I mixed up all of the ingredients at about 10 pm.Overnight Oats and a Holiday Challenge! 3

I woke up at 6am, then ate my oats around 7am (~ 9 hours after making them). The consistency was much better!! The addition of more liquid, and less yogurt, prevented the glue-like texture from forming.

I even added some cinnamon and nutmeg for extra flavor.Overnight Oats and a Holiday Challenge! 4

QUESTION: Have you tried overnight oats?!

HOLIDAY CHALLENGE!

As many of you know, I had an eating disorder in high school and part of college. While I have been better for several years, I was still under my desired weight just last year. After cutting out FODMAPs, and starting to absorb more nutrients, I have officially gained about 10 pounds! At this time I am within my ideal body weight and could not feel more amazing about myself and my new body. While I am very proud of myself for gaining my weight back, I have found that I am unable to control myself around food when I’m at parties lately. It’s not as bad as it could be, but I’m sensing a small loss of control when I go to weddings or other social gatherings. I know some of it has to do with alcohol, which I tend to drink at these types of events/parties (although in reality I usually only have two drinks at most), but I still would like to work on this before it turns into a habit.

This brings me to my Holiday Challenge. This year I have created a challenge for all of the employees at the store where I work. The challenge is to not put on any weight over the holidays (**I’m actually going to do a modified version of this challenge by challenging myself to not binge on holiday foods and drinks during holiday parties, without the weight maintenance goal in mind, necessarily**). For those of you who read my blog and who are trying to put on weight, lets make this a challenge to put on weight, or you can be like me and make it a challenge to not lose control over holiday sweets and drinks. But if you are noticing an increase in your weight every year, and it’s not a good thing, why not join the employees in the “No Weight Gain Challenge?!”. For the store employees I have also added an incentive to lose weight over the holidays, so if you fit in the category where you are above the ideal body weight for your height, why don’t you try it?!

The bottom line is that it’s pointless to start your New Years resolution on January first. Weight loss and weight maintenance is not achieved by quick fixes, it’s achieved by a change in lifestyle and a change in habits. What better time to practice eating well at parties and holiday functions than during the 2 month span of the holiday season?!

If you want to join me/us with this challenge, great! No need to tell me, but at the end I’d love to hear success stories! And meanwhile, leave some of your favorite tips for dodging holiday weight gain, or for simply staying healthy over the holidays, and I will post them along with some other tips on my next post!

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