PB&J Oatmeal

I used to hate oatmeal. One time in college, I made it for breakfast on the same day I came down with a migraine. *Cue intense nausea and gagging.* It was years before I could eat oatmeal without associating it with that sick, queasy feeling.

Nowadays, it’s my favorite breakfast. Not only is it comforting and yummy, but it makes me feel really freakin’ good.

I think it’s so important to listen to our bodies. I used to eat cereal for breakfast, and I was always left hungry and hangry an hour later. Then I started “eating clean” (*cringing at the pretentiousness*) and I kicked the cereal boxes out of my kitchen. Cereal and milk got replaced with eggs and avocado. Sometimes I threw a tomato on the side. Eggs and avocado taste amazing, but they also left me feeling shaky and hungry an hour later. I shoved those feelings aside and called myself crazy because it’s eggs and avocado. Healthy, right? High-protein, right? We’re told to fill up on protein for breakfast; that that’s the key to weight loss and feeling full and overall good health. So I ate my fried egg and my avocado and then went about my business of getting kids ready for school and heading to the gym for an hour-long cardio session. And then I spent the rest of the morning feeling like absolute crap. I even tried adding a protein shake to my breakfast to bulk it up and help with the hunger. Didn’t help at all.

Why?

At first, I thought something was wrong with me. Why wasn’t the “healthy” breakfast doing its job? Was I dehydrated? Did I need to drink more water? Did I have adrenal fatigue? Blood sugar issues? Was I not eating enough?

No to all the things.

Turns out, bodies need carbs. A revelation, I know. What with everyone demonizing them and telling us they make us fat and all the bad things. No. Just no. Your body needs carbs. This is a thing. A universal thing. Carbs have glucose. Glucose is what gives our bodies energy. No carbs=no energy. And that’s exactly the issue I was having. I was giving my body almost no carbs each morning and then expecting it to chase after my kids and run five miles at the gym. I was running on fumes and miserable.

So, at the advice of a runner friend, I switched to a carb-heavy breakfast instead of worrying about protein. And you know what? I felt good. I had energy. I could do all the things. Once I fed my body what it needed, I became a functioning human being again.

And thus my love of oatmeal was born.

This is the jam I used for this recipe. At 8 grams of sugar per serving, it’s certainly not low in sugar, but it is lower:

IMG_20180809_083347

This is one of my favorite recipes. Enjoy 🙂

PB&J Oatmeal

Serves 2 (save half for the next morning if cooking for one, double the recipe as needed for more servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 2 cups of water
  • dash of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (the only ingredient on the back of the jar should be peanuts)
  • 2 tablespoons of seeds (either chia, flax, or hemp; or a mixture of all three)
  • 2 tablespoons of jam, divided
  • 6 strawberries, thinly sliced

Mash the banana in a pot. Add the oats, water, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Once bubbling, turn the heat to medium and cook it down for a few minutes until oatmeal is cooked and thick.

Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and seeds.

Ladle into two bowls and drop a tablespoon of jam into the middle of each. Arrange the sliced strawberries around the jam and serve.

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