Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the breakfast post.

I should be studying MNT, but here's a post about oatmeal instead!

I've concocted an oatmeal creation so wonderful, you'll ditch your $2/pouch of so called 'healthy' oatmeal.  What you'll need:

Old Fashioned Oats
Sesame Seeds
Ground Flax Seeds
Brown Sugar
A cup-o-coffee (for good measure)
  1. Cook your oatmeal as instructed on the big tube o' oats.  With old fashioned oats, which I chose because I like the texture better and it seems less processed (my own theory), I use less water.  I've had to experiment a bit with this, to each their own.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil or oats to cook, get your bowl of choice ready.  I prefer my Chacocat bowl that my best friend growing up got me - nice and big porcelain bowl, perfect for miso soup, too!  In the bottom of the bowl, add the brown sugar to taste.
  3. Remove the cooked oatmeal from heat and add about a teaspoon (or more!) of cinnamon, two teaspoons sesame seeds, and the ground flax.  All these measurements are variable but I caution - flax and sesame are some powerful GI (gastrointestinal) movers, to be polite.  I usually try to get 3T ground flax but I worked up to that, and I replace one tablespoon with some sesame seeds for added flavor.  Don't over do it.  Trust me.
  4. Mix it all up and pour over your brown sugar.  While you're pouring your coffee, the warm oatmeal is melting all that sugar... mmm...
  5. Enjoy!
Now, why am I doing this?  It's delicious! Oh, and it's really good for you.  I have no reference list at the bottom, so don't go preaching my every word, but rather investigate for yourself.  There are a lot of health benefits associated with whole grains and fiber - reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced cholesterol, etc.  Now the flax, oats, and sesame seeds are packed with fiber but the flax and sesame also has something special going for it - omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3's are polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA's) which are associated with decreasing inflammation, depression, cardiovascular disease risk, and so much more (a lot of which we don't even understand yet!).  A lot of products out there are including flax seeds in their recipe, but I have some bad news for you.  To start, it must be ground to get the benefits - our body doesn't have the ability to break the seed down.  In other words, it will go right through you untouched (think corn...).

Second, the omega-3 f are FA's with multiple double bonds within it's structure.  These double bonds are susceptible to free radical damage.  Free wha??  Free radical damage is a process of oxidizing compounds which is associated with cancer risk, atherosclerosis... it's not good.  The reason you consume antioxidants?  To fight these guys, the free radicals.

I call dibs on that band name, The Free Radicals ("We're here to do some damage!" - oh I could go on all day...).  You should hear about my zinc fingers/DNA Halloween costume idea...

Anyway, the likelihood of these double bonds being attacked by free radicals is increased with heat.  This means that those crackers with flax baked in, the yummy baked goods, could actually be doing more harm than good to your body.  I add my ground flax seeds to my oatmeal after it has cooled a bit and I consume vitamin E once a week via supplement to help prevent the FR damage.  Vitamin E because it is a fat soluble vitamin and the omega-3's are a fat.  That's the basic version and if you want more info, I would LOVE to explain further.

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT a professional, these words are my own and these supplements/foods work for me.  Everyone is different and reacts differently.  Some medications could negatively interact with certain supplements or foods.  Supplements ARE considered a medication and you should ALWAYS have a list of prescriptions/OTC medications/supplements for doctors/pharma's.  That tea with St. John's Wort or milk thistle?  Could potentially do some crazy things.  St. John's especially... but that's another post.  Just be careful; there are some OTC "herbs" that act like prescriptions: research, and consult with someone who has studied nutrition, Pharmacists are amazing too.

I'm stepping off my soap box now (temporarily).

Eat oatmeal, it's good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Phew.  I am a woman on a mission.  I just got back from Boston, MA and dove right into two quizzes, a midterm, case study... well you get the idea, only after a mere five hours after returning.

It was so worth it.  Not to mention I aced both the quizzes and the midterm while only studying the morning prior.  Oh, I'm sorry, am I bragging?

I'm not sure when there will be words to accompany them, but here are some photos to drool over: