You might have noticed that most of my last few posts have been about food. Starting this month I'll be writing about my relationship to the kitchen as a queer femme. I plan to include some recipes as well as vignettes from my struggle to achieve a healthful lifestyle and diet. Living an unhealthy lifestyle really makes me feel unfemmeinine... un- a lot of things and I want to change that by "going public" with my intentions. I'm very thankful for the feedback that readers have provided in the past, and I look forward to sharing this journey toward wellness with all of you!
Like many people, I have had an ambivalent relationship with food for most of my life. My mother is diabetic and a couple of years ago my pancreas finally pooped out on me and I developed type 2 diabetes as well. That *should* have been the beginning of a revolution in my health (really, it should have happened when I found out that I was pre-diabetic many years ago) but I did not really focus on my wellness until this year. First, in March I began getting treatment for depression and mental illness, about which I had been in denial for at least a year. At the same time, I also began tracking my blood glucose levels with more diligence and paying attention to the kind of food I was eating. More recently, I've begun working out with a friend once or twice a week, and using sparkpeople.com to track my food intake, blood sugar and exercise. Finally, things are starting to come together!
Today I'm going to share with you my shiny new breakfast routine! It includes oats and a morning smoothie that is full of nutrients and (I think) tastes amazingly delicious! One thing I've learned since tracking my food intake is that I actually do no eat enough to keep my body strong and healthy. How weird is that? Usually when I do get enough calories, they're the wrong kind. In order to resolve this problem, I gave breakfast a big makeover. Prior to this makeover, breakfast included nothing, a granola bar, or a bowl of cheerios. That kind of breakfast can really put someone off to a bad start! Now, I have a very small bowl of quick oats and at least two big servings of fruits and veggies!
Oats for Wellness
1/4 to 1/2 cup of dry quick oats
1/4t to 1t unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2 T raisins or other dried fruit
spices to taste (I use ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove)
1-2 T peanut butter or other nut butter
Directions: Boil water in a pot or tea kettle. Scoop your oats into a heat-safe bowl and add the spices, cocoa and fruit. Add the boiling water just a little bit at a time until you have achieved the consistency you like. (Note: the directions on my quick oats say to add oats to water and cook for 1 minute. This makes my oats way too mushy. Cook the oats by your preferred method.) I add the peanut butter at the end, but when I'm not paying attention, I put it in before the water. Either way is fine. Serve hot.
This is so easy, especially when I wake up with a "fasting" blood sugar level! I know the cocoa sounds weird, but it actually provides some extra protein and nutrients. Same goes for the fruit. Peanut butter has lots of calories but they mostly come from good fats that your bodies needs to stay in tip top shape.
1 banana, any size
3-5 blackberries (the seeds don't grind up and they're hard to chew. I use 3)
5-6 strawberries with leaves removed
1/4 c blueberries
1/4 c raspberries
Big handful of baby spinach leaves (trust me!)
1 Serving of protein powder (I use 2 T Bob's Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder)
1 t chia seeds (optional, I get them in bulk from the health food store)
No-sugar-added fruit juice, milk, or milk substitute to taste
Directions: No complicated instructions here! Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth, adding some milk or juice to taste if needed, or if your blender is having a hard time blending frozen fruit. I use my bullet mini blender because it's way less to wash afterward!
This is the way I make my breakfast, but it is just one example of a nutrient-packed meal to give you a good foundation for your busy day. Switch up the ingredients! Try different kinds of fruits, or combine them in a different way. Add a low-calorie sweetener like Nu-Stevia, if you like, but I think the fruit alone gives it a great flavor. You can't taste the spinach, I promise!
Be well or pursue wellness, my lovelies!