Day 253-MET-Is Oatmeal Healthy?

Good morning my peeps and how are you on this cool and cloudy Tuesday? I survived the thunderstorms and nickel-sized hail we had last night, although I didn’t get much sleep.

I know I said my essay today would be on pet love, however, life has a way of throwing you curveballs and this morning has been crazy. After getting the dogs to the groomers, and knowing I had a ton to do today with a dr appt. thrown right in the middle of the day, I figured I better get my kitchen duties done before writing my post for the day.

Last night, I came across a delicious looking recipe I found on Pinterest for baked steel-cut oatmeal. Now, I try to eat as Paleo as possible, so in that quest I purchased some of these preferred oats at Big Lots the other day. My first experiment with them did not go so swell.  Wish me luck (or I’ll update later) on the baked treat I have been promised by Alexandra’s Kitchen. Check it out for yourself and then let me know how yours turned out.

What I wanted to explain here today, is the difference in the three types of oatmeal most commonly consumed and why Paleo guru Mark Sisson says it is not really Paleo. (healthy) In my life, Paleo equates to being/eating healthy, just so you know. 🙂

The three most common types of oats are steel-cut (one step above horse feed), rolled oats (the most commonly consumed), and instant oats ( the kind with added sugar and flavors.)

The “whole grain” form of an oat is called a grout, according to Mark (I’ll include a link to his article at the end) and is rarely sold like that, except for maybe horse feed.

Steel-cut oats are whole grouts chopped into smaller pieces. They contain the most nutrients and some of the bran that doesn’t flake off is retained. They taste nuttier than rolled oats but still have the anti-nutrient phytic acid in them, which is nearly impossible to remove. Yet these would be classified as the healthy version as opposed to the other two choices.

Rolled oats are steamed grouts that have been flattened and rolled out, and the bran has been removed. When most people think of oats, this is the kind they mean.

Instant oats are rolled, steamed, pre-cooked oats that are immediately ready to eat when hot liquid is added. These are the least nutritional, with lots of sugar and added flavorings like brown sugar and maple.

What makes these low on the healthy totem pole is the phytic acid and the avenin, a protein in the prolamine family. If a grain is rich in minerals, the presence of phytates prevents the full absorption. Avenin poses the same problems as gluten in certain sensitive people. So they aren’t really the best grain for us to eat.

The reason oats get a good rap from health organizations is because of the fiber they have called beta-glucan that increases bile acid excretion. It’s a a soluble fiber and it takes the serum cholesterol out as bile acid is excreted. Plus, it has bran (steel-cut oats do anyway) that may protect against atherosclerosis, but then again, so does a diet rich in yellow and green vegetables, so is oat bran really some magical substance? Maybe not, but they are a comfort food that lots of people just can’t live without.

All that being said, I decided that since Mark says if you are going to eat them, opt for the steel-cut variety, because they are classified as better than wheat but worse than rice, from a grain perspective. (here is that link to the article…Mark’s Daily Apple) Of course, he doesn’t like them to begin with and feels like there are many other foods with a better flavor profile, but I just have to say, I am enjoying the baked variety I just made very much!

Tastes better than it looks folks, trust me!

I’m not sure what went “wrong” here, but mine came out of the oven not looking like a baked good at all, yet tasting absolutely delicious! The flavors are nutty, sweet and chewy- not slimy like you normally think of with oatmeal. Since it came out with butter still sizzling in the bottom of the dish, I’m assuming my pan was too big or the fact that I used almond milk instead of whole milk may be the problem. It matters not, because to me, this was a delicious mistake and I will have no trouble gobbling up the whole pan! (not in one sitting though) I used fresh frozen blueberries, maybe they added a watery consistency, but they tasted great. I put it back in the oven a few minutes, but it didn’t firm up anymore, just browned a little bit. Still tastes delicious.

OMG! You have to give this recipe a try! I used Kerrygold butter and almond milk, the rest of the ingredients are Paleo approved, so it is healthy enough for occasional consumption. Y’all, this is coming from a girl that never liked oatmeal before, I have slowly been teaching myself to tolerate it and have been on the hunt for a great recipe for the steel-cut oats. Well, I’ve found it! I will have to make it again sometime and tweak the recipe, because Alexandra’s came out looking more like bread and less like…oatmeal. Still, the taste is what’s important, and it passes the test!  Plus, I used Bob’s Red Mill award winning steel cut oats which won the Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship, the first time the competition has been won outside of Scotland!

The best steel-cut oats

I should have taken a picture before I dove into the pan, but I got in a hurry to try them. The recipe can be found at the link above for Alexandra’s Kitchen- and no, I’m not getting any compensation for all these products I’m talking about today, however, there is a method to my madness. I’m hoping you will find out what it is soon, if I have time to work on it today. 🙂

I hope I have provided you with some answers to your questions about oatmeal, and I hope you will give this amazing recipe a try! Come back tomorrow for Wednesday’s Medical Minute, hopefully it won’t be raining again, on the patio!

 

 

 

 

 

Day 246-MET-How I Found My Favorite Clothing Store

When you are four foot nine and have the body of a child, it makes it difficult to find clothes that fit without needing to alter them in some way. That was my story until the day I discovered New York & Company, the only place I could buy jeans off the rack and not need to hem them up.

I remember being stationed in Korea and thinking I was in Heaven because I had a tailor, someone who could make clothes to fit me specifically for a very cheap price. It became harder when I got pregnant, and I wish I would have kept the clothes they had made for me, just for the sake of having them to show my kids or something. No, my mother thought it best to get rid of them, she didn’t think I needed a reminder of the tents I was having to wear, nor did she think I would ever need them again. I remember the girls there used to follow me around like the Pied Piper asking me all kinds of questions about who my daddy was, why was my name Kim, oh I was so pretty and little, they were going to make beautiful clothes for me…I had been waiting to have a special crocheted bikini, that I designed, made for me when my tailor found out I was pregnant. She was not the only one who was crushed by the revelation.

As time went by, I gained and lost weight many times, and then I got really small-right before I met and married my husband I was at my lowest weight and could wear little boys clothes from Kmart. I weighed eighty seven pounds. I’m not too far over that right now, but the shape of my body is different. Anyway, he used to take me to the mall, trying to find clothes that didn’t fall off of me, usually without success. I remembered that my mom used to take me to Lerner’s when I was a kid for my school clothes, now it is called New York & Company. I was alone the day I went there and tried on a pair of jeans right off the shelf. Oh happy day! They fit like a glove and with my boots on, they needed no hemming. I went straight to the counter and got a store credit card, I had found my mecca.

Through the years of having babies, yo-yo dieting and everything else, I have gained and lost weight so many times, I have the range of sizes of jeans from zero to eight in my closet.  I refused to get any bigger than an eight and now I am back down to a zero to two (according to their size chart anyway) and actually have many pairs sitting in a closet, just in case. I tried to sell them once because they cost a lot of money, but I didn’t try the right venue. I need to put them on the newest app called five miles, that one really gets results. Finding that clothing store was a godsend, regardless, and I still buy from there to this day. Strange thing is, the only thing that fits me that well from the store are the jeans, I try on a dress and it hangs off of me. Blouses fit ok, as long as I get extra small, and even then they are too big sometimes, depending on the style. The only reason David let me have a credit card there was because then he wouldn’t have to listen to me whining about not being able to find clothes that fit me.

Still, I don’t use it all that much,  credit being what it is, but because I am a gold card holder, I get all the perks and coupons and money off specials, so I continue to be a loyal customer. Soon, I will be too small to wear their clothes because they changed the sizes and what used to be a zero is more like a two etc. I know this because when I shop for a two or a zero at other stores, they do not fit me the same way. It is alright though, I continue to find clothes that fit and besides, they have increased their inventory to include jewelry, scarves, shoes and belts, so besides regular clothing items, there is always something I can find there. I save this store for special occasions and buy my everyday clothes at thrift stores (because I am frugal and proud of it), I bring them home and wash them and wear them and it doesn’t bother me at all. That’s what happens when you have champagne taste on a beer budget after all. New York is getting all fancy now with their Eva Mendez collection, the prices have gotten so high, the only time I would ever go shopping is when there is a sale. Still, I love to walk through the store from time to time, fingering the fabrics and marveling at all the beautiful colors, they really have stunning clothes, especially for ladies that dress up for work.

I remember when I was a kid, my mom would send me to Lerner’s with a hundred dollars to purchase my school clothes, and I was so frugal, I would come back with a complete wardrobe. You can’t do that anymore!

 

Day 226-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Is Red Wine Really Heart Smart?

I really wanted to do a post this morning justifying having a glass of red wine every night, but according to the Mayo Clinic, the jury is still out on whether it is any more beneficial than any other alcohol for heart health. Still, I thought it worth taking a look see, so here are my findings.

Red wine has more antioxidants

It seems that red wine has antioxidants called  polyphenols in it and the one getting all the attention is resveratrol. According to some studies, it can lower the bad cholesterol (LDL), prevent blood clots and damage to blood vessels. Yet other studies did not find any evidence to support the theory; it seems that more research is needed.

The reason that red wine has been the hero is because it is fermented with grape skins longer than white wine, therefore it contains more resveratrol. Why wouldn’t just drinking grape juice or eating grapes work the same? Because the amount of resveratrol in food and wine can vary widely. One could take supplements but the body cannot absorb most of the resveratrol in them to matter.

Red grapes contain resveratrol

We all know that drinking too much is bad for you, yet studies show that red wine, in moderation, may be beneficial for heart health. That means for ladies up to one glass per night (5 oz.) and for men up to two glasses (because they weigh more). I learned to like red wine when I lived down south-before I met the ladies in Sertoma, I only drank Zinfandel. I was told that grown ups drink Cabernet and that was when I made the switch. As many of you know from following my blog however, wine is not the only alcohol I drink, I like some spirits as well-tequila and vodka mainly.

Well, it seems that other studies have found that all alcohol (in moderation) is beneficial to heart health because it raises the healthy cholesterol (HDL) and reduces the formation of clots. It also might improve the function of the endothelium which is the layer of cells that line the blood vessels.

Sounds to me like we are all safe enjoying a glass of wine, a beer or a drink as long as we don’t go overboard with it. In my own experiments, one glass may help me sleep better yet two or more keep me awake and make me grit my teeth. :/

The bottom line is, enjoy a glass of red wine occasionally but eat a well balanced diet for heart health including fruits and vegetables, fish and lean meats. The more color on your plate, the better. You know what they say…eat the rainbow!

I hope I helped clear some things up for you and if you have questions or comments, you know what to do. Join me tomorrow for Throwback Thursday and a warmer day, on the patio. 😎

 

Day 6-Free Days

This is my blog and I hereby declare that weekends I’m free to write whatever I want-that being said, I’m still going to give y’all a recipe, this one is for our furry friends though. I make them for mine sometimes, when I have extra time. Most of the time however, I make a simpler, quick treat that they love just as much. These are made with natural ingredients we could eat ourselves, if we were so inclined. Enjoy!

image

I “borrowed” this from a post on Instructables.com and she just called them sweet potato treats.

1 sweet potato

2 1/2 cups brown rice flour

1/4 unsweetened applesauce

2 eggs

Basically, you mix everything in a large bowl and roll a small amount into a ball. It’s time consuming, but they love em, and they are good for them-they provide fiber, protein, iron, niacin, and Viatmin A. That can be modified by adding dried blueberries or changing the type of flour, I prefer brown rice flour because it’s inexpensive and better for them than wheat.

image

Preheat oven to 350 and bake until crisp, about 35-45 minutes.

(You could bake a sweet potato and use that after its cooled down but I cheat and buy containers of baby food sweet potatoes to save time) Sue me, but I find lots of ways to save time in the kitchen since I do a lot of food prep.

I hope you try these for your fur babies to use as rewards or treats, mine get one at least twice a day! Since I know what is going in them, I can feel good about giving them to my Shorkies. Have a great weekend everyone, stay cool by watching the Olympics, if that’s your thing! I might watch a little, but I prefer to write, swim or catch an oldie but goodie in the movie dept. While my guys are off suffering the heat on the golf course, I’m in here staying cool, writing to you and catching Cold Mountain on Cinemax while also catching up on laundry. Later, I’m sure I’ll retire to the pool for a refreshing dip and possibly a nice beverage. 😉

Please don’t forget about helping me reach my goal for the upcoming PKD Walk. I appreciate whatever you can do or give, you can donate at the website: www.walkforpdk.org. Thanks again for visiting me here on the patio!

 

 

Day 2-Lets Talk Food Week

So, for the rest of this week, I thought I’d post a few of my go-to recipes from my Pinterest page, Everything Paleo at Kim Smyth.

I love chocolate chip cookies, so when I get a craving, I turn to this version from Texanerin Baking which are gluten free,grain free, dairy free and vegan. Don’t let all that fool you though, these cookies are seriously delicious!

image

 

Here is the recipe and thank you to Erin for providing it!

1 Cup blanched almond flour

1/4 Cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking soda

6 Tbsp coconut oil or unsalted butter, room temp (firm though not melted)

3/4 Cup coconut sugar

6 Tbsp natural almond butter (no sugar added)

1 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract

1 Lg egg

1 1/4 Cups paleo friendly chocolate chips (I prefer dark) EnjoyLife makes the best!

Directions:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the fat and sugar at medium speed until well combined, about one minute.
  3. Beat in the almond butter and vanilla on medium speed and mix until combined. Beat in the egg on low until well incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture until well combined. Then stir in one cup of the chocolate chips. If you used coconut sugar, place bowl in the fridge for about one hour til firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat (my preference)
  5. Roll dough into balls and place 3″ apart the mash slightly with the palm of your hand (or the back of a spoon)
  6. Bake for 11-14 min. or until the surface of the center no longer appears wet.
  7. Let cool on the baking sheet. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for a week.

Go to my Pinterest page for complete recipe and all of her notes, I simplified things here.

Do note that this recipe will NOT work with peanut butter.

That’s it for today, come back tomorrow for another delicious recipe and maybe a story to go with! Join in the fun by suggesting and/or providing your own recipes. Comment below or shoot me an email, see you tomorrow on the patio!