We all want to be healthier. We all say we want to eat healthier. The irony is that we live in a society with so much abundance of food that eating healthy sometimes seems more like a chore than a privilege. One of the goals I've made for myself is not only to eat healthier and act healthier to be healthier (and lose weight) but to be happy about it.
I am a 70's child of the era of the sugar-held-together-by-emaciated-grain Captain Crunch breakfast, shortening and sugar-laden peanut butter & jelly sandiwch lunch, and the chicken deep fried in transfats accompanied by mashed potatoes drained of their nutrients and swimming in saturated fat dinner. Remember the Bill Cosby chocolate cake for his kids routine? "THAT'S nu-TRI-TION!"
My quest now is to retrain my tastebuds to not only enjoy the blessing I have in this world of all the wonderfully fresh nutritionally dense food I have at my disposal but to actually enjoy and crave them too, instead of being emotionally food childish about eating what's good for me while secretly desiring Captain Crunch in my heart of hearts.
Although there were always primarily good wholesome foods on my mother's table, there were also convenience foods that I didn't know were bad for me back then: sugared cereals, hot dogs, fish sticks, sliced processed cheese, etc. But I do know now and while I still crave those things occasionally, thankfully, some of those things don't taste nearly as good to me as an adult as I remember them from back then. (Unfortunately some still do.)
I can't change what those things mean to me in the back of my head but I can find new favorites to run home to, so to speak. One of those is oatmeal. When I was a kid, oatmeal was either long cooking rolled oats that we drowned in butter, milk, and sugar or, if I was at my Nannie's house, it was little packets of half instant goo and half sugar with flecks of dried fruit. Peaches and Cream was always my favorite.
As I've gotten older, the big kid in me yearns for the mouth feel of real oatmeal, the kind of sturdy, chewy, brawny oatmeal made from steel cut oats simmered on the stove rather than popped into the microwave. I prefer raw honey to sugar, low fat milk to cream, and most of the time, fresh fruit. BUT. There's always a "but". There are times when I yearn for the sugary decadence of my kidhood and even though I'm not a huge chocolate eater, one of the few times I've found chocolate to be one of the most satisfying tastes on earth is when I add a "kiss" of the deep sultry bite of dark chocolate to the creamy nuttiness of steel cut oatmeal. It's as close to a candy bar as I want to go for breakfast, combining the taste of chocolate and nuttiness but in a healthy complex carb, vitamins, iron, and antioxidant way, while still retaining that secret lasciviousness of a splurge.
Now that's a healthy meal that's also a treat.
To a half cup of steel cut oatmeal prepared from package directions, add 1 Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kiss, and 2 Tbsp of low fat milk or fat free half and half. (Optional: sugar or honey if you want it sweeter.)
For the oatmeal, chocolate, & milk: Calories: 190, Protein: 9, Carbs: 31, Fat: 4, Fiber: 4.