Creamy Turmeric Cinnamon Oats
If you caught my little ramble over on Instagram, where I originally shared this magical bowl of deliciousness, then you know I’ve been struggling since my debut bikini competition season wrapped up. And no, I am in no way going to sit here and blame competing because guess what: it’s my body, my mind and my own dang self who is in control.
A little history for those of you who may be new — especially since I took quite the blogging hiatus! Just over a year ago I hired a prep coach to help me achieve my ultimate goal of proving every ounce of self doubt I had wrong by competing in a bodybuilding show. I had only just started lifting weights on my own about 6 months prior to making this decision, but had experience tracking macronutrients and following an If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) nutrition practice. I had a really low moment one night while in a barre class, totally embarrassed by how little weight I could handle for a particular exercise and finally said enough is enough. I want to feel STRONG. Little did I know, competiting wouldn’t just improve my strength and endurance but it would teach me invaluable lessons about how my own body works and gift me with an incredble appreciation for just how capable I am. You can read more about my decision to compete or learn more about my health history and background, if ya like!
Fast forward to today, 8 weeks after my last of three shows and although I haven’t ever fallen completely off the wagon, I’ve had some major slip ups, including a few binges and defintiely an addicition to sugar. I was eating such little sugar toward the end of my prep — everything I did consume was 100% natural sugars from fruits, vegetables, etc. And when I say low, I mean like sub 20g of sugar most days. This is coming from someone who never really tracked sugar intake but usually stayed within 70-75g range. With that said, I felt AMAZING. Truly detoxing from sugar was one of the best unknown benefits of prep I have experienced. I was way less lethargic (even on prep macros), my skin and nails were super healthy and my digestion was on point. I didn’t even crave sweets! Rather my post-show cravings were always things like burgers and fries, pizza or steak. Anyway, I ate sugar, like immediately. And not just a little, A LOT. Peep the ridiculous Extreme Frosted Animal Cookie Pancakes I devoured from In A Picke. And the next day I was sick to my stomach. So much pain, like being hungover from a wild college night. You would think that would have taught me a lesson, but no.
Over the course of the next several weeks I noticed a pattern, I became fixated on building my day’s meals around whatever dessert or loaded treat bowl I wanted to house after dinner. Froyo with globs of peanut butter, curshed Oreos, M&Ms, other miscellanous candy — or my other nemisis, kettle corn. But not just regular kettle corn, the ones loaded with toppings and caramel and mixed up with chocolate and who knows that else. I always started off tracking, but usually went back for seconds, or thirds.
Nothing I ate was inherently wrong, and I was still filling my day with nutrient dense meals, but the obsession and thoughts the sugar cravings were contributing to were not healthy. Let alone how messed up it all made my digestion again. So I decided I needed to make a change. Stop using the holidays as an excuse and start living my life the way I used to enjoy and thrive off of, and that’s with whole clean foods.
Don’t get me wrong — there’s still wine/margaritas, cookies/donuts, treats in my future, I just no longer want to live feeling like I am controlled by my nightly dessert routine. So here I am, laying all out there, I am addicted to sugar and want to re-learn how to enjoy it in moderation.
My first step, incorporating more healing spices and fiber! I’ve also transitioned back to a predominately gluten-free and dairy-free nutrition practice because that’s how I feel best. For me personally, limiting those things keeps the brain fog and digestive discomfort to a bare minimum.
Alas, inspired by one of my favorite Insta-humans ever, Lee Tilghman of @leefromamerica, I kicked off this week with a warming, nourishing bowl of gluten-free turmeric cinnamon oats. Oatmeal has become a staple in my diet since I started purposefully training and tracking (and stopped fearing carbs! another prep benefit believe it or not!) and I hardly ever go a day without a bowl. If you want to switch up your brekkie game, and actually have time to stove-top simmer your oats (which I rarely do, so this was a TREAT!), then I totally encourage you to give this a try!
Creamy Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Spiced Oatmeal
60g gluten-free rolled oats (I used Trader Joe’s, here!)
TOPPINGS: I kept it simple (again inspired by Lee!) with chewy dried black mission figs and what I call, ‘Double Buttah’.
For the ‘Double Buttah’, this is a fun little hack I picked up while on prep to get my more VOLUME for less fat, and honestly it’s amazing. You can make Double Buttah with just about any powdered peanut and nut butter combination, here’s what I did for this bowl:
15g powdered peanuts
10-12g creamy salted cashew butter
Mix your powdered peanuts slowly with water. Start small, with just a little water and mix, mix, mix, adding very tiny increments at a time. I can’t stress this enough because I’ve added too much liquid too fast on more occassions than I can count, which results in basically just peanut water and ain’t nobody got time for that. Once you arrived at a smooth consistency, add in your nut butter of choice and watch the volume explode! I like my Double Buttah on the thicker side, so I opt for less water and rely on the oils from my cashew butter to seal the deal. I’ve also done this with chocolate powdered PB, almond butter, my flavored All American Butters and more — the possibilities are endless!
OATS HOW TO: Bring your almond milk to a light boil; stirring in turmeric and cinnamon until fragrant. I don’t measure, sorry, but I’d guess around a teaspoon each — you can easily add more or less depending upon your taste preferences. Add oats and cook for 10-20 minutes, or until you reach your desired consistency. I like my oats creamy but fully cooked, so I went the full 20 minutes and stirred regularly while they were simmering. Once cooked through, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 2 minutes; they should thicken up a bit more here too! Then top with your fave add-ons, although I highly recommend the fig and buttah combo, it’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet.