HEALTHY-ASS JANUARY #2: Peter’s Perfect Oatmeal Puddin’ Breakfast — The Game On! Diet
Happy middle-of-January! Are we healthy yet? Are we?! ARE WE??? *collapses weeping*
No, it’s going great, I swear. Let’s get to it.
The Assignment: Peter’s The Game On! Diet: Kick Your Friend’s Butt While Shrinking Your Own by Krista Vernoff and Az Ferguson
As you might guess from the title, this isn’t an actual cookbook. This is the book from whence came the healthy-living competition I’m in the midst of with some friends. I’ve personally found it to be an incredibly sustainable and intuitive tool in crafting healthy eating habits, and I feel best when I’m following the 5-small-meal model outlined in the book. That said, other people I know (such as individuals playing this round with me now) hate this system and find it completely unsustainable. Nothing works for everyone. (If you actually want to know more about Game On, feel free to ask, but I don’t want to bore people who came here for a recipe with the details.)
While I’ve had this book for a long time and am a big fan of the content, I’d never actually attempted any of the recipes. Mostly because while I assumed the nutrition would be on-point, the flavor’s probably gonna be a miss, right? There’s no way they’re good at health, fitness, AND crafting flavor profiles, right?
The Recipe (directly from the book, which you might want to buy if you’re looking for overall health tips and not necessarily recipes):
Things to Note About the Recipe:
You know how short that recipe is? I’m here to fill in the gaps. I took on this recipe because I KNEW that without tweaking, this would taste pretty damn bland, BUT that I could also make it better with just a little savvy.
Get started and make that oatmeal. Boil 1 cup water in a small pot on the stove, add the rolled/old-fashioned oats, and reduce to a simmer, cooking for about 5 minutes, until the water is mostly absorbed, the oats are soft, and it looks like freaking oatmeal. Then you add the egg whites.
Folks. It’s gonna look like snot for a bit.
“DANA, THIS LOOKS LIKE SNOT. It looks like a dystopian future breakfast gruel, one where we’ve evolved past our weak human need for flavor, but I’m not there yet! I’m not there yet, Dana, I’m a human being in 2019 and I need my food to taste like food because, dear god, it’s the only thing that makes me happy in this political climate!”
Breathe. We’ve got this. I will not let you eat dystopian snot gruel.
First off, keep the heat on and keep stirring for a minute or two. You need to give the egg whites a chance to set up. They’re not going to turn into scrambled eggs, but you do want to make sure it’s all cooking evenly, especially since both oatmeal and egg whites have a tendency to stick firmly to cookware. Once it’s looking more like a creamy oatmeal consistency again, after a couple minutes, you can turn off the heat.
Now, this is where we’ve got to start thinking for ourselves. (You know, so that we remember that we’re different from the robots.)
Go ahead and taste it. What does it taste like? Eh, dystopian snot gruel BUT WE CAN FIX IT.
This book has a lot of smart stuff in it, but what it doesn’t account for very well is seasoning of non-savory recipes. How do we fix this bowl of oatmeal?
– a pinch of salt
– a demi-sploosh of vanilla extract (like 1/8 tsp.)
– cinnamon is always good — I skipped it this time, but go for it
The recipe says to mix all the rest of the ingredients in together; don’t do that. The oil, sure. (Note: I forgot to add in the oil and just ate a spoonful of almond butter afterward to make up for it; I would totally recommend adding a spoonful of nut butter to the mixture in the place of the flax oil.) And definitely mix in that teaspoon of maple syrup because DEAR GOD, it needs it.
Now taste. Not bad, eh?
And by this time, your oatmeal will have had a few minutes to cool a bit and set up more, which means the texture will be juuuuuust right. Don’t mix in the fruit yet! Transfer that
gruel oatmeal puddin’ to a bowl.
At this point, I make a crucial decision to add extra maple syrup. The healthy food plan allows me an additional 100 calories of whatever-the-hell-I-want each day, and so I decide to use 50 of those calories to add 1 tbsp. of additional maple syrup on top. DECADENCE.
Sprinkle the top of your oatmeal with those pretty berries, and DIG IN because you are HUNGRY after a long day of doing healthy shit like cardio and meditation and positive mindset work and menu planning and shhhhhhh, just let that warm, creamy bowl of oatmeal puddin’ make it all better.
How did it taste?
Pretty damn good. Probably because I flavored it up, but the texture was MUCH better than I thought it would be.
Would I make this again?
Actually, yeah, I would! It’s easy, nutritious, yummy, and has definite BUT I WANT DESSERT appeal.
Do I recommend this book?
For the recipes, no. For the rest of it, yeah. It’s a great motivator to get healthy changes going in your life, from eating better to exercising to instilling good habits and breaking bad ones.
What’s the next recipe I want to make from this book?
Fine, I might make Bill’s Spicy Tuna Salad.
I promise I’ll cook from an actual cookbook next week.
** At a certain point, it became clear that this recipe was made by someone with considerably larger fists than mine (PETER!), and that the carb portion size here (1 cup cooked oats + 1/2 cup fruit) exceeded what I’m allowed for a meal. Luckily, since I’d hoarded my extra points for the day, I was able to call that 1/2 cup of berries the other extra 50 calories of my 100 freebies. And YES, I’m including this here in case any of the people I’m playing against are reading this and try to bust me — I’m on it! It’s all accounted for!