oatmeal and Blue Moon-induced coma

Sammy D has one fine...

By Sammy D

I gave up oatmeal last week.

I gave it up because I was, had been, and always will continue to eat just way too much of it. Because, as with all foods that I fall in love with, I don’t just eat them as a special treat. I eat them obsessively. And that’s exactly what was happening with oatmeal. I was eating it every.single.day.

“But oatmeal is so good for you, Sammy!” you’re probably thinking. “It lowers cholesterol and is chock full of fiber. Just eat the natural kind and you’re good to go!”

Yeah, oatmeal is good for you. But is it good-for-you-everyday-good-for-you? So good for you that you come home at 3AM, drunk, to microwave a bowl of the goodness in 2 minutes flat before falling asleep to an oatmeal and Blue Moon-induced coma?

I love(d) oatmeal so much because it was the vehicle for anything. I’ve mused on opening an oatmeal bar much like the chichi yogurt chains of New York made low-fat, probiotic yogurt the latest craze and vehicle for overly priced mix-and-match toppings.

Oatmeal isn’t great to eat plain. Actually, I hate it plain – it’s gross. But that’s also what’s good about oatmeal: its flat taste is the perfect canvas for you to experiment with the paint of a variety of random foods. Plop ’em in, heat it up, and scoop it out.

Have leftover apple pie in the fridge? Mix it with some oats and voila! You have apple-and-cinnamon goodness without having to pour a bowl of Apple Jacks. Need some protein? Throw in a few almonds for a nutty taste. Got fruit? Cut it up, and throw it in.

And then there are the traditional mix-ins — walnuts, raisins, granola or cinnamon, to name a few. Head to your local Starbucks, and you’ll probably get a sub par combination of said flavorings costing you roughly $2.99, or the price of one generic tube of oatmeal.

But screw the chains. I loved oatmeal so much because I made it better than anyone else.

Vintage Sammy D

A rundown of my fav mix: Kaishi Go Lean Crunch with a banana, raisins, and brown sugar. Add all of the above to 1 cup quick oats, pour in a shot or two of vanilla soy milk (vanilla is key for a sweeter flavor) and throw it in the microwave about two minutes. Absolutely delicious. Try your own, and you’ll taste for yourself why breakfast was my favorite part of the day. (*Editor’s note: Sammy!  No wonder you loved it so much…you turned it into a damn candy bar with all that added sugar! Holy sugar binge batman!)

But the fact that breakfast became my leap-out-of-bed-go-to-food wasn’t the problem. It was the fact that it was oatmeal for breakfast. Oatmeal for lunch. Oatmeal for dinner. And more often than I’d like to admit, oatmeal for drunken bed time snack, too. I haven’t suffered from an oatmeal binge for a while. I feel like a meth addict when I say that, but as any [insert addiction here] addict would say: Withdrawal is withdrawal. Case closed. And I’ve definitely suffered from mixed-microwaved-magic-oats withdrawal.

Last week I decided that my remaining box of America’s Choice quick microwavable oats would be my final goodbye to the world of easy breezy yummy breakfast. I would switch from oats to smoothies. So now I’m downing soy milk, Greek yogurt, a banana, some strawberries and a handful of blueberries blended to frothy goodness everyday.

Hmm, I just said “everyday.”  Food addiction anyone?

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