Real talk- what you eat matters. The old saying “you are what you eat” is true to a degree, but I tend to lean more towards “you feel how you eat”. Whichever way you want to look at it, what we put into our bodies matter.
Our energy, mental clarity, overall health, and even emotional wellbeing is impacted by the foods we consume regularly. I can’t wait to dive more into this later, but for now, I would feel remiss if I didn’t at least mention it.
It wasn’t until a season of crippling mental and physical health that I had to get serious about my diet. I’m not talking a fad or quick-fix to lose weight; I’m talking about deciding to make lifestyle changes that were both sustainable and would pour life into my constantly-empty cup. And when you’re a breastfeeding mom that’s getting drained in every sense of the word, those are the best kinds of decisions you can make.
I knew there had to be an answer than “just take medication”. After doing some research and out of desperation to get my life back, I decided to turn to quality food as one of the answers to managing anxiety. Because of heightened awareness of food allergies and sensitivities, I developed a very real fear of consuming anything new, severely limiting my diet (which isn’t ideal).
By the way, in case you were wondering- that’s a real thing. It’s called food neophobia.
I took baby steps and stuck to minimal, simple meals. I noticed a HUGE difference in the way I felt as I found ways to fuel my body with nutrition-dense choices.
Fast forward a few years…
I’ve learned to play the offense against anxiety and started reclaiming my life back by taking holistic approaches, including focusing on diet and infusing life-giving habits into my routine. (To read more about life-giving habits- what they are and why they’re important, click here).
But as a mama that wears many hats, I’ll be the first to admit it’s HARD to stay consistent. Between work, home, fur babies, and my son, the mornings are particularly difficult when it comes to eating. If I’m not intentional, the next thing I know it is noon and I’m depleted because all I’ve eaten is part of a banana.
It’s hard to show up for anything when you aren’t giving your body what it needs to do so.
Then overnight oats entered my life.
Overnight oats are a fancy way to say “throw some oatmeal in a jar, cover with milk, and add whatever you want”. Seriously though, overnight oats are great and will leave you satiated in the morning and help provide the energy you need to do #allthethings that mom or work-life require. Plus, oats alone are an easy, nutrient-dense option for a meal.
BENEFITS OF OATS
Oatmeal is a favorite gluten-free staple in the house. Here are just a few things oats contain that are beneficial to the body!
-Fiber (helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, keeps hunger in check)
-Manganese (this mineral helps the body utilize many vitamins and helps with liver function)
-Iron (helps the body produce enough hemoglobin- a substance found in red blood cells that makes it possible to carry oxygen to the tissues in the body)
-Zinc (essential trace element that supports growth and development as well as supports the immune system)
-Vitamin B1 (or thiamine) (helps the cells in the body change carbohydrates into energy)
Quality oats are also rich in antioxidants and known to help stabilize blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Bonus– oats are affordable.
Add some favorite fruit or nuts and seeds and you’ve got yourself a healthy and hearty treat. I like adding antioxidant-rich berries.
And for you breast-feeding warriors out there, oatmeal is often a recommendation for increasing milk supply.
Here’s a simple recipe to try out! Once you’ve got the ingredients, it just takes five minutes during the evening to prepare the overnight oats and store in the refrigerator overnight (hence “overnight oats”). That way you’ll be able to grab breakfast on the go the next morning.
BERRY DELICIOUS GLUTEN-FREE OVERNIGHT OATS
- 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Oats ((quick-cooking or whole oats work fine))
- 1 cup Unsweetened Organic Almond Milk
- 1/4 cup Blueberries ((or berries of choice))
- 4 Chopped Strawberries
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Flax
- Drizzle of Honey ((I like using local, raw honey for extra immune-boosting))
In the evening, put the oats in a glass jar and cover with the almond milk.
Add your berries of choice and ground flax to the oatmeal mixture and give it a good stir.
Cover the jar with a sealed lid and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
Grab a spoon and enjoy the next morning! Add a drizzle of honey if you want a little sweetness.
Overnight oats are great because they’re easy to prepare, there’s no cooking involved, and you can customize it all you want! You can use whatever berries you’d like! I love strawberries and blueberries <3.
That’s it. I told you it was simple!
Whether you’re a working mama or just can’t seem to remember breakfast in the morning, this one is for you. It’s hard to be on your A-game and feel physically and mentally sane when you’re running on handfuls of stale Cheerios (been there, done that).
It’s possible (and important) to fuel your body.
Hope you enjoy and have a berry wonderful day ;P,