Sunday, November 18, 2012

I Don’t Do Oatmeal

This past week included a visit to the cardiology office for a follow-up visit to my short hospital stay six weeks ago. The results were not unexpected.

My blood pressure is now under control; I’ve gotten used to the medications and I’m taking them faithfully. Now, however, I need to work on getting my cholesterol numbers down. The cardiologist told me that if the numbers don’t come down within three months, he’d want me on medication to bring it down.

That said, he did admit that, though my LDL (bad cholesterol) levels were high, the HDL (good cholesterol) levels were, in his words, very high. That is the only reason he hasn’t yet prescribed medication. That, in itself, is a little frustrating. My cholesterol levels have been that way since I was first put on medication for high blood pressure.

However, I have decided I will do what I can to bring that LDL number down. One of those things has to do with diet. I’m going to incorporate oatmeal into my breakfast.

If you don’t know me well, you have no idea how amazing that statement is. I don’t do oatmeal!

Now, when I think of having oatmeal for breakfast, I have memories of oats boiled in water or milk, until it is a sticky mass of off white, gluey “glop”, sprinkled with a bit of sugar, a drizzle of milk. I used to make oatmeal for my kids every morning during the school year; generally speaking, it went down well most of the time. I made the quick cooking variety, cooked in milk, but never until it was a gloppy, gluey mass of sticky.

When I say that oatmeal, or porridge, does not go down my throat, I am not exaggerating. I actually gag on the stuff. I do not do oatmeal!

So, when someone on a Ravelry thread suggested baked oatmeal, I was intrigued. No more glop? I went hunting. (Punchfork is an amazing resource!) I found recipes. I decided to try it.

I assembled the ingredients for this recipe (Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas). I do have blueberries, but they’re buried somewhere deep down in the freezer and I wasn’t willing to face this…

… just to find a bag of blueberries. And the result?

Well, I think I can eat oatmeal this way. The smell while it was baking was amazing. Cinnamon and honey, mixed with the bananas and the pecans gave this baked oatmeal a lovely flavour and texture. I had a dish of this for breakfast this morning, warmed in the microwave, with a bit of milk to give it a bit of moisture.

Oh, let me add one more thing. Not only did I eat oatmeal, but I also ate banana. That’s an event, too, because I can’t eat raw bananas. They make my mouth burn and itch, as do a lot of other fresh fruits and vegetables.

I think I can do this.


  1. Just try plain Cheerios instead. Blueberries are perfect. However, bananas are actually on the "fattening" side. If Potassium is what you need [the usual purpose for bananas] try kiwi instead. It actually has more plus the Vitamin C. BTW, take more Vitamin D too... Flax seeds [crushed] help too.

    1. Hi Shan, As much as I like Cheerios, they give me pretty bad gas, something the people I work with don't necessarily appreciate. ;)

      The bananas weren't there for the potassium; they do add to the flavour of the oatmeal. And, two bananas over the course of 6 days won't really affect my fat intake; I'm not overly concerned about that. Vit. D is one thing I'm already taking every day, along with Vit. C and fish oil capsules. Flax, as well, I already incorporate into numerous dishes.

  2. I recommend Forks over Knives, an excellent documentary that shows how to get your heart healthy, your blood pressure back to normal without medication, and your cholesterol down, by changing your diet.

    1. I will check it out. I understand it's available free online. Thanks Nicola!

  3. Thanks for the recipe idea! Have you thought about making your own granola? It is another way to consume oatmeal that isn't a glop. :-) I hope your are able to get your cholesterol levels down over the next few months. Did you ever get a chance to look at the book Wheat Belly? If you go to the Wheat Belly blog you can see the stories of many people who have got their blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control simply by eliminating wheat from their diet.

  4. I have a couple of good granola recipes, Kristie. I usually have granola in the warmer months, with yogurt and fruit. I just can't face a bowl of cold cereal when the temperatures hover around zero.

    I've not yet looked into the Wheat Belly book but I did check out the blog. Sounds interesting. I've definitely been cutting back on my wheat intake after I realized just how much wheat we do eat. We love our breads.