Oats Affair: How to make tasty oats meal every day?

Oats, my favourite breakfast food. Ironically now, everything with oats – I will love it!

I was often told about how oats were boring, plain and tasteless food. But I bet to differ that! Oats is one of the most versatile food in the world. From soften overnight oats, oat milk, oat cookies, oat loaf, granola, oat smoothie bowl, baked oat cake and the list goes on! I will be sharing some of my favourite recipes and show how to make tasty oats breakfast everyday!

11021093_10152810764882746_1920500005192982319_n

Eating well doesn’t mean tasteless food, that is my philosophy. Thinking back, I wonder when I started enjoying oats so much. I guess it was the time when overnight oats are trending a few years back, pretty jars and oats photos are everywhere on the Internet. Being a recipe hunter – I sourced for many healthy, interesting and ‘look-yummy-kind’ of oats breakfast recipes and immediately, oats became my staple food for breakfast. A healthy and hearty breakfast within minutes, why not?

1. Overnight Oats

For overnight oats, I start with the 3 most basic ingredients;

  1. Rolled Oat Flakes
  2. Greek Yoghurt
  3. Unsweetened Soy Milk (or any milk of your choice)

First, place oat flakes in a glass container and pour in milk till the brim that covers. Then, mix in desired amount of yoghurt to thicken up texture – it depends on the amount of oat flakes used. Leave them in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours to soften oats. That’s it! Before serving them, do add in your favourite toppings. I like adding chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut flakes, cocoa nibs, nuts, nut butters and fruits! Banana, blueberries, strawberries and kiwis are fruits most commonly used in my recipes. Depending on availability, it is wise to switch around fruits that are in season by doing so you will only get the freshest and they probably cost lesser.

10615574_10152810880117746_5676650958699878614_nAlmond Butter, Blackberries, Cocao Nibs and Mango

10407497_10152660419237746_8196944951805400051_nBlueberries, Strawberries and Peanut Butter

996119_10152810880227746_5345600510246850903_n

Blueberries, Coconut flakes, Chia Seeds and Strawberries

The choices of ingredients used plays a huge role for a good breakfast. I use greek yoghurt and unsweetened soy milk for it’s high protein and low-fat content as compared to sweetened flavoured yoghurt/milk which contain added sugar. By doing so, I can reduce my sugar and calorie intake yet still enjoy the perfect oats breakfast with my favourite fruits and nuts! Do also note that overnight oats should be consumed within 3 days of making as to maintain freshness of oats, yoghurt and milk.

Read more on : Greek Yoghurt vs. Regular Yoghurt

This breakfast choice save me much time before the mad morning rush everyday. Digging in to a cold hearty breakfast packed with fiber, vitamins, proteins and nutrients which does not require cooking at all. How amazing is that! Also, have fun playing around with portion sizes as it took me a while on varying the amount of oats, milk and yoghurt to finally getting my favourite combination. Ahh…..My perfect post-workout fuel ♡

What else can you do with Oats?

2. Yoghurt Fruit Parfait – Layers and more layers! That’s how a parfait looks like. Using almost similar ingredients in the overnight oats recipe substracting the milk, parfait contain more fruits than oats! Good to go as a mid-afternoon snack, simply layer your favourite fruits, toppings, yoghurt, honey and oat flakes. Repeat steps. That’s it!

10628353_10152615170447746_45676292046594891_n

3. Oat Milk Drink oats! Blending my own Oat Milk bring ease as it is free from added additives or preservatives. Naturally sweet and energy boosting, oat milk seems to be a great post-workout drink replenishing carbohydrates, minerals and protein lost during exercise. Moreover, it’s so simple to do!

(Recipe can be found on my previous post: Homemade Oat Milk)

10614324_10152438483532746_7140086137043875159_n4. Oat Smoothie Bowl – My “throw-in-everything and blend” breakfast! Days when I am too lazy to chew my food, oat smoothie bowl is my best friend. Place all the ingredients (usually fruits, milk, vegetables and oats) into the blender and blend it high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and top it with your choice of toppings.

(Recipes can be found on my previous post: Kale Smoothie Oat Bowl and Pumpkin and Banana Smoothie Oat Bowl)

10686978_10152588619517746_6574586993821182345_n

Pumpkin and Banana Oat Bowl topped with Banana Coins, Chia seeds and Dried Fruits

Green

Kale Smoothie Oat Bowl topped with Coconut Flakes and Chia Seeds

10676124_10152713938727746_7665932865345643370_nHoney Papaya & Banana Smoothie Oat Bowl with Persimmon, Coconut Flakes, Flax Seeds, Cocoa Nibs and Almonds

10423689_10152689503692746_5036815142955920960_nBlack Sesame Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cocoa Nibs and Raw Almonds

5. Cooked Oatmeal with Egg – When mum is not home and my fridge went into a famine. Protein loading is not impossible and all you need is oat flakes and an egg! Boil oat flakes for about 8 – 10 minutes and crack an egg and stir together. Optional, add extra honey or nut butter to it for a more flavourful taste! Simplicity is sometimes a good thing afterall as this is one of the most cost-friendly recipe around!

11037462_10152810879622746_2499406589110708075_n

6. Healthy Oatmeal Banana Bread – My favourite homemade bread in the world! With zero sugar and only natural ingredients, it’s absolutely healthy and filling! Homemade bread are chunkier comparing to conventional packaged bread which is not filling and contain many food colourings, preservatives and other addictives that I can’t even pronouce. Moreover, it is not that difficult afterall. Try it!

(Recipe can be found on: Stayfitandtravel: Healthy Oatmeal Banana Bread)

541597_10152653460922746_5373167736160628021_n 1510348_10152713940117746_306858562647527585_n

Oatmeal Banana Bread with Almond and Cashew Butter with Banana and Cocoa Nibs

7. Baked Oats with Banana and Raisins – With it’s name, this is basically oats baked with fruits, dried fruits and egg! Baked oats tastes like oat pie, which is crispy on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside. Best served with honey or pair it with a cup of coffee during tea break!

(Recipe can be found on: Stayfitandtravel: Homemade Banana and Cranberry Baked Oats)10898121_10152698926042746_3721092541210432994_n

Oatmeals are never boring. All it takes is a little effort and preparation for a wholesome healthy breakfast. Anyhow better than a greasy buttery bun at the confectionary or the fried bee-hoon from the coffeshop. Studies shown that eating oats keeps you full longer as soluble fiber in oatmeal absorbs a considerable amount of water which significantly slows down your digestive process. Moreover, oatmeal contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates and iron.

Treat your body better by starting your day with this nutritional superstar! Enjoy! ♥

Advertisements

My favourite breakfast recipes

Who else agree that breakfast is the best meal of the day?! Well, I do! I love breakfast most and look forward to them every time I finish my morning workout session. I vary my breakfast choices from oatmeal, fruit/tofu/oat smoothies, eggs toast, and nut butter spread on whole-grains and fruits salad. Also, I get much inspiration from my Ig feeds from people like @stayfitandtravel@funkyfitnessfoods and many other health foodie gurus! It is always interesting to try out a new breakfast recipe and totally get hooked on it. By doing so, I expand my knowledge on healthy eating and learn to prepare healthy food for my subsequent meals as well.

            Do you know the benefits of eating breakfast?

1. Energy Boost to Start the Day

Everyone should start their day off right by eating as many vitamins and other nutrients as possible. The great thing about breakfast is there are so many common breakfast foods that can be considered super-foods because of their nutrition value:

  • Eggs: Including an egg or two for breakfast may require a few extra minutes of preparation time, but the potential health benefits make them worth cooking and eating. Not only are eggs packed with protein and amino acids, they are also one of the few, significant sources of vitamin D, which is important for absorbing calcium for stronger bones.
  • Whole grains: Whether you are taking them in the form of bread, cereal or oatmeal, breakfast is one of the best times to enjoy whole grains in your meal. This super-food is a great source of fiber, which is essential for a healthy heart and digestive tract, and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
  • Vitamin C: You can hit your daily intake of vitamin C in your very first meal of the day, whether it’s in the form of a juice or solid fruit. Oranges, grapefruits and apples are common fruits on the breakfast table.

2. Breakfast Helps Reduce Morning Crankiness

Imagine going without food for 8 to 12 hours during the day; you probably won’t be the most approachable person in the office or classroom. Do yourself, your classmates and your co-workers a favor by eating breakfast to help you deal with any morning moodiness and stress.

3. Metabolism Boost

When you sleep, your metabolism tends to slow down. The only way to jump start your metabolism for the day is to start off right with a healthy breakfast. This will allow your body to start burning through calories from the very beginning of the day, rather than in the middle of it after you’ve eaten lunch.

Read more on : Benefits of eating breakfast

My recent breakfast try-outs;

1. Pumpkin and Banana Smoothie Oat Bowl (Inspired from @stayfitandtravel)

10686978_10152588619517746_6574586993821182345_n

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Slice of Pumpkin (Steamed and puree)
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 3/4 cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup of Almond Milk

TOPPINGS

  • Chia Seeds
  • Banana Slices
  • Dried fruits

DIRECTIONS:

Place all the ingredients into the blender and blend it high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth. Pour pumpkin smoothie mix into a bowl and top it with your choice of toppings. This must be one of my favourite recipes – it is really simple and easy to make!


2. Overnight oats topped with Organic Almond Butter, Rock Melon and Cocoa Nibs

10628353_10152615170447746_45676292046594891_n

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup of Rolled Oats
  • 4 tablespoon of Greek Yoghurt
  • 1 cup of Oat Milk or any milk of your desired choice
  • Honey (Optional)

TOPPINGS

  • Homemade Almond Butter
  • Rock Melon, diced
  • Chia Seeds
  • Raw Unsweetened Cocoa Nibs

DIRECTIONS:

Place all the ingredients into a jar/bowl and mixed them thoroughly. Add in homemade almond butter (otherwise, any other nut butter), chia seeds and cocoa nibs together. Close lid and leave it in fridge overnight. Rolled oats should be soft after soaking in milk and yoghurt (at least for 4 hours). Topped the overnight oats with fresh fruits of your choices and enjoy!


I usually prepare oiaj – oats in a jar, the night before consuming them. As leaving them in the fridge overnight will soften oats further. This breakfast choice save me much time before the mad morning rush everyday. Do also play around with the portions, it took me a lot on varying the amount of oats, milk, yoghurt and fruits to finally getting my favourite combination. I also use Greek yoghurt for it’s high protein and low fat content as compared to sweetened flavoured yoghurts which is full of sugars. A cold yet hearty healthy breakfast packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients in a jar which does not require cooking at all. How amazing!

*Do also note that overnight oats should be consumed within 3 days of making as to maintain freshness of oats and milk.*

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do! ♡

How to survive a juice cleanse?

3635-fruit-photoI was all prepared to start my my juice cleanse after all the weekend stuffing and holiday “cheat” meals. It was really easy to start gorging out on food unknowingly during rest days, friends meet up and gatherings, only to realize it after you step on the scale or after the pants is too tight to fit. Familiar?

The best way to start the week right will be committing into a juice cleanse! Read my previous juice cleanse journey here! Why do I say so and what can a juice cleanse do for you?

10340143_10152257965302746_2239158754539050571_n

Here’s a whole list of benefits of what and how a juice cleanse can help your body reap;

1) Rest the stomach and liver – Juices require less of the stomach’s digestive processing and goes directly into the blood stream. The liver as our main detoxifying organ, every molecule of food that is absorbed through the intestinal wall  moves into the liver for detoxification and preparation before being allowed to enter the rest of the body. The problem is, there are too many toxins for most of our livers to handle – causing wreak havoc in distant cells. A juice cleanse rests the liver’s overload.

2) Rest and repair the gut – Toxic foods (such as saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, foods with additives, pesticides and allergenic foods), taking medications (such as antibiotics), and even stress can impair the intestine’s functioning. By consuming only juices, it cleanse the gut and allow it to rest without transporting food to our digestive organs.

3) Reduce your appetite – Juicing doesn’t really shrink the stomach — although it feels like it does. Juicing eliminates the habit of comfort eating, and makes you feel satiated with less food, which provides a big psychological boost to help get over the hurdle of changing habits.

4) Eliminate harmful foods and flood it with super nutrition – A juice cleanse eliminates dairy, wheat, gluten and fermented foods from the diet (as well as coffee and alcohol). Pumping up on the vitamins and minerals as those fruits powerhouses cleans-up and heal the body system.

5) Lose weight – A juice cleanse (three days minimum) is a great way to jump start a diet. It not only helps control appetite and cravings, but is naturally lower in calories, while supplying the body with probably more concentrated beneficial energizing.

6) Rehydrate the body – Drinking sufficient fluids (5-6 glasses/day) makes the body function more efficiently, moreover increasing energy and helps insure proper elimination of toxins.

Source: Huffington Post

Lemon-Lime12703268910275960_10152257965652746_8083823991085240160_nI started off with Green Apple and Lemon juice to kick-start breakfast! Apples contain pectin, which detox and remove cholesterol and toxins through the liver and kidneys. Lemons contain a pocketful of benefits, this also includes in removing waste and promotes a healthy liver. I love how those sour buds got tinge up after my first juice.

10369968_10152257965122746_2548557053597756100_n

Next, blending my favourite green juice! The best way to re-hydrate and cleanse the body system! Green juice are harder to consume as it is not as sweet as what fruit juices are. Imagine.. Broccoli? Cucumber? Celery? Bitter-gourd?

Therefore, people who are accustomed with green juices can consume 6 bottles of them in a day, for me I prefer a mixture of greens and fruits juices. Here’s what I did (pictured);

1. Green Apples with Lemons

2. 5 Green Juice

3. Guava Juice

4. Oranges, Yellow Pears  with Lemons

10489791_10152257965417746_1670922254401675577_nIt was not a starvation day for me, as I am used to having juices for breakfast. The challenging part was during night time, as work ended and everyone is heading back home for dinner and what I could have was just a cup of cold green juice. I must say, it takes a lot of discipline. Juice cleanse encourages early sleep as well, as the body is drained out of solid food and the mind starts to spin around.

How to survive a juice cleanse?

1. Prepare your juices and label them, this will ensure your mind to accustom what comes next for lunch,etc and it will be hard for you to break that.

2. Be consistent in fulfilling your juice quota. Drinking every 3 hours is vital, filling full and satisfied is important to keep the juice cleanse going on.

3. Stay in the office during lunch hour and do more work instead of thinking what to eat, as usual.

4. Stay focused on the finishing satisfaction and remain committed. Make every second worth it!

5. The best survival technique is to get a bud and do it together! Cause nothing works better with a constant motivator and someone to check on your progress. Competitiveness will boost and enhance performance.

10492094_10152257965172746_7170817469774685935_nThat’s all for now. #Juicingselfie

Definitely, not everyone is suitable to go through such a juice cleanse programme without solid food at all. Some may experience fainting spells and cold limbs, which I strongly encourage all to listen to your body. If a 3 days juice cleanse is too long for you to handle, shorten it to a day or two instead. What is most important is the body is able to withstand and reap those benefits instead of crashing and falling sick.

“Listen to your body”

The Journal of 3 Days Juice Cleanse

Having to read so much on juicing and its cleansing benefits, I decided to embark on my own juice detox. I felt so accomplished and proud of myself to have completed this 3 days cleanse. Reaping all the positive effects now and I am here to share with you my journey.

1503391_10151929595842746_848582164_nDay 1

Started the day with apple, green grapes and celery juice at 8.30am. These fruits are the most cleansing & vitamins packed! Indeed, quite a challenging one as I did my 6.5km this morning. I am hungry, no doubt. Persisting, at about 10.30am I had plain unsweetened warm soy milk. It’s complete tasteless but soy is kinda filling as compared to fruit juices (BUT at that point of time, no difference to me)

For juice detox, juices will be needed every 2 hours of interval. Else, the body will sent all sorts of crazy signals! Then at about 1.30pm, I went over to a juice bar and had my veg juice fix. Juices nowadays are not cheap, especially those that are cold-pressed.

“Lunch” was celery, spinach, kale, cucumber, green pepper & green apples. Another detoxing agent. Feeling much of a hunger pang after 3pm. So I headed for a persimmon fruit at about 4pm. The lack of carbs is draining all the energy in me. Imagine the calories today, wasn’t even enough for the run I did this morning. Therefore, never do a crazy workout if you’re planning to start a detox.

Headed home, and rushed for my “dinner”. The worst thing is, mummy cooked my favourite cod fish & spinach! WHY?! Haha.. I didn’t give in, thankfully. Blended carrot, cucumber, celery & bittergourd?! Lol. Bitter dinner I have there. It doesn’t seem that bad, but why did I choose such a combination? Cause if you know, celery + bitter-gourd aid weight loss, carrot is good for skin and hair, cucumber hydrates the body and allow the body to detoxify waste easily. Celery is the goodness goodness veg! But still, bitter lah.

女人为了爱美什么都可以做!

To start a detoxing program really depends on what you want to achieve. For me, I just wanted to cleanse and detoxify toxins from the body. Of cause, to drop a few grams. Heh. I have never done anything like this before, cause I didn’t have the courage & motivation. The love for food overpower this thought, always. Now that I’m working, I find it hard to workout 5-6days/ week. I will try my best, nevertheless.

I just want to be fit & healthy.

Life is so much of a joy to be a fat, sick and bedridden person ya? We must all learn to love life & naturally understanding that our body is the temple. We need to maintain & love before it wears out & eventually crash.

Okay! Off to my last juice; my very own Nut Milk! ❤

Day 2

Getting my hands on the slow juicer is like happiness overwhelmed!!! Now I can do almost any type of juices without destroying its nutrients. Moreover, juicing removes all fiber from fruit and zero digestion is required. Therefore, juices are easily absorbed into our bloodstream within minutes. A juicer acts like our teeth, breaking down and pre digesting it.

Day 2, lets go!

Had 150ml of Nut Milk for lunch today. And a persimmon fruit at about 5pm. Body starting to feel lethargic and constant coldness. Quite a crazy feeling, can’t imagine people without food for 3 days. I think the time difference for the juices are too long! And also, cause it’s all liquid. It’s really not filling and not easy to sustain a liquid diet. For me, cause I’m a big eater & I get hungry very easily (if you know)!

1520804_10151931391857746_564190504_n

Last juice of the day; yellow kiwi + purple grapes + persimmon. Gonna doze off earlier to curb food craving. Tastebuds seems to have reset itself into plain bland mode & there isn’t much saltish craving. Can’t believe I completed Day 2 already!

Tummy is smaller for sure, and feeling cleansed and healthy now. Can’t wait for Day 3 to start off & I’m gonna spam on fishes after the juice cleanse!

44461_10151947536217746_687863766_n

Day 3

Today’s dinner detox juice – Spinach, broccoli and tomato! Can’t believe I went through this 72hours of detox without any meals. It’s just juices, fruits and plain nut/soy milk.

What’s my feeling now? I crave for soupy dishes very much and I wanna sink my mouth into steam fishes!

What’s the Pros?

1. I felt thinner, cleansed and healthy!

2. Taste buds seems to have reset into something more bland than usual.

3. Having to be very motivated to keep in track of a healthy diet!

4. A rest for the body system, a break for 24years of digesting foodssss.

Cons

1. Troublesome to get juices while at work & cause preserving fresh juices means lost of vitamins too.

2. Working out is definitely no-no.

3. Constant hunger spells and headaches cause of the lack of calories.

I would say it’s a good start for me this year. I wished I could abide this juicing detox every 2-3 times/year. Maybe not 3 full days, but a day or two is good enough. Not many people can handle such a deprive solid food diet & be mentally prepared to have irregularities of body signals. The most important thing will be to listen to your body. React to your body signal, and NEVER be stubborn. If you need to eat your protein & carbs, just go ahead.

It wouldn’t be worth it to wreak your body for the detox which is suppose to benefit your body. Putting your body under such regime is a tough challenge and don’t ever do any vigorous work out. Lacking of calories and protein, makes me lethargic after 6pm. Constantly feeling sleepy and vexed temper during work. The drop level of concentration and tolerance

No doubt, a true and real experience for me. I never felt so nourished with nutrients before! Raw green juices are never my kind of thing. But now I enjoy my juices and learning to adapt a habit of juicing breakfast. And that’s the end of my 3 day cleanse.

Happy & accomplished of what have been done.