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10 Oatmeal Creations Worth Waking Up For

10 Oatmeal Creations Worth Waking Up For

I remember the days when oatmeal would be considered punishment in breakfast form. Hear me out. A stock standard breakfast for me as a child would be toast with Nutella, toast with butter and jam, toast with vegemite, or toast with a glass of milk. You get the picture.

From my early primary school days until the early days of high school, we’d have to attend mandatory school camp and I remember always dreading their breakfasts. It would always be oatmeal. Before you start rolling your eyes and proclaiming how whiny I’m being, let me direct you to how it’s been made. Water. Oats. Sugar. That is it. Half the time sugar wasn’t even an option – we’d have to have ‘borrowed’ those packets from a café beforehand to have our fill.

It’s safe to say, my childhood did not have positive memories associated with oatmeal. Since becoming a Healthy Living Blogger and developing an interest in nutrition, I slowly let oatmeal back into my life. I started with the basics – swapping milk for the water and adding berries and brown sugar in place of … air. Soon enough, I began experimenting more with different combinations, different add ins and soon enough – oatmeal had become my favourite meal and something worth waking up for.

While honey, fruit and maple syrup might be standard toppings to spruce up your breakfast bowl, consider trying one of these amazing combinations. Before you roll your eyes thinking you’d get diabetes or have a sugar hangover before your mid morning coffee, think again. All of these 10 are healthy, full of fiber, low in sugar and without a doubt a sinfully nutritious start to your day.

1. Caramel Cookie Dough Oatmeal via The Big Man’s World

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    I am obsessed with cookie dough and caramel cookies, so why not combine both with this ridiculously easy and healthy oatmeal recipe which promises to be just like a caramel cookie dough?

    2. Chai Spiced Pear Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal via Hummusapien

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      Nothing beats the texture of steel cut oats. This could only be enhanced by chai spices and a baked pear! I can already imagine how epic my kitchen will be smelling now.

      3. Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal via The Healthy Maven

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        They say that the slower you cook the oats, the fluffier they become. This recipe can be made the night before. Cook it on low heat for a deliciously healthy treat to greet you the next day!

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        4. French Toast Oats via Kiss My Broccoli

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          You know those days you crave French toast AND oatmeal at the same time? How about you combine them? Why not? The texture of French toast in your breakfast bowl will make your day.

          5. White Chocolate and Macadamia Oatmeal Pudding via The Big Man’s World

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            Perhaps one of the world’s ultimate favourite cookies transformed into a bowl of oatmeal? I can live with that. Healthy too? That, my friends, is a bonus!

            6. Brownie Batter Peanut Butter Swirl Oatmeal via Fit Foodie Finds

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              Just a look at this beautiful bowl of oatmeal would ignite a sugar rush … but it’s deceptively healthy, you could eat two bowls. And brownie BATTER? Dessert for breakfast!

              7. Caramelised Pear Steel Cut Oats via Minimalist Baker

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                Another pear and steel cut oatmeal combination, with the pear being caramelised, it’s sinfully nutritious!

                8. Vegan Chocolate Chai Overnight Oats via Fit Foodie Finds

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                  How about combining a popular warm beverage in your bowl of oats with a touch of chocolate? I could get on that. Vegan to boot!

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                  9. Mocha Overnight Oats via The Healthy Maven

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                    Next time you ever think to skip breakfast because of a lack of time, think again. Done the night before? Check. Quick? Check. your cofee is encompassed in it too? Check.

                    10. Fig and Date Oatmeal via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

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                      A delicious duo which would scream Fall comfort in a bowl. I can see this on repeat this season!

                      Who here is excited for breakfast now? Brown sugar and cinnamon? Old news.

                      Featured photo credit: Arman Liew from thebigmansworld.com via media.lifehack.org

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                      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                      One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                      In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                      Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                      1. Cat Camel Stretch

                      Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                      Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                      Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                      Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                      2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                      This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                      Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                      The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                      Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                      Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                      3. Jumping Jacks

                      Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                      Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                      4. Abductor Side Lifts

                      Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                      Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                      5. Balancing Table Pose

                      This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                      Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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                        6. Leg Squats

                        Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                        Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                        The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                        7. Push Ups

                        You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                        An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                        Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                        8. Bicycle Crunches

                        There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                        Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                        9. Lunges

                        Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                        Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                        10. Bicep Curls

                        You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                        Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                        Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                        Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                        Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                        These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                        You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                        Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                        More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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