How to Accidentally Deflate an Airbed + Apple Cinnamon & Flaxseed Oatmeal

So I’ve got a funny story for you. Not funny like slap-on-the-knee funny, but funny in the sense that you might feel a little bad for me and give me a virtual it’s going to be alright pat on the back. That kind of funny.

Here’s a little bit of a background:

When I moved to New York, my parents graciously packed me and all my necessary belongings (or those that could fit in their car) and shipped me off. My bed, however, was left behind and deemed not worthy of the price required to move it as well. A queen-sized, high-quality air mattress replaced it as my temporary bed until I got settled in enough to buy a bed.

Well, I figured that buying a real bed would come on my own terms, and I would hopefully have a steady income first to off-set the costs. Little did know, that would NOT be the case…

While I was curling my hair on Saturday, I burnt my hair with the curling iron, panicked, and went to go run my hand under cold water. What I didn’t do was think through my actions and make sure not to drop the curling iron within close vicinity to my airbed. I came back to a very discomforting sound of my airbed deflating. Yes, my bed was gashed by a curling iron and deflated. See folks, that’s the problem of not having a real bed. That, and the comfort that goes along with owning a real bed. So, needless to say, I slept on a deflated air bed that night, aka the ground…and by slept I mean I spent more time awake than sleeping.

While you might feel bad for me, let me reassure you that this is the first bump I have had since moving to New York. Everything else has been great, and the city has kept a protective and comforting arm over my shoulder.

Anways, the next morning I woke up, expecting to have my usual breakfast, which you can read about here, and discovered that I was not only out of bananas, but peanut butter as well. No worries though, since oatmeal is so versatile I decided to go with the flow and change up my oatmeal routine. Luckily, I had prepared the oats, cinnamon, and soymilk the night before.

This oatmeal variation is just as filling, just as healthy, and just as delicious as my Creamy Crunchy Banana Oatmeal:

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Apple Cinnamon & Flaxseed Oatmeal:

Makes 1 bowl of oatmeal

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup milk of choice (I prefer vanilla soymilk)

1 apple, chopped

1-2 tsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed

1 Tbsp almonds, sliced, diced, or chopped

There are two ways to go about this:

My preferred way (just because I like to save time in the morning) is to prepare the oats the night before and let them soak in the milk and cinnamon in the refrigerator all night. To do this, combine the oats, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and milk in a tupperware container and stick it in the refrigerator the night before you plan on eating the oatmeal.

That way, in the morning you can just focus on preparing the apples and then combining them with the rest of the oatmeal.

In a bowl, placed the apple chunks, squeeze the lemon juice evenly over the apple chunks, and top with 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Stir the mixture so that the cinnamon is evenly distributed among the apples. Heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Then, stir in the prepared oatmeal, flaxseed, and almonds. Heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes, and let it cool for about 1 minute.

Note: if you did not prepare the oats before, no worries! Just put the ingredients all together once the apple mixture has been heated, and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Make sure to watch your oatmeal so that it doesn’t boil over in the microwave.

Then enjoy!

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So what’s the deal with flaxseed anyway? Why is it good for you?

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Well, flaxseed has three main components that make it beneficial for both overall health and weight loss:

It is rich in:

  1. Fiber, so not only does it keep you full, but it helps with digestion and constipation as well.
  2. Lignans, which have antioxidant properties and can help protect against cancer in two ways: by preventing or slowing the  growth of tumor cells, and by inhibiting hormone metabolism enzymes.
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol levels, especially LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), which potentially lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

The best way for flaxseed to get digested in your body (and for you to reap all the benefits) is to consume ground, rather than whole, flaxseed. Flaxseed is sold commercially both in ground and whole states, so you can either buy it ground, or grind the seeds yourself at home with a food processor or coffee grinder. I choose to buy it ground to save the hassle, but that’s just me.

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Delicious and heart healthy? Take that Cheerios!

Wish me luck in finding a cheap and affordable real bed soon!

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First Day of Classes! Pt. 1 + Creamy Crunchy Banana Oatmeal


After a once-again sleepless night, I woke up before my alarm (again) and scurried over to the kitchen to make breakfast. Making breakfast has become almost a brainless routine for me…and I have no regrets about it. Ever since I fell in love with oatmeal this summer, I’ve had it for breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY, well almost, aside from the weekend pancakes or French toast or my mom’s delicious home-made blinchikis.

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You might wonder if I ever get bored eating oatmeal day after day, but how could I? With oatmeal, I can get creative and explore endless possibilities of delicious variations. This one specifically is perfect for my current NYC college student budget. Cheap, healthy, and filling!

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Creamy Crunchy Banana Oatmeal:

Makes 1 delicious bowl of oatmeal

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup milk of choice (I prefer vanilla soymilk)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 banana, sliced

1 Tbsp natural crunchy peanut butter

Alright, so you could easily put all of these ingredients together in a bowl and pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes and call it good…however, I’ll tell you a trick to make it the most enjoyable oatmeal experience you’ve ever had. The night before, combine the oats, cinnamon, and milk in a tupperware container and stick it in the refrigerator. This allows the cinnamon and (soy)milk to infuse into the oats. Then, in the morning, pour the oatmeal mixture into the bowl and heat it in a microwave on high for 2 minutes. Take it out, add the chopped banana and stir. Don’t forget to add that precious peanut butter before placing the bowl back in the microwave for 1 minute. Now the best part…enjoy your delicious bowl of oatmeal (but let it cool a little first before scalding your tongue – this is a step I forget every morning).

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Oatmeal and coffee are daily necessities for me, and without both in the morning to start my day, I am even more likely to wander around aimlessly.

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And today, I had an agenda…

to navigate my way through campus.

You see, this whole wandering through campus looking like a lost freshman really isn’t my thing. And honestly, what’s even worse is when people ASK me if I’m a freshman, and I have to explain that no, I am a grad student, it’s just my first day. Oy.

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So I set out after breakfast to catch a campus tour…and missed it. Yep, back to the lost freshman syndrome. I grabbed a walking tour map and went on my way.

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…definitely not in Michigan anymore.

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Check back later to see what I made for my rainy day lunch!

Hint: It’s healthy AND delicious.