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For the Love of Oats: Part II

 

Oats….Welcome back to PART TWO, the final chapter in this two part saga called For the Love of Oats.  To recap Part 1, we spoke about the endless health benefits that oats have and how there is basically nothing they can’t do.  Oats are everywhere.  A lot of us eat them in everyday foods and we already have them incorporated into our snacks too.  However nothing compares to eating them in their pure and basic state.  The best way to buy them is fresh from a health store.  Fairway and Whole Foods actually have an entire section dedicated to different kinds of oats.  That is how important they are.  I hope after this series, you learned a little more about them.  We also discussed incorporating them into our diet.  One great and tasty way is the overnight oats.  If you want to go back and read part 1, click here.  Let’s talk about another way to get them into your diet.

Because of my newfound education in oats, I finally caved and had to buy the Nutribullet, (as teased in the end of part 1).  If you don’t own one, I’m sure you’ve used one at a friend’s house.  They are fantastic.  I got this specifically to up my oats intake.  I can now include them in homemade smoothies along with various fruits, veggies, protein powder, and other powders for nutritional super food boosts.  The great thing about the Nutribullet is that it extracts all the benefits from all the things you put in there in such a way unlike any other blender on the market.  As opposed to most juicers, these do not discard the pulp and skin.  Did you know most of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables come from the skin and pulp?  It has its own technology which lead them to #1.  I hope I turned you guys on to something new if you are not a Nutribullet user already.  As a person who owns many appliances such as slow cookers, coffee makers, another kind of juicer, and more, I can’t stress enough how easy this thing is to clean.  Let me know what you all think when you try it yourself!  I want to see pictures of delicious smoothies you guys make as well as some pics of your overnight oats too!!

In the end, practically speaking, one of the best parts about the Nutribullet is how easy it is to use and clean and its on the go convenience.  That is very important.  You don’t need to be a bartender or attend mixology courses.  You simply just toss in your items of choice and just blend it.  Simple as that.  The super boost powders that I’ve mentioned in both posts derive from Ancient Civilizations who literally relied on energy to survive.  Without energy, the men could not have gone out for days at a time to hunt, kill, and carry those large animals for food.  Their lives literally depended on having energy.  Besides energy, they also have endless heart and other health benefits to boot.  A scoop of these powders into a smoothie, overnight oats, or any foods you eat increases the nutritional value tenfold.  Chia & Hemp Seeds, Goji Berries, Maca Powder and all the other goodies can be found in most health food stores or Amazon.  I hope this has been as much of an education for you as it was for me in creating this two part series.  There is so much to say about this stuff that I could even go on to a Part 3 if I really wanted to.  However I think I got all the crucial information across at this point.  Thank you all for reading, stay tuned and enjoy your oats!

Don’t forget, let’s see those pics!! If you enjoyed this series, please share it with friends and loved ones.

 

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For the Love of Oats: A Two-Part Series

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Happy Monday everybody. I hope you all had a productive yet relaxing holiday week and hope everybody enjoyed celebrating what ever it is you may celebrate. Always great to be with family and in the end, that is what it’s all about. Speaking of being with family, when we get together we have a tendancy to talk and talk and talk and we go off on tangents. This time one thing lead to another and long story short, my newest thing is now oats. I have created here a two-part series of posts talking about oats, recipes to make them, their nutritional value and more. Part two will come later in the week.

The health game is always evolving and for me that makes it a journey. You never know what I am going to read about or hear about next. That is why when I happen to come across something new and I think it may work for me, I will give it a try. Then if it turns out to be good, I post it here for you all to read about. Lately I’ve been really into the plant known as oats and I can’t stop reading about it. Their recipes are so easy to make and their nutritional profile is endless! First of all they are incredibly heart healthy. They do so much for both males and females in regards to treating and preventing different diseases related TO the heart such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, different kinds of cancers and more. Oats have also been known to regulate joint pain whether you are recovering from the gym or you have general joint pains.  It is also high in fiber so it will surely make you “go” regularly. It seems there is nothing they can’t do. They truly are a super food. Not only is it a great option for weight loss, it will help buff you up and give you that nice and toned look we so desire. There are so many interesting and delicious ways to incorporate oats into your diet; it’s easy!

Anybody ever hear of “Overnight Oats?” If you haven’t it’s simple and is a real treat. Take a Mason jar or any airtight container and put about a half to a full cup of rolled organic oats inside. Then mix that with equal parts milk. This milk can be Almond, Soy, Cow, or anything you chose. After that, you may want to throw some plain Greek Yogurt in there. The yogurt will increase the protein content and act as a thickening agent. In addition to the yogurt, I like to then add in a heaping scoop of protein powder. Follow that up by adding strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, or anything that your heart desires. You can really free it up in this recipe and make it however you like. At the end, feel free to add a little organic Stevia for sweetness if you like it to be on the sweeter side. Seal the jar tight; shake it up nice and with good effort so all the ingredients mix together. Place it in your fridge overnight and in the morning you have a wonderful thick and creamy treat that took you less than 5 minutes to prepare and is PACKED with nutritional value. As you may be grabbing it to go from your fridge, you can also prepare some fixings like crushed nuts to sprinkle on top or stir in. Putting them on after the refrigeration process will ensure that it won’t get soggy. In addition to all of that, just to pack it even tighter with nutrients,  i’ll throw a scoop of Chia or Hemp Seeds in there right before I put it in the fridge.  Those are called “boosts.”  Any juice bar is usually stocked with various boosts for your drink, just ask what they have at the moment.  In addition to these boosts, I also bought other ones such as a container of wheat grass powder, a bag of Cacao Powder, Maca Powder, Goji Berries, and Camu Camu Powder. Let me know what you all think when you try making overnight oats for yourself! I’m truly curious what you all come up with because i’m always looking for new recipes/ideas to change it up.  I hope to receive some tasty pictures to post!!

….Part 2 about my new toy (the Nutri-bullet) and more on oats to come later in the week…..

Also, a little youtube clip of me trying overnight oats for the first time.  Experimenting with videos now for the site.

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Fad Diets Don’t Work!!

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As a follow up to the last post, I want to talk more about success.  Success is a very subjective word because it means completely different things to different people. Sometimes we think it can simply happen overnight or within a specific time frame.  More often than not it does not work like that. While overnight success may occur for a miniscule few, it is certainly not the norm. The majority of time we have to work hard to achieve our goals. As they say, nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort. In this day and age, so many of us are all about immediate gratification.  I am guilty of this as well.  I learned my lesson the hard way in certain situations.  Nothing comes easy and as WWE star John Cena would say, “Never Give Up.” While John Cena may not be my favorite wrestler, his simple motto and everything he is about in that regard truly resonates with me.

I’ll restate it again because I passionately agree. Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.  The key is sticking with it and not giving up even when the chips seem down.  This couldn’t be truer as it relates to my life and weight loss combined.  Through the years, we all come face to face with many different diet fads and new “miracles” that people will preach about. I know speaking for myself I have gone through tons such as Atkins, South Beach, Shakeology, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and many others. I even tried these pills called “Alli” which did nothing but make my stomach upset which in turn always made me upset. These diets are horrible because they tell you to cut out important things such as carbs, calories, etc.  Once you wean off the diet and get back into regular life, more times than not our bodies are confused, cravings increase, and we put the weight right back on.  I have also tried the simple approach of watching my portion control.  As a natural big guy, I would say that this method worked the least for me. I was simply never mentally engaged in any of the diets tried. Not engaged to the point where you need to be and since I firmly believe this is a mind game, my chances of success was zero. Looking back, knowing what I know now, these diets may work in the short term but it is not the way to carry out your everyday life going forward.  I wouldn’t recommend ANY of these diets to anybody.  Not even weight watchers. I truly believe living a healthy lifestyle is the greatest attempt to control your weight and all other aspects relating to your health.  Every diet that I failed with made me believe more and more that being overweight was just something people as well as myself needed to accept.  I always knew though, even if it was subconscious, one day I will somehow make a grand transformation and shock the world. I didn’t know how, when, whom it would be with or anything like that.  I sort of just knew.  Just remember; failing is the key to success.  Every failure is part of the journey.  You can’t be where you are without making mistakes.  Mistakes allow you to make corrections because they expose your flaws. This is great news because once we know our flaws, we can attack them head on.

I would like to abruptly end this post here by thanking all of my supporters and followers to date.  It is literally because of you that in only two months of being fully up and running, we have over 100 happy followers and are constantly growing by the day.  We are ahead of our trajectory.  Your feedback, comments, personal critiques and more have been invaluable to us. We would also like to invite you to submit any topics that you want me to cover in any facet of the website. Please continue to enjoy everything the site has to offer including the ever changing One Sweet World tab.  We look forward to digging deep and giving you our unique perspective on various topics.  This is only the beginning.  Thank you again.

Juicing: The Real Deal

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One of my favorite things to grab on the go is a good cup of coffee. Overweight or not, coffee has been and always will be one of my go to beverages (and it fills me up too). I don’t see that ever changing because without it, I am lost. Coffee actually has some health benefits so if you love your cup of Joe, keep loving it. This post is not about coffee but another good friend of mine, vegetable juices.

Over the last 6-8 months or so, my new favorite drink to grab on the go is a good freshly made vegetable juice. The concept alone was enough to sell me. Wait, you mean to tell me that by drinking a fresh juice, you are taking in mega doses of vitamins, minerals, and a whole bunch of other good stuff? Sign me up! Marla explained this to me during our training sessions. She also explained how they help you detox. Where I was coming from, the D word was a trigger word that I really needed to hear. From then on, Detoxing is exactly what I did and how I continue to live. It is these reasons alone why I recommend juicing to anybody who can digest it. The idea of eating 9 carrots, 7 celery sticks, 6 beats, 3 cloves of garlic, and half a bag of kale, is not only overwhelming, it is flat out not very realistic for me. By mixing all of these items together you can really pack in a ton of goodness into one beautiful concoction. I love my asparagus, broccoli, and certain other veggies and I eat them daily. However, in no way am I a vegetable power eater. I do not like carrots, celery, and certain other ones that are good for you. At the same time, I would like to receive those health benefits, which is why a juice is the answer for me. I can take in all those benefits from foods I dislike without really knowing it. Just like a baby. Yes, sipping these juices may not be the tastiest thing around. I’m not going to sit here and say it tastes like a Filet Mignon. However, considering its over the top health benefits, mind over matter really works here. In fact, I have realized that the “greener” the drink is in color, the more earthy it tastes and in turn actually tastes pretty good to me. Some may enjoy the “zing” of ginger or the earthy flavor from the greens. It’s all about trying them out. Think of it like hard liquor. It is an acquired taste. Be careful because a big misconception that you will find in many juicing cookbooks and menus is the mixing of fruits and vegetables in the same juice. This should never happen. Your body has certain enzymes to digest fruits and certain enzymes to digest vegetables. If you mix them together, it will throw off your digestion, confuse your body and you will not receive the max benefits that the fruits and vegetables offer. You should really be strict and stick to veggie juices ONLY. Fruit juices will be high in sugar and you will actually benefit more from eating it whole instead of juicing it.

Is this the queue for you to be done eating vegetables if you are now juicing them often? The answer to that is a very bold NO. Vegetable juices should never replace the real thing in your diet. My advice would be to think of juicing as something to do in addition to, not instead of. Icing on the cake if you will on top of your already veggie filled diet. The reasons are quite simple. First of all if your goal is weight loss, these juices are a concentrated source of calories especially the fruits. This leads right into one of the biggest misconceptions people have above all when it comes to juicing, the nutrients you are missing out on. Most people don’t realize that the skin and pulp is where the fiber and most of the nutrients are found in fruits and vegetables which make them healthy to begin with. Once you juice them out, they are GONE. That’s right, gone. Some of the very benefits that make a particular vegetable great for you are now in your garbage. This is why a lot of people will chose to buy a blender like the NutriBullet over a juicer. The NutriBullet is a blender so it does not discard anything where as a juicer will discard the pulp / skin. Both my Mom and Marla have the NutriBullet and they love it.

At the end of the day, I have stated some pros and cons in regards to juicing. Do I still recommend it regardless of the cons? In one word, yes, just as long as you remember what you read here today. Juicing is still a great way to get fruits and vegetables into your diet especially if you don’t like them very much. Just be aware and remember the misconceptions that you read here. I look at veggie drinking as icing on the cake for me. It is not my primary source for these foods because I eat a lot of fresh vegetables in everyday life. Not a single dinner goes by where I don’t have at least half my plate filled with greens. This way, any juice I buy from a juicebar is that much more helpful to me knowing that I am still taking in veggies the old fashion way, the right way. A few last minute pointers. Instead of spending money on a juice made for you, make it yourself! One way to get enthusiastic about it is do it with friends. I enjoy loading up on a ton of different vegetables from the store, have a couple friends over and make some delicious juice. Your friends will not only thank you but will get a kick out of dropping the food through the juicer! Another pointer; juice from a carton? Not your best friend. I suppose it isn’t the worst thing in the world but again if you can fresh squeeze it yourself, you are much better off. When it comes to cooking, juicing, or anything you do to better yourself, keep it fun, keep it new, none of this should ever be a burden or feel like work.

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