October 27, 2013

Pomegranate Pear Oats + Tulsi Hazelnut Latte

It got really cold really fast. One day I was eating acai bowls and icy cold green smoothies, and the next day I was sipping on miso soup and making macro bowls. I don't know where this strong desire for warm--and only warm--comfort food and drink came from. I am not one to stop eating cold foods just because it is cold outside. I am a green drink junkie year-round. Salads remain a staple for meals through the blustery holiday season. And yet, here I find myself gravitating towards steaming hot foods before true winter has even hit.

Luckily, I'm a total go-with-the-flow kinda gal when it comes to my diet. I love--love!--raw foods and how they make me feel, but I don't shove them in my mouth just for the sake of eating them. If I feel the desire to include cooked foods--or in this case eat mostly cooked foods some days--, then that's what I do. The most important thing I can do for my health (not to mention living authentically and staying true to my ethics) is to eat a vegan diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. It's the foundation of the diet, the everyday choices, that define one's level of health.There's no need for me to worry about raw-to-cooked ratios or the occasional treat with gluten or fried oils if those are the choices I am comfortable with making at the time. I know how my body will react to certain foods, and I generally choose the ones that make me feel the most energetic, balance my mood, and support my long-term health. And those times that I make less than stellar food choices? I don't sweat it.

Basically, that's my long way of saying that when you eat from nature's bounty, you don't need to micromanage your diet*(see note at the bottom of this post). That's it. Simple!

If you've been feeling the chill in your bones like I have, why not make this warming and colorful oatmeal bowl? While you're at it, jazz up your morning tea, too! It's really easy and is significantly cheaper than a specialty drink at a coffee shop.

Before this cold spell, I hadn't eaten oats in so long. I really can't even remember the last time I had them! This oatmeal bowl is not only a good source of fiber, protein, iron, and vitamin C, but also the blackstrap molasses provides extra calcium, iron, and potassium. If you want another nutritional booster for this bowl, sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on top. You'll get even more iron and also a generous amount of zinc to protect against seasonal colds!

Pomegranate Pear Oats
serves 2

1 cup rolled oats
2 cups water
1/2 cup hazelnut milk, or milk of choice
2 tsp blackstrap molasses
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 small bosc pear, diced
pomegranate arils, to garnish
pumpkin seeds, ideally raw and soaked/sprouted or lightly toasted (optional garnish)

- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add oats and simmer until water is absorbed. It should take about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the milk in and cook on a low simmer until the oats thicken to your desired consistency. This should only take a few more minutes.
-Stir in blackstrap molasses, ground ginger, and the diced pear.
-Scoop into 2 bowls and top with pomegranate arils. Add pumpkin seeds if desired.

Tulsi Hazelnut Latte
serves 2

2 tulsi tea bags, or any other neutral-tasting tea of your choice
12 oz boiling water
4 oz hazelnut milk, or milk of choice
3-6 drops of english toffee stevia, to taste, or sweetener of choice to taste
1 1/2-2 Tbsp Dandy Blend

- Place a tea bag and 2 tsp-1 Tbsp of Dandy Blend into each teacup.
- Pour 6 oz of boiling water into each teacup.
- Add about 2 oz of hazelnut milk and the desired sweetener. Stir.

*Sometimes, being extra meticulous with diet can pay off, like if you're dealing with a chronic illness or medical condition. But even with health battles, such intense dietary precision can backfire. I was often encouraged to be more restrictive than was necessary or that I was comfortable with. The stress of these situations proved to be more harmful than the actual foods I was instructed to forgo, and when I began to eat more intuitively I experienced much more progress towards healing (part which was due to diet changes and part which was no doubt due to the lowering of my psychological stress surrounding meal times.)

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