Thanks so much to everyone who got a couple of sessions done at the gym last week – we really do appreciate the support. There is certainly a fair bit going on in the background at the moment and I know for me and the other coaches our #1 thing to do is get out on the gym floor and run some sessions…having a few motivated people there to push along makes it all the better.
I want to talk a little bit today about breakfast. Having done a few Health Checks recently, I feel that out of every 3x consults I do with clients (new and existing), 2 of those people happily announce that a “BAD” eating day means no breakfast. And then one of them says that even on a “GOOD” day, they still don’t eat breakfast. I’m here to tell you that this is NOT GOOD! It is NOT GOOD AT ALL.
I really didn’t want to blog today about all of the reasons why you SHOULD eat some food in the morning – but I do want to say this. If you don’t eat in the morning because you “JUST AREN’T HUNGRY”, well, that is what is called a self-fulfilling prophecy. You aren’t hungry because your body knows it isn’t getting any food…so what would be the point of sending down some hunger signals? That would be – as Flea famously said in the best surfing documentary ever made ( Point Break) – a waste of time! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMukX7yVSTM
Most people grow up eating a bowl of cereal or having a couple of pieces of toast with vegemite for breakfast. And whilst those things are FAR from ideal, if you were to ask me whether I thought it was better than nothing I would say “YES” (and without reservation). But since you’re reading this I think we can do a little better than that…and with less effort than it takes to put the toast in the toaster and scrape the remnants of butter out of the container. It’s a little thing called ‘overnight oats’.
You can make an entire week’s worth of overnight oats in approximately 5-minutes. You can make a few spares to use as (your choice) of post-training snacks, just-in-case snacks, after-school snacks for the kids, I-forgot-my-lunch snacks and whatever else you can think of. They are healthy and – done right and with a little bit of imagination – absolutely delicious.
How do you make them? Well…the first thing you need to understand is that there is no cooking required. The second thing is that there are only really TWO (2) ‘required’ ingredients – rolled oats and water. The last thing to remember is that you should put in healthy stuff that YOU like…that way, you will be eager to eat them. If you fill your overnight oats jars with healthy ingredients that have zero appeal to YOU…they will go uneaten. If on the other hand, you make them out of things you like….
Anyway, on with it – here’s the stuff you need to make your overnight oats:
Rolled Oats: This is really the only ingredient that’s non-negotiable. Make sure to use plain old-fashioned oats and not quick oats because the consistency is best with rolled oats. You can also use gluten-free oats if you like.
Water: Well – I’ve seen it made with milk but I use water. You could of course use plant-based milk like almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk.
Chia Seeds (optional): These seeds are packed with tons of nutrition, and they help give the oats a pudding-like texture. So I always like to include them in my base recipe.
Yogurt (optional): Dairy or non-dairy. Yoghurt is great in overnight oats – you really only need a tablespoon full!
Vanilla extract (optional): This actually isn’t really optional for my oats but it is optional in terms of making overnight oats! The vanilla enhances all the flavors that go into the overnight oats as well as giving it sweetness without any sweetener.
Toppings: This is where you can have some fun with frozen berries, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nut butters, nuts, seeds and spices (like cinnamon or nutmeg). There are so many topping ideas and combinations, and I think that’s what makes this such a great versatile recipe!
Lastly, there is the debate about whether or not to add protein powder. To me it is a nice to have rather than an essential – and it certainly drives the cost of the breakfast up. I do put a scoop of protein powder into my oats – just to balance out what is otherwise a ‘cards only’ meal – but it really isn’t essential.
To make the oats, get yourself ONE jar per serve – so one per day that you are making the oats for. You don’t really need to stress to much about measuring – in general terms you need ½ cup of OATS and 2tsps of chia seeds – cover it all with water – add your toppings, shake, done!
I know I’ve said this already but it really does work best when you use plain old fashioned rolled oats rather than quick oats. Well. You can use quick oats and it will do the job but some people find them too soggy…
Lastly – and I said this back at the start – make a few jar-fulls in one hit. It takes 2 minutes to make one – it also takes 2 minutes to make 5 (enough for the week). Beware though if you are using milk – water wont go sour in the fridge…milk can! Likewise, I prefer to use frozen berries vs fruit if I am making more than a couple of days worth – on day 5, both the fruit and the berries TASTE good, but if you have used fresh fruit it can just LOOK a bit unappealing – and as I have already said, if it looks bad, well, you probably wont eat it.
In the section below are a few sample recipes that I included in the 2021-28-Days-Later challenge pack. These are pretty much ‘Old Faithfuls’ and I am sure you will be able to find something that appeals to you. Regardless of whether your plan is to adapt a new regime of eating overnight oats or not, please make an effort to add some breakfast to your daily routine…it really can be the difference between you achieving your body composition/fitness goals and still battling along…
(well, PB + Berries!)
It’s like having a peanut butter jelly sandwich in overnight oats form. I layer peanut butter, sliced strawberries (or mashed blueberries/blackberries/kiwi-fruit whatever) and some crushed peanuts. It tastes sweet and salty and amazing.
This one is a little bit trickier as it works best with BAKED apple. But that said, baking the apples doesn’t require much – core them or slice them and stick them in the over for 35-40 mins at 200…DONE. Place a layer of sliced pecans and a slice of baked apple in each jar. Can you use fresh apple? Yeah – and that’s fine – but if you don’t eat it the next day it goes that yucky brown colour and whilst it tastes fine it doesn’t LOOK good and bad looking meal prep ends up getting thrown out.
Similar to the apples (above) the bananas work best if you have FRIED them first. Slice each banana into thirds (long ways) and lightly fry for 2-3 mins each side in coconut oil. From there, add some chopped hazelnuts to the jar…mix around. I said in the previous section that yoghurt was a great addition and that works great in this one.
So – to this one add a spoonful each of cacao nibs, sliced almonds and desiccated coconut. I have tried this with a scoop of coconut yoghurt and, well…I guess it was OK but real coconut worked/tasted better! Almonds, chocolate (well, cacao) and coconuts! I seem to remember this recipe was named after a chocolate bar but I can’t remember ever eating one!
Easiest of all. Place a couple of tbsps of frozen berries in the top of each jar – then top with a scoop of yoghurt. Personally I would be adding vanilla to all of them (as I said at the top) but this one really benefits from it – frozen berries are simple to use but I just don’t find them as flavorful as fresh ones and the vanilla really helps!
We know this can be a daunting time. You’re probably wondering if we really are the right fit for each other. And it’s OK! Many people before you, have felt the same, and that’s why we want to offer you something special – our $29 Health Check.
Let’s work out together to see if we’re the right fit. Just hit the button below to let me know if you’re ready to see what’s included.