Over-night Oatmeal

Contributing Writer
Vicki McGraw

Well friends, how many of you are getting ready for a spring break vacation? I know many schools have split vacations now, so you may have already ventured to someplace warm, but others are still looking forward to heading somewhere warmer (and after the recent nor’easter we’ve just endured, who wouldn’t want to get away!). The biggest issue facing some of you still planning to get away just may be fitting into that swimsuit!

I’m not planning a getaway in the next few weeks, but come May, I’m going to want to be warm weather ready, so I need to ramp up my stalled diet. I had begun it after the New Year began, expecting to just watch what I eat and increase my exercise. I soon found it was tempting to cheat and not acknowledge it because I wasn’t accountable to anyone but myself. A bite of this or that (you know how it is when you are cooking and just want a taste…) won’t hurt, a glass of wine with dinner doesn’t make a difference in the end; you know the rationalizations we make to ourselves! After a week of dieting with zero in the loss column, I realized that I needed to take it more seriously. Not only did I choose a plan for tracking my food intake, I found a friend who was using the same plan and we became diet buddies!

I have discovered that I am far more likely to stick with a diet (or most anything, actually) if I am accountable to someone besides myself. By dieting with a buddy, I not only have to admit to myself how I am doing, but I have to admit to someone else how I am doing. That can be a rather humbling admission sometimes, but if you choose a buddy who is in the same boat, diet-wise, you have an understanding ear to listen. When dieting with a friend, you have a sounding board for those times that you need a confidence boost, as well as someone who will gladly share in your milestones.

A very important part of any diet is starting the day with breakfast. Those who know me, know that is the last thing I want! My morning mantra is “Coffee, NOW”…not “oh goody, breakfast“, so it is a challenge for me to stick to that routine, but I am doing it. I have to admit, however, eating breakfast does make nutritional sense. Whatever calories you eat in the morning will be burned off during the course of the day, so it is almost like having a free meal, calorie-wise. I find if I wait for an hour or two after getting up I can bring myself to eat something; a cup of yogurt, bowl of whole grain cereal with skim milk or a slice of whole wheat toast are a good mid-morning snack if you don’t eat breakfast when you first get up.

Being in the kitchen, surrounded by food isn’t a really great scenario for losing weight! I try not to nibble as I cook, but it is important to sample occasionally to check seasoning, and such, but I do my best to limit what I put into my mouth! I have found that chewing gum while I cook limits that unconscious “hand to mouth” action. I also always try to keep a big glass of water with me at all times. Not only do most diet plans suggest drinking at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day, I find that if I stay hydrated, I am not as tempted to nibble as I cook. If I find myself hungry between meals, I drink a glass of water and wait ten or fifteen minutes. If I’m still hungry after that, I will grab a piece of fruit or some veggies. As with many things in life, when dieting, cravings follow the old adage “this too shall pass!”

Whether you are dieting alone or with a buddy and following a program or your own method, remember, every morning starts a brand new day. If you stray from your diet today, you have a brand new opportunity to stick to it the next morning, so don’t give up! We are in this together…

Over-night Oatmeal

  • 1/3 C old fashioned oats (NOT quick cook style)
  • 3 C skim milk
  • 3 T plain yogurt
  • 1 T honey
  • ½ C Mixed Berries
  • 2 T chopped toasted walnuts

In a small container or Mason jar, combine oats, milk, yogurt and honey. Top with fruit and nuts. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.