Sunday, February 8, 2009

Healthy Start

Yesterday I did a quick pick-up of some healthy and necessary items - Arnold's Flax & Fiber bread (no high fructose corn syrup), organic skim milk, apples, sugar free blackberry preserves, organic fat-free vanilla yogurt, crunchy natural peanut butter (only ingredient? PEANUTS), low-fat cheeses and this oatmeal:

The brand is Old Wessex Ltd. and I picked it up in what I like to refer to as the "hippie" section of my local grocery store - quite frankly, my favorite part to pick up the essentials. I often just grab the Quaker Instant from the breakfast aisle, but this caught my eye. It's a 5-grain oatmeal containing oats, rye, triticale, barley and golden flax. It has no salt, sugar, additives, preservatives and is cholesterol free. As simple as the idea is, it's increasingly difficult to find foods that contain ONLY the ingredients that are essential to what it is. For example, looking for a jam or preserve to buy was a little scary. There were inumerable unpronouncable ingredients - in preserves! If you ask me (and any grandma who makes them in her kitchen) all you need is fruit. What a shocker, hmm? The truth of the matter is, most food companies and the FDA aren't looking out for you as best they should, so you've got to look out for yourself. Carefully read the ingredients. If it looks suspicious, it probably is. Put it back on the shelf and find something else. Some of the brands that stay true to ingredients are a little more expensive, so pick and choose what your budget allows and buy the most important ones.

What you need:
  • Quick cooking oatmeal (this one is unflavored - just the grains)
  • Water
  • Flavorings of your choice (fresh fruit, nutmeg, cinnamon, honey, etc. - remember that you are starting with a very healthy base, so don't junk it up by adding lots of sugar, as tasty as it may be. Keep it healthy!)
What you do:
  • Cook oatmeal according to directions on container
  • Add in your flavorings (I stirred in a hearty spoonful of local honey and a sprinkling of cinnamon to give a healthy sweetness.)

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