This blog post was supposed to be about N’Oatmeal.
And it still is, sort of. But not just.
So here’s what happened: last night, I started making this sugar-free/grain-free version of oatmeal, dubbed “N’Oatmeal” by the masterminds of the 21-Day Sugar Detox.
(For anyone who hasn’t been following, I recently became a Certified 21-Day Sugar Detox Coach and I am launching my first group in January).
So in the spirit of 21DSD-season, I decided to try my hand at a recipe from the cookbook that I’ve been eyeing for a long time: N’Oatmeal. It's made of coconut milk, vanilla, eggs, and a bunch of other stuff that is not oats.
I LOVE oatmeal. There was a time in my life when I ate oatmeal every single morning for breakfast, without fail. I used to wake up at like 4:30am to watch the news, check email, and eat my piping hot bowl of oatmeal. Those wee morning hours felt like mine, all mine! As if the rest of the world hadn’t caught on yet and I had a small window of pause before the daily grind got to it.
I’m not sure when exactly I abandoned the oatmeal ritual, but I think it was somewhere between realizing that I do better with protein in the morning and getting food-sensitivity test results back that said I am highly reactive (sensitive) to: OATS.
Ugh. I still try to push that thought away.
Well, getting back to the N’Oatmeal. You can see why I wanted to try it. Hot, thick, creamy? Oat-free? Let me have at it.
And that’s what I did, last night after work. I made the N’Oatmeal. It smelled like my grandmother’s rice pudding. Eggs, creamy coconut milk, and vanilla coming to a frothy warm simmer on the stove! Deliciousness! I posted a quick photo on my Facebook page as a teaser preview, then put the N’Oatmeal in the fridge and waited until morning for the final verdict and photos so I could write this blog tonight.
I thought: Great! A new recipe for the blog and a little simultaneous insight into the 21DSD. This is all tying together nicely.
And it would have, had it not been for a conversation I had with a friend of mine this afternoon. We hadn’t spoken in a while and I mentioned that I was running the sugar detox in January and why doesn’t she sign up for it?
“OMG. I cannot. I will die.”
“I see the things you post. Your kale and quinoa. Your coconut milk concoctions. That’s not happening.”
Now, I know that to some people, I am Nutrition Lady Extreme. And I also know that not everybody wants to eat spinach for breakfast and some people have no interest in trying gluten-free recipes because they have no interest in becoming gluten-free. Ever ever.
What I didn’t realize is that people don’t realize that I realize that.
So I said to my friend: “You are coming from where YOU are. You are starting at your starting point. It doesn’t matter what I eat or how much organic food is in my pantry. If you do this detox, and at the end of the day you end up eating a little bit better than you were before – that’s all I want for you.
Changes don’t happen overnight. That’s why I call it “Evolve Well.” Change evolves slowly, step-by-step, little by little. You don’t just jump all in. That’s not the point. And there is no end goal. I’m not trying to turn you into who I am. But if you can take away some healthier principles from this detox, even if you can’t do it 100% perfectly 100% of the time, you still win. You reach some of YOUR goals. If you do a little better than you were before, it’s better than not doing anything at all.”
(I mean, that’s paraphrased).
And then she became so much more open and confessed to a bunch of things she actually DOES want to change and it was like, yes! This is what I want for people! I want to help people get to where THEY want to be! Not where they think they should be, or where they think I want them to be.
And it dawned on me that other people might think the same way as my friend because I only post things like dairy-free sugar-free grain-free gluten-free N’Oatmeal, which some people would have no interest in making, like, ever.
Did I decide not to post the N’Oatmeal? Heck no! These are some beautiful pictures!
But I will say this: I coach people from various walks of life, whether they have autoimmune conditions, food allergies, digestive distress, on and on. Some of these people need more aggressive food and lifestyle modifications than your average Joe. I can speak to that.
But I may have forgotten about representing the equally important average Joe.
Average Joe just wants to eat a little healthier and feel a little better and might just want an upgraded version of mac n cheese for the kids. Gluten and all.
I can speak to that. I’m average Joe sometimes, too.
I still believe whole-heartedly in clean eating and I stand by the way I feed myself and my family 110%. I love eating this way. I love cooking this way. But I don’t want anyone to feel like it’s the only way, or that I cook this way absolutely all of the time, or that there is some standard you have to meet in order to follow my blog or join my detox group.
So I am presenting you with the N’Oatmeal recipe because it is still something that I would make again and something that I still encourage you to make if you’re into that sort of thing.
But next time I might blog about mac n cheese. Healthy mac n cheese.
And now, onto the recipe!
NOTE: While extremely delicious, this N’Oatmeal satisfied more of a dessert whim than a breakfast one. Adding nuts to the finished product certainly makes it heartier with more of an oatmeal personality, but I wouldn’t necessarily compare it to oatmeal. I actually mixed real oatmeal with this for my kids’ breakfast this morning. For me, I enjoyed it as an after-dinner snack. It’s rich and a little decadent.
PS. My awesome friend who inspired this blog? Signed up for the detox.