We’re still loving life as new parents, even with some colic and rough times, we feel as lucky as can be to have our little munchkin! One thing I’m feeling extra lucky about is that breastfeeding has worked out for us. I do feel like an empathetic person and had so many friends not so lucky who really wanted to make it work and it just didn’t. I respect every mom’s choice and think parents do know what’s right for them and their baby! We had an extremely rough first couple of weeks due to a very aggressive and advanced eater, and a mom with some circulation problems who had issues with flow and extreme pain. I’m shocked we made it through! I became all the more understanding of those who just can’t do it for a million varied reasons, and in awe of those who are able to continue to do it and make it stick! I’m glad we’re past our struggles for the most part, but one thing I can’t shake is how it’s a never ending roller coaster of trying to make sure things continue to work, I’m eating what I should, and baby is getting what he needs when he needs it.
One thing I know I’m supposed to eat that I keep trying to fit in any way I can is oats! It helps with milk production, it’s benign and doesn’t cause stomach issues for baby, and it’s good for my heart if nothing else! I’m trying to fit in oats into at least one meal or snack a day no matter what, and I honestly think it’s making a huge difference!
Here’s a few ways I’m fitting oats into my life:
1. Make a pot of steel cut oats on Monday, and enjoy leftovers for random meals throughout the week. They reheat amazingly well, and I’m in love with a little butter and brown sugar for a classic bowl with a lot of extra fiber!
2. Buy protein bars complete with oats! I’ve always had a protein bar in my purse since I was first diagnosed with insulin resistance, and it’s been a lifesaver for my blood sugar and for times there’s a lot of food I really shouldn’t eat and need a healthy snack ready to eat. When I make the right choice with a protein bar over a carbalicious meal I #feelgooder and don’t worry about blood sugar. As far as oats are concerned, I knew I could grab traditional granola bars, but most lack protein and pack on a lot of sugar and calories. ZonePerfect Perfectly Simple nutrition bar in Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk solved the issue! Plenty of oats, plenty of granola bar goodness, and 10 grams of protein in a bar. It has been such a win-win for me as a nursing mother who still has to watch their blood sugar while having the appetite of a linebacker.
3. Add oatmeal to all the breakfast food items I can! I recently heard of buttermilk oatmeal pancakes and fell in love at first bite. Seriously, Google this, all recipes I’ve tried are winners! It’s like a thicker pancake chalked full of oats. I feel fuller longer, and I know I had plenty of quality calories and oats to keep things moving in a healthy way for the baby.
4. Smoothies are for oat-ing. I’m also throwing a half cup into my green smoothies in the morning. I’m enjoying a thicker shake, he’s enjoying a healthy mom and plenty to eat too.
5. No-bake cookies and other cookie favorites with oats in the recipe are on repeat. I forgot that chocolate/butter/peanut butter with plenty of oats made an amazing cookie until I craved them pregnant my last few weeks. I’m also a fan of oatmeal raisin cookies, but never think to make those. Oatmeal chocolate chip are a thing too, so clearly we’ve made a shift in our baking patterns to make sure even the treats add up to some oats in my diet.
6. Extending the hamburger meat with some oats mixed in. This was a trick I learned from Jacob’s mom who had eight growing boys to feed. Whenever they grilled hamburger patties they added some quick oats to make the meat go further without changing the texture much. It works, it tastes about the same, and it helps me know there’s some oats in my day if I’ve blown it with healthy breakfasts or snacks.
I’m finding more all the time, but these are getting me through right now! Any tricks anyone else has? I’d love to hear of your favorite oat based recipes too!