Ever since starting a commercial at the beginning of last week, I’ve been craving bowls of warm steel-cut oats. Waking up at 5 a.m. just doesn’t give me adequate time to prepare a quality bowl. Instead I’ve been eating packed overnight oats made with rolled oats, almond or coconut milk, chia seeds, banana, vanilla, cinnamon, and all the berries I can find in my fridge. After the initial craziness that takes place as soon as I arrive on set, I take a few minutes to eat my cold breakfast while the steamer heats up to prep the wardrobe for the day. Eating breakfast before 7 a.m. always makes me hungry for lunch very early, as it should. I grab fruit, nuts, and all the bars in my snack drawer for days like these. By the time lunch rolls around (1-2 p.m.), I feel like I’ve eaten quite a lot for the day already. Of course that doesn’t stop me from making the caterer’s scratch their heads when I ask for anything vegan from the three entrée options of fish, poultry, and red meat. Usually this means I receive a plate full of the rice (or other grain) and whatever side veggies they can find prepared without butter. I’m difficult, but that is their job. Commercials, with a much smaller crew, have less choice, but the quality is usually better than when they are feeding an entire film crew. This week I had a delicious meal of brown rice and beans topped with grilled asparagus, and a spinach, beet, and walnut salad on the side. It was one of the best catered meals I have had to date. There are also the days where I am off doing errands (returning wardrobe, picking up alterations, etc.) where I miss lunch entirely. These are the days I actually prefer, because I get to go off and find my own lunch from places I enjoy in LA. The best meals I’ve had while working were Native Foods and M Cafe. These are easily two of my favorite veggie places in Los Angeles. I can’t get enough.
As soon as the weekend hit, I knew oats would be on the menu. I still wanted to make pancakes for V since he prefers them over oats, but my sister chimed in that she also craved a bowl of oats after being without them all week. For the pancakes, I used my go-to recipe from Angela, the spelt pancakes. V has a pretty hearty appetite on the weekend mornings, so I doubled the recipe. He ate every last bite.
They were filled with bananas and walnuts and he poured delicious maple syrup on top.
Lily and I ate comforting steel-cut banana oats with almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla in my new small Anthropologie Lotus bowls.
We poured California organic berries on top and I sliced up some raw walnuts from the farmer’s market for satiety. I really shouldn’t go that long between warm oats consumption, it was a little bit of torture.
For the long weekend I am going to relax and enjoy the California sunshine by hitting up the flea market and reading in a nearby park today. There may be some vegan baking involved too.
Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.
– Do you ever feel deprived of warm oats, even when the weather isn’t chilly?
-What is your favorite long weekend activity?
A few weeks ago, I read a post Angela wrote about her breakfast story and I took a step back to think about my own “breakfast story.” The importance of breakfast was always emphasized growing up. My mother woke up extra early to prepare carb-a-licious eats for my younger sister and I. In the last year, my mother has let me know that the pediatricians were concerned about my lack of appearance on the growth charts (both height and weight) and she was encouraged to make sure I was well fed before sent off to school each day. This was never really a problem for me considering that I have always loved my morning eats (until college). Growing up, I would eat french toast, croissants, oatmeal, and fruit as early as 6:30 a.m. and feel ready for the day ahead.
When I left for college, and without my mother’s early morning breakfast preparation, I somehow forgot the importance of this meal. Within a few months of forgoing breakfast and sticking to just lunch and dinner, it became quite obvious that I was not treating myself right. I had lost a significant amount of weight for my already petite frame and felt weak throughout the day. The removal of what I now see as one of my key rituals, made me lose a part of myself. It took me years to realize that a morning without breakfast is a morning without fuel and energy for the day ahead.
Talking with my mother about this the last few days has led to some interesting conclusions. She told me how ironic it was waking up early to make our breakfasts growing up, because she has never been one to eat that early in the day herself. This also rings true with my boyfriend, who sometimes can last an entire day without eating if he is forced to. I won’t even tell you how that would make me feel, but cranky is just one of the signs of an undernourished Claire. Obviously we all have different eating patterns and the distinction between the mental and physical aspects of hunger is a really intriguing one. I am my father’s daughter when it comes to early morning eats and I would rather eat a hearty bowl of oats with delicious toppings over nothing any day.
Then I was lucky enough to win some samples of Bob’s Red Mill Cereals from Teri last week! Her blog is so great for motivation and I am going to be doing the push up challenge she posted to up some of my arm strength. Another great series of posts she did were about her journey of becoming a fitness instructor. Fitness is truly important to me as a runner and yogi and reading others passion for staying fit and healthy is refreshing.
Usually I stick with classic rolled oats but the Steel Cut Oats were the first I were really tempted to try. A morning without almond milk is a sad one for me, but I was quickly satisfied with the realization that we had some light coconut milk in the pantry. This batch of oats was cooked for 18 minutes on the stovetop before adding thinly sliced banana, vanilla, and cinnamon for an extra two minutes.
Lastly, I topped the oats with dried cherries and the other half of the banana when they were creamy enough for consumption. These were truly yummy and kept me full for hours. I loved that what seemed like such a tiny serving of oats before cooking, turned into a completely satisfying bowl of fuel. These oats will be reserved for my weekend eats when I have more time for preparation, but I am very excited to try all the rest of the varieties this week.
Today I went to VegFest and it was a pretty great experience. Rory Freedman, of Skinny Bitch fame gave a witty no-nonsense speech about veganism. I will be sure to share some information I obtained about vegetarianism (and veganism!) this week.
As I said in the last post, it is hard for me to come up with creative meals for one in the summer months. I tend to go with what I know will satisfy me quickly. The usual breakfast these days is yogurt with kashi, flax, berries and another fruit such as a half a banana or peach. Sometimes I will go with delicious oat bran but when the days reach over 90 degrees, I am just not interested in something so warm and cozy. Another breakfast I occasionally have is the green monster that many bloggers mention with spinach, banana, almond milk, amazing grass or protein powder, and berries. Here are two similar eats I have had the last two mornings.
Tonight I am excited to be eating a vegetarian meal with my entire family who usually aren’t so interested in my eats. I am sure many of you can relate to this, but it does get lonely sometimes eating at a different time because of cooking times or even just having a totally different meal in front of you. Of course I am not always at home with my family but when I am, it is nice to all eat together like when younger.