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Stop Following Directions

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Today's entry is a little silly, but I'm writing it down so I remember to do it!

I have always enjoyed eating oatmeal for breakfast. My mom made a big pot of it and served it with milk and sugar. It was morning comfort food. Although I never much cared for the packets of instant (sugary glue!) I've made and eaten bushels of oats over the years. My latest variation includes adding dried fruit during cooking and sprinkling some nuts on top.

This summer, my craving or happiness for oatmeal has been waning. I wasn't sure why - I know how incredibly healthy it is, and how much I need that. I decided it was just because it was summer, and hot, and nobody likes hot cereal in the heat.

But I realized this morning as I sat eating my oatmeal, it had nothing to do with summer. It was the daunting idea of having the finish this whole bowl! It was too much. One serving was too much. The first few spoonfuls tasted great. But by the time I was halfway through I was done. After that, every spoonful seemed almost sickening. And although I suppose I could put half in the fridge and reheat it later or tomorrow, I'm not sure I would really follow through with that.

Now, I've been making the same amount of oatmeal for years. One cup water and half cup oats. An easy recipe to cut in half. So why don't I? Why did it never occur to me to deviate from the directions? Well, because the box (although I buy in bulk, I still remember what the box says) tells me one half cup is one serving. And since oats are so darned healthy, I should eat a full serving right?

No, not at all. Not if it leaves me feeling too full and a bit queasy. I could easily make a half recipe, and then add something else - a piece of fruit perhaps, and still have a good breakfast.

So I wrote this down to remember - next time make half as much! Offhand, I can't think of anything else I make where one serving is too much, and doesn't keep well. But maybe if I come across another food like that, I'll remember. Make your own rules!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You could always make the ratio 1/3 cup oats to 2/3 cup water. I leave a 1/3 c. measuring cup in the box of oatmeal all the time. emoticon
    1166 days ago
    good lesson! I make 1/2 recipe as well.
    1166 days ago
    emoticon Sometimes the simplest things take a while to dawn on us. That's the power of habit....
    1166 days ago
    What a great insight. It made me think of all the times I have finished my plate or my bowl just because---because it's there. Because there's not enough to save. Because it would be a waste to throw it out.

    So I throw my calories into my system because of an antiquated belief? I will take your lead and cook a smaller amount.

    Thank you.
    1166 days ago
    Amen. I like that idea. Stop when you've had enough and use the extra calories on a healthy treat.
    1166 days ago
    Good on you for figuring out what was going on! I find myself repeating processes because it has become a habit even when I know it is not going to be exactly what I need/want. I need to stop and analyze more.

    My Mother would make a huge batch of oatmeal-more than our family of 8 (6 kids) would finish so she could put the leftover in a square container to slice it when firm and heat/fry for a second meal.
    1167 days ago
    That was something I realized myself, just because it says one serving is a cup does not mean you have to eat that much. My was with bulk yogurt.
    1167 days ago
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