I’m proud of my mom. For the past youthful 50ish years of her life she avoided foods like bananas, whole grains and oatmeal. Every time I would come home for a visit, these foods would appear in our house, but I’d be the only one sitting down to a big bowl of oats while everyone else ate steak, pancakes and buttered white toast for breakfast (yes, I wonder if this is the family I came from as well).
Then my mom went through a couple scary years of health problems. There were emergency room visits, multiple tests, diets and new medications.
During this terrifying time she was willing to try anything to make her feel better. Although she didn’t enjoy the taste at first, she started to eat things that were once foreign to her body, knowing the nutrients would help her feel better. I remember talking to her one day over the phone as she munched on raw spinach straight from the bag, knowing it’s a power food. I was pretty sure there was someone else on the end of the line who sounded like my mom but couldn’t be.
Slowly, the white sandwich bread stopped making appearances and the whole grains were there even after my weekend visit. Fried foods became baked, and my mom actually realized she likes bananas.
One of the most drastic changes was starting to eat oatmeal, that gross mushy food that somehow I craved every time I went home. My mom found out that her cholesterol was reaching a borderline number and that an upcoming test would determine if she needed to start taking medication, possibly for the rest of her life. She was determined to lower that score before the fateful test. In addition to consulting medical professionals, getting back into her daily walking routine, and making other healthy changes, YOU helped her to that. I put a question out to Simply Life readers for advice and she read, researched and re-read your answers. Among helpful websites and well wishes, you encouraged her to eat oatmeal, flaxseed, walnuts and almonds, cinnamon.
Well guess what? She tried oatmeal.
She hated it.
I let her into the food bloggers world of adding everything and anything to your bowl of oats.
She tried it again with sweet and savory combinations.
She hated it.
She still grudgingly ate every bite of the bowl, hoping the bad taste would be working magic on her body. She tried different combinations and started to notice how much more full she felt after eating oats rather than a slice of toast.
After several attempts my mom started looking forward to her morning bowl of oats and when I was recently home for Christmas I was shocked to hear her say the words “I miss oatmeal the days I don’t have it for breakfast.” Every morning she has exactly the same breakfast filled with all the healthy foods you suggested: oatmeal with ground flaxseed, walnuts and almonds and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Oh, even better than that, her cholesterol was drastically decreased and no medication has been needed. She’s also made several other healthy diet and exercise changes. I’m a proud daughter and appreciate YOUR help in keeping my family healthy
So while these photos may seem like an ordinary breakfast to you, when I woke-up Christmas Eve to an “oatmeal bar” made by my mom, it pretty much put me in shock and was definitely one of my favorite Christmas gifts. (Disclaimer: I’m not trying to play nutritionist here; just letting you know the story).
~Don’t forget to enter to win a Starbucks Gift Card! All you have to do is something kind and the entries are limitless!
~How are your eating habits similar and/or different than your family members?