I want to write, ‘at the peak of my disordered eating’ or ‘when I was struggling with an eating disorder’ this was something I ate all the time. It was my go-to workout day breakfast. Now I realise that my disordered eating is not part of the past, rather something I am living with, working with and trying to overcome each day. I still eat this, even though the smell of the cinnamon and the trickle of oats onto scales take me straight back to the days of obsessively measuring macros.
Why? Why prepare and eat such a potentially triggering dish? Well, the truth is that it is easy, tasty and healthy and I don’t want to leave it behind. I want to build it into my healthy, balanced lifestyle.
This morning, despite the date reading 6th June, it is raining. Wet and windy. Miserable. I reached for my convenient pot of Skyr, but changed my mind. I wanted something warm and satisfying (plus you’re working out later) says the little voice at the back of my mind, the one that likes carbs on workout days, but rallies against them when I am resting. I ignored her and decided the reason I was going to eat this was not because it suited my ED, but because I wanted it.
Why should you try this recipe? Well, I guess it depends on what you want from your food. It tastes good for a start. It’s filling, healthy and easy. It’s full of protein and you can adjust it to suit your own tastes. You can also prep it and take it with you to work and shove it in the microwave when you want it. Don’t be afraid of the egg. It makes the oats fluffy and with the added extras, you can’t taste it. I promise you won’t feel like you’re eating an oaty omelette. I also find that whenever I eat this, it’s easy to avoid snacking before lunch.
The recipe varies depending on what I have. I have to weigh it because I can’t eyeball amounts very easily and if I get it wrong it all goes wrong.
- 40g oats
- 120ml egg whites (I have a carton that I pour it from, but when I don’t have eggs whites on hand I just add an actual whole egg or two, I don’t like to waste the yolk)
- 180ml milk (Sometimes I use almond, sometimes I use cow, sometimes I use half cow milk, half water)
I also usually add:
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, or whatever. Add as little or as much as you like.
- 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 ripe mashed banana, or
- 1 scoop flavoured protein powder of your choice, or
- 1 tbsp maca/lucuma powder, or
- 1tsp honey
- 80g blueberries/ any other berry you have lying around
- 3 chocolate coated brazil nuts (chopped up), or
- 1-2 tbsp nut butter
Today I kept it simple, I just had the oats, egg white, almond milk and cinnamon with blueberries on top. It wasn’t very sweet, but I am okay with that. To be honest I was feeling guilty. I was feeling guilty not because of my breakfast, but because of yesterday.
Yesterday for breakfast I had Skyr and berries (with my usual cup of organic coffee with collagen hydrosylate, turmeric, cayenne, coconut oil and raw honey.) I had two more regular cups of coffee (instant, splash of milk) – it was the first Monday back after half term! Then for lunch, I had a chicken caesar salad and a lime jelly. So far, so good.
Dinner was chicken and chickpea curry with rice and a samosa, followed by some cheese and crackers. Not so bad. I wanted more veg in the curry, but my meals are prepared by the chefs at the school I live and teach in, so I take them as they come. I wolfed my dinner down, I was so hungry.
Then I went home and got a craving for some chocolate. I usually let myself have chocolate when I crave it, as I don’t crave it very often. I ummed and ahhed between dark or milk chocolate, but I saw the expiry date on the milk chocolate that I have had lying around since Christmas was closer, so I went for it. I ate 7 milk chocolate truffles. Then my boyfriend offered me a hot chocolate. I was still hungry and it was cold outside so I thought it would be comforting. He added mini marshmallows to the already sweet beverage. Then I spotted a small packet of turkish delight, also, lying around since Christmas, and I ate those as well.
I had such a sugar rush by the time I finished that I felt sick, like I had drunk too much. I thought long and hard about actually being sick. I had to lie down, and my hands were shaking. I drunk plenty of water instead of being sick. I went to bed hating the full feeling in my stomach and I stared in hatred at my body in the mirror. I felt like I used to after a cheat day, I felt like I had lost control and binged. I dread to think how much sugar was in that 20 minute consumption.
But it happened. I slept. I woke up today and got on with life. I will exercise later, not because of yesterday, but because I had a workout planned anyway. It will either be a total body strength routine, or some HIIT and abs work.
Things I have learnt:
- The world didn’t end because I ate sugar.
- I probably would have avoided the binge if I had eaten more during the day.
- Water is good and I should carry it with me all day.
- This doesn’t happen very often, so I really shouldn’t freak out about it.
Things I want to do now:
- Get hold of some drinking cacao, and have that on hand for a healthier chocolate hit.
- Forget about yesterday.