We all know that oatmeal is one of the cheapest, easiest, and healthiest of breakfast foods. We thought to ourselves "there are so many ways to make oatmeal, what if we had it for every meal? Would we feel good? Would we feel bloated? Would we never want to eat our favorite breakfast food again?"
With all these unanswered questions, we needed to test it out...
Day 1 begins on the brightest of notes. We all had loaded bowls of oatmeal with peanut butter and assorted fruits. We knew breakfast would be the easiest part of this endeavor.
Lunch time became a little trickier because the savory component became an option. In the interest of time and effort, we simply had another sweet bowl.
Sara and I agreed the bowls were super filling and so easy to change up that the challenge didn’t seem too bad.
As dinner rolls around, Sara and Ainslie begin to question how they would tackle a bowl of oats without any of the sweet stuff. They go to the pasta station at our university and basically mix it with the pesto and veggie the fix-ins they have available.
Dannah was getting fancy with her oats and making them like risotto. She made a savory tomato basil oatmeal with an egg on top. It was surprisingly delicious and despite some slight cravings for something different, day 1 was a breeze.
Day 2 also started out with some sweet oats for breakfast and lunch. The bowls are so dense there is really no need for any additional snacks or anything. Ainslie slightly caves in with some pretzels for snack and eventually opts out for outs for dinner and has a chopped salad instead.
Sara remains faithful to the challenge and has another bowl of oats with some dorm room toppings like cinnamon, banana, and raisins. Dannah again whips out a recipe for shrimp and grits-styled oats that were delicious. The chew of the shrimp helped break up the soft texture. Before we could complain or think about ice cream, the day was done.
The woman who worked at the breakfast station started to recognize our excessive oatmeal consumption, but we continue on with our delicious and nutritious bowls of oats and sweet add-ins.
Ainslie is back on the oatmeal bandwagon and we all feel pretty great. The portion controlled meals and no snacking in between has us feeling pretty fit if we do say so ourselves.
Sara and Ainslie head to Dannah’s apartment to get a taste of these crazy bowls she keeps cooking up. She makes an asian style oatmeal called “Congee” filled with tofu, roasted broccoli, scallions, mushrooms, and teriyaki sauce. Sara and Dannah are pretty impressed and satisfied after this meal, but Ainslie simply isn’t having it.
Ainslie goes for multiple chocolate chip cookies with little regret. Sara and Dannah marvel at their success rate so far and call it a night.
Knowing it’s the day before the last is promising motivation. Dannah walks in to get another classic bowl of breakfast oats and finds BOTH Sara and Ainslie going for yogurt parfaits instead of oats.
Dannah continues her morning with the usual, oatmeal with peanut butter….but then the hunger starts to hit her.
By the time lunch rolls around she’s starving. She has a mexican style bowl with avocado, cheddar, and salsa. The bowl was good, but the one-noted texture was a little displeasing. The bowl needed to be finished though, to fill her until dinner.
Dannah continues strong with a bowl of apple cinnamon oats for dinner, while Sara and Ainslie enjoy the cooling crunch of more chopped salads. The week hadn’t been THAT hard, but Dannah was definitely longing for variety and the concept of fresh foods.
Upon this last day the texture of oatmeal is utterly repulsive. Breakfast is bearable, but it’s not preferable. At this point Dannah’s mind was thinking crazy thoughts of how she could sneakily evade the challenge. She thinks “could pizza go on oatmeal?”, “could I put froyo on top of oats?”
Dannah has a tomato, mozzerella, and broccoli bowl of oats for lunch, which flavor wise was great, but it induced high levels of nausea. The texture and lukewarm temp after a few bites was too much to handle. She eats it anyway as she knows there’s a long way until dinner, if she can even take down one last bowl.
The last supper… of oats that is. Ainslie and Sara are goners as the final meal approaches. Dannah made some overnight oats ahead of time and rewarded her success with some added chocolate chips on each bite.
Pros: meals were portion controlled and super nutritious making us not feel groggy or bloated in any way. Also, the oatmeal was so filling it really helped us last without food in between meals.
Cons: The texture was hard to deal with and there was a lack of freshness after each meal. If you’re not creative it’s definitely hard to think of unique ways to incorporate it in your day.
In hindsight, we could have done a variety of different things to incorporate raw oats into our beloved foods, but the point was to have bowls of the heart-healthy, stomach-filling food that we all know and love for every meal, and well, that’s what Dannah did.
Overall, this is not a super fun or sustainable diet for everyone, but when oatmeal is prepared well with the proper toppings, it’s pretty damn good. So, if you want to have it for more than one meal a day, your body and tastebuds really won’t be mad about it.