G’morning!

You sleep well?

I didn’t.

Why?

Funny thing, that.  In recent months, I’ve learned a valuable lesson about what a bathroom scale is good for.  Scales are funny things.  They make (wo)men cry.  Cry, curse, swear, only to hop back on and do it again.  They dictate our moods.  If we’re up a couple pounds, it’s diet time.  We eat salads and exercise and swear we’re going to drop this unwanted weight.  If it’s down a couple, we’re lighter than air, floating along in our skinny jeans and feelin’ grand.

Guys: the scale doesn’t determine your self-worth.  Nobody should allow their self esteem to be measured by some silly number on a scale.  Scales measure weight, sure, but they don’t measure a person’s value.  You know what you’re scale is reading when you hop on it?  It’s measuring your bones, your skin, your vital organs, your hair, how much water you drank (hey, water is heavy!), how dense was your lunch…you dig?  They’re measuring everything.

So, how does my scale tell me how well I’m going to sleep at night?

You see, in addition to a pear issue, and a banana addiction, and a healthy courtship with peanut butter, I’m also a water junkie.  My body is also a sponge, and will grasp on to any and all water and hold onto it for dear life.  I love water, but I particularly love water after a salty meal.  Two nights ago, I ate a very salty dinner, and chugged water throughout the evening to cancel it out.  When I weighed myself before bedtime, I was up six pounds.

You know what that means?

Those six pounds have to go somewhere.

I was up twice that night, emptying my bladder.  Each time, it felt like I hadn’t peed in ages.  When I weighed myself the next morning, I was back to normal.

Seriously, body.  Six pounds of water?  Where do you put it?

I digress.

Last night, I was a normal weight, and would have slept through the night had not a 20-pound behemoth not settled on my chest and attempted to crush the life out of me.  Alas, I love my fat tomcat, and endured the wrath of his love.

The End.

On to breakfast!

As usual, my breakfast was delicious.  Yesterday, my sister lamented to me the failure of her rice pudding recipe, and I decided to attempt to recreate it for breakfast, instead using quinoa.

What is quinoa?  Quinoa (pronounce it keen-wah) is considered an ancient grain, and is also a complete protein.  It also cooks waaaay quicker than brown rice, and is ready in less than fifteen minutes.  Plus, it makes a neat curly-que tail when it’s done, and who doesn’t love eating something that looks like a tadpole?

Nobody?

Ah, well.  I guess I’m just weird.

In my saucepan, I threw in 2 huge tablespoons of dry quinoa and covered it with 1/2 cup of almond milk.

Yes, almond milk.  I use Pacific brand, and while it’s sort of nutritionally void, it tastes great.  Not like real milk, not quite like almonds, but it’s pretty tasty.

Once my almond milk and quinoa came to a boil, I reduced the heat and set it to simmer for 13 minutes (I live dangerously like that).  Here’s something integral that I forgot: ADD CINNAMON.  I forgot it, and paid the price.  Repeat after me: ADD CINNAMON.  Got it?  Good.

Oooh, wonder what's hiding in there...

While my porridge happily simmered away, I began toasting my almonds.  I buy sliced almonds in the bulk aisle of my grocery store for just a few dollars per pound.  A 1/4 cup weighs around an ounce, so it’s a spiff value.

What has been seen can not be un-saw.

I let my skillet warm up on high, then reduced it to low and added the almonds.  Once they were toasty — stir often, or they will burn; it takes a minute or two at most — I added two teaspoons of honey and stirred a bit more.  They soon became caramelly and full of awesome.

Once my quinoa was cooked, I transferred it to a bowl and added 1/4 cup raisins, a scant 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses, and about a quarter cup of water.  I nuked it for about a minute, then took it out, stirred, and added a tablespoon of milled flaxseed.  Of course it looks watery, but don’t fret!  That flaxseed will gel up in a right jiffy and soon your porridge will be creamy.

But, it gets better.  From your handy carton of pasteurized egg whites, add a quarter cup of egg whites.  Make sure you don’t asplode your carton like I did, which I had to seal up with handy-dandy packing tape. (Btw, if you prefer to eat whole eggs, that’s fine.  I love eggs, yolk and all, but  I find them to be a bit too savory in my breakfast.  The neutral taste of egg whites lends to the sweet flavor better.  If all you have on hand are whole eggs, and you want to use egg whites, I suggest just using one or two to taste.)

Doesn't that look amazing?

Cook on half-power in your microwave for two minutes, stir, and cook for another thirty seconds at full.  It’ll become thick and creamy and custardy.

Stir again, and top with caramelized almonds.  And, if that’s not enough, pour on another 1/4 cup of almond milk.  It’ll create a creamy, almost muesli-esque consistency.

Milk baths are good for your skin, didn't you know that?

Okay, one more time, if you didn’t get all that:

2 tbs dry quinoa

3/4 cup almond milk (reserve 1/4 cup)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 scant tsp blackstrap molasses

1/4 cup slivered almonds

2 tsp honey

1/4 cup raisins (I had golden raisins and craisins on hand, so I used those)

1 tbs milled flaxseed

1/4 cup egg whites

There, got it?  You’re gonna do great.

Okay, here’s the not-so-good.  This breakfast, while delicious, was not good for volume eaters.  I don’t generally add dried fruit to my breakfast, just because eating whole, fresh fruit fills my tummy better.  Sadly, this meal was consumed in around ten minutes, and it took a few minutes for the signal from my tum to go to my brain and remind it that it’s no longer hungry.  If you were to recreate it, I would suggest upping the quinoa to 1/4 cup and the almond milk to a whole cup.  That way, it’ll last you longer and you’ll get more delicious bites.

However, I may not make this again, just because I enjoy a huge breakfast.  Tomorrow, I’ll recreate this meal with something even better.  Hint: if you like to dive head first into jars of peanut butter, stick around, because this porridge is for you.

Dig in!

I have a yummy plan for lunch that involves the other half of my colossal russet from yesterday.  I’m already excited and looking forward to it.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

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