A new year has arrived, bringing hopeful expectations and cheerful intentions. I feel pressed to make a list of resolutions, as so many friends have done and shared. Two years ago I made a list and shockingly accomplished everything I wanted. Last year I hastily found myself joining the bandwagon late, divining a list of January 5th resolutions that were immediately tossed to the wayside—the single resolution that was accomplished was by shear accident and without intention.
Resolutions have always felt so pressure-filled to me. While others may find them encouraging, my list of resolutions tends to stare at me from my desk, a stark reminder that I am nowhere near crossing them off.
This year I've decided not to make a list of resolutions. Truthfully, I don't really have anything new to add to it. I already try to exercise regularly. Eating healthy has become a lifestyle choice for me, one I have been trying to follow for years. It is a decision I face three times a day. Like anyone, I have good days and bad days, but I do not disgrace myself based on the outcome. I fear that if I put Eat Healthy on my list, I'd only end up in a negative pattern of self judgement. There is no beginning, end, or easy system for measuring healthy eating without dieting—it is just a factor of life.
Despite a lack of resolutions, I do have many goals for myself, both shared and unspoken. Most of them are purposely vague, such as become a stronger writer or become a compelling photographer; they are not easily measurable, a work in progress for a lifetime instead of just twelve short months. For these and many more reasons, it is liberating not to have a handwritten list judging me this time around.
Even so, I have many friends that begin new diets in the New Year. Undoubtedly, I hear stories of one or two who have started skipping (or continue to skip) breakfast to save on calories. These decisions are often followed with excuses (I am never hungry in the morning or I don't have time). After a few years as a breakfast skipper myself, I am now a strong believer in a hearty breakfast. A proper, stick-to-your-bones meal can hold me over until the middle of the afternoon and I really do find I eat less during the rest of the day.
In a way, this oatmeal is for my breakfast-skipping friends—a reminder not to skip the most important meal of the day. It may even be a subtle nudge for you. I know for certain, however, that this oatmeal is for me, too. Healthy and gloriously delicious, I could eat this every single day.
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal is hearty and satisfying. Mashed banana gets cooked along with the oats, pervading the oatmeal in a wonderful manner. Peanut butter complements the flavor while a pinch of salt brings out the sweetness of the banana. Topped with a pinch of brown sugar and sliced banana, this is a filling breakfast that will certainly hold you until lunch.
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal
Yields 2 servings
1 1/4 cups (295 ml) milk of choice
1 large (or 2 small) banana, mashed
Pinch of salt
1 cup (80 grams) old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 teaspoons brown sugar, packed (optional)
In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk, mashed banana, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Add the rolled oats, turn down the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The oats are done when soft and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the peanut butter.
Divide evenly between two bowls, top each serving with a teaspoon of brown sugar and extra slices of banana. Serve hot.