Well hello there,friends! Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m making this yummy Cinnamon Pecan Oatmeal recipe to celebrate! I’ve heard so many of you ask me, ‘Is oatmeal gluten-free?’ Well, yes and no. Oats are usually made in a facility where wheat and gluten are in the air so there is cross contamination but there are gluten-free oats sold in many of the stores like Whole Foods Market and online stores like Amazon, too! So, if you have celiac disease or you are gluten-intolerant, have no fear- there are oats JUST for you!
I like oats so much that I’ll probably stick a candle in this recipe just for a little birthday fun.
I’m so grateful for having all of you in my life. I honestly don’t know what I would do without this blog…and all of your inspiring and encouraging comments and support. You truly make my day EVERY single day from your emails, comments and shout outs on social media.
I am forever grateful for all of you!
And so on the eve of my 31st birthday, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned this year.
Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Love
It’s easy to forget the essential act of caring for ourselves first but self-love is something we all need and something I was never taught growing up. Taking YOU time helps release that excess stress cortisol (a primary stress hormone), anxiety and worry about life, digestive issues, headaches and so much more. With just a few little self-love techniques, you can have your body back and feeling good by following these few approaches below. Research has showing that these simple tasks can actually boost our health tremendously. They relax our muscles, improve our mood, decrease cortisol and increase endorphins and oxytocin.
- Enjoy a cup of hot tea
- Schedule a massage
- Take time to plan and prioritize your day/week
- Take an Epsom salt bath
- Curl up with a good book and wrap yourself in a cozy blanket
- Listen to good music
- Eat every 3-4 hours (lean protein, healthy fats and fiber)
- Sleep- try to get at least 7 hours a night
Disconnect from Social Media & Connect with Family & Friends
Between work obligations, travel plans, social commitments and so much more…we’re all over-booked. Taking a break from technology is a great way to restore healthy cortisol levels and improve your immune function. Plus, it’s more fun to laugh and enjoy time with real, genuine people than a screen, isn’t it?
Add MORE Superfoods to Your Meals & Snacks
Several of the main culprits of stress are tied back to food and behavioral eating. Whether it’s to avoid the emotional stress that comes with weight gain or the overindulgence in seasonal treats, a plan for staying healthy can be a vital tool when attacking stress.
Here are a few superfoods you can toss into your meals and snacks each day:
- Nuts: walnuts, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts
- Fatty fish: wild salmon, mackerel and sardines
- Berries: strawberries, blueberries and cranberries
- Leafy greens: spinach, kale, chard and more
- Turmeric, otherwise known as curcumin
- Pure dark chocolate or cacao nibs
Beat Stress by Moving
Squeeze in a mini yoga session in your bedroom before bed or stretch first thing when you wake up. You don’t need an hour at the gym everyday. I’ve learned that less is more. I canceled my gym membership and I’ve never been happier.
Being FULLY Present and Experiencing Emotions
There are so many ways to help alleviate bad feelings and re-balance your body’s stress response:
- Be Grateful- One of the most valuable, yet underrated stress-busting activities is practicing gratitude.
- Understand Emotions are Normal-Another extraordinarily effective way to re-balance your stress response is to fully experience emotion, which is known to stimulate both the hormones and the neurotransmitters that lower stress.
- Laugh- Yes, laughter can lower your cortisol levels while raising your endorphins and oxytocin, relaxing your muscles, and improving your mood.
- Write in a Ingratiate Journal- Another great way to balance your stress response is to write down what you are grateful for each day.
Now, I hope I didn’t make you all too sleepy from all that info. I thought oatmeal would be the perfect recipe to pair with this post since it’s comforting and healthy and you can toss in tons of super foods. Plus, it’s a sit down food you can’t shovel in your mouth while walking, driving, etc.
Anyway, dig in. The pecan-cinnamon combo is going to rock your little world. And if you’re not a fan of pecans-no worries. Here are a few other oatmeal toppings to make your morning delightful!
Aside from all this talk about being present and feeling emotion, let’s hop on over and chat about food for a minute, shall we?
Who’s hungry and wants to be entered to win $1,000 just for submitting an easy breakfast recipe?
Plucked from the recipe boxes, files, kitchens, and memories of hometown cooks across America, Better Recipes is the most complete collection of homespun family favorites. These recipes are the tried-and-true favorites from kitchens just like yours – shared by cooks just like you – that have made impressions at potlucks, picnics, and parties all across the country. They’re the recipes shared over coffee, neighbors swap over the fence, and mothers pass down to daughters. And time and time again, they’re the dishes that inspire the request, “Can I have that recipe?”
For more information visit the Better Recipes website : BetterRecipes.com
BetterRecipes is launching seven monthly recipe contests each with a different category. The winning blog each month will win a full page feature in a Better Homes & Gardens magazine! That means if yours is one of them, thousands of new readers will discover your voice. You will also win a $1,000 cash prize and be guest editor for a day!
For the month of February: Better Recipes is calling for great breakfast & brunch recipes. If you have one, enter Better Recipes’ Best Blogger Recipe Ever: Breakfast & Brunch Contest and you could win one of two cash prizes! Each of the winners will receive $1,000 in cash and one will win a full page feature in a Better Homes & Gardens publication! Grand Prize includes a trip to the Better Homes & Gardens test kitchen and meeting the editors!
Now, onto the oatmeal! Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why: The Benefits of Eating Organic.
- In a medium pot on the stove top, bring water and rice milk to a boil. Add oats; cook over medium heat until oats are tender, approximately 20 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients and reduce heat to low. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat; transfer to four bowls.
- Serve warm.
This sponsorship is brought to you by BetterRecipes.com whom we have partnered with for this promotion. Here is a direct link to the Better Recipes Contest.