Some things in life are beyond explanation.
If Vitamin D supposedly gives you energy, why does spending several hours in the sun make you feel like you couldn’t move a muscle if you tried?
How does somebody (a certain blogger who shall remain nameless) get a sunburn in the middle of their armpit?
Why does Hungry Howies offer cajun-spiced pizza crusts? Is pizza not Italian?
Why is cheesecake not a breakfast item?
Maybe – just maybe – I have the perfect answer for the latter.
Berry Cheesecake Oats
Vegetarian, serves one
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup (dry) steel cut oats
- 1-2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1-2 tablespoons flax seed
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- In a small saucepan, bring water to a rapid boil.
- Add in oats, allow to boil for two more minutes.
- Add berries, remove from heat. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to dish and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (surely an overnight oat version would also be awesome!)
- Top with cream cheese and sprinkle the flax/brown sugar around the outer perimeter to serve as the “crust.”
The berries pop in the boiling water and create a thoroughly gooey, evenly distributed fruitiness to the oatmeal, while chilling the oats makes the dish even more reminiscent of the chilly dessert!
A sweet, almost dessert-like breakfast like cheesecake oats are the perfect segue from a weekend full of treats such as sangria, cake batter and pizza into a week of healthy, veggie-packed eats.
Are “Cheat Days” Really Only Cheating You?
During several of my many past “diets”, I adhered to a rigid plan during the week yet designated weekends to be “cheat days.” This often led to five days of broth-based soups followed by a fried free-for-all on the weekends.
These days, I enjoy plenty of little treats any day of the week. No foods are ever off-limits, so when the whim strikes to enjoy a certain flavor, I generally go for it. I have found that this reduces many urges to binge.
Even now, however, my weekend meals are a bit more “junky” than weekday meals. My social plans often wind up involving monster cookies or takeout. Although I order mindfully (such as a delicious zucchini and cauliflower enchilada platter for Saturday night’s dinner,) I still find that my weekend meals are richer and more indulgent than my weekday eats. The beauty of ditching the heavily restricted weekday meals means that these weekend indulgences aren’t met with guilt or followed by a shameful purge in the ladies’ room.
The thought behind “cheat weekends” is that during the week, the dieter should delay their craving until a designated “cheat day”, when they could give in to their cravings without guilt. Unfortunately, this programs the mind to view certain foods as “off-limits.” Naturally, the more forbidden a food seems, the more intense and unshakable the craving for it tends to be.
Even if the dieter is able to wait until the weekend to consume the dish they had been craving, the bliss that comes from a dish hitting the perfect spot is completely lost. The sheer delight that comes with the satisfaction of a sweet or salty craving is reduced and often eliminated. Worse yet, when the dieter has the freedom to stuff her face with whatever she desires, she can easily get carried away with the laundry list of “naughty” eats to be packed into a two-day span. Once Monday rolls back around, the bloated belly from a ridiculous influx of sodium, sugar, alcohol and grease is a sad reminder of the flavorful frenzy.
Personally, I do cut myself a bit more slack on the weekends as far as balanced meals go. If a particular lunch or dinner is void of vegetables or a spoonful of frosting happens to leap from the jar into my mouth…I won’t give it a second thought. As much as I enjoy every single sinful bite consumed on the weekend, Mondays often bring back a craving for fruits, vegetables and extra nutrients. As usual, the body knows just what it needs to regain its balance!
What is your favorite “indulgent” or “dessert-like” breakfast? What are your thoughts on indulgences and “cheat days?”
Want to know something funny? Bosses don’t like calling their employees an hour after they’re supposed to arrive and finding out that they are still in bed because their alarms never told them to wake up. Lo ciento!
In my defense, I was up late working on my new header. If you’re in reader, click through and let me know what you think!
After a rough start to the day, I was more than ready for a good lunch. The only problem was that I had no idea what I wanted!
When in doubt, have a little of everything!
Part-skim mozzerella, Nature’s Pride whole wheat toast, sugar free all natural apple sauce, baby carrots, and almonds.
Down the hatch!
I know that in the past, I’ve talked about keeping a vegan kitchen. I chose to cook without animal products but allowed myself to enjoy the occasional ice cream or slice of pizza at a restaurant. My claim has been that I feel better without loading down my system with animal products, which I still stand by.
The other day, however, all I wanted was some smooth, gooey fresh mozzarella to melt onto my flatbread. A quick stop at Publix and voila – one of the most delicious things I’d eaten.
I then began to ask myself why I was depriving myself of dairy. I can honestly that I don’t enjoy meat, yet ice cream and cheese were foods I genuinely liked. While I fully support ethical eating, my decision to eat primarily vegan was not one driven by an animal rights standpoint. Instead, I realized that it was coming from a restrictionist mindset. After finally letting go of my deprivational habits from my eating disorder, denying myself of a group of foods became a condoned way to keep some control over my food intake. I was not eating vegan foods in the name of health, just in the name of taking on another label more acceptable than “anorexic”.
I’m not trying to say that those who eat a vegan diet are doing so in a disordered eating fashion. There are many who have a genuine conviction for animal rights and choose to eat as such. In my own personal case, though, that was not where I was coming from. I have a great deal of respect for those who have committed to a vegan diet and lifestyle, but my reasons for doing so are not ones that I can fully stand behind.
I’m still planning to create a number of vegan recipes. My diet isn’t going to change drastically, nor will the content of the blog. I feel my best fueling myself with clean and plant-based meals, but I don’t see the need to deprive myself of ethically sourced foods that I genuinely enjoy. And with that, I have a cheese cube to finish
How do you feel about food labels? Where do you personally fall on the spectrum? Have you ever made the choice to break out from a specific dietary label, and what prompted you to do so?