I shifted to a 100% Paleo diet in winter of 2012. Generally speaking, Paleo has served me very well as a framework for a healthy whole food lifestyle.
I confess that I am not a scientist, so I embraced a lot of what I read on trust of certain sources. Some of the trust was well-founded, some was not. I do trust that I have fared well by avoiding overly processed “food-like substances”, particularly those heavily laden with wheat flour, sugar, corn and soy.
But as I grew to become more physically active, I noticed the ultra-low-carb nature of a highly regimented and dogmatic Paleo diet left me without sufficient fuel. So I upped my starches by adding more sweet potatoes. I eventually re-introduced jasmine rice as well.
Recently Kate, one of the coaches from Daybreak posted a cold oatmeal recipe. I always loved my hot Irish Oats, with real maple syrup, before I went Paleo. I never found oats to cause me any gut inflammation or distress, though I will confess I do monitor my blood sugar when I ingest starchy carbs, as I tend to be insulin resistant.
I decided to revisit one of my trusted sources, Mark’s Daily Apple, to determine the main objections to the human consumption of oats. Mark Sisson has a very good article that is easily digestible (deliberately bad pun) by the non-scientific reader. Two main objections to the consumption of oatmeal is phytic acid and glucose. I recognize that not all of us are predisposed to gut issues or blood sugar issues, so we tend to tweak our diets to support our unique needs and genetic capabilities.
After I read a few articles like Sisson’s and Robb Wolf’s I figured I’d experiment by trying Kate’s recipe (and of course tweaking it). I found it to be delightfully comforting within 15-20 minutes of a CrossFit WOD. Several of my Box Mates have inquired about it, so I am posting the recipe and some possible variations. Before you prepare it, do read the article I linked to determine if phytic acid and glucose are issues that concern you.
In a 16 ounce Ball Jar place the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup Rolled Oats (not instant oats)
- 1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds*
- 1 Teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- 1 scoop of Protein Powder (I like Progenex Loco Mocha)
- 1/2 Cup of Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
- 1 Cup of Liquid** (I use Coconut Milk)
Place the lid tightly on the jar, roll and shake it for a few seconds to ensure that the liquid has surrounded all the dry contents. Then place the jar in the fridge for several hours, or overnight. I like to toss a couple jars in the fridge in the evening as I prep my wife’s coffee maker for the following morning. Then I can just grab a jar and toss it in my gym bag on the way out in the morning.
Here are some variations, most of which I have tried.
* Chia seeds are not optional. They thicken the porridge, and since you are not cooking with heat, you need a way to thicken it.
**Liquids can include whole milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or whatever your imagination can create. I like blending a half cup of cold brewed coffee and a half cup of coconut milk.
Try adding a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, cashews, or raisins. I like to add another quarter cup of fresh Raspberries, just before serving.
I have no intention of re-introducing this into my every day routine like I used to do with my old Irish Steel-cut Oats, but a couple times a week Post-WOD is a nice substitute for a recovery shake.
If you’re the Paleo Police, just consider this my Cheat Meal for the week.