Friday, May 6, 2011

Tropical Oats and Notes on Body Image

Yesterday's bowl of oats took me back to a place I will forever love with all of my heart.

Maui. Land of the tropics. Home of the coconut. Place of the best vacation I ever went on (honeymoon). A vacation I might not soon repeat. If ever. But thanks to this bowl of oats:

I can go there whenever I want.

This is what you might call a vacation in a bowl. I like to call them Tropical Oats. It's what becomes of a half-eaten mango, an overripe kiwi and some coconut oil. Oh, and let's not forget the banana. (Do you remember my excellent Hawaiian bananas?) In my opinion, no dish of oats is truly complete without a bit of banana. Here's the recipe (a Daily Dose original!):

Tropical Oats
Water, eyeball it
1/3 cup oats (mine was a mixture of Old Fashioned, Steel Cut and some Buckwheat)
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 banana
1/2 mango
1 small kiwi
Chia seeds

Bring water to a boil and cook oats almost to completion. Lower heat, plop in the banana and mash it, then stir until it mixes in. Add the vanilla and coconut, stir that in, too. Reserve some of the mango and kiwi for the top of your oats, but mix in the rest. Spoon the deliciousness into your favorite oatmeal bowl, preferably one that reminds you of summer. Top with remaining fruit, then sprinkle as many Chia seeds on top as you desire.

Note: I meant to add some ground flax at the last minute, but totally forgot to. And if I had macadamia nuts, I would have ground them up in my little Cuisinart until they became macadamia nut butter (which is divine). And if you like dried coconut, consider adding a sprinkle or two of that, too.

Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Nor would you be disappointed if you started swapping out all of your Old Fashioned oats on occasion. Have you ever tasted buckwheat? It's actually quite delicious. I have been experimenting with it in my oats for quite some time and I find that it's rather nutty. And completely filling, too. Also good for you, as most whole grains are. I found a bag of it at my local year-round indoor farm market.

Roasted and organic? $3.75? M'kay. Also included in the photo above are two clutch ingredients for yet another bowl of oats I've consumed, although I must tell you the truth: I've been holding on to these photos for a week or two. And now that I've reminded myself of this delicious concoction, I am suddenly feeling hungry. Take a look:

Obviously the buckwheat was the main attraction, but when strategically combined with pecans, Orchard's Finest Michigan (yay!) Tart Cherry Preserves, and a blob of almond butter—magic happened.

I'm currently trying to decide if these oats were better than the Tropical Oats, but that's enough about oats. Let's talk about body image.

Consider this:

It's Britney, bit...nevermind. But it is Britney. A) Heavily edited, and B) Completely natural. Can you tell the difference? Girl looks good either way, and that's the point. No editing necessary, and yet, they still do it which only serves to confuse the rest of us as we look at our own bodies in the mirrors on the back of our bathroom doors. (Or maybe yours is in your closet like mine. I digress.)

I show this to you today as a friendly reminder that what you see in the magazines is not necessarily what you get in person, and often what you'd get in person—proven by Miss Spears—is usually just fine. Sometimes even better. Let's look at another example.

Many are suggesting that Grazia edited  Duchess Catherine's waistline—it does look a little like Barbie's on the cover, don't you think? Perhaps it's the angle, but if they did alter the photo, I can't help but wonder why. Kate's got a great waistline as it is. It's just silly. But again, a welcomed reminder that we shouldn't let photos in a magazine determine how our own bodies should look. Those very photos are, nine times out of ten, misrepresented images of the subject's reality.

You've probably seen this a million times already:

Now go, look in the mirror and see yourself—the real you—like you've never seen yourself before. And believe in it. Believe in your beauty, believe in your strength. But most of all, believe that you are perfect. Because perfection starts inside of us, and is not solely represented by our outsides. So it doesn't matter what size our pants are, if we have a zit or if we're bloated. It doesn't matter. Because, while all of that is a part of you, it certainly does not define who you are. Only YOU can define who you are.

Not the magazines. Not their editors.

Only you.

Question: Does the print industry affect the way you feel about yourself, or are you really good at removing yourself from all the suggested ways of looking? In other words, how do you keep your body image in check? And just for fun, how do you transport yourself to the tropics when you can't actually get there for reals?


Lauren said...

That is a great video! Thanks for sharing. It's so important to love our real selves first.

Those oats look fab, too! What does buckwheat taste like? I've never tried it.

TARA said...

Buckwheat has a mild, nutty flavor with an oat-like twist. If that makes sense :-) I find that it fills me up more than typical oats, which is why I've taken to adding some of it to my regular oats, if not swapping the regular oats out completely. Try it. If you like grains, you'll like it.

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