For the past couple of weeks, I have been on a quest to discover all I can about the importance of diet since I was diagnosed with high blood pressure.
I want to be as healthy as I can be, which means that I don’t want to consume the very things that will aggravate the problem. I have already kicked my severe caffeine addiction. (I knew that salt was a major culprit for someone with high blood pressure but a study was just released last week that showed sugar is a big contributor as well) .
I have a major sweet tooth but my goal is to cut out as much white sugar as I can. Not that I won’t enjoy a treat now and then, but it has been banished from my daily diet.
While perusing Books A Million over the weekend, I found a book about eating “clean.” It appealed to me because it is not a diet (which never works anyway) but more of a lifestyle of choosing foods that nourish rather than deplete the body.
I decided to start slow. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I chose an oatmeal recipe that the author eats every morning. I would need a few items that for some reason, I didn’t have in my kitchen cabinets: ground flaxseed, wheat germ, and bee pollen. Clearly, a trip to the health food store was in order.
Armed with my list and ever-hopeful, I entered the store. Since the owner was busy assisting other customers, I decided to find the items myself.
Who knew there were several kinds of flaxseed, wheat germ, and bee pollen?! Whole, ground, toasted, raw, powder, capsules…I was getting a headache.
Fortunately, the owner was very helpful. I told her about my breakfast plan and she helped me find what I needed. As I was paying, I asked her about the bee pollen. I hadn’t gotten far enough into the book to find out why I needed it.
She hauled a book the size of the Yellow Pages onto the counter and proceeded to read the wondrous benefits of bee pollen…not the least of which was that it lowers blood pressure and increases energy. That sounded wonderful to me, as I have been so tired the past couple of weeks.
I was really excited to whip up my new breakfast this morning. Deep in the recesses of my mind, I vaguely remembered the lady at the health food store ominously using the words “strong” and “unpleasant” with regard to flaxseed, but I forced such thoughts from my mind. This was certain to be delicious!
After making the oatmeal, I dutifully added 2 tablespoons each of my flaxseed, bee pollen, and wheat germ. It looked…interesting.
Fresh blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries were added and I must say, it looked lovely, delicious and hearty.
And so healthy!
I eagerly took my first bite.
That’s when it all went horribly wrong.
Why did this taste like sawdust and glue???
A closer look at my book revealed that if you would like to sweeten the mixture, you were free to add the following: vanilla extract, or cinnamon.
I added both.
In a desperate attempt to make this concoction even remotely edible, I added some agave nectar. (That wasn’t in the recipe so I was breaking the rules).
Now it just tasted like sweet sawdust and glue.
I had no idea what to do. I had spent a small fortune at the health food store and there was no way that I was going to give up and throw it away.
I added more fruit. Nope.
Then, in a moment of pure insanity, I dumped a whole bunch of Splenda over the entire thing.
(A quick check of the recipe confirmed that no, artificial sweetener was definitely not approved).
However, that was the only way I was able to finish my breakfast.
“How in the world am I going to eat this every morning?” I asked myself as I put the bowl in the dishwasher.
But then…as if by some wondrous miracle…the energy kicked in! I could not believe it. I sailed through the morning and early afternoon clear-eyed and energetic, never even feeling the slightest bit tired. I felt better than I had in days! Weeks! Months! Having this kind of energy was certainly worth the effort of enduring a little bowl of oatmeal!
That means only one thing: tomorrow the oatmeal dish and I will meet at the breakfast table again.
This time, I am going to try it again without the Splenda.
Maybe I’ll just pretend I am eating a big bowl of chocolate ice cream.
Mind over matter, right? 🙂