Reflection. Choices. Decisions. Oatmeal.

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Big weekend for me. My 25-year year college reunion. A better weekend than I expected surrounded by my fellow Polar Bears, and it left me full of gratitude.

I thought about the four years I spent there, and the fact that I am who I am now in a large part because of my time there. How I think. How I express myself. How I protect myself. I’ve been thinking a lot about that. How much my parents sacrificed so that I could have such a great opportunity. Blah blah blah.

I read a great quote today from Muhammed Ali that I reflect on differently as a result of the weekend. “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years.” I am grateful that I haven’t wasted 27 years but I feel like I have a lot more to do in the next three. I think I need to make better decisions and choices for the next three years if I expect to hit the half-century mark with the most satisfaction possible.

The weekend was a little bit of a blowout. I made some bad food and beverage choices, but that was to be expected. When it was easy to make choices, I made good ones.

So now that I am home and in the last days before my third half marathon, I find myself thinking about my dietary choices.

What healthy dinner could I have, knowing that the ingredients I have in the fridge that I need to use are blackberries, raspberries, and goat cheese? And also knowing that I was craving oatmeal?

I know my tastes and I know how to cook, but I sometimes just don’t trust myself enough to experiment blindly. But after seeing that goat cheese and oatmeal can go together, I went for it. And it was Oatmeal Heaven.

So it went like this:

I mixed 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats and a cup of regular unsweetened almond milk. Boiled it, simmered it, stirred it, through in a splash of vanilla extract, and when it was thick enough for me, I took it off the burner.

Then I stirred in I stirred in .8 oz of goat cheese, 1T of honey, 100g of blackberries, 3 oz. of raspberries, and 10g of pistachios. I topped it with another .2 oz of goat cheese and gobbled it down. Per MyFitnessPal, it has 462 calories, which is why I tossed in the pistachios at the end.

A great blend of tastes, ingredients on the way out, my need for oatmeal, and my desire to choose wisely. A big glass of water (my hydration strategy this week is lots of water, little beer and wine), and I am sitting here, very happy.

Once again I’m glad I took a cooking “risk.” It’s a nice reminder that I need to take chances, not just in the kitchen. It’s a nice reminder to find the big lessons in the little spaces. And it’s a nice reminder that I also get to choose happiness.

So should you.

Update: I had the wheat berry salad the next night too; it was that good.

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