The Oatmeal Order (Pushing Fifty Series)
So we who had been at the top of our class, or the youngest and most active among our colleagues have suddenly realized we are now neither on top of our game nor keeping our heads sufficiently above water with regards to life and our physical well being. Physical examinations now take longer than before, and there are more abbreviations used to describe what the physician needs to examine: GI; MRI; and the dreaded DRE. Although our height slowly begins to diminish, our scales cry out under our increasing weight. And we think to ourselves about hypertension, blood sugar levels, cancer and cholesterol.
One of the simplest ways to slow down the aging process (aka the rate of approaching death) is to lose weight. This requires discipline, as we need to exercise, eat right, drink plenty of water and sleep enough. In my sojourn to successful weight loss, I have disciplined myself in a few areas:
• I drink mainly water;
• I use a teaspoon of dressing with my salads;
• I joined a gym.
Another of my daily disciplines has been to begin my day with oatmeal. So, for the past five months, I have been eating instant oatmeal, almost every morning. Instant oatmeal is incredible! It is so sweet and tasty. I have enjoyed maple and brown sugar, cinnamon and apple and even cranberry enhanced. It has been a little glimpse of glory at the start of each new day.
Yet, I recently realized a great deception: instant oatmeal takes less time, but it has less fiber and more sodium (12% of my daily recommended allowance). While real oatmeal takes 50-75% longer to make, it has 3% more fiber and 0% sodium. So, I decided to make a switch.
On the day that I switched, I stumbled into my kitchen in the early hours of a cold January morning and reached for my oatmeal. Instead of snatching the rectangular box of “instant,” I took hold of the cylindrical “real” oatmeal. My burning and blurry eyes read, “Old Fashioned,” on the label. I scanned the container for directions and saw that I had a choice between stove top or microwave. It was a no-brainer, as I wanted my oatmeal, and I wanted it NOW! As well, the stove top instructions were three lines of details and, since I couldn’t find my reading glasses (I never remember where I’ve put those things), I could only read the two lines of the microwave instructions. I measured ½ cup of oats and poured in a cup of water. I placed the bowl into the microwave and set it for 2½ minutes! This was a full 1.5 minutes longer than usual. What could I do with this extra time?
I decided to start making cappuccino. I put beans in my grinder, poured cold water into my maker and switched it on. I finished grinding, and filled my filter with the powdery pleasure particles. I began to froth up a foamy frenzy when I heard the microwave chime. Wonderful! I knew that I would need to add a pinch of sugar on this my first day, but with time I would be able to take my oatmeal like a man.
I opened the microwave door and yuck! The oatmeal had tripled in size and half of it had spilled over in the oven! My heart rate increased and realized that I was now, fully awake, even though I had yet to extract the essential essence from my espresso.
I quickly cleaned the mess and ate the rest. It was great, and I knew that I had successfully embarked on a new rite of passage for my life. I am now a member of the unofficial organization of the oatmeal order.
Now I’m ready to take a walk in the mall, and then I’ll take a nap!