Homemade Maple Oatmeal Bread

Hello readers! I recently posted an instagram story of a peanut butter and banana sandwich on homemade bread for a snack I was eating (because lately second breakfasts are a much needed thing) and I got several requests for the recipe for the bread. So per your request, I whipped up another batch to take some pictures (and let's be honest--so that I could have it for snacks/meals again this week) and am providing the recipe here!....You're welcome.

Homemade maple oatmeal bread recipe

In high school, one of my best friend's mom made everything from scratch, including their bread. I mean, she would make their burger buns homemade. Talk about GOALS. And pretty much everyday my friend would pack a peanut butter sandwich on her mom's bread for lunch at school. One weekend I spent time with them and her mom brought me a pb sandwich and I was IN HEAVEN. The bread is dense and chewy and it goes perfectly with peanut butter and banana. And don't get me started on how great it is toasted. I don't know what it is, but it's got the perfect crunch.

I tried making the bread throughout high school, but could never get the dough to rise and I always ended up with a brick. Thankfully I no longer try to make recipes with dense whole wheat flour and sugar free pancake syrup  🙈 (it doesn't work, people). When I got married, my friend's mom was so sweet to give me a bread machine so that I could always make her bread for Isaac and I. Now, I don't actually use the bread machine for this recipe, but that's only because I don't know where the manual is for it and I have no clue which option to choose 😂

Homemade maple oatmeal bread recipe

So the good news is that you can make this bread in your regular 'ol oven! And it's super fast because you don't have to wait hours for it to rise--instead you just need 20 minutes of rising time (see the recipe instructions below)!

I can't wait to hear about how it turns out for you and what you think!

Homemade maple oatmeal bread recipe
Maple oatmeal bread recipe

"Your weight doesn't determine your health"...but sometimes it does

I think it's pretty evident that I'm a non-diet and weight neutral dietitian if you follow me along on Instagram. I tell clients all the time that ultimately, I don't care where their weight ends up. In school I was taught about BMI, ideal body weight, and acceptable weight ranges. I DO use some of these to help determine a starting point for where I want my restrictive clients to end up, but ultimately they are simply equations that don't take into account varying shapes and sizes. And unfortunately, none of them allow for larger bodies to be considered okay. Thankfully, I now know that people can be healthy in a variety of shapes and sizes and that I simply cannot know the health of someone simply by looking at them. I also know that fat, fit people are far more likely to survive heart attacks, cancer, car accidents, etc than thinner, "normal" weight people. You can absolutely be healthy in a bigger body.

"Your weight doesn't determine your health"--but sometimes it does

So no, I ultimately don't care about people's weight. I care about their behaviors. I care about their mental wellbeing. I care about what's going on in their heart.  If a client is no longer restricting, listening to and honoring hunger signals and cravings, not manipulating food or exercise to control weight, having a normal period and other health indicators, and experiencing freedom with food, I don't care that their weight may be a few pounds lower than what I estimated. I also don't care if they are experiencing the above and are a few pounds heavier than I originally expected. The weight is not the ultimate issue, the heart and mind are. 

BUT, that doesn't mean that I believe you can pursue eating disorder recovery from anorexia and not gain weight in the process to becoming mentally healthy. No, ultimately the disorder is not about the body size. But the body size absolutely impacts the mind and it's ability to heal. We know that weight loss is a major trigger for the development of an eating disorder. It doesn't matter if the weight loss was intentional through dieting or unintentional through getting the stomach bug, mono, or other illness. For those that are predisposed, the weight loss seems to "flip a switch" in their brain that then tells them they need to move more and eat less. You can have someone who previously had no body image issues get sick, lose weight, and then become terrified of gaining weight and feel the need to restrict all of their eating. The more starved a person becomes the more preoccupied they become with their weight and the more fearful and anxious they become around food and their body. We also know that the more starved an individual is, the less they are able to think cognitively because their brain simply does not have enough energy to process everything properly. So it's two-fold, the starved brain can't think clearly due to lack of energy and it is stuck in the eating disorder mental illness. 

It's interesting when we think of restricting for some sort of event. The eating disorder brain convinces a person that they need to cut back on calories or increase exercise for some sort of event coming up, such as a special dinner, work party, etc so that they can eat freely and without stress because they've created some caloric margin. That seems to make sense--reduce calories earlier in the day or for a few days so that when the event comes and you eat more energy than normal, you don't have to stress about gaining weight because you'll be back at zero instead of the plus. But we find that is not the case. We find that if a person with anorexia restricts before an event (or several days before), that they actually experience MORE stress at the event, not less. The further they are in energy deficit, the more the brain tells them they need to restrict calories. The answer to creating less stress is eating more, so that the brain is not in further energy deficit.

Event restriction doesn't decrease anxiety

Clients who are gaining weight and getting their hunger signals back tell me all the time that they are concerned about gaining weight forever because their hunger is so strong. I get it--the brain is making you think about food ALL. THE. TIME. And that's because it and your body are starved. But once the body and brain are well fed, those constant thoughts about food, intense cravings, and intense hunger pangs lessen. However, this happens once the body reaches the point at which it is no longer in starvation or restriction. And this point may be higher than what they want it to be, what is deemed their ideal body weight, or a "healthy" BMI. Reaching a BMI of over 18.5 doesn't mean that the body is now healthy and where it wants to be. In fact, most people need to be well over it in order to be fully recovered. 

So, for those of you reading who are pursuing recovery from an eating disorder, you simply canNOT gain full recovery without adequately feeding your brain and gaining weight. If you're working with a therapist and hoping that you will have an aha moment without weight restoration, I'm here to tell you that it is very unlikely. You need to first gain the weight and THEN you will be able to do the brain/emotional work that is needed. You've got to get your weight to the point where the brain re-flips that switch so that it is no longer in the eating disorder mindset. It's interesting that the more weight you gain, the less you actually care about the size of your body and the less fearful you are around food. It's no surprise that research has shown that patients who discharge from in-patient treatment at a higher BMI have a higher success rate those who do not. The key is that you HAVE to get your body and brain out of energy deprivation. 

With my clients, I'm not looking for the point at which their body is healthy, I'm looking for the point at which their mind is. There is sometimes a difference. And if we want to see true eating disorder recovery, we as healthcare providers and caretakers need to throw out our fears and preconceived ideas that a person "should" be a certain size. We need to get rid of the fears of people being fat and instead care about the fact that they are healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. I know the thought of gaining weight is terrifying for those of you stuck in your restrictive eating disorder, but the only way to truly get out is to start eating more and let your body decide where it needs to end up. 

Mental health is the goal, not just physical health

If you're struggling with restriction, bingeing, purging, or simply a stressful relationship with food, I am accepting virtual clients and would love to walk with you on your journey to eating disorder recovery.

Galentine's Day Brunch

Hello and happy Valentine's Day!!! I hope yours has been off to a good start! I know this post probably would have been more helpful had I posted it sometime last week, or even the week before, but let's be honest; I'm the WORST at thinking ahead for holidays and special occasions. I'm seriously the person who buys shower gifts the day before and then buys the bags or wrapping paper the morning of. Christmas cards? Puhlease. I'm never going to think about doing them in time to send them out before Christmas. Please tell me I'm not the only one???


Galentine's Day Brunch Ideas

BUT, this idea isn't too late, because it's Wednesday and it's totally acceptable to throw a Galentine's Day brunch the weekend after Valentine's Day. Hopefully your gal friends are flexible and able to make plans a few days before.  😳 I was trying to think of what Valentine's Day themed recipe or post I could do and as I was thinking through it, I realized that there is probably a large majority of you who aren't in a relationship. Or maybe just got out of one and the day is really painful. Or maybe one of you is longing for a lifelong companion and has yet to find that person. So instead, I decided to focus this on celebrating with girlfriends. And let's be honest, hanging out with my girlfriends, eating good food, and watching chick flicks is more fun than hanging out with my husband sometimes. 😉

So for all you ladies out there--married, single, dating, "it's complicated", or recently single, this is for you!! I present to you Hearty Orange Raspberry heart waffles and Chocolate Covered Cherry smoothies. I wanted to do a strawberry mint mojito-like drink, but didn't get around to it. I totally think you should make slushy-like drinks with frozen strawberries, champagne (or moscato), fresh mint, and a squeeze of lime juice. Holy moly that would be refreshing. 

Spelt orange and raspberry waffles for your galentine's day brunch

So these waffles are super hearty, dense, and crispy. I don't like my cookies or my pancakes being crispy, but it's a must for waffles. And these also have a slight hint of orange that makes them refreshing. The trick to getting them to look like a heart is pouring a V into the middle of the waffle iron and giving is a reeeeally deep plunging V-neck. It's okay for your waffles to be indecent--we're going to looks, not decency. 

Galentine's day brunch--spelt waffles with orange zest and raspberries

For the chocolate covered cherry smoothies, you actually need to start them the night before (or a few hours before). They have soaked oats in them that give them a nice flavor AND make them super thick. I think adding a tablespoon of almond butter would also be a good addition, but you do whatever your heart desires. The day of the party, just throw the ingredients in your blender and then stick in the fridge. Because of the oats and chia seeds, the smoothies hold up really well in the fridge. In fact, mine held up for several days. 

For the movies, I'm giving you a list of several of my favorite chick flicks. You're probably going to judge me for my choices.Please check out this trailer for Pride and Prejudice. The movie is absolutely ridiculous, but I think it's hilarious and super sweet 😍. I know Baby Mama isn't a romantic movie, but it's so funny and great for a girl party. Oooh, and I just thought of She's the Man. Add that to the list FOR SURE!

Chick flick ideas for you Galentine's brunch
Galentine's brunch ideas--spelt waffles and chocolate cherry smoothies

So there you have it! A delish waffle recipe, decadent smoothie, and stellar movie playlist. I'd love to hear if you end up having a Galentine's Day and what you did for it!!

Hearty orange raspberry spelt flour waffle recipe--vegan if using coconut oil and plant-based milk
Chocolate covered cherry smoothie