Presently in the Present

Congratulations to Lori, Ellie and Holly for guessing what was a-brewin’ in here!:


You get nothing, except for my deep admiration and respect. And bragging rights in the comments, if you feel so inclined :P

They all guessed steel cut oats! 

I’ve done pre-made frozen steel cut oats before, but I’ve never made them from home. When my old roommie gave me this beast of a crockpot, I knew that’s what it was destined for.

Before going to bed last night, I mixed one cup steel cut oats with 4 cups water and half cup unflavoured soy protein powder.


The water is a funny colour from the protein powder. I hate the texture of it when I mix it into cooked oats, so I always dissolve it in the water first.

I set it on low, said a little prayer, then went to bed.

I woke up at 6am to the smell of hot carbs. I was a little scared taking the lid off. When I did, I found this:

Ummm… baked steel cut oats?? A quick Google search and I found out my slow cooker may be too big for little batches, and that’s why it got crusty. Duly noted.

I was still able to mix up the stuff in the middle and get a hefty bowl’s worth.


It’s about 1 1/2 cups of the cooked oats, with pumpkin pie spice (out of cinnamon!!!), honey and almond milk stirred in. Then topped with dates, coconut and cashew butter.


Despite the crusty mishap, this was delicious!! I love the texture of steel cut oats. So wonderfully chewy :) In terms of nutrition, one serving of steel cut is nearly identical to that of rolled oats. Steel cut is a touch less processed though.

I ended up throwing the rest out.


Thankfully, I sprayed the sides first, so it was easy getting out. Next time, I’ll make a lot more ;)

Despite my lovely breakfast, I was still feeling very blue today. It was raining buckets, and I’ve just been feeling very down these past few days. I won’t go into detail, but my life right now feels very unbalanced (ironic, I know!).  I just feel like I’m missing out on the things and people I love. I’ve been internally struggling if it’s all really worth it…

I skipped my morning workout today, because I could feel my body (and mind!) really needed it. I plowed through a loooong day. Including working my second job after my real one. I even copped out on dinner.


A sandwich. It was this or cereal. I thought a fried egg sandwich was at least a little more legit.


Two fried eggs, tomato, lettuce and laughing cow cheese. I felt like a college student all over again.

Even though I was exhausted, and my body felt like it was protesting every move I made, I dragged myself to yoga.

Best idea ever.

You know when people talk about runner’s high? Well, I think I got my yoga high. It’s as if all the stars aligned to give the just the class I needed.

We were a small class tonight, with a passionate instructor. She pushed us juuuuust enough. For the first time ever while doing yoga, I was able to really just let go and feel it. I’m the type of person who’s always looking at the instructor, or in the mirror, worrying if I’m doing it right. But tonight I just let my body go. It was wonderful.

It reminded me to live in the present. Part of my blues recently, have been spurred by my future plans. I’m not happy where I am now, so I keep thinking about what I can do to ensure I’m happy in the future. This is silly. I need to do what makes me happy now. Sure, I may not be in the place I want to be. But I should try to make it the best I can until my circumstances are able to change.

I also think I’m burning out. I’m taking my first vacation since March this weekend. Couldn’t come at a better time!!!

So I urge you all to do something today that makes you enjoy the moment you’re living in. And tell me about it!!

And because I’m extra curious: what’s your favourite kind of oatmeal? Unless you, ahem, hate oatmeal. Then just tell me why ;)

See you for Waffle Wednesday!!!

Posted on September 29, 2009, in Health, Lessons Learned, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Yay for the steel cut oats! Have you tried Alton Browns recipe for slow cooker oats? T’is good. Yours looked awesome!

    Sorry that you are feeling unbalanced. I think that finding joy in small things really goes a long way towards keeping your outlook up. Sometimes the big picture can get depressing at times. Over the years we have gone through tough things, but there is always some small nugget of joy to be found, even if it is going outside and breathing fresh air, or watching little kids play, or even just rearranging furniture! Time goes by very fast, and circumstances can change in an instant.

    I think if you view where you are now as a learning tool to find out what you do and don’t want to be in your life – you will best serve yourself. :)

    I don’t know if I can even decide on a favorite oatmeal. I love the banana/chocolate/pb combo, then again there are the pumpkin ones.
    I think one of my favorite bowls was banana oats topped with toasted coconut and hazelnut butter.

    I do have a crazy oatmeal idea that I am going to try later this week. :D

    • Yes, Lori, that’s exactly what I was talking about. I think right now, it’s really important for me to find those little things in every day that make me happy. And cherishing those moments to get through each day. Well put!! :)

  2. I like oatmeal cookies. Does that count? :)

    I love yoga on bad days too. And believe me, I understand the not happy where you are now/feeling blue thing. Being unemployed has really forced me to deal with my depression in ways I’ve never had to before. As my mom says, “one day at a time, one foot in front of the other.” It really works when things get bleak.

    You deserve a vacation! Enjoy yourself. I’m working on my guest post so no need to worry about that!

  3. Sus, reading your blogposts reminds me to live in the moment. It’s offered me a little bit of time everyday where I get to peer into, be motivated by, and learn from the life of a person I love – you!

    As far as oatmeal goes, I currently am loving adding teff and pear to my oats. Though this morning’s addition of sweet strawberries and lots of milk was a lovely change from my usual :)

  4. good for you for trying the steel cut oats! i am a fan of plain old quaker!

  5. ah sorry about the bummed out blues. i thought of this natalie dee:

    but i am glad you got a yoga high and a little spurt of positivity! you are right about making yourself happy now, despite the current job and whatnot. some advice i can take to heart, so thank you.

    love that you turned the oat fail into an epic bowl of deliciousness! and dude, that sandwich is banging, i don’t know what you mean about a cop out. looks lovely.

    my favorite oats are probably overnight, ironically i NEVER make them.. but i love the consistency that comes from the overnight soak. too bad it is waffle wed tomorrow or i would totes put some in the fridge now! but i have never tried steel cut, i hear they are real good!

    xo to you!

  6. aw, sorry to hear you are feeling out of sorts. sometimes life and hormones just take over and it can be hard to get out of a funk but i’m sure your vacation will do wonders!!!! it cant help that its raining buckets either!!!!! that would be enough for me :)

    this weekend will be here before you know it!

  7. I think the crust part looks amazing! If you line it with parchment, add in an egg and a sliced banana, you might end up with something like Kath’s baked oatmeal. I’ve never made it in a crockpot, but it’s a great recipe.

    I’m sorry you are feeling so off-kilter right now. I’m kind of in the same place- feeling like I am missing out/not sure where I am headed. Keep your 5 year plan in your mind- maybe write it out and stick it to the wall and add to it/look at it as a reminder of where you want to be going?.. Glad you enjoyed yoga :D

  8. So… two days in and missing you alot this week. Can’t wait for Friday <3

  9. I’ve never tried steel cut oats before. I’m not sure if they sell them here or not. I’ll have to look.

    Believe it or not, I have a crock pot bigger than that baby!!

    I hope you find your way back to being balanced soon.

  10. I’m sorry your feeling down. I think its pretty normal to feel really great and really not so great about our lives at various points. I’m in the last year of a 6 yr PhD and you’d think I’d be over the moon but really the last stretch is the worst and I’m super unmotivated and down in the dumps and wondering if I even want this degree and what it is going to do for me – so I understand!

    As for oatmeal, I know this sounds gross but I put shredded zucchini, banana and cinnamon – its like eating raw muffin batter!

    Chin up!

  11. i kinda crave oatmeal cookies. never really cooked steel cut oats the correct way. i dig rolled oats in the micro. ORRRR QUAKERT OAT SQUARESSSSSS

  12. I hate that you are feeling out of balance. I go through those phases myself. I’m glad your yoga class perked you up some! Hopefully your upcoming vacation will be a big help too!

    My favorite oatmeal is McCann’s Irish Oatmeal with a spoonful of pumpkin butter stirred in and topped with homemade cranberry sauce. I use a very low sugar recipe so it’s kind of tart. I might get some cranberries this weekend so I can make that recipe again! :)

  13. oh miss susan…i’ve been in exactly the spot you are. it’s not a good feeling, but like my mom always says: if you don’t like where you are, change it! it reminds me that we are in charge of our lives and that we can be happy now and in the future. lots of love and hugs to you, and woowoo for vacationnnnnn!

    yeah on the oatmeal – it looked divine even if it did not quite turn out right. try it again, and give me some tips – i would LOVE to make some. fave oatmeal? hmmm…i think a simple banana, cinnamon + PB/AB combo cannot be beat!

  14. Lordy that sandwich looks AMAZING.

  15. I’ve never thought to cook oats in the crock pot before! I have a huge crock pot too though… guess I’d have to make a mega batch :)

    Thank you! for the reminder to live in the moment – I’ve also been worrying a lot about the future, instead of enjoying today. I hope you feel balanced soon.

  16. Call me crazy but the crust kind of looks good to me! OUT OF CINNAMON?!?! That is so sad :(

    Sorry you’re feeling down and out these days. Hopefully the roller coaster of life will pick up soon. I know what you mean about being unbalanced – it’s not fun! I was there a lot this summer. My friends had so much going on to further their lives I was wondering what the hell I was doing!? Glad you had a yoga high though!! I’m trying to tell Detroit to warm up for you but it’s not having it!

  17. I’ve been in a workout rut for the past 2 years, meaning, ahem, I haven’t been doing it nearly enough. I go through spurts of working out regularly and then a few weeks or a month of hardly working out at all.

    Today I got out of bed at 4:30am to workout before work like I used to do every day. Feels awesome!!!!

    I love banana cinnamon almond butter oats the best. Funny thing is I only like bananas in oats or in protein shakes. Otherwise, I can’t stand them. Must be a texture thing more than flavor.

    Enjoy your time off this weekend!

  18. I think my favorite kind of oatmeal is with cinnamon, honey, almond slivers, almond milk and almond butter!! Plus some raisins and a mushed up banana. It’s such a big bowl of comfort!
    Sorry about the blues – I get those for the exact same reason – it’s hard to focus on the now when you just want to imagine how you can make the future better.
    Yoga can be such a total rejuvenation if you have a good session. Yay for that!

  19. I’m sorry to hear you are feeling unbalanced but know you are not alone. I just said yesterday to my husband that between my personal/family life and my professional life I feel like I have “all the balls up in the air” and I’m just standing here waiting for them to come crashing down. I’m literally spinning my wheels and going nowhere. Damn automotive industry…

    All in all, it’s leaving me feeling VERY off kilter as well. But…a little birdie told me that a good feed of italian food makes thing alot better. ;)

  20. made overnight pumpkin oats with kashi cinnamon harvest cereal the other morning- it was like i died and went to heaven. really.
    the bowl never ended either! so darn good.

    regular oats with banana, honey, cinnamon and wheat germ are actually probably my favorite though. the wheat germ gives a surprisingly wonderful texture.

    and susan my dear- so glad you got a yoga high!
    ive got my yoga high down pat- now i need to convince myself that a runners high is even possible. eeek. :/

  21. April (Foods of April)

    Those oats actually look really good crusty! Kind of like an oatmeal crisp or something?? ;)

    My favorite oats are pumpkin.. yes susan PUMPKIN! In it’s squishyness and all :D

  22. I think I would totally like the crust! Ha Ha! I don’t know what my fave oats are–I ‘m just starting to experiment with them again. So many delicious options! Loving the overnight oats with peaches and almond butter though! xoxo

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