life: super powers not included

Breakfast Dilemma: I Need Your Help

Oatmeal with applephoto by avelino maestas
Yes, I know oatmeal is good for your heart, yada yada yada.

Somewhere between my first and third bites of oatmeal this morning, I realized a profound truth in my life: I’m sick of it. Not life—oatmeal. I’ve been eating the same breakfast at my desk since February 2008.

I’d never been an oatmeal girl before. Then I tried Quaker Simple Harvest, packets of instant oats with add-ins like pecans and flaxseeds.

I soon graduated to plain oats that I mixed with my own flaxseeds and a topping of the week, like brown sugar, cinnamon, apples, honey, apple butter, or berries. At first, I so loved my new breakfast food that I ate it on weekends, too. It took about a year for that novelty to wear off. After that, I stuck with a strict workday-to-weekend ratio: 5 bowls of oatmeal per week and 2 freebie breakfasts of eggs, cold cereal, pancakes, whatever.

But recently, after days of eating fewer and fewer bites of my morning oats, I realized I’m bored. And, to be honest, the idea of oatmeal kind of makes my stomach turn. Two years of the same food is a long time, people. A really long time. Even I, a creature of habit, will admit that.

Here’s my dilemma. I’m stumped on a replacement. Sure, I can sub in a couple slices of toast with peanut butter. But I don’t see longevity there. And there are a few rules and regs:

  1. I must be able to make it the night before. There will be no last-minute breakfast making for me in the morning. It’s hard enough as it is to roll out of bed in the morning. I can’t spare an extra five minutes to whip up a meal. Crazy? Possibly. True? Absolutely.
  2. The only at-work prep I can do is microwave, toast, or use a toaster over. Ovens are out. Using crazy tools is out. In fact, I have to be able to spoon or slice the breakfast with the infuriatingly fragile eco-friendly silverware my work provides. (In case you were wondering, it disintegrates with heat or excessive force, like that used to cut through lettuce.)
  3. This goes without saying, but it has to taste good and keep me full until lunch.

So, you’ve probably already guessed, but I’d like your help. Got any great breakfast ideas that will save me from oatmeal? If you eat at your desk like me, what do you make?

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22 comments

1 Joy Manning { 01.13.10 at 7:42 pm }

Bulgur and quinoa both make a good bowl of breakfast, similar too but also different than oatmeal, that can be made the night before and microwaved at work.

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2 Ameena { 01.13.10 at 7:50 pm }

I am so with you…I can’t eat anything with wheat so I have been eating oatmeal for about a million years. I need a change!!

I have heard that quinoa makes a good breakfast but I haven’t quite figured out how to make that happen just yet!

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3 girlxoxo { 01.13.10 at 10:11 pm }

Waffles topped with yogurt & fruit (waffles in the toaster oven); cereal & milk (buy the UHT kind – shelf stable); for a carb heavy breakfast, drink a protein shake with it to keep you fuller longer; fruit bowl (though this is not very filling)

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4 Brittany { 01.13.10 at 10:17 pm }

I know this is similar to to regular oatmeal, but overnight oats or oat groats would be something different to try out. The texture and temperature would be different, its something you can prep at night, and the toppings/mix-ins are endless. Actually, I just did a post about it- you should check it out

I also like toast smeared with pb and topped with banana slices. OR greek yogurt with granola and fruit!

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Tracey Reply:

Joy: I’ve never tried bulgur or quinoa for breakfast. I like them with dinner, so I’ll have to try. Thanks!

Ameena: It sounds like there are some awesome ideas coming in!

Girlxoxo: You know, I’ll eat waffles at home, but I totally forgot about those as an option at work. And a shake is a good idea. Thanks for the reminders.

Brittany: I’ll definitely check out your post on oat groats. I’ve never tried them, so I’ll have to give ‘em a go. Thanks for the great ideas.

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5 FoodFitnessFreshair { 01.13.10 at 11:55 pm }

Hm…I still love oatmeal because there’s a lot you can do with it, but I agree that food definitely can’t become routine to stay yummy. I like to sometimes use leftover grains like millet and add raisins, soy milk, maple syrup and maybe a little cinnamon. I’ve recently been getting into raw granola…and bananas and PB are always a favorite.

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6 charlotte { 01.14.10 at 12:14 am }

I make a huuuuge batch of protein pancakes (although texture-wise they are closer to crepes) and freeze them. I just pop a couple in the toaster in the a.m. You can top them with something sweet like low-sugar jam & berries or roll them up with scrambled eggs and spinach. (Or whatever). I’ve also had good luck making a big batch of frittatas in muffin cups and keeping them in the fridge and then microwaving them on demand. Don’t forget hard boiled eggs!

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7 eatmovelove { 01.14.10 at 12:37 am }

Oh my – I really love your posts!! They are too much! Well written. Hmm, well I’m a huge fan of bread with nut butters and jam (strawberry) haha !…you can have bread, bagels, english muffins, tortillas, wraps, pitas…you get the idea ;) …there’s always omelettes with veggies, side of toast, turkey bacon maybe? And, I’m a sucker for just good ole-fashioned cereal with cold milk ;) – Puffins, Kashi Go Lean, Granola with clusters/pumpkin seeds/hemp and dried fruit is delicious :)

I really like the layout of your blog too. I’ve been thinking of changing mine up , but nothing is ever ‘good enough’ . oye. Lots to explore here though!

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Tracey Reply:

FoodFitnessFreshair: I agree, can’t go wrong with peanut butter and bananas.

Charlotte: The toasted pancakes sound really great. Such a smart idea!

Eatmovelove: Thanks for all the kind words. Maybe I’ll switch up my normal peanut butter toast by using some other nut butter.

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8 Tweets that mention Breakfast Dilemma: I Need Your Help — i'm (not) superhuman -- Topsy.com { 01.14.10 at 9:07 am }

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tracey Neithercott, katya. katya said: Breakfast Dilemma: I Need Your Help — i'm (not) superhuman: But recently, after days of eating fewer and fe.. http://bit.ly/70luQE [...]

9 Jess (Fit Chick in the City) { 01.14.10 at 10:33 am }

I’m really of no help. I’ve been eating oatmeal variations for years. My idea of mixing it up is changing the contents in my oats. Weekends I may go crazy and make a pumpkin pancake or something but that’s about it.

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Tracey Reply:

Jess, glad I’m not the only one stuck in a rut. But, hey, if it works for you and you’re not sick to the stomach of oatmeal, why mess with a good thing? Thanks for stopping by!

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10 Vicki { 01.14.10 at 11:29 am }

If you like cottage cheese… The night before, mix cottage cheese, chopped apple, chopped dates, chopped walnuts, oatmeal/wheat bran, add in some yogurt if it seems dry, sprinkle with cinnamon. Give it a good stir in the morning and you’re good to go.
Cottage cheese, chopped banana, peanut butter, chopped apple, oatmeal/wheat bran, splash of yogurt. Mix. Eat. Enjoy.

http://ottawa.cx

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Tracey Reply:

Vicki, I never in a million years would have concocted that creation, but it sounds really good. I like cottage cheese and it seems simple enough to do, so that’s going down as a definitely. Thanks for visiting!

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11 Lindsey { 01.14.10 at 2:46 pm }

Trace! I love steel cut oats-my morning personal fav. I do however get a bit sick of it and head for Kashi Go Lean crunch. There are a ton of fiber-full cereals out there.
Love this blog! I could comment on everything!

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Tracey Reply:

I do love my Kashi. Maybe I’ll tote some milk to work tomorrow. I love your comments, so that’s good!

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12 Corinne @ Green Grapes Blog { 01.14.10 at 5:13 pm }

I hear ya! After awhile, a change is always needed! I adore sweet potatoes for breakfast. I’ll either bake a big batch, cut up with olive oil and sea salt, refrigerate, and then nuke in the morning or just microwave a whole one plain for a few minutes and throw on a dash of salt. But, I’m also totally into the Kashi Vive cereal lately–good stuff!!!!

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Tracey Reply:

Corinne, I love sweet potatoes, but I’ve never thought of them as a breakfast food. I think everyone’s teaching me to expand my mind!

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13 Melanie | Dietriffic { 01.14.10 at 6:07 pm }

Hey Tracey,
What about bringing a small bag of wholenuts to munch on with a fresh fruit smoothie made the night before?

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Tracey Reply:

Melanie, great idea. I usually snack on nuts around lunchtime, but I think that’d make smoothies a little more interesting. For some reason, my meals need a crunch. Or, I at least need to chew something. Thanks for stopping by!

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14 Wren { 01.18.10 at 7:53 pm }

Just about any grain can be cooked ahead, then microwaved and eaten with whatever you like mixed into it. I love steelcut oats (I haven’t gotten bored with them yet). I recently mixed a couple of spoonfuls of cottage cheese and applesauce in with the oats, along with some cinnamon and a scant teaspoon of brown sugar. The result was a lot tastier than it sounds. I’ve also eaten quinoa, bulgur wheat and barley for breakfast. They’re all tasty, warm up the tum and stick for a while.

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Tracey Reply:

Wren: I love those oatmeal mix-in ideas. I’ll have to remember them when I get over my oatmeal boredom.

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