Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oatmeal blues

I have a like/hate relationship with oatmeal. It is one of those foods that nutritionists, health magazines, food writers, and bloggers always recommend as a healthy and filling breakfast. According to them, it will fill you up and get you set for the day - you will have energy and not need to eat again until lunch. So, several years ago, after years of only eating oatmeal in cookies or when camping, and then only the instant packets, I set out to reintroduce oatmeal into my life. I tried rolled oats and couldn't stand them, not even when doctored with sugar and spices. Then I discovered steel cut oats (also sold as Irish oats) which are much chewier and heartier. I figured out a recipe that made them taste good without being too sweet or too bland. (And I have tried many, many variations.) Apart from taking a long time to cook (which can be reduced by soaking them overnight) they seemed to be a good breakfast alternative. 

And then I ran into a problem - in direct contradiction of everything the bloggers, food writers and nutrion people said, if I ate oatmeal for breakfast, I would inevitably have a drastic drop in blood sugar about an hour after eating. And when I say my blood sugar drops, I mean I get the shakes, I can hardly do anything and have to eat something else immediately. At first I thought it was because I sometimes ate oatmeal with grapefruit. But even without the grapefruit involved, I still had the problem. Then I tried adding peanut butter, to provide some more protein, and that helped some of the time. But lately, even that hasn't been enough. If I have oatmeal for breakfast, I spend the rest of the day regretting it; I am tired, low energy and can't seem to get my blood sugar back to normal. 

This is kind of a bummer, because I actually do like oatmeal once in a while, but I am on the verge of giving it up as a lost cause. 

Does anyone else have this problem?