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Passive Activism: Breakfasting Fresh

May 23, 2012

Beginning my experiment required a little planning.  Clearly, the “fresh” food in the original image was not intended to simply replace the fast food.  That’s a completely different blog post.  Instead, it seemed to me that the food was intended to be used over the course of several days.  By my calculations, I could make it about five days on the food, seven if I stretched breakfast a little.  I settled on five because I wanted to reserve some ingredients for the fast food replacement post and had previously made some plans which would have made it difficult to stick to the experiment.  I’ll come back around to that choice at the end.

I also established some ground rules for myself.  Though I was originally planning to stick solely to the items on the list, I quickly decided that I would probably not survive the whole time without a little salt and sugar.  I tried to limit myself to no more than a teaspoon of salt for each of the dinner/lunch dishes and no more than a tablespoon of sugar for each of the breakfast dishes.  These amounts are completely arbitrary, and were mostly chosen because they’re approximately how much salt/sugar you could get from a couple of packets scrounged up from the local fast food joint.  Other than that, I ate and drank only what was available to me for free.  I drank coffee at the office, water from the faucet, and when a generous coworker brought in donuts, I had one.  Anything else I wanted to eat had to come from the food I’d purchased on Sunday. [1]

Out of the group of actual items I purchased, I designated the oats, the pears, and the yogurt as my “breakfast” items.  In a non-dairy allergy world, you could probably also add the milk into this category.  For breakfast each morning [2], I diced half a pear into a bowl, added 1/2 cup of oats, 1 cup of water, a teaspoon of white sugar and heated the whole thing in the microwave for 2 minutes.  I was planning to eat the yogurt separately, but despite the inclusion of the diced pear, the bowl of oats was so bland that I found it much more palatable  to just dump in my yogurt.  The addition of the yogurt gave the whole thing a much creamier texture and some much needed flavor.

I also attempted to have this meal for lunch on Monday, since I came home so late from shopping on Sunday night that I was simply too tired to wrangle up something for lunch.  I misjudged the size of the bowl I needed and wound up with oatmeal all over the microwave.  At work.  Just before the lunch hour.  Cleaning that up was a blast, lemme tell ya.  Fortunately, it was just the oats and the water, so I was able to have half a pear and a 4 oz cup of yogurt for lunch.  And water.  Lots of water.

Turning this from a single person’s meal into an easy family meal is fairly simple.  One again, it requires some planning.  The amount of food purchased could make for two days of fairly hearty breakfasts for a family of four, or three days of smaller breakfasts.  For the purposes of this recipe, we’re going to assume two days of breakfasts.


1 cup diced fruit (pears, for instance)
2 cups oats
4 cups water
Sugar as available [3]

Add the fruit, then oats, then oatmeal to the pot.  Cook on low over night.  Stir and serve up in the morning with a half cup of yogurt.  Makes about four servings.

My version of breakfast assumes the availability of a microwave/crock pot, dishes, measuring cup, cutting board, knife, and at its most basic, electricity.  After five days of this breakfast, I was ready to go back to my much simpler breakfast of cereal and soy milk.  Though I could multi-task by prepping my lunch/dinner while the oatmeal heated up, I felt like I wasted a bit of my morning waiting for the oatmeal to get cool enough to eat.  It was certainly not a quick meal, and since I’m typically not fond of scraping dried oatmeal out of my dishes, I felt compelled to at least rinse the bowl each morning before I left for work.

And yes, I did all of this without the benefit of my morning cup of coffee.  There’s a reason I only do these things when Moose is out of town.

[1]  I did keep taking my medications, because I am crazy, not stupid.  My regular vitamin supplements were probably a major factor in keeping me healthy on this diet.
[2] I decided to skip the pear on Thursday morning and ate it as a “dessert” on Thursday night.
[3] Just one single tablespoon of brown sugar would have vastly improved this recipe.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 23, 2012 10:23 am

    Man, me and my kids LOVE oatmeal. All we require is some sugar and cinnamon in it. Occasionally I’ll toss dried fruit into mine if I have some.

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