We have a Blue Zone region in the United States! In Loma Linda, people live about 10 years longer than the rest of the us in our country. According to them, the long healthy lives they have absolutely attribute to their vegetarianism and abstinence from alcohol and cigarettes.
Their plate for a meal generally looks like this: one third of it is vegetables, another one third is fruits, and the last half constitutes of legumes, grains and meats. In fact, grains only constitute one tenth of their diet, and it is mostly whole grains such as oats. There it is! No wonder why they live so much longer and are with no heart diseases! Oats being one of the healthiest grains in the world, is a great soluble fiber source and has more protein than other grains. The insoluble fiber in oats can reduce the “bad” cholesterol in your blood and further reduce your risk of having heart diseases. If you are looking at weight loss, be a friend with oats! If you want a healthier heart, be a friend with oats!
One more tip that people in Loma Linda gives is to drink plenty of water! It is confident to say that water is one the most precious things the nature has to offer. Studies show that people who drink 5 or 6 daily glasses of water have 60% less of the risk of a fatal heart attack, comparing to those who drink considerably less. So, try to always take a bottle of water with you, especially if you live in Texas as we do--you never want to be dehydrated!
“Who said oatmeal has to be sweet? This savory recipe lends itself well to customization, so you can adapt it to suit your palate and vary it when you want something new.” – Matt Frazier and Stepfanie Romine, No Meat Athlete Cookbook
Yield: 2 servings
1 cup (95 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 carrot or small beet, peeled and shredded
1 ½ cups (360 ml) water
1 cup (15 grams) stemmed and chopped kale or (30 grams) chopped spinach
¼ cup (60 grams) salsa or marinara sauce
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ avocado, chopped
2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
Smoked paprika and/or crushed red pepper, optional
Salt and black pepper
Combine the oats and carrot in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the water. (Use more or less to achieve the consistency you prefer; 1½ cups/360 ml yields a fairly thick oatmeal.)
Heat until simmering, then cook, stirring often, until everything is tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the kale, salsa, and nutritional yeast.
Pour into a bowl and top with the avocado and pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and crushed red pepper, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Variation: Swap in different flavors of salsas or pasta sauces to turn this into a whole new dish.