After a month straight of having decadent egg and cheese sandwiches in the morning, my fragile, lactose-hating stomach will lash out at me, bringing me back to a dull routine of cinnamon oatmeal and black coffee. See, I love oatmeal, but eating it every day with a few blueberries being the biggest excitement in my breakfast? That's what usually leads me to binging on giant sandwiches in the morning. Of course, these delicious sandwiches just make me sluggish and bloated for the rest of the day.
Although choosing a bowl of oatmeal may not seem like it will substantially suppress your AM food craving, the absorption of water makes your tummy feel full, which is great to control overeating. High cholesterol runs in my family, the numerous studies on oatmeal prove its ability to not only lower cholesterol, but also prevent heart disease. The high fiber content is not only amaze for digestion, it also controls blood glucose levels, which can lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Of course, just being a healthy alternative isn't always going to make me choose oats over a greasy snack.
I'll be real with you, the thing that really sold me on oatmeal is its jammin' qualities that exfoliate and clean both hair and skin. Thus ending my on-again, off-again fling with egg sandwiches.
Oatmeal was one of the first ingredients actually recognized by the Food and Drug Administration to reduce inflammation and alleviate dryness. This is a bonus for those of us craving a healthy snack that we can put in and out of our bodies. It's got anti-itching, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties that are super beneficial for clear, moisturized skin. The fact that it's the biz at ridding dead skin cells and helping our skin to naturally fight off toxins that cause breakouts is an added bonus.
If you aren't sold on introducing this to your beauty routine just yet: Oatmeal has been used for beauty treatments since 2000 BC. With its high pH level and ability to clean the crap out of the most clogged of pores, it's about as serious about skincare as Adam Levine is right now. Seriously, if I could contact that beautiful man, I would tell him STOP SPENDING MONEY ON PROACTIVE! The secret lies in oatmeal. Also, let's go on a date.
Here are some of my absolute fave oatmeal recipes that will keep your summer oil build-up under control and give you that tousled bed look, not easily mastered by most of us.
Deep Conditioning Treatment
One of my favorite recipes is from Curly Nikki’s blog, this conditioner will be especially beneficial to my curly-haired cousins out there. It’s a rich, inexpensive, deep conditioner that will actually hold in between washes; after trying several variations of this recipe, my 'fro is sold on the following ingredients:
- 1 extra ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup plain oatmeal
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp vodka (This is not enough to get your tresses drunk)
- A bottle to house your new deep conditioner
To start, mix the coconut milk and the oatmeal in a microwave safe bowl (if you don’t own a microwave, a stove top will do just fine). Heat for about 30 - 60 seconds, then drain the milk into your bottle, discarding the oatmeal.
Next, mash your avocado up in your bowl, getting it as smooth as possible. Feel free to add a little bit of hot water to speed up the process. Add essential oil and vodka to the avocado, mash and pour into the bottle. Put the cap on and give it a good shake. Apply your new treatment on freshly washed/wet hair by combing or finger-combing through your locks. Leave in for 20-30 minutes and rinse well.
Exfoliating Face Mask
Now, I looooove me some bananas. They are super rich in potassium and act as a stimulant not only when your munching on one for a mid-morning snack, but also when you applied topically, thus waking up dreary skin. Dilute your oatmeal with warm water, enough to make a small paste (use about 1-2 tablespoons) and then add in half a mashed up banana. Apply on make-up free skin and let sit for at least 10 minutes, massaging occasionally. Rinse well and use this treatment a few times a week to see the best results: an acne free, fresh, and happy face.
One of my besties went as Courtney Love this past Halloween, at about 3 hours before party-time, we found ourselves traveling to several different pharmacies, and came up empty on our search for dry shampoo. Turns out, the answer to her tousled hair look was in my kitchen all along. With her blond locks, she was easily able to apply oatmeal powder and not only achieve Courtney Love's 90's just-out-of-bed/never-went-to-bed 'do, but also achieve a serious cleanse in the process. According to the Huffington Post's, the dry shampoo method will be sure to remove excess oil.