January 26, 2012 by Katie
Good morning everyone! So yesterday’s breakfast was so delicious that despite throwing it together quickly in a big ugly bowl, I had to share it with you:
Okay, so I realize it basically looks like poo. But it was soooo good! I had bought some canned butternut squash for a recipe, and decided to try it out in my oatmeal. It was much sweeter than canned pumpkin, so this bowl of oats was to die for!
Butternut Squash Protein Oatmeal
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup flax milk (or any kind)
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup canned butternut squash
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 scoop Vanilla Sunwarrior Protein Powder
Normally I’d use the stovetop, but today I used the microwave because I was in a hurry. It’s about the same either way. Mix water, milk and oats and cook (or microwave). Then when they are almost done (still some liquid left) add in the butternut squash, cinnamon and vanilla. Let that heat for a few seconds and then toss in the protein powder. If the protein powder soaks up too much liquid, feel free to add more water or milk. After adding the protein powder, I threw it back in the microwave for 25 seconds because I like my oatmeal HOT!
Then I added some PB2 mixed with water and stevia on top.
It was heaven!
Recently, I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping. I literally wake up almost every hour and then by about 5am I’m just laying there waiting for my alarm to go off at 6. Not fun. So when I saw that Huffington Post had an entire section about sleep, I thought I would check it out!
My friend Maddie’s cat, LT (short for LaTarian Milton, you tube sensation) sure knows how to sleep…
The first article I came across was titled Lack of Sleep Might Make You Feel Hungrier. The article describes a study they conducted with some men who slept and others who did not. The scientists found that “sleep loss resulted in what scientists call ‘hedonic stimulus process’ – they had a heightened desire to eat, independent of their blood glucose levels.”
I’d always heard that lack of sleep makes you hungrier, and I’ve experienced it! When I’m really tired I tend to grab sugary and carb-filled foods in an attempt to boost my energy and I also tend to snack more. Take home lesson: try and get plenty of good sleep!
The next article was definitely news to me: Protein Might Ward Off Afternoon Snooze. I knew protein was good for keeping you full (and building muscle!) but I had no idea it could keep up your energy (I guess I just didn’t think about it… but it seems obvious now…).
The article states that a recent study in mice found that protein, rather than sugar, provides “the perk” to afternoon sleepiness. They found that there are cells in the brain that secret a stimulant that makes us energetic and tells us to burn calories. Glucose blocks the functions of these cells but amino acids (protein) stop this glucose action and kept the cells active.
So in other words, grab some protein next time you’re in a slump!
Another interesting article listed 8 ways that winter affects your sleep:
1) Keeping your house too hot
2) Keeping the house too cold (lol what’s the perfect temp then?!?)
3) Lack of light throughout the day
4) Heavier winter meals
5) Lack of exercise
6) Oversleeping on the weekends
7) Dry air
8) Cold and flu seasons
I never thought about it, but a lot of these make sense! Do you think any of these winter factors affect your sleep?
Another fun/interesting list is their list of the most sleep-deprived cities in the United States:
1. Detroit, Michigan
2. Birmingham, Alabama
3. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
4. New Orleans, Louisiana
5. New York. New York
6. Cincinnati, Ohio
7. Louisville, Kentucky
8. Raleigh, North Carolina
9. Columbus, Ohio
10. Boston, Massachusetts
I’m not really sure how they came up with this, and whether something about the city itself affects sleep. Do you live in any of these cities? How’s your sleep? Haha.
Finally, the last article I saw talked about what your sleep position says about you. It was a little off for me since I change from stomach to side with my arms in front of me (haha check them out) but it was fun to read through them! Check it out and see what your sleep position says about you!