Pomegranate + Pear Oats With Hazelnut Butter

My body craves certain experiences like most crave certain foods.

Today, there was no space in my life for ordinary. No space for routine, for staying within the confines of my 4 walls on such a gorgeous day, for doing the same arm circuit I always do at the same time every Wednesday. I craved the city, the brisk air, the cozy cheer of a heated yoga studio during the holiday season. I needed to grocery shop. But the aisles of my neighborhood HEB that I usually shop at seemed sullen and uninteresting. I knew what my body was telling me. You need Austin.

I'm not one to question what my body tells me. So I hopped in my car and made the 30 minute drive, straight to my favorite yoga studio in Austin, Wanderlust. My lovely friend Amelia was teaching, and at the end of the class she handed out sweet little gift cards from Lululemon. Moral of the story: do not question where your spirit tells you to go. There may be Lululemon gift cards waiting for you.

I spent the rest of the evening at Whole Foods. Treated myself to extra special pantry items that I haven't had in stock since my mom used to buy my groceries for me. I ate dinner in a complete state of bliss, people watching, listening to the Christmas tunes playing overhead, and finally introduced myself to the man that I see every single time I go to Whole Foods (for a span of at least 3 or 4 years now). It doesn't matter what time of day I'm there. There's no rhyme or reason to my visits. But he's always there, eating half a watermelon with a spoon, reading the newspaper. His name is Thomas. He's very kind. I then walked to Trader Joe's, relishing in the sharp cool air that has finally graced Texas (with a hot tea in hand), and the sounds of the city. It's something I miss in my small college town. I called my best friends. Stocked up on my favorite protein bars and some rosemary trees at Trader Joe's, and then meandered back. Listened to my favorite Christmas albums on my drive home, and spent the rest of the evening curled up in bed with my puppy and some friends.

My point is not to convince you all that I'm a total sap. That would require no effort. But when you get that itch, to do whatever it is you may want to do, ask yourself, what's stopping you? A 30 minute drive? How can you use that time to your advantage? Too tired? Treat yourself to a coffee or a nap beforehand. Or, if it's a sweat that you're craving, use it as an opportunity to re-energize. Sometimes, impulsivity can be a good thing. It means you're not questioning what you want, but rather recognizing an unmet need within yourself and acting upon it. If you're feeling uninspired, stuck,  stagnant, as some people do as the year wanes into December, maybe it's because you're not allowing yourself the freedom to just... do you. Sometimes a short break, of just saying yes to yourself, is all you need to refresh and realign.

Slightly unrelated but still on the topic of cravings, all I have wanted for breakfast since the temperatures have dropped is oatmeal. I've been playing with different combinations of spices, fruits, and nut butters to achieve a perfect balance of texture, sweetness, and coziness that tastes like a hug in a bowl. And let me tell you folks, hazelnut butter + pears + pomegranate+ cinnamon and cardamom has won my heart. I'm usually the type of gal who makes something different for breakfast and lunch every day (I have surrendered to batch cooking for dinners during the week, however). But this combo...I just can't get it off my mind! It's even got a sort of festive look to it, and puts me in all the Christmas feels. So, if you take anything away from this post, fuel yourself with this delicious breakfast, and then go do whatever it is that has been gnawing at you from the back of your mind, the pit of your stomach, that you keep telling yourself you'll do tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.

Pomegranate + Pear Oats With Hazelnut Butter

(Serves 1)

  • 1/2 c Bob's Red Mil Quick-Cooking GF Oats (or oats of your choice)
  • 1 c water
  • dash of cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla (does anyone really measure?)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1-2 Tbsp Justin's Hazelnut Butter (or Nutella)
  • 1/2 pear, thinly sliced or diced
  • 1 tbsp. pomegranate seeds
  • 1-2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • optional: 1 Tbsp chopped pecans

ethod to the madness: bring water to boil in a saucepan before adding oats. allow to return to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low and let simmer. add spices and vanilla, and stir oats frequently until water is almost fully absorbed. add chia seeds, stir to disperse and combine (is that an oxymoron?) thoroughly, and then remove from heat and let sit for a few moments to let oats fluff and plump. the chia seeds will expand and soak up the excess liquid, making your oats super plump. transfer oats to a bowl, and top with hazelnut butter, pear, pomegranate seeds, and a nice pool of maple syrup. if desired, add chopped nuts for extra crunch. enjoy!