Stop Binge Eating..Forever. (How I did it)

 

If only I could count the number of times I researched this question..the endless amount of videos I watched, people I followed, books I read, techniques I tried..

But still to no avail.

I’m sure some of you are in the same boat. (I’m assuming that’s why you’re here).

Hopefully, this will not be “just another article” that you pass by.

This is probably a take on binge eating that you haven’t yet come across (at least, not quite as commonly).

Binge eating is something you do, not a disease you have. You don’t need a magical cure, you just need to change what you’re doing.

Binge eating is something I have struggled with since my post-competition days.

This was after competing in a figure (bodybuilding) competition and following my diet plan to a T (LITERALLY, I wouldn’t even take a bite of a food that was not on my plan, I measured everything to the gram and suffered watching others devour pizza while I ate my sad, dry piece of chicken breast and spinach with 5 calorie dressing).

I never binged on foods before my competition or during the prep. I got lean and felt great!

But post-show when I tried a second contest preparation (cutting calories, eating “clean” again), I just couldn’t do it. My cravings were INSANE. I wanted anything and everything. All I could think about was food, when my next meal was, how many calories I could eat, “if I eat 2 of my meals now maybe I could just fast for the rest of the day..”, maybe if I chew enough gum I can delay the hunger a bit…etc.

Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and the binging began.

Cookies, pizza, dry cereal, raisins, almonds, left over spaghetti, cold kraft dinner, stale chips, YOU NAME IT. I ate it.

And all at once, until I felt like I was on the verge of exploding..and then I’d eat some more.

All while wondering what had happened to my perfect disciplined self who used to be able to diet so well.

How did I get to this point? Where is my self-control??

This went on for months and then years. I slowly gained back about 20 pounds (most of it healthy weight but probably a little more than necessary).

I would go through phases of different diets such as vegan, paleo, keto, intermittent fasting..etc.

With each new-found diet and a short-lived burst of motivation, I would think “YES, I FINALLY FOUND THE CURE”

But alas, each time I would find myself slowly falling back into old habits and binging once again.

 

One day, as I was scouring the internet for my next diet-cure, I came across the book “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole.

(Intuitive eating is basically where you mindfully, eat whatever you want when your body craves it and stop when full).

I found the concept interesting and set-out on on my own intuitive eating journey after purchasing additional books on “mindful eating”.

But again, after 2 weeks, I was still binging.

Now I was really concerned.

“I am allowing myself to eat whatever I want! Why, still, can I not stop binge eating???”

I was utterly confused and ready to throw in the towel for the last time, officially classifying myself as a “binge eater” for life.

That is, until I came across the website “The Fuckitdiet“, created by Caroline Dooner. (Definitely check this site out if you haven’t already!)

After reading several of her posts and listening to her podcasts, I suddenly had the most insane epiphany, moment of clarity, break through, fantastic realization EVER.

The reason “Intuitive eating” was not working for me is that I WAS MAKING IT ANOTHER DIET.

While the intuitive eating book was very insightful (and I still recommend reading it for a great intro to intuitive eating!), there are some flaws or at least red flags if you are someone who comes from a very rigid dieting past.

For one, they use a hunger scale to measure your hunger.

For me this meant “I REALLY want this donut my coworker is offering me but I know I just ate not long ago..and I’m only like a 6 on the hunger scale right now, it says you should eat around 3 or 4..so maybe I should skip the donut and eat something later on.”

Second, you are told to eat mindfully. Eat slow, small bites, chew each bite thoroughly, eat with no distractions like the T.V or

 

computer, stop half-way, wait 5 minutes then ask yourself if you really want more, leave food on your plate, etc.

 

All of these suggestions had me and my “diet brain” going crazy.

I would eat without watching my favourite show, try to leave food on my plate and only eat until “satisfied” then I’d be hungry again an hour later, I’d try to chew my food a ton and gross myself out with the texture rather than actually enjoying it. I would not eat unless I felt it acceptable on the hunger scale, I’d feel disappointed if I finished all the food on my plate..ETC. It wasn’t fun and I spent just as much time thinking about food as I did on any other diet.

SO. With the guidance of Caroline’s site (fuckitdiet.com), I decided to do just that.

 

F*ck it.

I started eating while watching T.V again.

I ate the donut if I REALLY wanted the donut EVEN if I wasn’t extremely hungry.

I ate fast, slow, medium-paced, whatever.

I chewed as much as felt normal.

I ate ALL of my food if I wanted it and didn’t feel guilty.

And guess what?

I started eating less and slower because I’d get distracted by my really good T.V show.

I wouldn’t be craving loads of sweets late at night because I already ate the donut I wanted earlier that day.

I enjoyed my meals SO much more.

I started leaving food on my plate because it felt natural.

and finally, after all these years of thinking I was diseased and destined to forever eat my entire pantry each night,

I STOPPED BINGE EATING.

The cure to binge eating,

is

to

just eat.

This means, erasing physical restrictions and rules just as much as the mental ones.

If you allow yourself to eat the donut but still feel guilty doing it, then you are still restricting.

If you say you can eat whatever you want but still try to eat low-fat or low-carb then you are still restricting.

Your body knows.

You need to give yourself permission to eat as much as you need AND want without guilt.

Weight-gain or loss should be on the back-burner during this time (trust me, I KNOW how hard this is to do but you will thank yourself later). You need to give your mind and body time to heal.

IT IS SO WORTH IT,

This will take time, it will feel weird and uncomfortable at first but slowly it will become natural, food will no-longer be the center of your whole universe.

If you do happen to binge or eat more than you think you should during this process, keep going.

If you binge for 5 days straight on all the foods you used to restrict, keep going.

If you only want to eat egg salad for a week straight and wonder what’s wrong with you, KEEP GOING (true story, still can’t explain it but I don’t question what my body wants! Haha).

Binge eating is a habit you’ve formed and it will take a bit to break it but the more you allow yourself total freedom with food, and stop putting it up on a pedestal, the faster you will find yourself free from its grasp.

So go ahead, start today.

Go eat something you REALLY WANT.

and thoroughly, completely, whole-heartedly enjoy it.

Then do it again,

and again,

each day until eating is just another part of your day.

You eat, enjoy it, feel satisfied.

Then you move on to the more important things in your day.

That is how life is supposed to be lived.

That is how you STOP binge eating.

~Sam~

10 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Low-Carb Cook

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Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, these baking tools will have a noticeable impact on the outcome of your final product and ease of prep work.

I, myself, am all for old-school baking and cooking with minimal tools ( ie. using one bowl for everything – I’m not a fan of dishes!).

But when it comes to baking or cooking up the best, most delicious and visually appealing desserts and entrees, these tools really do come in handy.

I can’t deny, I did throw in a few “fun items“,  not essential, but a necessity if you’re looking to create some epic, tasty low-carb treats. 😉

Add these items to your own wishlist or gift them to a fellow low-carber, either way, they are bound to bring a smile to someone’s face this holiday season.

  1. Food Scale

Food scales are the key to learning portion size.

They are a great starting point. Once you get familiar with portion and serving sizes, you can slowly decrease your dependence on the scale and focus more on the intuitive aspect of eating (being that, you’ve now trained your eyes and your brain to see foods in a different light).

But don’t go tossing aside your food scale too quickly! Food scales are also ESSENTIAL when it comes to baking with consistency and accuracy. Ever wonder why a dessert doesn’t turn-out, even though you followed the recipe to a T?

Well, for one it might just be a bad recipe..BUT more likely, it was a difference in weight created by the slight packing of flour or sugar. Even amounts like “1 cup of chopped fruit” can vary greatly depending on how the food is cut, sliced or placed in the measuring cup.

As noted above I like baking with minimal bowls and utensils.

You know the best way to achieve this? A FOOD SCALE. You can easily measure all of your ingredients in one bowl without all the fuss of measuring spoons and cups.

If that doesn’t convince you to use a food scale in your baking and cooking then I’m not sure what will!

My scale of 4 years of which I refer to as my “bestfriend” or “side-kick” in  the kitchen, is this beautiful one:

Perfect Portions Digital Scale + Nutrition Facts Display

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It rarely ever needs battery replacements, its extremely accurate with measuring, durable and easy to clean (I can honestly say this after witnessing the many extreme kitchen disasters it has endured). It also measures more than just weight, it has a full nutritional display with the ability to manually input nutrition info for a specific item to recall later. And last but not least, it’s nice to look at and has never failed me once.

        2. Spiralizer

If you are a low-carb eater and you still haven’t heard of a spiralizer, then you’ve been missing out!

I’m here to inform you that this simple tool designed to “spiralize” zucchini and other vegetables into noodles will basically change your life (OK, maybe that’s a little extreme, but if you’re an ex-carb lover looking for a pasta replacement, this thing is pretty dang awesome).

It might not create magical low-carb pasta but it creates a pretty close alternative. And with the right toppings and sauce, you will be AMAZED by how little you miss the typical carb-laden noodles of the past.

Take this recipe for example..

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Zucchini Noodle Alfredo by “The Dinner Mom”

The spiralizer I use is this one:

Kuuk-2 in 1 Vegetable Spiralizer

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It has an end for both thicker and thinner noodles and is super easy to clean!

Bonus Tip: The key to perfect “zucchini noodles” is to first press them in paper towel to drain some of the excess liquid. Then heat a pan with oil (can be sprayed lightly with oil) over high heat. Toss the noodles in when the pan is hot and stir-fry them for 2-3min or until the noodles just start to wilt. You want to partially cook them but still leave them with some crunch. This helps to prevent excess water being released and diluting into your sauces. Remove the noodles when done and add to whatever sauce or dish you’d like, or just serve with some butter and parmesan. Alternatively you can add the noodles directly to the same pan at the end of any stir-fry, just before serving.

3. Food Processor

From grinding nuts and seeds to butter or flour, cottage cheese to a smooth puree for use in cheesecakes, sweetener to a fine powder (powdered sugar replacement!), to beautiful silky smooth avocado-chocolate pudding, ..a food processor can do it all.

Blenders are a great option for many recipes like smoothies, “protein ice-cream“, pancakes etc. But if you are looking for the finest texture, the ability to breakdown tougher foods, and an easier clean up, a food processor is likely a more appropriate option.

I use this one:

Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Processor

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..and have become obsessed with creating new and interesting sauce combinations along with grinding my different flours to result in lighter and fluffier baked goods!

Plus,this processor is adorable (I don’t describe many kitchen products this way). But it’s small, compact and pretty to look at.

4. Slow Cooker

 Most of us live a fast-paced life. One where you are either working hard, on the go or busy attending social and life events. When we return home, cooking is the LAST thing on our minds (if it isn’t then props, that’s dedication!) and as such, we reach for the quickest food options available.

*ENTER, Slow Cooker*

Counter to it’s name, it will have a meal prepped and ready for you the moment you sit down.

All you have to do is throw in a piece of meat or a few basic stew/soup ingredients in the morning and you’re good to go! Fresh, hot, steaming, delicious food ready when you are.

The one I recommend is this one:

Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe

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5 .Hand-Held Blender

Hand-held blenders are my preference to regular stand blenders. Why?

They offer flexibility and create less mess!

I personally use hand-held blenders more in savoury dishes than I do sweet. Majority of the time it’s soups (okay let’s be honest, I’m obsessed, it’s always soup).

But have you ever tried pouring boiling hot soup into a stand blender, blending it then returning it to the pot?

Messy, messy, messssy is all I can say. (More dishes too! ..and as you are progressively learning, I hate dishes). Not to mention, trying to transfer boiling hot liquid from one container to the other. Especially when you’re me or you’re equally un-coordinated, this is a disaster waiting to happen.

Thus, hand-held blenders are my first choice.

No need to remove your soup from the pot, quick clean up and a much lower risk of clumsily burning yourself.

This one is my favourite!

KitchenAid 2-Speed Hand Blender

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..It makes me the perfect bowl of broccoli and/or cauliflower soup every time, plus in comes in a large range of attractive colours (which is obviously the most important aspect). 😉

6. George Forman Grill

Specifically the..

George Foreman GR20B 4 Serving Classic Plate Grill

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I feel like this grill is legendary..and for good reason.

It’s been around for a long time but that’s because it does what it’s supposed to (grilling, obviously!) and it does it well.

Now, I feel like this is more of an option for those living in colder climates.

As in, going outside means putting on your over-sized , slightly resemblant of the”abominable snow-man” coat, grabbing a hat, grabbing some gloves, putting on your heavy-duty snow boots, then remembering you forgot to put leggings on under-neath your already thick sweatpants and continuing to further wrap yourself in endless layers of clothing. That kind of cold. (Really Sam?..again with the exaggerations?)

I might be slightly ranting about my current weather situation and that probably shouldn’t be the reason you choose to purchase this item or not so let me continue with the actual constructive information.

The grill is meant to enable you to do all of your BBQ-ing indoors. Assuming you don’t have to feed 20 people at once, this grill is probably perfect for you. It’s small, compact and requires little technical skills to use (trust me, if I can figure it out on my own, so can you).

You can grill vegetables, meat, or you can even get REALLY creative and grill a low-carb panini using low-carb bread.

7. Ice Cream Maker  

Cuisinart ICE-30BCC Pure IndulgenceTM Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker

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Basically self-explanatory. 

Who doesn’t want homemade, creamy, dreamy full-fat ice cream conveniently prepared and always at their disposal?

Low-carb eaters are known for eating high-fat, so why not indulge? Take full advantage of the ability to eat rich, decadent ice cream. None of that low-fat, icey so-called “healthy ice cream” over here.

But I’ll stop talking. Just look at this recipe by Carolyn over at “All Day I dream About Food” and tell me you don’t want to steal a scoop:

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Death By Chocolate Ice Cream

8. Donut Pan

Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan

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Another one of those “non-essential” but fun items to gift to someone (*cough, cough* me..)

Yup, that’s right I don’t own a donut pan. I’m obsessed with donuts, I created delicious low-carb keto donuts, yet I still don’t own a pan. There’s something wrong with this situation.

Thus, I added it to this list, just in-case you know someone else suffering from donut addiction and in-need of an alternative while following this lifestyle. ;P

9. Hand Held Frother or Self-Stirring Mug

This is another one on my personal wish list! (At least the mug still is).

I already have the hand-held frother and it’s really amazing! I use this one:

Aerolatte Deluxe Edition Milk Frother

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It does a wonderful job at blending together the perfect (and ever-famous) bullet-proof coffee. (BPC)

But something it’s not as well known for is blending egg whites! If you need to fluff a few egg whites for some waffles (or my 1 min keto english muffin recipe), use this thing! It will do a crazy-good job!

As for the Self-Stirring Mug, just watch this video and tell me it’s not totally awesome.

I just want it for the sake of showing other people. LOL. But I’m sure it’s also convenient  when you need that perfect BPC on the go.

10. Cakewich Bread Mold

Fred & Friends CAKEWICH Bread-Shaped Cake Mold

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This one was just too fun not to share.

A mold that shapes any ingredients into a “bread slice” shape (dishwasher, oven and microwave safe!)

It’s simple but creates endless opportunities for creativity.

Again, my english muffin recipe doubled would work amazing for this, I’m sure! You could even toast the bread, use it for french toast, make bread pudding out of it, sandwiches, ETC!

Plus, everything tastes better when it looks cool. Right? That’s how it works.

…Andddd with that, this ends my “10 Low-Carb Christmas Gift Ideas for the Low-Carb Baker“.

If I forgot to mention any other cool, neat or useful kitchen gadgets, please leave a comment below! I am interested to see if anyone has anymore creative items I can casually spend all of my money on (kidding!-sort of).

I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this post! Please share it if you found it helpful.

I look forward to seeing you all in my next posts! I have many new ideas (including the low-carb baking substitution guide, it’s coming, I promise!)  but I am open to writing suggestions in relation to any of the following; low-carb dieting, keto, macro-counting, fitness or nutrition in general!

Anyways, thanks again and happy Christmas/Holiday shopping!! 🙂

~Sam~

Follow me at: @sammysamgirl for more!

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Healthy AMAZING Kettle Corn!

Healthy AMAZING Kettle Corn!

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Alright so your ready to sit down to watch a good movie. You’ve got the lights turned down low, surround sound on, remote in hand & a comfy couch…What’s missing from this picture?? Popcorn! Duh! Who watches a movie without it?
So I’d just like to say, I felt like a genious after creating this recipe because honestly it turned out better than I had anticipated. It’s so good like..I don’t know just try it. If you’ve ever had kettle corn, you know it’s awesome and this stuff I gotta say holds up pretty well against the traditional stuff! Plus it’s good for you, high in fibre, protein etc. So now instead of telling your kids “finish your vegetables they’re good for you!” You can tell them “finish your popcorn!”. Haha..well actually I’m sure finishing it will be no problem. I hope you love this as much as I do.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

-1 large bag of light or unbuttered popcorn(I used orville, it was 260cals/bag)(about 40g I believe)
-2 tbsp melted Coconut Oil(you could sub another oil but this adds a lot of the flavour!)
-1 tbsp + 1 tsp Truvia Sweetener(or more/less to taste) *Best sweetener, most resembles sugar IMO*
-A decent amount of salt(to taste, add less if you are worried about sodium but honestly it makes it taste much better haha)
-Optional but highly recommended: 4-5 tbsp Sugar-Free Syrup (or real maple syrup) (I recommend Sugar-Free Thyme Maple Syrup)

Directions: Pop your popcorn as directed by the package. While warm, pour the popcorn into a large bowl and drizzle with melted coconut oil. Toss with clean hands to coat the popcorn. Next sprinkle the salt/sweetener and toss again. Keep adding the seasoning to your liking. Now portion into 4 bowls and serve with syrup on the side. Right before eating, drizzle a little syrup on top and toss quickly. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 130 calories, 6.5g fat, 14g carbs, 2.5g protein, 2.5g fibre

Spicy Sauteed Cabbage & Red Onion "Noodles"

Spicy Sauteed Cabbage & Red Onion "Noodles"

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Hey all! This is a super simple recipe…it makes a great side dish to any dinner. Cabbage has always been one of my fav green veggies to cook and this dish also makes a great meal if you throw in some chopped spicy turkey sausage! The cabbage act as noodles so all you low-carber’s(yes I just made that word up..) out there, this one’s for you!

Serves 1

Ingredients:

-1 cup thinly sliced cabbage(like noodles)

-1/3 cup chopped red onion

-1/2 tbsp olive oil

-1/4 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 tsp paprika(or less to taste)

-1/4 tsp chili powder(again more or less to taste)

-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

-1/8 tsp cinnamon

-Salt/Pepper to taste

 

Directions: In a small frying pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the onions/cabbage. Add your spices and cook, stirring often for 7-8 minutes or until the cabbage has started to become soft. Serve! Simple as that.

Nutrition Facts: 103 calories, 7g fat, 10g carbs, 1g protein, 3g fibre

60% of daily Vitamin C requirements.

 

 

 

 

Strawberry-Banana High Protein Ice Cream

Strawberry-Banana High Protein Ice Cream

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So here is another recipe to cool you down on those warm spring days we are having this year! It’s beautiful to look at and tastes great too! Best part is..you can eat the whole bowl without an ounce of guilt. Why? Well..because it contains: 255 calories, 3g fat(0g without topping), 21g protein & 5g fibre. This creamy delicious strawberry-banana ice cream is a play off of my original Coconut-Banana-Mango Ice Cream recipe. I decided to substitute strawberry for mango after my mom came home with probably the largest bag of frozen strawberries I have seen in my life(from costco of course). & I have to say, I can’t decide which kind I prefer! They are both completely delicious! Also if you didn’t hear..each bowl of ice cream contains a secret ingredient to increase the protein without changing the taste or texture(no protein powder!) read on to find out more… Take me to the recipe!

Favourite Healthy Food Blogs

Hey guys! If you are anything like me then you know you get super excited every time you find an awesome new recipe website! Though it’s hard to find the REALLY good ones. So to help you out a bit I decided to compile a list of all my favourite food blogs! There are probably way more but these are just some that I had written down!

***If you have your own healthy food blog you are trying to get noticed please leave a comment below and I will be sure to include your link in my next post to give you a little boost!***
Two of My Favourite WordPress Blogs(I have many..so I will just start with two 🙂 ):
Do you have any to add to my list?? Please let me know in the comments! I will love you forever if you can give me another awesome one that I may have missed!
~Sam~

Surprise Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Pudding

Surprise Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Pudding

Chocolate Spinach Pudding
Woah, that title is a mouthful! So, I’ve got another great recipe for you all. This one contains a special “surprise”… Actually it’s not much of a surprise but I added spinach to this pudding! It’s my new favourite thing to do because you get all the goodness of greens but without the taste. This is perfect to use up all that spinach that you just can’t bring yourself to eat! Don’t like spinach? No worries, you will like this pudding! It is creamy and delicious, it feels like you are eating dessert for breakfast. Topped with a few crushed pecans and mini dark chocolate chips, this is absolutely decadent.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder( I used designer whey french vanilla)
1/2 tbsp natural almond butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup quick oats
1 tsp flax seed
1/4 tsp xanthan gum (could possibly sub flax seeds)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 handful of spinach
2 drops stevia (or honey/agave/maple syrup/splenda)
8-9 ice cubes

Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender(start with ice) and blend until smooth and creamy. Add a little extra xanthan gum if necessary or more/less ice and almond milk depending on how thick you want your pudding! Top with pecans/mini chocolate chips or sugar-free chocolate syrup( recipe coming soon to the site!).
Enjoy!

Calories: 287 (my protein powder is 100cals a scoop)

I also made these delicious skinny chocolate protein pancakes with my own sugar-free chocolate syrup, peanut butter and bananas for breakfast the other day. They were so good! (Recipe from dashingdish.com)
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Back From Vacation!

Hey guys! I got back from my vacation yesterday! I had such an awesome time. The weather was amazing and so was the food and the people! I just wanted to share with you a few pics of some of the delicious dinners I had!

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This was a delicious cracked conch sandwich served with onion rings(my favourite!) and tartar sauce.

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Next is of course..a Pina Colada!

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This was probably my favourite dinner of the vacation, fresh grouper in a tempura batter served with lime and fries/mango slaw on the side. Soo soo good! I felt bad I could only finish 1 piece of fish, if I had more room I would have finished it all haha.

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Another night I had grouper yet again, (I really like grouper..). But this time it wasn’t battered, it was served in some really nice spicy sauce with cucumber yogurt sauce and fluffy rice!

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We ended up getting dessert to share that night which included an interesting form of cheesecake and a warm apple tart with ice cream! It wasn’t exactly what we’d had in mind but it was still pretty good :).

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Lastly I had this beautiful snapper with the best mashed potatoes ever! Topped with shrimp, lots of veggies and a great sauce. Yum!

Overall the food in turks was amazing and I would go back just for that itself! But my vacation really was amazing, I had so much fun and I loved just spending time alone with friends.

P.S I also bought this really cute mug for my tea, I love that it comes with a mini spoon!

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Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake Oatmeal

Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake Oatmeal

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Goodmorning everyone! Today I had another great breakfast with oatmeal! I’m actually just finishing this filling meal as I post this! This variation of oatmeal is decadent, creamy, luscious..okay you get the idea. If you love raspberries, lemon or cheesecake then you should definitely make this recipe! I can’t tell you how good it is. Take me to the recipe!

Blueberry Cheesecake Oatmeal!!

Blueberry Cheesecake Oatmeal!!

Blueberry Cheesecake Oatmeal

Goodmorning! Welcome to my first post of the oatmeal collection. This first recipe was the first I wanted to try and create because one of my absolute favourite foods is cheesecake with blueberry sauce! This oatmeal turned out so well I couldn’t wait to share it. The cream cheese makes the oatmeal so smooth and creamy. If you love cheesecake, you too will love this delicious variation on oatmeal. Take me to the recipe!