PB+J Oatmeal with Cranberry Chia Jam

Hi everyone! This will have to be a short post because it's T-minus 5 days until my first midterm of the semester and 9 until spring break. Work is piling up as we speak, and I'm doing my best to keep my head above the waves without going crazy.

This is something I've always struggled with. I get anxious and overwhelmed easily because I set a high standard of achievement and I want to give all of my projects the full attention they deserve. Unfortunately, I'm only one person so it isn't possible to split myself into a million pieces to get it all done.

Even if I can't control some of the things going on around me that influence my life, I can adjust how I react to them. Okay now, saying "Don't get stressed," is easier said than done. And to be honest, I don't think I can give you a definitive answer as to how to stay balanced. For me, eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising by running and doing yoga, *attempting* to meditate, talking to people I love, and reading for fun are some of the things that I try to do, but sometimes that isn't enough. And that's okay.

Sometimes stress is the only reaction that makes sense to me, and I just try to go with it. I guess we have a range of emotions for a reason, right? But instead of shutting down under the pressure, I keep going, as miserable as it can be. Why set up camp in the worst location possible, even if you're exhausted, when you can hike a little further and find a better place to rest?

So when I figure out a better way to deal with stress, I'll get back to you. In the meantime, I won't be giving up, and you shouldn't either! And the good old flavor combo of PB+J will always be there to make your belly happy when the rest of you is feeling a little down!

PB+J Oatmeal with Cranberry Chia Jam

Serves 1 with extra jam

Cook Time: 25 minutes; 5 minutes if the jam is made in advance

Ingredients:

Jam (adapted from Eating Purely):

1 c. fresh cranberries

1/2 c. coconut sugar

1/4 c. chia seeds

Oatmeal:

1/2 c. applesauce with cinnamon (regular is fine; just add a big dash of cinnamon separately)

3/4 c. rolled oats

2 tbsp. PB2

1/4 c.-1/2 c. almond milk (less for thicker oats, more for more watery oats)

1 tbsp. ground flax seeds

2 tbsp. cranberry jam

Directions:

For the Jam:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small pot on medium heat on the stove.
  2. Stir, and as the mixture heats, the cranberries will start to pop. Keep stirring to make sure it doesn't burn. Press some of the cranberries with your stirring tool to help them become incorporated into the jam.
  3. Your jam is done when it is thickened and darker in color, but not burned.

For the oatmeal:

  1. Add the applesauce, oats, PB2, and milk to a microwaveable bowl and stir until combined.
  2. Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes or until desired thickness is achieved (longer will help extra liquid to evaporate off).
  3. Stir in the flax seeds and jam, and EAT!

Also some pictures of puppies and kitties that I took at my internship because puppies and kitties always make you feel better! Don't you just want to adopt all of them?!

Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.
— Rumi