The oats + AltShift experiment

Several months ago, I blogged about the porridge experiment. I ate rice porridge with black sesame, walnuts and goji berries for a few weeks to make the Chinese doctor happy. I attributed my positive health results to the herbs and went back to eating my normal (irregular) breakfast. Well, turns out that my chi has been declining again and the Chinese doctor gave me another breakfast talk. This time she did specifically mention the word “oats” and “every morning”, in order to boost my spleen chi. She also said to have ginger and cinnamon daily, which I don’t mind because I love both, and, most importantly, a glass of red wine every night. Woo hoo!

I’ll be honest and say I freaked out a bit about having oats for breakfast every morning. First, I hadn’t had oats since 2011 and I wasn’t sure how they would affect my blood sugar, hunger and inflammatory reactions to gluten (no, oats are not gluten free). Second, I’ve been doing AltShift since January 2nd with great success and I wasn’t sure if it made sense to try to fit the porridge macros into the plan. But I’m a scientist and a curious person by nature so I decided it was an experiment worth doing.

I don’t have a sweet tooth anymore so I’ve been making my porridge savoury. I cook the oats with either water or broth, mix it with fresh microplaned ginger, sometimes cinnamon, sometimes turmeric and eat it as part of my breakfast. I asked the Chinese doctor if I could eat other things with the porridge (e.g. eggs) and she said I should eat EVERYTHING. Yay! The glutton foodie inside me rejoiced. Because I’m still doing AltShift to the best of my ability, I do 1/2 serve of porridge on 5S, plus eggs or sardines. Sometimes I add a couple teaspoons of chia seeds that I soak in water while the oats cook, and/or a piece of butter at the end. On 3S days I have a full serve of porridge plus egg whites (mixed in), or tuna in water (separate). I normally add kimchi or sauerkraut on both shifts.

Savoury porridge with butter, boiled eggs, ginger and kimchi

Savoury porridge with butter, boiled eggs, ginger and kimchi

Savoury porridge with egg whites, ginger and turmeric

Savoury porridge with egg whites, ginger and turmeric

Savoury porridge with egg whites and kimchi

Savoury porridge with egg whites and kimchi

Savoury porridge with eggs and kimchi

Savoury porridge with eggs and kimchi

Because I’ve been eating a fairly big breakfast I don’t feel hungrier than normal. I have noticed I’m a bit more sleepy in the morning, but that could be a number of things. The biggie has been my reaction to gluten. I was fine with 1/2 dose but my reflux came back with the full dose. To rule out if it was the gluten content in regular oats (I was using Macro organic quick cooking oats), I bought a bag of uncontaminated oats, which claim to have < 3 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. It might be placebo effect but I do feel better with the uncontaminated oats. Regardless, having a whack (or half a whack) of grains at breakfast has made my digestion a bit slower. My pulse has gotten better, but I don't know if it's the oats or the acupuncture treatment the Chinese doctor gave me concurrently, or both. Anyway, things seem to be moving in the right direction for the most part, so I'll keep doing what I'm doing for a while.

3 thoughts on “The oats + AltShift experiment

  1. Interesting variations on savoury porridge! What do you do with all your leftover egg yolks?

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