Updated: Feb 1
If you ever ask me what the most important dietary change that I have made would be, it would be a difficult question to answer. I have made many changes since learning about nutrition including having more vegetables and fruit, less meat and being more aware of my dairy intake. But I would have to say the most significant change I have made has been to add in oats on a mostly daily basis. My training to become a dietitian taught me about the impact that fibre and, in particular, the soluble fibre in oats known as beta glucan, can have on reducing our bad cholesterol levels. So when I had my yearly doctors appointment and had my cholesterol checked, I had noticed my LDL (the bad cholesterol) was going up. Not to say that my diet was bad. I had made a lot of changes with adding in more vegetables and fruit, making sure I was eating whole grains when I had them, but my cholesterol was still slowly going up. So knowing what needed to be done, I started having porridge most mornings, and if I didn't have porridge, I would make sure that oats were included somewhere in my day. I guess you are wondering if it helped at all. Much to my delight, my next check showed my cholesterol levels dropping! It felt so great to realise that the advice I was giving to other people was working on myself, and that I could confirm personally that the evidence does work! (1),(2).
This "obsession" with oats has led me to work on how to make the best porridge ever! Mind you, I have tried so many different versions of my basic recipe, I don't know if I could choose the best one for the delicious factor. Some of my favourite versions are my Pumpkin Pie Porridge, Strawberry Shortcake Porridge and Plum "Pudding" Porridge.
I will post those recipes at some point if there is any interest, but this time I will just be giving you the basic recipe. It is very easy, but it takes a bit more work than pouring a bowl of cereal. I also enjoy a raw oat "parfait" when I don't feel like a hot breakfast. It is also delicious, but the porridge is my regular choice. Oh, and my Banana Oats Pikelets are pretty good too. They can also be for another recipe post. Start with the basic porridge though and do your own experimenting and let me know any great versions you come up with!
 Sima, P., Vannucci, L., & Vetvicka, V. (2018). β-glucans and cholesterol (Review). International Journal of Molecular Medicine, 41, 1799-1808. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2018.3411
 Rgia A Othman, Mohammed H Moghadasian, Peter Jh Jones, Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 69, Issue 6, 1 June 2011, Pages 299–309, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00401.x