This wasn’t a light decision for me.
Up until then, I had been a softball and volleyball player – and I was known to be good – at both.
The problems that led to my transitions were not due to the nature of both previous sports – but rather, the social conditions surrounding them.
One of the necessary obstacles to being on the soccer team was to be able to run more than three miles without stopping.
So I began to self-train carefully.
One of the first things that I learned from the experience of running – was that running changes your nutritional needs.
All of a sudden, I was in need of extra calories – healthy calories.
One day I went into the kitchen, craving granola bars but having none.
My siblings were known to eat all of the granola and bars that came through the kitchen – sometimes in the first day after shopping unapologetically.
One of my favorite cereals – was a small box of granola-containing contents, and that box wasn’t even possible to last through one breakfast – plus, it was expensive.
I looked in the pantry and decided to make oatmeal cookies instead.
After a while, every week, I would make a huge batch of oatmeal cookies – to carry with me to school and munch on – as I began to run more and more –
until I could run more than double what we were required – without stopping.
Many people who live in under-developed nations with a prevalence of hunger – do not have access to healthy grains –
Corn can produce the most food per horizontal foot, but corn does not nourish a body the same as oats and other grains.
Most oat grain is grown in the northen hemispheres, above the global poverty line – and these kinds of cereal grains are not often easy to find in rural villages of the subtropics.
Oats out-perform many of the local village foods – according to Wikipedia:
In just one serving, “oats provide 389 caloriesand are an excellent source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of protein (34% DV), dietary fiber (44% DV), several B vitamins and numerous dietary minerals, especially manganese (233% DV) (table). Oats are 66% carbohydrates, including 11% dietary fiber and 4% beta-glucans, 7% fatand 17% protein (table).” – Wikipedia
I used to wake up early in the mornings, and sometimes run an hour before school.
Just as a horse needs to be fed in order to work it’s hardest, a body needs to be nourished – and oats are good for that.
Without proper nutrition, even a spiritual animal like a horse will just break down, and won’t be able to give as much of the same push or pull as it could if it were well-nourished.
Think of consuming wholesome meals as the bodily fuel it takes to cover long distances – even an oatmeal cookie – is healthier than you might imagine.
When the weather is cold outside, warm blankets are an option when you are standing still, but when you are moving along – especially running – or walking long distances, you also need that special nutrition, like a candle burning inside keeping your vital organs functioning and internal chemistry warm.
It is good to cook with oats – often.
Sometimes, when we use too much energy – running on a treadmill – it helps to recooperate with a good oat cereal recipe.
It’s not a good nutritional story – when oats are not around.
Oats have a lot of good vitamins and nutrients to offer, but lack presence around the world.
Once you are used to the comfort of oats being around, and the feeling of there-ness isn’t always available – you miss them, terribly.
The comfort of proximity then becomes the confusion of where-ness.
How far do you have to go for your next breakfast-and-coffee session with big bowl of granola cereal?
In the village, your body is required to use it’s strength wisely – so foods like oats really make a difference – especially in places where there are no roads – or enough signs to direct you to where you are going.
When playing sports, and training – your goal is simply to be able to do small things – like run three miles, kick a ball into a net, etc.
When you are doing those things – like walking 8 miles or more – in addition to work – it’s important to have a direction to point your efforts towards – because your day isn’t defined as successful by merely being able to go a certain distance – it’s distressing to go any distance until you have an idea where you are going to end up.
The longing for there-ness and the comforting feeling of home isn’t far from your aching feet.
Imagine walking ten miles, and not being able to solve a problem. You’d be in need of some oatmeal cookies – that’s for sure.
And prayerful about knowing what it was that caused you to use so much effort for such meaningless goals.
When you eat healthy food, and share healthy food, it is confusing to not be able to accomplish healthy goals.
It is easy to walk 8-10 miles in a regular day, sometimes more than that – without having access to a healthy water source – or vehicles.
Having the right nourishment helps people to be able to do better things.
We’d like to share oats with the village someday.
Try some oats – and new recipes today – there are plenty to go around your holiday table.
Questions? Comments? Do you miss oats in your diet? Share your messages here: