Orange Nectar Oatmeal and Some Heavy Breathing (not that kind)

By January 14, 2014 learn, nourish 2 Comments

Today was a bit of a doozy. Namely, I had something stressful to deal with at work. I won’t lay it out here, but it was not the best time. It required some deep breathing, which truly helped a lot. I’ve recommended friends, family members and clients all start practicing some deep breathing technique each day. Ideally, we would all do this each morning upon waking and each evening before going to sleep, as well as any time (like mine today) when stress or anxiety has our heart racing. 

Deep breathing helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression by stimulating our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is responsible for activities that occur when our body is at rest. It functions in an opposite manner to the sympathetic nervous system, which stimulates activities associated with the fight-or-flight response. In other words, it helps to calm us down. In their book “The Healing Power of the Breath,” Richard P. Brown, M.D. and Patricia L. Gerbarg, M.D. write that:

By voluntarily changing the rate, depth, and pattern of breathing, we can change the messages being sent from the body’s respiratory system to the brain. Messages from the respiratory system have rapid, powerful effects on major brain centers involved in thought, emotion, and behavior.

I was lucky enough to hear Dr. Andrew Weil (one of my integrative medicine heroes) speak live this past year and he demonstrated a breathing technique that I now use all of the time – the 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) exercise. It’s Exercise 2 here, with a video demo here.

I performed 4 rounds of the 4-7-8 exercise at my desk (it takes all of a few minutes) and was able to calm my heart rate and feel better equipped to handle what was going on. In truth, the situation ended up playing out much more calmly than anticipated (our minds tend to make us much more anxious than necessary), so I’m glad my deep breathing helped to bring me back from the ledge.

Thankfully, I started and ended the day on high notes. I knew it was going to be one of those days, so I took the couple extra minutes to make myself a yummy breakfast of Orange Nectar Oatmeal {recipe below}. After work, I took advantage of a 10-day free pass to check out a new gym and got in 45 minutes on the elliptical and a bit of back before making it home by 9pm.  

I think that citrus and oatmeal might be one of my new favorite food marriages. Since making the Coconut Lemon Ginger Oats the other day, I’ve been on a kick. So when I came across this Orange Maple Polenta recipe on Edible Perspective, I just had to adapt it. Definitely another hit.

Orange Nectar Oatmeal
Serves 1
Allergens: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free {nut-free if omit almond slivers}
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  1. 1/4 cup gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
  2. 1/4 cup gluten-free steel cut oats
  3. 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla quinoa milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  4. 1/2 Tbs coconut oil
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/2 Tbs coconut nectar
  7. 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  8. 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  9. 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  10. Pinch of salt
  11. 1/4 orange
  12. Orange zest
  13. Hemp seeds
  14. Almond slivers
  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and then add in the oats. Turn to low, cover and simmer 10-20 minutes, depending on desired consistency. Add in milk in the last minute or so of cooking.
  2. Turn off heat and move to a cool burner. Stir in coconut oil, coconut nectar, vanilla extract, orange zest, spices and pinch of salt.
  3. Spoon into a bowl and top with hemp seeds, almond slivers, chopped orange and orange zest. Drizzle with coconut nectar.
an unprocessed life


  • adam jachimowicz says:

    I stumbled upon this page, then realized that I knew the author! wow. Impressed. Also recommend the you tube video series by Corrina Rachel. My personal trainer sent me one, and they are very informative.

    • Jocelyn says:

      Hey Adi! Thanks :) So funny (and awesome) that you stumbled upon me. I’ll definitely check out the series you recommended. Keep in touch and keep following – check out my Facebook and Instagram accounts for more frequent posts. Hope you, Sangeeta and Leela are doing great! We need a reunion to happen. xx

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