Lockdown: I’m the flaxman; yeah I’m the flaxman

Someone asked me about overnight oats, so here’s how I do it. If you Google “overnight oats” you’ll find a hundred ways to do it. I tried it a few of those ways, adjusting for my preferences until it evolved into this.

The one-pint Ziploc Twist n Loc containers work best, but store-brand copycats work too. I use ’em both, ‘though I’ve found the Ziploc containers to be less prone to leakage.

One pint is two cups, which you know. So if you fill the cannister halfway with old-fashioned rolled oats (that is, not quick oats or whatever they call them), you get a whole cup of oatmeal goodness. I add about two tablespoons of a flaxseed-chia-seed mix. My local grocery used to sell it mixed, but no longer. Now I buy flaxseed and chia seeds separately and mix them in a plastic container, spooning out what I need each evening for the next morning.

If flaxseed and chia seeds aren’t part of your intake already, you may find some interesting effects on your going to the bathroom. The effect on me lasted a few weeks, but now it faded over time for some reason. I can’t think of a good reason for it unless the chia seeds i used before were ground and the ones I use now are whole, and perhaps this difference means my body responds differently.

Okay, half a container of rolled oats, two tablespoons of flaxseed and chia seeds, a couple of dashes of cinnamon, and two (or three) tablespoons of brown sugar. The brown sugar you could really do without, but I just find it easier to eat the whole thing if I sweeten it a little. Some mornings I’ll sprinkle more brown sugar on top. I know, I know.

Heres where you can add fruit or berries, which I tried for a little while. It just didn’t work for me. Slivered almonds are good, but I don’t know. They aren’t an improvement.

When all the dry ingredients are in the cannister, I mix it up as thoroughly as I can, but that’s just to make it easier the next morning. You really don’t have to stir it at all. Sometimes I’ll screw the lid on and give it a few vigorous shakes. Then take the lid off.

Now top off the cannister with milk or a nondairy alternative. I like oatmilk the best, but my local grocery store doesn’t carry it, and Costco (when I’m going there, which I’m not for the foreseeable future) has good, inexpensive, organic almond milk, so that’s what I usually go with. Now that I’m shopping at the neighborhood grocery store, I stick to almond milk. Use flavored or sweetened or plain. I use plain, but I also like the vanilla flavored.

Screw the cap on, and leave in fridge overnight. Give it a little stir in the morning, and dig in. I love eating my breakfast out of the container I make it in, plus it’s portable if you want to throw it in your bag and have it at your desk at work in the morning (I put it in a sandwich-sized Ziploc bag if I take it to go).

It’s a very forgiving recipe. I measure nothing. And if you decide to give it a try, you’ll take some things I do and toss others. It’s that flexible. I have it at least every other morning because it’s filling and satisfying, even if some mornings it’s not as interesting as others. Because all that fiber is good for me, I make myself finish the entire thing even when I fill up quickly. If I don’t finish it, I’m more likely to snack before lunch.

It took a long time before it was satisfying, lemme tell you. It used to fill me up, but then I’d really be craving some sausage or bacon or something. Now it almost always takes care of me until lunch, although occasionally I’ll have something small and savory right after, especially if I have leftovers in the fridge. I just had to train myself to think of the oats as breakfast, I think. Now I look forward to it most mornings.

Which doesn’t mean, as you know if you’ve been paying attention, that I don’t sometimes still have a couple of hot dogs for breakfast instead.


I wasn’t super productive Thursday, but I did get a few things done. Finally got in touch with the donor I’m writing about, and we had a really nice phone conversation for about half an hour. I reached out to one of the chancellors to get a quote because I can see the shape this story will take even before drafting it. Should be a nice one, and I’m looking forward to drafting it tomorrow.

Breakfast was overnight oats. Lunch was a bowl of Apple Jacks because I have some milk to use up. It’d been several years since I’d last had a bowl of cereal (it’s rather pricey in Hawaii), so the Apple Jacks were an impulse buy a couple of months ago. I don’t really know what came over me: I like flakes. So it’s taken me this long to finish off the box.

Dinner was three small burritos — not the frozen burritos I’ve been having, but a kind of shortcut burrito I make rather often. I normally keep a large container of the filling in my fridge, then spoon it onto tortillas and add a slice of cheddar. Fold, then zap in the microwave oven. Simple ingredients. Tasty, quick, and inexpensive.

I had an egg salad sandwich for a snack during my walk.

Man, I got off to a super late start walking. Like 11:30. I only hit 5000 steps before midnight, then added 10,000 steps after midnight. Now it’s past 4:00 in the morning and I start work at 9:00(ish). There is going to be a lot of napping this weekend. I listened to a couple of podcasts and my short but awesome Amy Grant playlist.

Traded messages with Crush Girl periodically all day, mostly about books and food. She’s reading a book I let her borrow. I’m still trying to finish Dig by A.S. King, which is an amazing piece of work. I’ve just been too distracted at home, so I’m only getting reading done at the laundry. I miss reading in cafes!

That was it for texts and IMs, ‘though I got some decent engagement on FB, so I’m counting it. Tomorrow I’m going to comment in this space on an interesting piece by Adam Grant in the NY Times about introverts working at home.

I watched all the extras on Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, but was suuuuper disappointed to see there’s no commentary track. Ugh. I’m going to watch the movie again before I send the DVD back. Definitely a movie for fans of the franchise, and only for fans of the franchise.

I haven’t been drinking coffee or tea much this past couple of years, but Friday is going to be a multi-cup day for one or the other. I need the jolt if I want to be productive, and I really do. I have interesting projects to work on, and unless something “urgent” comes up, I’m going to have time to work on them.

Whatever you’re working on, if you’re having difficulty feeling connected to others for whatever reason, I hope you’ll reach out. We can trade texts or DMs. I want to know what you had for breakfast. I want to know what you’re streaming. I want to hear about what you miss.

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