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Some people were let go at work this past week.  Fortunately I wasn’t affected, but someone I know was.chocolate oatmeal 001


Someone in his early 50s with 4 kids all under the age of 18.  I felt so incredibly bad for him, but there was nothing I could do except offer him support.  It’s a tough economy we are all facing.chocolate oatmeal 002
Later in the day I ran into this lady at work and we were discussing the folks who lost their jobs.  She then proceeded to tell me that sometimes it takes something bad to happen for something good to come out of it.  So true – I just didn’t think of it that way at the time.chocolate oatmeal 004
This got me thinking about myself.  You see, layoffs aren’t a foreign concept to me since I was laid off at my very first job, one that I didn’t particularly love, but I continued with it because I didn’t know any better and I was too afraid to try something new.chocolate oatmeal 005
Naturally after getting laid off I was devastated not being able to find my next gig, but I also learned a lot from that experience at a young age.chocolate oatmeal 016
Here to share with you are my Lessons Learned:

1. You can never be too loyal to any company because they won’t hesitate for a second to let you go when it is time to downsize.  Always look out for your career and move around a bit if you aren’t challenged enough at your current job.  When the right opportunity strikes, don’t be a fool, accept the offer.

2. It taught me the value of money!  Of course in college I was always broke, but after getting my first “real” job, I didn’t think too much about saving.  As soon as I was out of a job, I soon realized I needed money for those unpredictable rainy days because you never know what life will throw at you.  Luckily, I was living at home at the time so my food and shelter were taken care of, but I still needed money for other things, right?   

3. It opened doors for me.  Not only did I end up volunteering at the United Nations for 8 months, but I also ended up finding my next job at one of the best companies I ever worked for.  In fact, my most valuable skills that I currently use were acquired at this particular firm.  I worked on cutting-edge technology, learned excellent work ethic, and learned to have a “can do” attitude.  Two years later I eventually left for a better opportunity, but I also possessed a much better skill set and a ton of confidence.  Learning those valuable skills early on in my career has molded me into performing better at work today.   


Now I can’t help but wonder, had I not been laid off from my very first job out of college, I may have continued at a job that I didn’t like because I would be too afraid to try something new.  Fear is the culprit that lies among all of us.chocolate oatmeal 029

The way I see it is, most things in life are a choice, but on that rare occasion, life will make a choice for you.  And when it seems like everything you’ve ever known is lost, an opportunity of a lifetime strikes when you least expect it.  At that moment set your fears aside and go along for the ride.  Just hope the path you are on is the right one, and if not, at the very least you learned from it.  Sometimes you can’t fight fate, sometimes there is a plan bigger than you had imagined for yourself.  Make sense?chocolate oatmeal 033
And now, breakfast.  For those of you who “love” chocolate, you will “love” this Chocolate Banana Oatmeal that I whipped up this weekend.  Add a scoop of Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter and wait a minute or two, the peanut butter slowly melts into the hot oatmeal which yields an incredibly delicious breakfast!  chocolate oatmeal 037

NUTRITION:
Oats help reduce cholesterol and are a good source of protein and fiber.  Milk is an excellent source of Calcium and Protein.  Bananas are a very good source of Vitamin B6.  They are also a good source of Vitamin C and Fiber.  Cocoa Powder is an excellent source of antioxidants.  Peanut Butter is an excellent source of Protein, however since it is high in fat (good fats), it must be eaten in moderation.



INGREDIENTS:

  • Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats – 1/3 cup
  • Milk 1% Low Fat – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/3 cup
  • Banana – 1 medium (sliced)
  • Vanilla Extract – 1/2 tsp
  • Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – 1 tbsp
  • Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams – 1 spoonful
  • Brown Sugar – optional; I didn’t use any, but you can add a teaspoon if you need extra sweetness


DIRECTIONS:

1. On low-medium heat, add the oats, milk, and water.

2. Immediately add the sliced banana and vanilla extract.  chocolate oatmeal 108
3. Add cocoa powder.  Stir.chocolate oatmeal 109
4. Using a fork, smash the slices of banana.  This will help sweeten and thicken up the oatmeal while coming to a boil.chocolate oatmeal 112
5. This is what you should have after a few minutes.  Once the oatmeal starts to bubble, turn off the heat.chocolate oatmeal 114
6. Pour the oatmeal into a serving bowl. 
7. Add a spoonful of Peanut Butter & Co’s – Dark Chocolate Dreams – this is seriously the BEST PEANUT BUTTER I have ever had.  It’s rich, slightly sweet, and chocolate-y.  So good!
8. Indulge.  Doesn’t even feel like breakfast.chocolate oatmeal 045


TELL ME: Have you ever lost a job?  Did something better come along that made you feel smarter and more confident?



Hi, I'm Nisha!

I'm a foodie who is passionate about healthy-ish living and mindful eating. You'll find a bit of everything here. I use mostly organic real ingredients and incorporate seasonal produce in my cooking. I believe food is medicine. Join me on this soul-searching journey as I share my love for good food, and I hope I inspire you to eat better somewhere along the way.


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8 Comments

  1. Yum, this looks so good! I can't wait to make this… what a great idea!Also, what an awesome post! I'm a college student now and have had a part-time job at CVS for 1.5 years. When I was diagnosed with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome two months ago, I had to quit my job, so I was glad that I had saved up a few thousand dollars to support me now that I can't work. You never think that something like that might happen to you, or that you might get fired, but it happens all the time. It's always good to be prepared.

  2. @Miranda – First off, I'm sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – I had to look that up. I know it's so easy to take little things for granted so I am sorry for what you are going through. And precisely, it's important to save up for those rainy days, and I'm actually fortunate I was let go early in my career so I was able to save later on. Always have money saved for those rainy days, because you really never know. I'm glad you had enough saved to support you. 🙂

  3. @Sarah – I'm really sorry to hear that and I'm glad you were able to connect with the post – I'm glad it helped someone. I do believe things happen for a reason and I believe in due time you will find a better opportunity. Life has a way of working itself out, trust me! Keep your spirits up for the holidays!

  4. WOw, what a great post! I'm facing a potential upheaval in my life with regards to my job and I felt like this post was written for me!! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and your delicious recipe!

  5. Really well said. I have been fortunate not to have been laid of…yet. But I know that so many career moves that seemed like risks have paid off for me in the past. And yes, maybe this is a blessing in disguise for your former co-worker.

  6. Love everything about this post! I have never lost a job but I know I would be absolutely devastated! At the same time, it does have a silver lining for who those aren't loving their job yet are afraid to take risks!

    As for that oatmeal, it looks fabulous..I bet a smaller portion would make a yummy dessert!