Quick-Cooked Apple Pie Oats, and Why Perfectionism Sabotages Healthy Habits

Dani Spies is a New Jersey-based Health And Weight Loss Coach and the host of Clean & Delicious weekly web cooking show that teaches people how to make simple, delicious, nutritious everyday meals.

Dani believes that how we think about food is as important as the food we eat and loves helping others develop a healthy relationship with their food, body, and life!  You can find all of Dani’s work on her blog Clean & Delicious, and can connect with her on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

This is a guest post for October Unprocessed. If this is your first time here, welcome! …and it’s not too late to join in!

Quick Apple Pie Oats

Hi. My name is Dani Spies and I’m an ex-wannabe perfectionist.

Oh the time and energy I wasted on trying to do “the healthy thing” the “right” way only to be constantly “trying again” or “starting over.”

Any of you who have ever struggled with trying to “be healthy” can understand, I’m sure.

Here’s what the equation looks like for a wannabe perfectionist:

  • Set a goal (to eat healthy)
  • Make a plan (buy the food, cook, etc.)
  • Execute plan (cook, eat, feel great)
  • Go ‘off’ the plan (have a donut, cookie, chips, etc.)
  • Kick yourself, beat yourself up, feel like a failure
  • Give up on trying to eat healthy because it doesn’t work (This is the part where you tell yourself you don’t really care… but you do. You’re just tired from all the emotional abuse you do to yourself.)

Can anyone relate to this type of thinking? This is the thinking that makes people believe eating healthy is hard (hint: it’s not the eating that’s hard, it’s our thoughts about the eating that make things hard).

Now let me show you the same equation minus the perfectionism.

  • Set a goal (to eat healthy)
  • Make a plan (buy the food, cook, etc.)
  • Execute plan (cook, eat, feel great)
  • Go “off” the plan (have a donut, cookie, chips, etc.)
  • Observe, adjust, learn, be curious, be interested, be patient and most importantly MOVE ON…
  • Continue to move forward towards your healthy eating goals and feel great

As you can see, it’s never the donut or the bag of chips that is the problem, it’s what we make the donut or bag of chips mean. And here’s the great news: Eating a donut does not mean that you have failed, can’t do it, did it wrong, will never get it right, etc. All eating a donut means is that you ate a donut.

Isn’t that such a relief?

So whether you are a clean-eating super-star or just beginning your path to eating well, remember that the ultimate goal is to feel awesome, which is why being kind, patient, and curious with yourself is just as important as what you are putting on your plate.

Lean into the experience and enjoy the ride!

Now for those of you always on the look out for a quick, delicious, nutritious breakfast idea, here is a family favorite in my house that can be made in less than five minutes.

4 from 2 votes

Quick-Cooked Apple Pie Oats

Delicious way to start your morning with a delicious head start.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Yield 1 serving
Calories 181 kcal
Author Dani Spies


  • 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 apple diced
  • a few dashes of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts


  1. Place oats and water in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in egg whites. Place back in microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Oats should be nice and fluffy when they come out. Stir in apples and cinnamon. Transfer to a cool bowl to eat out of. Top with walnuts and enjoy!


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October 9, 2013 5:45 am

Thank you, Dani, for giving us this new way to approach our thought processes. I’ve fallen victim to “stinkin thinkin” many times throughout life, and know how powerful it can be in dragging me down. I will put your approach into practice and recommend it to my adult kids for when they face similar challenges. As a vegan, I can’t follow your recipe d/t the egg whites, but I’ll try to veganize it!

October 8, 2013 7:13 pm

sounds delish…but you lost me at using the microwave…

October 8, 2013 5:27 pm

5 stars
Brilliant idea to up the protein by adding egg whites – that end up cooked. We can’t eat uncooked eggs at our house due to health issues.

Karen D'Amato
Karen D'Amato
October 8, 2013 12:10 pm

I don’t understand why you used a microwave for any cooking… aren’t we suppose to be going unprocessed? A microwave is not safe for your body or for the changes it makes in the molecular structure of food. Bad Idea, I’d say.

We threw our microwave out 4 years ago and everything tastes better (and real) and some illness has also disappeared.

October 9, 2013 2:25 am
Reply to  Karen D'Amato


Microwaves are not dangerous. -.- I am sick of people claiming this. Heat in non-reactive glass, not plastic, and you’re fine.

October 8, 2013 11:09 am

This struggling perfectionist is simply delighted to have everything on hand to make these delicious oats:) I am so looking forward to breakfast tomorrow morning. Thanks for sharing!

October 8, 2013 10:23 am

Would this work with steel cut oats?

October 8, 2013 10:26 am
Reply to  Jena

I don’t think so ,simply b/c they take so much longer to cook.

October 8, 2013 10:29 am
Reply to  Dani

This sounds great, I usually only buy steel cut, but I’ll have to try this! Thank you!

October 8, 2013 10:12 am

i hope you enjoy the oats. they are my fave this time of year;)

October 8, 2013 9:28 am

Perfectionism runs on my father’s side of the family and Procrastination runs on my mother’s. I somehow ended up as a mix of both. The perfectionism was at it’s worst when I was in my teens (ended up with a flown blown eating disorder by high school) and even as an adult, it’s a struggle to let go of that mentality. This is my first October Unprocessed and although I haven’t fallen off the wagon yet, I’m sure I might, and I’m trying to get in the mindset of letting it go and moving on with the challenge.

Can’t wait to try these oats tomorrow morning! It’s been getting chilly here in southern NJ 🙂

October 8, 2013 9:23 am

I resemble your remarks exactly! The search for the perfect solution is never ending and frustrating as it does not exist. Thanks for reminding us!

October 8, 2013 10:11 am
Reply to  Marty

ah, yes. i am always reminding myself as i remind others. it’s definitely a practice.

October 8, 2013 9:10 am

I’ve been making a similar recipe with steel cut oats and buttered cinnamon apples. It’s heavenly.

And I totally agree on the perfectionism thing. It’s nice to see someone else say it. I’m not bothered by the eating of a donut. Or cheesecake 🙂 As long as it’s not an all the time thing, it’s not the end of the world. Learn from it, if needs be, and move on.

October 8, 2013 10:10 am
Reply to  Christina

ooooh. buttered cinnamon apples? that sounds amazing. will be trying soon!