It doesn't have to be that complicated. You can use regular wholegrain rolled oats, not "instant," cooked in the microwave for 2 minutes - and get essentially the same health benefits as steel cut oats. And as it's easier to prepare, you are likely to consume more frequently, therefore upping the benefit. (http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/advantages-steel-cut-oats-3885.html) Most importantly, microwaving does not kill the nutrients in your food! (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/17/health/17real.html)
1 cup of oats
1 cup of non/low-fat milk
Combine in a microwave safe bowl (not plastic) and microwave for approximately 2 minutes. The actual cooking time will vary - test and see what works for you. For me, it's 2 minutes 10 seconds. Stir - you may need to add an extra tablespoon or so of milk to loosen. Done.
I like to top mine with fruit. In the off-season, I use frozen fruit warmed in the microwave for a minute. Frozen fruit has all of the nutrients of fresh, is less expensive and lasts longer. The texture can be affected when warming - your berries won't be as firm, but that works in this instance.
* Now - the reason oatmeal is top of the list of breakfast foods:
Fiber, soluble and non-soluble (oatmeal has more soluble: dissolves in water forming a gel - good for lowering cholesterol and keeping lower blood glucose levels), is an important part of any healthy diet. Increased fiber intake is associated with lower heart disease risk, substantially lower risk of type-2 diabetes, lower risk of diverticulitis (which affects 1/3 of all those over 45 in North America) and constipation. Fiber also helps you maintain a full feeling longer.
Weight management - whether you need to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, oatmeal is considered a part of a healthy diet that will help you achieve that. It's low in calories and low in fat. However, don't put these benefits at risk by adding butter, cream and sugar to your bowl! If you need sweetness, add some fruit and up the nutrients instead of upping the fat and calories.
Happy New Year! May you be resolute in your resolutions.