Pat Toner’s Baked Lentil Oatmeal

it’s been awhile since I’ve given an update on how hugging is going for me…  about a year ago I shared my struggles with hugging… my short-comings, anxiety, avoidance and strategies…  so thought it was high time for a report…

I still don’t get it…  don’t understand the motives behind it or the pleasure in doing it… I miss the signals to hug someone and I misinterpret other signals and end up hugging at the wrong time…

the farmer and I had been visiting his grandmother last weekend and I was doing my usual sneaking along the wall trying to get my shoes on and avoid a hug as I was leaving her apartment…   and she caught me and reprimanded me and made me hug her…

I thought to myself – ‘what kind of awful human being have I become?’

I told myself I need to grow up and hug people…  stop being so frigid and closed…

a few days later, it is Valentines Day, and I am taking cupcakes to the bake sale at the library… freshly showered with Martha Stewart cupcakes in hand I head out to deliver them to the lucky recipient that will spend $1 per cupcake to eat this homemade delicacy…

I enter the library and set down the pans of cupcakes and see a lady heading over to chat with me…  I have known this lady for quite some time now and really enjoy our conversations together…

I turn to face her and as she talks she begins to put one arm behind my back... with the fresh memory of being awful and not hugging the farmer’s grandmother, I decide that this must be a universal sigh to hug someone…

I generously put my arm behind her back and swiftly put my other arm around her and completed the hug… with my wet hair ending up in her face and not entirely sure how long I should hold the hug for or if I should continue talking while hugging or if I should pat her on the back while hugging… I felt like I was having an out of body experience…

I released the hug when I felt sufficiently awkward and satisfied that she had got what she had come across the room for…

this is when I started to second guess my actions…  what if, just saying, what if…  she had come across the room to put a hand on my back and that was it?  just an open faced conversation where someone has a hand on your back… at the most you would put your hand on their back and leave it at that…

the moment this idea entered my head I started to fumble my words and blush and feel like I had just made things very uncomfortable for her and the two other women at the library…  and now she was having to be gracious and chat about cupcakes and the weather…

this is when I started to plan my exit…

 perhaps with my self-awareness of my body and what hugging is all about, I should stick with a solid hand shake or a fist bump or nothing… probably nothing…

the best way for me to show love I’ve realized is to make cupcakes… or oatmeal…

cook… this is how you know I love you… no more hugs… just food… 

this baked oatmeal recipe is THE BEST baked oatmeal I have ever made…  my friend had shared it with me and my kids absolutely loved it and it is packed with nutrition and superfoods!!!

(I did forget the berries in the morning when I was assembling it and they still loved it)

some of us were made to hug… and some to cook…  I figure – know your place and stick with it…  

so if you see me coming, please don’t send me any signals that you want to hug…  it will end poorly and you’ll wonder how something could get so weird so quickly…

Pat Toner's Baked Lentil Oatmeal


  • 1 1/2 cups large flake rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup red lentils
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground flax meal
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup frozen berries


  • in a square baking dish, mix up dry ingredients night before
  • in the morning, mix milk, syrup, egg, butter and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients and stir
  • add berries
  • bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes
  • serve with some almond milk

One thought on “Pat Toner’s Baked Lentil Oatmeal

Add yours

  1. Never met a non-hugger before…lol
    I have tried the fist pump…accidentally punching someone…so best for me to stick to hugging.

    I am hesitant to hug people I don’t really know but if I know them I will hug…within reason!

    But God at the end of a tough day, there is nothing like a good hug!

    Lol…Try some hug classes…Hugs for the Non-Huggers!

    Liked by 1 person

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