Posts Tagged ‘oatmeal’

Two-Course Meal

Happy Tuesday! 🙂 I woke up this morning and was eager to try out Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD again. It wasn’t as hard as I remembered, so I guess that’s a good sign! And then my grumbling stomach reminded me that it was time for breakfast.

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I usually tend toward smaller meals and more snacks, but today I decided to try a bigger breakfast and see how that changes the day. Experiments are fun.

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Course one was oatmeal. On the stove, I cooked 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 sliced banana, and 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds. After a few minutes when the oats were done, I added cinnamon and a tbsp. of almond butter on top. Yummm. There are not many things—if any—that I like more than oatmeal.

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And on the side I had another green smoothie! I made this one with the other half of the banana, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds, a handful of frozen strawberries, and a couple handfuls of spinach.

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Simple but delicious. Yeah, it looks a little like swamp water, but you cannot taste spinach at all, I promise. Just tastes like a strawberry-banana smoothie.

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 Quote of the day: It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.

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I’m Baaaaack!

Why hello there! 🙂 Long time no see (type?!).

“School’s out for summer…”

Now that school’s done for the time being, I’m excited to get back in the blogging swing of things. And hopefully I’ll have some exciting things to talk about since I’m running the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in less than a month and then in July…

(drumroll)

…I’m leaving to go to Sydney for a semester abroad! 🙂 Yup, I’m headed to the University of Sydney in Australia for the fall semester, and my goal is to blog my way through it.

But I’ve got many things to keep me busy until then, including a lot of cooking and eating yummy food.

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Yes, it’s green, but it’s yummy, I promise. Perfect Saturday morning breakfast if you ask me.

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To make this tasty concoction, I threw the following into a blender:

  • one frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • a few handfuls of spinach
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • chia seeds
  • ground flaxseeds

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And of course I topped it with some Kashi Heart to Heart and tossed it in a bowl for some “smoothie in a bowl” action.

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Warms my heart to get some greens in me in the morning. Plus, let’s be serious, anything that’s a fun color is fun to eat. 

I wish I had some pictures from my food yesterday, but rest assured that I appropriately pampered my mother and made her banana pancakes for brunch and almond-crusted salmon (which was amazing; I’ll be making it again soon) for dinner.

Now onto this morning’s breakfast. I went for a run this morning (got to break in some new sneaks) and since it’s May in Texas, it’s super hot and I was in the mood for something cold. I saw this fabulous idea and knew I needed to try it ASAP. Last night, I mixed 1/3 cup rolled oats with 3/4 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon.

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This morning, I pulled a banana from the freezer and threw it in the food processor until it resembled a soft-serve consistency. Then I layered it all up and added a blob of almond butter on top. (And margarita glasses just make Monday mornings more fun.)

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This was really delicious! Next time I think I’ll try it with my traditional overnight oats recipe (equal parts oats, milk, and yogurt) but I actually really liked the texture of this. Having the banana separate instead of mixed in was really good.

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I’m off, but lunch is already in the oven and it smells awesome. I’m trying a new recipe, so stay tuned.

Quote of the day: Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

My favorite quote of all time. And that means a lot considering I’m a quote fiend.

Rodeo Run

Since I’m getting back into the Team in Training swing of things, it just gets easier and easier to hear that early alarm clock on Saturday mornings. I bounced out of bed this morning, ready for our six-mile run. Since I knew it would be a good while before I could eat breakfast (~60 minutes of running + a 15-minute drive each way), I wolfed down a Clif Z bar right when I woke up. Actually, I ate it in bed AS I woke up. (Those are my traditional pre-run fuel. They’re tasty and easy on my stomach. And they are a good size at 130 calories each, so I can have half or a whole one before a run. When I get up to running 11 or 12 miles, I’ll have a slightly larger pre-run snack like whole wheat toast with almond butter.)

I felt pretty good going into this run, despite a lack of running this week and a terrible run last weekend. What can I say, the glass is always half-full. 😉 I set out with my great group of TNT buddies in lovely running weather: it hovered in the mid-40s our entire run, with the sun peeking out for the second half. Besides my running capris and T-shirt, I only needed a ski cap to keep my head warm. The wind was a little chilly right at the beginning, but I warmed right up.

I was the group leader and shouted out mile times from my handy Garmin. Check out those negative splits!

Mile 1: 10:42

Mile 2: 10:13

Mile 3: 10:05

Mile 4: 9:37

Mile 5: 9:35

Mile 5-5.9: 8:18 (9:13 pace)

Everyone was super-pleased with the run. Including me because I have not run this far in about…two months? And injury-wise, I felt pretty good. My ankle was a wee bit sore while running,  but my knee was only a little stiff and I iced both. Follow-up doctor’s appointment on Monday, which I am pretty excited about! Don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about going to the doctor…

But the best part of our run was definitely the last couple of miles. The rodeo is in town and we got to run along the rodeo parade for a couple miles. Tons of spectators were lining the road we were on, and it was easy to pretend they were cheering for us! 😉

I came home and immediately prepared this bowl of deliciousness. (I am home for spring break right now, at least for a few days until I jet off to New York.) I haven’t had my stovetop oatmeal in a couple months!

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In a pot I combined 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup water, 1 sliced banana, 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. After a few minutes, it was all ready and I topped it with a little bit of Kashi Heart to Heart, about half a serving of the best granola ever (Nature’s Path Peanut Butter), and a tablespoon of almond butter.

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Mmm…almond butter…

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This bowl was worth the wait. Except next time I don’t think I would mix the granola in with the oats; I’d either eat it separately or leave it on the top and just take a little bit with each bite. The granola got too soft in the hot oats and I couldn’t taste it very much. 😦 Good to know!

After a nap and a shower, it was just about time for lunch.

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My very favorite salmon salad. (Which I’m about to put up on the recipe page!)

I started with a whole host of veggies: chopped zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, and carrots. I added half a chopped apple and half of a can of salmon (wild Alaskan salmon, available at Costco). I combined it all together with Greek yogurt and seasoned with salt and smoked paprika. Yummy! Served with a side of Kashi 7 Grain crackers as dippers…this was awesome. The veggies lend a lovely crunch, while the apple adds sweetness and the Greek yogurt binds it all.

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And who can forget my other obsession? Dark chocolate, the darker the better.

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The Best Breakfast

My very favorite breakfast is super simple. Prepare banana oatmeal as usual.

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Take advantage of an almost-empty almond butter jar.

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Combine. (Be sure to eat with a long spoon so you can scrape all the almond butter off the bottom and the sides of the jar to get it in every bite.)

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Moan with happiness and enjoy your breakfast.

Stronger

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I have been so pleased with the progress in my mini-rehab! My legs feel so much stronger, and I have virtually no knee pain anymore. And speaking of legs, let me back up to Saturday’s workout. 3 sets of everything, per usual!

Plus 20 minutes on the elliptical. A really great workout!

On Sunday, I ran again, increasing my distance a little bit. (Remember you can check out all my workouts in my exercise schedule.) Tonight will be another cardio workout. (My roommate and I go to the gym at 7 on Mondays so we can watch The Bachelor. At least I only watch it while I’m on the elliptical!)

And now for food talk! One of my toughest challenges when coming to college was figuring out what to eat for breakfast. I should tell you that breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. If I could (and I sometimes do), I would eat breakfast foods at lunch and dinner, as well. When I am at home, I switch my breakfasts up among cereal, yogurt and granola, French toast, pancakes, smoothies, and my beloved stovetop oatmeal.

But here at school, there is really only one option for me: instant oatmeal. I know. After making it old-fashioned style on the stove for a while (and perfecting that technique, by the way) I had to figure out a way to make instant oatmeal taste as good.

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But I’m proud to say that I finally did it! I don’t know about you, but what I never liked so much about instant oatmeal (I use the plain instant stuff out of the canister, not the packets) was the texture. Oats plus hot water never equaled a nice combination for me. So what I do is put the oats in the bowl first, and then add a healthy splash of milk (soy milk, in my case). Then I add a little bit of hot water (no microwave necessary). I have no idea why that changes things, but adding the soy milk first—which means you don’t need as much water—really makes the texture a lot more appealing to me. Softer, somehow? Less gummy?

Anyway, then I add the toppings. (Mine are cinnamon, chopped pecans, and a little granola.) Last step: I slice in a banana—preferably a deliciously ripe one like today—and mash it all up!

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So now that you’ve heard my super-nerdy tutorial about how to make good instant oatmeal, give it a try! Oatmeal is the perfect, fiber-rich breakfast. 🙂