Overnight Oats

Banana Softserve Overnight Oats

Morning! Today is off to a better start than most Mondays. I got a great night’s sleep last night and had an incredible breakfast. So, The Lovely Bones? Any of you seen it? I watched it last night and thought it was pretty good! The book was one of my favorites many years ago, but I read it a while ago so I didn’t remember much of the detail of what happened. I’ve heard some people who were die hard fans of the book hating it. I feel like its really easy to hate a movie when you’ve read and loved the book because you create your own picture of what happens through reading it, and the movie can never live up to your own creation. You always picture the characters a certain way, their voices to sound a certain way, and just have your own spin on the story. That said, I think because the book wasn’t too vivid in my head, I really liked the movie. I thought it was interesting that they kept flipping back between the afterlife and Earth and the connection between Suzie and her family. I’d recommend it!

Last night I put together ingredients for Angela’s Vegan Overnight Oats. I’m not vegan (I love cheese and eggs way too much) but I wanted to experiment making the overnight oats with just milk, and I normally use soy or almond milk as opposed to regular cow’s milk as it is.

Into the mix went:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup light soy milk
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Then this morning, I made the banana softserve with one frozen banana. I took a few pictures of the process to show you the right consistency. Once you’ve had it in the food processor for a minute or so, it gets sort of crumbly and looks something like this:

Scrape down the sides and keep it going and once it starts sticking to the blades after another minute or so, it’ll get to the perfect consistency and look more like this:

I used Angela’s idea for Banana Softserve Overnight Oats and layered it with the overnight oats. It was SO good and reminded me of eating a sundae for breakfast!

SO good. If you haven’t tried this yet, you should. The frozen bananas against the cold oats gives it such a nice flavor and temperature contrast. It gives me ideas for doing different kinds of layers with the overnight oats of some of the toppings I’d normally use. It’s so much more fun to eat breakfast when it looks pretty! 🙂

Happy Monday!

Chi Chi Chi Chia

Everyone remembers that jingle from the Chia Pet commercials, right? I can never get it out of my head any time I see the word Chia.. and recently I’ve seen it a lot in the blogsphere because Chia Seeds are everywhere! I’d never tried them for myself, but I like new things and I’ve heard they are really good for you, so I did a little research.

Here’s what I found. Chia seeds come from the Salvia Hispanica plant, which is a plant that grows in the desert and very liberally in southern Mexico.  Some of the health benefits associated with Chia Seeds are:

  1. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  2. High in fiber
  3. Also a source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
  4. Don’t have to be ground for your body to absorb their nutrients (like with flax seeds)
  5. When added to water, it forms a gel-like substance. This means a similar process happens in our stomach, meaning we stay fuller for longer after eating them.
  6. Helps your body stay hydrated because they absorb 10x their weight in water.
  7. Stabilizes your blood sugar because it slows the process of converting carbs into sugars (great for Diabetics)
  8. Have been found to lower blood pressure
  9. Can help with weight loss because they keep you fuller longer so you’ll eat less, and they lower your caloric intake when eaten with meals.

So, with all these benefits, I couldn’t wait to give them a try. You can put them into or on top of pretty much anything, so today I made some overnight oats with chia seeds.

Into the mix went:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/2 container of Plain 0% Chobani
  • 1/3 cup light soy milk
  • Toppings: Dried strawberries and dried unsweetened coconut flakes

I am sooo full after this bowl! I think I’m going to start using 1/3 cup of oats instead of 1/2 cup because the chia seeds and the protein powder together in this have left me stuffed! Aren’t these dried strawberries so cute?

They have added sugar which I didn’t realize until after I got them but they are sooo tasty, and a little goes a long way. I ordered the dried strawberries, coconut flakes, and chia seeds from NutsOnline. They had really reasonable prices and the delivery was fast – I ordered Friday and it came yesterday. I’d definitely order from them again, but I got huge bags of everything so I shouldn’t need to for a while! 😉

Happy Hump Day!

Snooze!

Bad news. My camera charger isn’t at work, like I was hoping it would be. 🙁 I looked online to see how much a new one would cost and its $50!! $50 for a little piece of plastic! I was just going to buy it if it was $20 or less, but now I’m going to go home after work and do another thorough sweep of the apartment to make sure its nowhere before I dish out $50 for it. But, in all likelihood, pictures will be coming from my Droid in the next few days. Sad.

For some reason, I had a lot of trouble getting up today. I normally wake up pretty easily when my alarm goes off, but today I snoozed three times! I was expecting to wake up a little sore from last night’s bike ride and The Shred, but I’m actually not feeling stiff or sore at all which is good news. Hopefully I can do a true brick workout soon and not lock myself out of my apartment in the process of getting ready for it… 🙂 I realize I haven’t gone on a run in a long time, so tonight might be a good night to do that.

This morning I had a bowl of Overnight Oats. It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve had them, so I was excited to dive in.

This bowl had:

– 1/2 cup oats

– 1/3 cup organic almond milk

– 1/3 cup nonfat greek yogurt

– 1 small mashed banana

– 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

– Toppings: Freeze dried pineapple (!!!) and sliced almonds

This bowl of overnight oats was sooooooo good! The freeze dried pineapple was really the star and added such a nice crunch to my breakfast. I picked up the bag of it at Trader Joe’s over the weekend and it’s an awesome topping! The pieces were whole rings but I crushed them a bit before sprinkling them on top of the bowl. Yum!

Happy Hump Day!

Dark Chocolate Dreams

Good Morning! Finally, Friday is here! Today is my 12th day in a row working, so I have been looking forward to this weekend for a loooong time. And now, just this work day stands between me and the weekend. Woohoo.

I picked up a few different kinds of Starbucks tea that I was looking forward to trying and brought this one in for today:

Then, on my metro ride in, I was reading the newest issue of Shape (with Ellen DeGeneres on the cover.. love her!!) when I came across this blurb…

Are you putting your health in hot water?

When you’re in a rush, it’s tempting use hot H20 from the faucet to brew your Earl Grey. But this shortcut can exposure you to contaminants like lead, copper, and rust. “Hot tap water is more likely to leach these compounds from your pipes,” says James M. Symons, the author of Plain Talk About Drinking Water. That may put you at risk for potential problems, such as lead poisoning. For the safest sip, bring cold water to a boil.

I have been known to just turn the tap water up as hot as it would go, let it run for a little bit, and then use that for my tea. I never even thought about the risk involved in it, I just thought it was a smart shortcut for hot tea! Oops. Needless to say, I poured COLD water into the teapot today and heated it up to boiling for the Chai. I’m sipping on it now and it is really good.

Last night I was putting together my breakfast/lunch for today when I noticed my jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams was running pretty low.

While I was bummed to be out of this stuff, I was pretty excited to get to have Overnight Oats in a Jar for today! And not just any kind, Chocolate Dreams Overnight Oats in a Jar….. yum, yum, yum.

My overnight oat mix had:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup light soy milk
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder

For toppings, I used ground flax, dark chocolate chunks, sliced almonds, and dried cherries.

One of the best things about Oats in a Jar is that the nut butter is spread all around the jar, so you get a little bit with each bite, even the last one. With this in mind, I decided to put some of the toppings at the bottom of the jar, then the oats on top, then the rest of the toppings. It was such a good idea! I think I’m going to do that with my oats from now on… it makes getting to the bottom a little less sad. 🙂

Happy Friday!!

ONO’s are Back!

Morning! Today is so gloomy and rainy in DC.. I hate it! I’m ready for full out springtime with warm weather and sun. I doubt that makes me unique, but still. 😉 I got a really good nights sleep last night so I am feeling pretty refreshed today despite the weather. I feel asleep by 11 and slept until 8 (oops!) so clocked in just over 9 hours.

I realized that yesterday I didn’t have any coffee, tea, or caffeine of any sort, so that might have been why I was dragging towards the end of the day. That said, I’m pretty happy with my current relationship with caffeine. I was a little freaked out a little over a month ago because I accidentally went without coffee for a few days and started getting some killer headaches (see post here) and then tried to ween myself off of coffee for a while. I’m not opposed to drinking coffee by any means, I’d just prefer to be able to have it when I want it or need a pick-me-up, and not depend on it like I was a few months ago. By weening myself down from XL to Mediums over the course of a few weeks, I feel like I’ve finally gotten to the point where I don’t need it, but still like it, and only have it when I want it. It’s a good feeling!

Breakfast this morning was Overnight Oats… I’ve really missed them! Today I added 1/2 a scoop of protein powder to the mix on top of the usual ingredients, so let’s see if it holds me over for longer. I couldn’t really taste the protein powder, so I’ll definitely use it for the for the fullness factor only and not the flavor.

This bowl of Overnight Oats had:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • Splash of light soy milk
  • 1 small mashed banana
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • Toppings: Dried Cherries and Sliced Almonds

This bowl was soooo good. I just love the texture of these oats.

The dried cherries from the bulk bins at Whole Foods are so delicious. They’re pretty plump for dried fruit but have no added sugars. Dried cherries can be so expensive, but if you buy them in the bulk bins you pay by weight. I got about a cup of them for around $3, which is pretty reasonable if you ask me. 🙂

Back to work I go! Happy Hump Day!

Coffee Free

Morning! It’s a dreary day here in DC and colder than its been in a while. I have a busy day at work so won’t be able to get outside/take a break, so the weather makes that a little better. 🙂

I was talking to Emily this morning about the waffle situation from last night and I think I realized the problem. The box of mix I was using called for mix, oil, and water, but said you could omit the oil for a healthier version. The reason those waffle irons work well without spray is because there is oil in most waffle batters so that helps it to not stick when its done. So, since I didn’t use oil, I should have used spray on the iron… Makes sense but I didn’t even think about that until this morning. It makes me hopeful that my next attempt at waffles can be successful, because I really love them.

Breakfast was overnight oats today and this bowl was the best I’ve had in a while.

The secret? Mashed banana! It really makes overnight oats. This bowl had:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup nonfat yogurt
  • 1 small mashed banana
  • Toppings: Chopped dates, sliced almonds, fiber one cereal

Mmm! I promise to start having slightly more exciting breakfasts soon. I just love how easy these are to bring to work and throw together the night before when I pack my lunch. I’m out of sliced almonds, so at the very least you should be seeing some new toppings in the next few days.

Also, side note, I am still everyday coffee-free! Last Monday, I sort of accidentally stopped drinking coffee, and didn’t have it all week. I had a coffee on Saturday because I was feeling pretty tired, but other than that, I haven’t had any coffee in a week and a half. I haven’t even had headaches or anything. This is a big change from the last time I accidentally went without coffee and had a slight freak out. (Read about it here)

I was planning on going out for a run after work but now that the weather’s like this, I don’t know. I’m feeling pretty much 100% right now body wise after my race on Sunday, which is awesome. I think the yoga last night really helped and I’m looking forward to doing that same routine again because it was really challenging, in a good way.

Happy Tuesday!!

Feeling Good!

Good morning and Happy Monday! I’m glad to say that I slept like a baby last night and only woke up coughing one time, so I’m feeling better today. Also, I am feeling surprisingly great after yesterday’s run! I was nervous I’d way up really sore and stiff today since I hadn’t run for 8 days before the race, but I’m feeling really good. I am a little tight in my hamstrings and my shoulders (what?!) so I might try to do some yoga later to stretch out and loosen up.

I got my official race time from yesterday, which is 1hour, 41 minutes, 2 seconds. This is a 10min7second pace, which is slower than I usually go but, I’m fine with it. I think I could have gone faster with less people running, not having stopped to use the bathroom and tie my shoe, and if I had slept a bit more, but it is what it is! I’m happy I was able to run 10 miles and finished 1662/2792 women in my age division. I’m thinking about finding a half marathon to run sometime soon while I have the mileage built up. One of my goals for this year is to run one, so I’m on the lookout for one in May or June. I found one May 2nd that I’m toying with the idea of signing up for… I’ll keep you guys posted.

Breakfast today was back to overnight oats, which I haven’t had in a while now! I was out of bananas, so I just made this mix with 1/2 cup rolled oats and a little under 1/2 cup each of plain nonfat yogurt and skim milk.

I topped it with cinnamon, sliced almonds, and fiber one. I also had two sliced up kiwis on the side:

This meal completely held me over until lunch, which is a good thing in my book!

My fridge is full of a lot of random groceries because of leftovers from cooking Friday and the trip to Costco, but none of them really go together. I’m going to try to make it through with minimal grocery trips this week (must get bananas and spinach, though!) so you might be seeing some really random meals thrown together this week. 🙂

Starting with my lunch. The star of it was a sandwich made with a toasted bagel thin, laughing cow cheese, a Morningstar Farms Turk’y Griller, and some of the baby kale from the Farmer’s market.

I also heated the leftover green beans from Friday night:

And had leftover cucumbers (also from Friday night) with salsa:

Pretty random, but the meal as a whole really worked. I really like those Turk’y Grillers, probably the best of any of the meatless burgers I’ve tried. It goes well with the Laughing Cow cheese, and some greens for bulk never hurt anybody. The baby kale is so good because I love that you can eat it raw since its so tender, and its a nice change from spinach or other greens that I have on the regular. Yum!

Back to work for me. Hope your week is off to a good start!

OIAJ Finally!

Good morning! I woke up this morning feeling a little bit better, but am still really congested and have a bit of a cough. Sort of depressing since I rarely get sick, and now, just before my big race, I’ve come down with something. Blah. I did wake up today and do the AM yoga. I can already tell a bit of a difference in my ability with it. I feel like I’m getting a bit more flexible even though I’ve only done it 3x. It’s amazing how quickly your body can adjust. I’m also happy because I woke up this morning and am not even sore from The Shred! That must have everything to do with the yoga, because last week when I tried it, I was so sore I could barely walk for 2-3 days! I’m sure some of it has to do with my body get used to it, but I think my body is also loving the stretching and flexibility I’ve been working on recently, something that was majorly lacking in my exercise routine before this week.

Today, I finally got to have Oats in a Jar for the first time! I’ve been working on this jar of almond butter for what feels like forever, and there was finally just a little left in the jar today. If you’ve never had or heard of oats in a jar, you basically wait until your jar of almond/peanut/cashew butter is almost gone, and then you prepare oats, and pour them into the jar. You’ll never guess what kind of oats I had in there 😉

These overnight oats had:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 mashed banana
  • Toppings: chopped dates, sliced almonds, and almond butter from the jar

Look at all those toppings:

Verdict? Not surprisingly, I love Oats in a Jar! I wish I didn’t have to wait until the jar was almost empty to eat them out of there because its so nice that the almond butter is all spread throughout the jar. Even though its just a little bit here and there, the flavor goes a long way, and you have some almond butter all the way to the last bite. Yum!

They’re saying thunderstorms today in DC.. I hope this doesn’t rain out my chances of making it to the Farmer’s Market after work!

Overnight (x2) Oats

Morning and happy hump day! 🙂

I’m still feeling a little bit sick, but I think I’m on the road to recovery. I slept hard last night and woke up in the exact position I went to sleep in, so hopefully that helped. Yesterday, I skipped doing yoga in the AM because I was fasting for my blood work, and I didn’t want to do anything that would potentially make me hungrier than I naturally am in the morning. But today, I did it again (yay!!) and it really felt so good. It’s only 10 minutes and you don’t even break a sweat, but it definitely wakes me up and makes me feel looser and ready to take on the day.

I had made overnight oats on Monday night for yesterday, but I didn’t end up eating them because of skipping breakfast yesterday, so I dove into them today and they were delicious. Note to self it’s ok to eat overnight oats two days later.

And I also tried some new-to-me toppings.

This bowl had:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup light soy milk
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Toppings: almond butter, sliced almonds, and chopped dates

Yum! These toppings really made the bowl delicious, so I’m happy to have found/tried something new. There was a bit more almond butter in the jar than I thought, so I have to wait until tomorrow for oats in a jar. It should be worth it!

Have a fabulous day and I’ll be back!

It’s Official…

Easter is over, and I haven’t broken the fast. If you’re a new reader, I decided to give up all red and white meat for Lent (actually started a day early because of a little overindulgence during the weekend). I wasn’t eating that much meat as it was; at most once a day. Before giving it up all together, I tried to do at least one full vegetarian day per week, so I was used to having a lot of meals without meat as the focal point. I had been toying with the idea of going vegetarian for some time, so Lent seemed like a great time to give it a shot, even though I’m not very religious.

Once I stopped eating meat, I realized how it wasn’t really that much of a change for me from my regular diet, so it wasn’t that hard. There were a few times when I was eating out with other people and was tempted to try something with chicken or bacon, but other than that, it was easy. I think if I had done this drastic change without first cutting down on meat, it would have been a lot more difficult, but I’ve actually enjoyed myself without meat. I am getting a lot more fruits and veggies than I was before and have tried a lot of different dishes that I might not have otherwise. I also feel more energetic and “healthier” in my head. 🙂

I was thinking about the possibility of not going back to eating meat even after Lent was over, and as the 40 days went by, that idea became more and more of a possibility. I’m not saying I will never eat meat again, but I think for now, I’m going to stick with fish only. I may eat meat at special occasions or if I start to crave it, but I’m going to go with this for now and see where it takes me! I can see this change sticking, but don’t want to make any promises that I’m not 100% sure about.  I’m in no way against anyone else eating meat; I think you need to make your decisions for you. I just find that I feel better and have a more varied diet when I don’t have meat as part of it. So there you have it!

I swear these overnight oats really stick to your ribs. Since I started having them, I haven’t needed a morning snack, and before ONO’s, I would always have one. I like snacking a lot, don’t get me wrong, but I also like being full for 3-4 hours from a bowl of oats! I went outside to eat lunch today with a few coworkers. Since I didn’t cook last night, I threw together a quick meal for lunch consisting of an enormous salad and a “baked” sweet potato.

This salad had

  • 2-3 cups 50-50 mix, of spring greens and spinach
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans
  • 1 large chopped carrot
  • 4 chopped radishes

The “Baked” Sweet Potato was microwaved for 3 minutes (the microwave at my office is super powerful) and topped with ~1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mozzarella cheese (Trader Joe’s). All together:

This lunch was really satisfying and filling with the beans and sweet potato. There was also a lot of Easter candy in our office kitchen when I got back from lunch, so I had a small handful of jelly beans:

They left kind of a funny taste in my mouth so I went back to the kitchen to look at the package, and realized they were Sugar-Free. I used to eat sugar free stuff a lot, but now the aftertaste really gets to me. I think my body is used to have natural, unprocessed things now, so sugar-free anything just sends it into a weird place.

I hope your week is getting off to a great start and that its beautiful wherever you are! I’ll check in later.

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