Oats

Fridayyyy

Good morning and happy Friday!!! It came so fast this week… partly due to the short week and partly just from being busy!

Yesterday afternoon I ended up wandering around the Farmer’s Market and picking up a few things. I love how beautiful the produce is lately now that we’re getting into peak season.

Sweet Onions, Eggplant, and Garlic.

Tomatoes.

Cherries, Yellow and Red Plums, and Peaches!

Apricots and more plums!

Emily, Okra, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, and Hybrid Squash.

I ended up getting some okra, cheese curds, and cucumbers to supplement my CSA for the week.

And then, I went with my boyfriend.. and he got a brand new car!!! A 2010 Honda Accord in Silver with a black interior. It is soooo nice and I love it. We took a few on test drives and the new one drove so much better than the year or two old ones, so that’s the one he went with. Though its his car, there will be a lot of shared use, so I’m almost as excited as he is. ūüėČ

We didn’t get out of the dealership until almost 10pm and neither of us had eaten dinner.. big mistake! I should have packed a snack so I wasn’t so ravenous, but we ended up spotting a little Thai place right by the dealership and went in. It was actually Thai/Chinese fusion, so they started us out with chinese noodles and a thai cabbage dish.

The thai cabbage dish was really light and just had vinegar on it (and maybe a little sugar because it was sort of sweet). I ate a bunch of the cabbage, and then wayyy too many fried noodles. Those things are so easy to eat when they are in front of you and you are hungry! I ate more than 1/2 the bowl… Then I got Veggie Tom Yum, which is a hot and sour broth loaded with veggies.

For my main course I got two appetizers, the steamed veggie dumplings:

And a Squid Salad.

I ate the dumplings first and they were really doughy and didn’t have many veggies inside, but I basically inhaled them. After eating those, I moved onto the salad when my fullness set in. I only ended up eating the squid off the salad and a few bites of the veggies, which was delicious. I should have started with the salad and then moved to the dumplings, so I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

This morning I woke up feeling kind of gross and bloated from the late food last night. I decided to do the Shred Level Two to get the day started off right. Even though it’s only 20 minutes, it is HARD. I hate the 30 seconds straight of push-ups (x2) in Level One, so I figured this one would be totally do-able because it wouldn’t have the¬†push ups, but instead there were walkout¬†push ups¬†where you start from standing, touch the floor, walk your hands out into¬†push up¬†position, do a¬†push up, walk your hands back, and then stand up – even harder! I was sweating so hard but it felt really good in a weird way.

I threw together a nice yogurt bowl for breakfast after the Shred:

In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt (1 pt)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (1 pt)
  • ~1/4 cup fiber one (0 pts)
  • 1 peach sliced up

This was awesome. The peach was from my CSA share yesterday and it was one of the sweetest, juiciest, and most delicious peaches I’ve ever had! I seriously wish I brought another one with me into work so I could have it later today.

What are you up to this weekend? Any exciting plans? One of my best friends, Lianne, has a birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIANNE!!!!) and mine was on Tuesday, so we’re doing a joint celebration tomorrow night, starting with a nice dinner with some close friends and then going out in DC. I cannot wait!!

Whipped Oats

So, back to normal, for now. ūüėČ

I woke up early this morning to go for a run since I hadn’t worked out since Saturday. To be honest, I was kind of dreading the run before I went (mostly because I was awake before 7am, but partly because I hadn’t run in a week and I thought it was going to be hard!). It ended up turning out really well! Because of my dead computer, I couldn’t plug in my Garmin for the breakdown of stats, but I found this cool running calculator that can help you calculate pace or speed to figure it out.

Duration: 38:59

Distance: 4.00 mph

Avg. Speed: 6.16mph

Avg. Pace: 9:44 min/mi

Overall, a great run! The weather was perfect, a lot cooler than it has been for the last week or more. I think it was around 70 degrees and a little breezy. Amazing.

After I got back from my run, I was HUNGRY. Yesterday I saw this technique for Blended Grains, where you make your oatmeal like normal (or any other grain you want) then you blend it up. You can use a blender, food processor, or handmixer, and it basically gets really fluffy and turns into whipped oatmeal. I was thinking about it during my run, so figured why not give it a shot! It’s kind of hard to¬†gauge¬†the consistency of it from this picture, but it was really creamy and delicious.

I topped it off with some cherry craisins

And it was goooooood. For this bowl, I used:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (2 pts)
  • 1 cup water (0 pts)
  • 2 tbsp egg whites (0 pts)
  • ~2 tbsp cherry craisins (1 pt)

I added the egg whites to give it a little protein and I couldn’t even taste that they were in there. I will definitely be blending up my oats or some other grains again – I loved the texture of these! I had a pretty huge Pink Lady Apple (1 pt) for a mid-morning snack.

Lunch was half successful, half not-so-much. Bad news first. I had some arugula in my CSA from last week that I wanted to use up (since I get a new box tomorrow) but it has so many tiny holes in it! I looked it up and found out that the holes are from flea beetles and I guess it’s common for them to eat arugula that is organic. That said, I rinsed the arugula really really well, but it was grossing me out as I was eating it.

I ended up picking the feta and blueberries off the salad and throwing most of the arugula out. ūüôĀ

The successful part of lunch was pizza! I picked up these flatbreads at Trader Joe’s:

I heated up some spinach in the microwave and dried it off really well with a paper towel. I added some pizza sauce, the spinach, and some reduced fat mozzarella cheese to the flatbread and threw it in the toaster oven. The end result was this:

So good!! The point breakdown for lunch is:

  • Arugula (0 pts)
  • RF Feta (1 pt)
  • 1 cup blueberries (1 pt)
  • Flatbread (3 pts)
  • Pizza Sauce (0 pts)
  • Spinach (0 pts)
  • RF Mozzarella (1 pt)

So 6 total, which is not bad at all.

What are some of your favorite things to healthify? I love making pizza at home because it’s one of my favorites! Regular pizza can have so much fat/calories/points (which I still eat a bit too much), but making a healthy version at home is pretty easy and delicious. I also like to make my own fries at home, another one of my favorite unhealthy things that can actually be really good for you if you make it in your own kitchen.

TGIF

Heya! Last night’s festivities turned out to be quite a bit of fun, but this morning was less so. I had a few of these:

Earl Grey Julip, which was basically a glass of bourbon on the rocks. yum. I also had two steamed veggie buns and a delicious salad to eat.

(Veggie buns are top right of the salad). The salad had shrimp, a citrus vinaigrette, and rice noodles on it. SO good.

The one win for the night was that I always tend to crave pizza after a night out, and last night was no different. BUT, instead of calling Domino’s like I usually do, I decided to make my own low-cal version of a pizza, with RF shredded cheddar on a flatout wrap with garlic. No picture but it was a victory none the less.

Today I made another Breakfast Parfait but reworked it a bit so it was only 3 points!

This had:

  • 1 cup of blueberries, microwaved for 90 seconds and then refridgerated overnight (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup fiber one (0 pts)
  • 1/4 cup raw rolled oats (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt (1 pt)

It was a little smaller than the one earlier in the week since I used half the yogurt, but it still kept me full for a few hours and tasted delicious. Plus, only 3 points for a breakfast parfait? Sign me up!

Lunch today was also really delicious and colorful.

This had:

  • 1 flatout wrap (1 pt)
  • 2 cups arugula (0 pts)
  • 2 fresh apricots, sliced (1 pt)
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese (2 pts)
  • 2 tbsp cherry craisins (1 pt)

On the side I had 2 sliced up baby cucumbers (0 pts)

And then a pink lady apple for dessert (1 pt).

This wrap was AWESOME. The arugula was spicy and peppery, so worked perfectly against the sweet craisins and apricots. Plus, the goat cheese was crumbled throughout and was creamy and rounded out the wrap perfectly. I got the apricots from my farm share yesterday and honestly cannot remember the last time I had fresh apricots! Dried, yes, but fresh? They are so delicious, sweet and juicy. ¬†My boyfriend put a fresh goat cheese, apricot, and asparagus pizza on the menu at the restaurant, so I’m thinking about using the rest of them to make an at home version of that. Mmmm.

What are you plans for this evening? I am looking forward to tonight because I’m trying out an African Dance class with a few friends for the first time! It’s an hour and 15 minutes and I was told “Prepare to sweat!” so I think it’ll be a good workout, but something new and fun. I rarely ever do classes since I don’t belong to a gym, so doing this with my girlfriends will be a treat!

Alive and Well

Hello! Sorry I’ve disappeared yet again for a few days, but I promise I’m alive and well. This weekend was SO fun and incredible, celebrating my best friend’s bachelorette. What happens in AC stays in AC for the most part, but I thought I’d share a few pictures with you!

We all wore LBD (little black dresses) and some got the memo for neon shoes! ūüôā This was us about to get on the elevator to dinner. We went to Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant in the Borgata, which was incredible. Here we all are at the dinner table:

Here’s me with the Bachelorette:

Me rocking my bachelorette pin:

And then at the end of the night at the club.

Photos stop there.

It was soooo much fun and really great to be reunited with all of my college friends. It had been over a year since we were all together… far too long!¬†As far as trying to be healthy on the trip, I sort of let it go because I think it’s important to let go and have fun for certain special¬†occasions, like a bachelorette party for one of your best friends. I ate healthy during the day on the way to Altantic City, having a Egg White flatbread from Dunkin Donuts and plenty of iced coffee. Lunch was a salad from the food court with spinach, mozzarella, avocado, and chickpeas, and then dinner was lots of bread and pasta to have a good base for a night of drinking and fun.

I got back pretty late on Sunday, and then yesterday was at an offsite event for work all day, so I wasn’t by a computer at all to blog and check in. I am back to normal now though, and recommitting myself to hardcore healthiness until the wedding so that I can look and feel my best in my bridesmaid dress. This morning was boring but much needed frozen berry oats:

These had:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (1.5 pts)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (.5 pts)
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup light soy milk (.5 pts)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (1 pt)

It’s funny how it can be so refreshing to go back to your normal routine once you have a crazy weekend of traveling and going out. Even though I have this breakfast quite frequently, I was so happy when I was putting it together this morning and even happier when I was eating it. I didn’t bring a lunch today so I’m going to have to run out and get something, but I plan to be back on track with eating, cooking, and exercise, starting today.

Have you ever been to a bachelorette/bachelor party or did you have one if you’re already married? What did you do? ¬†If you’re not yet married, what do you think you’d want to do for it?

Frozen Berry Oatmeal

Morning! Today is hoootttttt outside, even before 9am. They are saying its going to get up into the 80s so a walk outdoors at lunch time is going to be completely necessary. Breakfast today wasn’t terribly exciting, but it was delicious. I had cold oats, but this time topped them with frozen Very Cherry Blend from Trader Joe’s. It has cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, and a cup has 90 calories, no fat, and 5 grams of fiber, so 1 pt.

A few people have sent me emails or left comments saying they’d love to try these oats, but never remember to put it together the night before. I actually almost NEVER make these the night before, just the morning of. I used to pack my lunches at night but recently out of pure laziness have started doing it in the mornings. I just add all the ingredients, mix it up, and in the end it sits for about an hour before I eat it from transporting it to work. I use slightly less liquid (the amount below) than if I were to make true overnight oats because there’s less time for the oats to soak up the liquid, but it turns out almost exactly the same if you do it the same day. So, bottom line, you don’t have to plan too far ahead to have these!

I know it doesn’t look that pretty, but it was awesome. The frozen berries were out of the freezer for about an hour so they softened up a bit and added a ton of flavor throughout the bowl.

Into the mix went:

  • 2 tbsp scottish oats (1 pt)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup light soy milk (.5 pts)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (1 pt)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (1 pt)
  • 1 cup frozen Very Cherry Blend (1pt)

One of the highlights of this breakfast for me was I got to eat it with a new spoon!

This picture doesn’t do justice to how cute and tiny this spoon is, but I had been on the hunt for little spoons for months! I first saw them on Kath’s blog, and I love the idea of eating with a tiny utensil because you get more bites. I found a set of 4 of these for 6.99 at HomeGoods.

One of the main struggles that I have with healthy eating is that I tend to inhale my food. I try to be mindful of it and slow myself down when I think about it, but my food is always gone relatively quickly. This spoon actually did help me slow down a bit, but the bowl was still gone pretty quickly.  I think if I ate slower I would eat less and be more successful at getting to my goal weight.

Some tricks I’ve heard about slowing yourself down are:

  1. Put your fork/spoon down between bites
  2. Drink water between bites
  3. Use chopsticks to eat

Do you have any other tips for slowing down? What is the thing you struggle with the most in terms of healthy eating?

Easy Homemade Veggie Burgers

Unfortunately I don’t think I fully kicked off the sickness that was threatening last week – I’ve been feeling kind of under the weather all day. It’s nothing major, it’s just a cough and some congestion in my chest, but I picked up some meds and am going to take it easy so that hopefully this doesn’t turn into a full blown anything. Argh.

Also unfortunate, my lunch did not hold me over at all. My stomach was grumbling about an hour later – not sure why because it was a lot of food, but I was able to hold off until 3:30 or so to eat again. My afternoon snack was awesome and different than usual for me.

A flatout wrap with almond butter and a sliced apple. I rolled it up and this was so good and filling. Winning combo in my book.

I was originally planning on doing something low key like walking or elliptical tonight after work, but I was starting to feel a little worse, so decided to just relax and watch TV instead. I did come up with an awesome recipe for homemade veggie burgers on a whim that turned out awesome and helped me feel a bit better. ūüôā

Ingredients (for 2 burgers – 1 point each):

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 carrot
  • ~1 cup kale
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • salt and pepper to taste

I put the carrot, kale, and basil into a food processor and pulsed it a little first, and then added the chickpeas, parmesan, and oats to the mix.

I pulsed that all together for 30 seconds until the consistency was uniform and it looked like this:

I shaped the mixture into two patties:

I cooked one on a pan over low heat for 2 minutes on each side and that was it! These burgers are awesome, and I honestly cannot believe I waited so long to make my own veggie burgers. The fresh basil and parmesan cheese each added such delicious flavor to the mix and the texture was just incredible. I looooove these and am so excited that they are so easy to whip up. It literally took 10 minutes from start to finish for these burgers.

You might be shocked to hear that I topped my burger with cheese… ūüôā

Romano cheese to be exact. I served it on a toasted arnold thin with a few basil leaves.¬†I also had some McCain’s Sweet Potato Fries on the side (frozen and cooked according to package directions) and a little reduced-sugar ketchip.

Note: I’m not normally that stingy with ketchup, it was just the end of the bottle.

This was such a simple and awesome dinner, and completely¬†customizable¬†based on what ingredients you have to work with. You could easily sub in a different kind of beans or other veggies, but I think the addition of a fresh herb and the parmesan really make the burger. The texture of these is SO good, I honestly can’t wait to have the other one that’s in my fridge!

I’m going to take it easy, watch TV, drink tea, and scare this sickness away. Let’s hope. ūüôā

Back

Monday Morning… ick. I know this is a common sentiment but boy could I have used another day of the weekend! It just went by way too fast. Sorry I didn’t come back yesterday, I was just caught up in my Sunday and didn’t want to acknowledge that it was coming to an end. It also wasn’t the healthiest of days food-wise, but its all about balance, right?

For lunch, we went to a new place called the Stray Cat Cafe. It’s a really cool place with lots of cat pictures everywhere and cat names for most of the foods on the menu. The restaurant supports the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation which rescues and places over a thousand¬†abandoned¬†dogs and cats each year, which is pretty cool, too.

We started off with the Finicky Feline Dip, which was a vegetarian version of the regular Feline Dip. It had veggie chili, cheese, guac, lettuce, and tomato.

It came with warm pita bread and tortilla chips, and was really delish. For my main course, I got the Bentley Wrap, which was a grilled pita topped with spinach, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, with Monterey Jack Cheese. I ordered it with Sweet Potato Fries on the side (my fav)

It also came with a pickle! This was so, sooooo good. There was a lot of cheese on it (maybe a little too much) but the veggies underneath went together so well and I gobbled down the whole thing. The sweet potato fries were crispy and delicious, too.  Yum.

Then we went bowling. I love bowling, but we haven’t gone in so long. The alleys always make me feel like I’m in the 1980s and I love how they do nothing to update their decor. It just wouldn’t be the same if they did.

And check out my new kicks!

I got these on clearance for 19.99. It makes me feel better wearing my own shoes, and these ones are so much nicer than the rentals at the bowling alley. The last time we went, my boyfriend got shoes that had been worn so many times, the soles were basically worn through and they were just gross.. after that, I went on the search for cheap shoes and found these ones, orginially 199.99, for $20! It costs $5 each time to rent shoes, so if I go 4 times, they’re paid for… 3 to go. =) I did really bad at bowling yesterday but it was still fun. I didn’t break 100 either time, sad.

After that we went home and watched Up in the Air from Netflix.. cute movie, but nothing to write home about. I love George Clooney though so that made it worth watching. A few hours later we ordered some unpictured pizza, but this time I didn’t eat the whole thing.. baby steps, right? I went to bed around 11 and couldn’t believe it was time to wake up at 7:30am when my alarm went off! I didn’t do anything to prepare for today like I usually do, ie pack my lunch, think about what to wear, etc. I did end up throwing together a delicious breakfast this morning before running off to work.

I mixed together a Strawberry Chobani with 1/2 cup rolled oats and then sliced a whole banana over it. I threw on some blackberries and 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips and devoured the bowl at my desk. Really delish. I think it’s great that you can eat rolled oats mixed into yogurt and its not necessary to let it sit overnight. It’s definitely thicker and a different texture than overnight oats, but they are still so good if they don’t sit together.

I got into work today and had about 50 new emails from the weekend… it’s going to be one of those kind of days! Gotta get cracking. Happy Monday!

Lazy Sunday

Happy Sunday! I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated a Sunday so much as today. I slept in late (until 10:30am or so) and have just been laying around and relaxing. I don’t have too much to report except that days like this are completely necessary. I realized that I’ve worked out every day since last Monday, so I may take the day off and just take it easy. Some of the days have just been short workouts (20-30 minutes) but I’ve done something every day so I think my body is craving a rest day.

For breakfast, I made a quick bowl of oats. I just mixed together 1/2 a cup of rolled oats and 1/2 a cup of nonfat Fage Greek Yogurt and let it sit for about 5 minutes. On top, I put some freeze dried banana chips and dark chocolate chips on one side, and fresh blackberries on the other side.

It was sooo good. I picked up these freeze dried banana chips at Trader Joe’s yesterday, and they’re just like regular banana chips but they’re freeze dried instead of regular fried, so they’re much better for you. Banana and chocolate is a match made in heaven in my book, so that side was delicious. These blackberries are so fresh and juicy, and not tart like blackberries can be sometimes. I love having two or three different topping¬†so¬†there’s variety in my oats – it makes it so satisfying!

We’re thinking about going bowling which I haven’t done in so long, so I’m excited! Be back later!

Hotel Breakfast

Morning! Sorry I’m so late in posting, but this morning was pretty hectic. I woke up at 6:00am (WAY early for me) and got ready quickly before coming downstairs to set up the course. Everything went smoothly and the course itself is going great. I mentioned last night that the roomservice¬†menu at the Westin here is awesome but expensive, as is the case with any hotel.

“Our SuperFoods¬†breakfast menu features revitalizing dishes made from healthy ingredients rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and delicious taste so you can start your day feeling recharged. SuperFoods: blueberries, pomegranate, soy, oats, cinnamon, tomatoes, yogurt, broccoli, nuts, oranges, apples, salmon, spinach, tea.” Its so¬†freshing¬†to see a hotel menu that focuses on healthy ingredients to power you through the day, rather than heavy dishes that end up making you feel more sluggish. I went with the Steelcut Cinnamon-Scented¬†Oatmeal with sliced banana, pecans, and honey drizzle. Sounds good, right?

And it was! The only semi disappointing thing is they only gave 4 small banana rounds. I was hoping for a bit more, but what can you do. The pecans were candied and it came with two mini jars of honey, some brown sugar, milk, and butter (?) on the side as well. Do people put butter in their oats? I haven’t heard of that one. Here’s my bowl with all the fixings:

I used all four slices of banana, the candied pecans, and drizzled some honey of it. About half way through the bowl I also added the brown sugar for good measure. ūüôā Twas¬†delicious and satisfying. I ate the oatmeal around 7:30am, and then around 11am I had an apple for a snack. The internet connection is really slow here so my apple picture wouldn’t upload, but I’m sure you can imagine it. I’m back to Fujis. Yum.

So I’ve mentioned on here a few times how I really struggle staying on track with healthy eating during conferences because of being away from home and the long hours. Some things I am trying to do differently this time are:

1.) CALL AHEAD – I called ahead to see if they had a refridgerator¬†in the rooms, and they did. So, I brought some snacks with me, including the apple from this morning, some cut up bell peppers, some sliced kiwis, and a Chobani yogurt. If they don’t have¬† a fridge, still plan to bring non perishables, like 100 calorie packs of nuts, apples, energy bars, or anything else you like. It’s always better to have a snack to hold yourself over if there’s no healthy options available.

2.) EXPLORE – Figure out what is around the hotel where you’re staying at. I looked up the hotel menu before getting here so knew there was some healthy options, and also figured out that there is a Whole Foods within walking distances and a few other places with healthy options. I’m going to go to Whole Foods for lunch, which will also get me a walk in.

3.) STAY HYDRATED – Sometimes its really hard to remember to drink water, but bring a bottle with you and keep drinking! It’s so important for energy levels and just in general to stay hydrated, especially during conference time. This time I brought a water bottle with me and have been carrying it everywhere and refilling.

4.) EXERCISE – Fit it wherever you can. Sometimes if the hours are long its really hard, but it’s important to embrace that something is better than nothing, which I struggle with. Even if I can only run for 20 minutes, its much better for me to get up and do that, rather than skip the gym all together. I’m planning on using the gym after the course is over today.

5.) SLEEP – There’s enough difficulty in staying on track while traveling for work without adding crankiness into the mix.¬†For me, when I don’t get enough sleep, I tend to feel sorry for myself and be a lot more lenient with food choices.¬†While its more difficult with the long hours, do your best to keep your sleep schedule as close to normal as possible.

Any other tips you think work well for traveling for work or during conferences?

I’ll be back!