Vegan Overnight Oats

Picnic and a Mystery

The weather has been amazing in DC since yesterday, which left me with no excuse to not go running both yesterday and today before work! Not to toot my own horn (ok, maybe a little) but I have been doing a really good job at getting up and working out in the AM which is very unlike me. It feels so good and I hope its a habit I can keep up!

OK rewind to last night… my boyfriend has a daughter, Charlotte, and her and her sister Nora have been staying with us since Monday. Last night I got to hang out with the girls while my boyfriend worked, and we decided to have a picnic! They brought bikes with them, so we went on a quick bikeride (3 miles in total) and I was super impressed with their biking skills, considering they are 6 and 9. Here’s a picture of them with their bikes:

That’s Nora on the left and Charlotte on the right. We brought a sheet with us and I we packed up sandwiches, fruit, and chips to have outside.

I made turkey and cheese on wheat for them, and I had tempeh and cheese for myself. Here’s a picture of my plate:

The sandwich had:

  • 2 slices of wheat bread (2.5 pts)
  • a little more than 1/2 serving tempeh (2.5 pts)
  • 75% RF Cabot Cheddar (1 pt)
  • yellow squash (0 pts)
  • romaine (0 pts)

On the side I also had:

  • raspberries (.5 pt)
  • carrots (0 pts)
  • watermelon (1.5 pts)
  • pretzels (2 pts)

We had such a fun time sitting outside by the water and then climbing on the rocks. Hanging out with kids makes me feel like a kid again, and I love it. 🙂

Fast forward to this morning and I woke up really early (as in 6:45am) to go out for a run. I snoozed a few times and then finally got myself out of bed, into my running clothes, and out the door. I ran 3.0 miles in just under 30 minutes, but I honestly struggled a bit today during my run. I had to really push myself to keep going and felt like stopping after the first half a mile and then for most of the rest of the run. I’m not sure why exactly, but I did feel great after it was over and proud that I got up for the second day in a row to run before work.

Breakfast was true overnight oats (as in I actually made them last night!) with a topping I haven’t had in years.

Fluff! I saw fluff as a topping on Lori’s blog on several occassions and finally bought a jar of it when I remembered. I got around to using it today and it was a nice treat. 2 tablespoons only has 40 calories (1 pt), so the 1 tbsp I put on there only added .5 points to the bowl and was totally worth it.

In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (1.5 pts)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (.5 pts)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (1 pt)
  • 2/3 cup light soy milk (1 pt)
  • 1 tbsp fluff (.5 pts)
  • 1/4 cup fiber one (0 pts)

Mmmmm. I ate breakfast out on my balcony and it was SO nice to be outside. I’m trying to spend as much time as possible outside to soak in this amazing weather! After breakfast, I picked up my CSA for the week, which had a lot of fruit this time!

This week I got:

  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • A mystery herb

Do you know what kind of herb this is?? Ever seen it before?

Also, is this not the tiniest beet you’ve ever seen?

🙂

Yoga Pose May

Good morning and happy Friday! I am SO excited for the 3 day weekend that lies ahead, even though I have no concrete plans.

Tina and Kate are hosting a blog-wide challenge called Yoga Pose May where each day a few bloggers feature a different pose, and today is my day! The idea behind it is that readers of all different blogs may be inspired to give yoga a try.

Now let me start with this… I have only very recently started doing yoga. Before the last few months, I only was running or working out in the gym with the stationary bike, elliptical, and weights. While this helped me to lose most of my weight, I really wanted to start trying new things. I consider myself to be one of the least flexible people I know and was sooooo hesistant to try yoga, I can’t even explain it. I started doing some On Demand videos on ExerciseTV of different beginners yoga because I wanted to figure some things out on my own before venturing to a studio. Then, after a few weeks of doing random videos, I decided to give Bikram a try. You can read about my first experience here. That was April 28th – one month ago yesterday! (Thank you blog for helping me know that) Since then, I’ve become sort of obsessed with it and love going to Bikram and seeing myself get better at the postures each time I go. It’s small victories like being able to hold the Bow posture for the whole 40 seconds yesterday (first time I could do that!) that makes me want to go back for more.

Moving along, my pose for today is Eagle Pose, which I think is one of the more challenging poses to get right. There are several different varieties of this pose depending on which practice of yoga you are doing, but I walked through the Bikram way because that’s all I know! I had my friend Amber from last night do it along side me so you could see the difference between someone who has been practicing for 10 years (AMBER) and someone who’s been practicing for one month (guess who).

Step One is to cross your right arm under your left arm.

If that’s enough, you can stay there.

Step two is to have your palms facing each other while keeping your elbows crossed.

We interlocked our fingers because its easier to hold that way, but eventually you want your palms to line up against each other exactly, and have the tips of your fingers below your nose.

Step three is to keep your arms like this, and bend at the knees.

Step Four is to bring the same leg as the bottom elbow go over the opposite leg. So, when you have your left elbow under your right elbow, you want to move your left leg over your right leg. When you reverse the posture and have your right elbow under your left elbow, you want your right leg over your left. Make sense?

It’s kind of hard to see, but my left foot (I’m on the right) is right next to my calf, but you really want to move your toes around your calf so they’re peeking out the other side. Ambers toes are much more behind her calf and if the picture was at a better angle you’d probably see her toes peeking out. The important thing is to point your toes/leg in the direction you want it to go. Each time you practice, your leg/foot will move a little deeper into the posture and with consistent practice, you’ll eventually get completely into the posture. I’ll definitely post a follow up shot once/if my body has changed enough that I can do this posture fully and my toes are peeking out, too! PS: Check out the gorgeous scenery in the background! We took these photos last night at our picnic while the sun was setting. 🙂

So, bottom line, give yoga a try!! There are sooo many different types of yoga, so it’s good to experiment with different practices so you can find one that’s right for you. Many studios offer intro specials where your first class or week is free, or offer discounted intro weeks. Sample out different studios so you can find one that’s a good fit with your body and your fitness goals! The thing that really convinced me to take on yoga was that there are three pilars of fitness: cardio (which I’m in great shape with), Strength (Decent but needs work) and Flexibility (needs a lot of work). It’s also an awesome change of pace from our busy everyday lives, especially for someone like me who can be a little spastic at times… 😉

Now, onto breakfast! Nothing new, but I just love eating these Vegan Overnight Oats.

Into the mix:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 sliced banana, on top

So good but not terribly exciting, I know. 🙂

What is your favorite type of yoga practice? If you’ve not yet tried yoga, which kind would you be interested in trying? What’s your favorite pose/posture if you have one? I like Bikram but only because that’s the only practice I’ve tried. I plan to venture out a little bit once my package is up that I just purchased at my Bikram studio. My favorite posture in Bikram is the Bow Pose but I’m still working on it, and my favorite non Bikram pose is downward dog, because it just feels so good to stretch out!

Fittest City

Good morning and happy hump day! I had the worst time falling asleep last night. We were out and about until around 10:30 and then had to make a few trips up from the car so didn’t really settle down until almost 11:30. I always need some time to decompress, so by the time I got in bed it was 12:30 or so and I don’t think I fell asleep until 1! The past few days I’ve woken up before my alarm, but today my alarm brought me out of such a deep place in my sleep. For a second my eyes opened and I had no idea what was going on, and then I realized it was time to get up. Sad story.

Putting my lunch together today was really strange. Usually I have an idea of what I feel like and go with it, but today I couldn’t figure out what I wanted for breakfast OR for lunch, probably just because I was sleepy/cranky. A coffee is in order for sure! The biggest redeeming quality about today is that its supposed to get close to 90º and sunny and clear alll day. 90 is a little hot for my taste but I’ll take sunny over the rainy and chilly its been since the weekend any day.

Another thing that perked me up was reading Shape magazine on the metro into work. It had an article about the top 10 fittest cities in the US, and guess which was number one!?

  1. Washington, DC (YAY!!!)
  2. Boston
  3. Minneapolis/St. Paul
  4. Seattle
  5. Portland, Oregon
  6. Denver
  7. Sacramento, California
  8. San Fransisco
  9. Hartford, Connecticut
  10. Austin, Texas

GO DC!! Woohoo. 🙂 This list was put together by Shape magazine in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine. They looked at the 50 largest cities in the country and assessed them in 30 areas, including personal health indicators (such as how often residents exercise, smoke, and eat their fruits & veggies) and the rates of chronic health issues. It also looked at community/environmental factors like the number of parks, trails, farmer’s markets, pools, rec centers, etc. You can check out the whole listing at americanfitnessindex.org if you don’t see your city on there.

Now, onto breakfast! I always see on Kath’s blog how she puts muffins on top of oatmeal and it always looks so good, but I never really have muffins laying around. Today though, as I was browsing around my kitchen trying to figure out what to make, I saw that I have some Vitatops left in my freezer – perfect compromise!

This bowl of Vegan Overnight Oats had:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana nut vitatop
  • 1 tbsp almond butter

Soooo good. I microwaved the vitatop which dried it out a little bit, so next time I would toast it and be more patient while it got warm. 🙂 It was still delicious though and made a great, new-to-me topping for the oats.

Question: What’s your favorite oatmeal and/or yogurt topping?

Have an awesome day!!

Raspberry and Banana Breakfast Parfait

Morning! Happy almost-Friday. 🙂 Last night I caught up on the Biggest Loser from Tuesday, and its amazing to see how far the contestants have come already! There transformations to date have been incredible, so I can’t even imagine how they will look at the finale. This show always sucks me in… Do any of you watch the BL? Who do you want to win from the Final Four? I’m sort of torn between Darius (because he’s so sweet and already looks amazing) and Ashley (because she’s the only female left and I think she’s handled being a lot bigger than the other contestants and still have a lot of weight to lose a million times better than Michael).

Moving on… today I had some raspberries that were on the verge of turning and really needed to be used, so I made an easy raspberry sauce. I put the raspberries in a mini food processor:

Blended them up:

Strained out the seeds:

And had a delicious and super easy raspberry sauce!

I went with the sundae theme that I had going earlier this week, and made a Raspberry and Banana Breakfast Parfait for breakfast.

I made Vegan Overnight Oats with:

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

Then I layered the overnight oats with the raspberry sauce, the remaining raspberries, and 1/2 a banana, chopped up.

It was sooooo tasty! The raspberry sauce made the whole thing sweet and having the layers made it fun to eat because every bite was a little different. Plus you can’t go wrong with something that resembles a sundae for breakfast!

Be back later!

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!