Pre-workout oatmeal

Most people know that it is important to eat the right things before and after working out and certain foods will do certain things for you if they are consumed before a workout.

Carbs are usually what I eat before working out because they give me a lot of energy while I’m exercising. And most nutritionists and trainers will agree that carbs are one of the best things to eat before heading to the gym. But, the type of carbs you eat are extremely important. If you eat a doughnut before working out; even though doughnuts are considered carbs, you will not get any benefits from eating it and your workout will most likely suffer. Eating something substantial with complex carbs like oatmeal will give you the fuel to get through a workout.

Here is a recipe for the oatmeal that I usually make:

1/2 cup multigrain rolled oats
1/2 cup water
1 packet Truvia (or a tsp of any sweetener you like)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl flax meal
1 Tbl chia seeds
1/2 banana, sliced
2 Tbl chopped walnuts
2 dates, chopped
1/4 cup almond/coconut milk

In a microwave safe bowl, combine oats, Truvia, cinnamon, flax meal, chia seeds, and water. Microwave for 90 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir in bananas, walnuts, dates, and almond/coconut milk. Microwave for another 60 seconds. Remove from microwave. Stir and allow to cool slightly.

This oatmeal is so good and it’s the workout fuel I need, especially for those early morning workouts I’ve been doing lately. If I am feeling like a need an extra boost of nutrients, sometimes I will stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter or add in some protein powder to this recipe. However, without the addition of protein powder or peanut butter, this whole bowl of oatmeal (and this makes a pretty big bowl) is only around 330 calories! For breakfast, that is a perfect amount of calories to consume and it will keep you full for a while!!

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Skinny oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

We are in the middle of a tropical storm and since we have all been stuck inside the house for two days now, a batch of cookies seemed to be in order. If I’m gonna be trying to not get blown away (and by trying I mean watching the weather channel and browsing Pinterest all day), I might as well be enjoying homemade cookies while I do it.

I love chocolate chip cookies, but like most of you know – cookies usually contain an obscene about of butter in them. This in turn makes them extremely fattening and diet UNfriendly. Two of these cookies only add up to about 190 calories and contain just 6 grams of fat.

Ingredients
Adapted from Skinnytaste

1 cup flour (whole wheat, white, whatever..)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbl butter, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar (granulated, Stevia, raw)
1/2 cup brown sugar, unpacked
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups quick cooking oats
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Once combined, mix in egg, applesauce and vanilla.

Combine flour mixture with oats and carefully add the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake for 10-13 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack once removed from the oven.

Enjoy!

For all of you who are curious as to what kind of weather this storm brought us in Naples, here is a glimpse into what we dealt with.

Looks scary right? False. Not scary at all. Actually, it barely even rained.

Luckily we didn’t get anything bad at all. Hopefully Isaac doesn’t bring too much destruction to New Orleans or any other states.

Almond Joy oatmeal

Your mornings just got a whole lot better thanks to this. Who would have thought you could basically eat a candy bar for breakfast and it be a healthy and filling way to start the day? Well friends, this recipe is for sure one you will want to save.

Ingredients

1/2 cup light coconut milk (you can use soy, almond, cow’s milk, or water here too)
1/3 cup whole grain oats
2 Tbl slivered almonds
1 Tbl coconut
1 Tbl dark chocolate chips

Bring coconut milk to a boil in a small sauce pan. Stir in oats and cook for one minute. Remove oats from pan and place into a bowl. Top with almonds, coconut, and chocolate chips. You can add more milk at this point if you want it looser.

Enjoy!!

Whole wheat dark chocolate blueberry muffin bread

This is for all you people who only eat the muffin tops.

This tastes exactly like a blueberry muffin, only like ten times the size and minus the muffin bottom that you secretly never want to eat. My dad will be so proud. He only ever eats the muffin tops and has literally asked me multiple times to find a way to just make muffin tops. Well, now I have found a way.

If you’re big into baked goods like me, you will love this bread. It’s dense, it’s moist, it’s chocolatey, it’s got blueberries in it, it’s got a streusel, it’s whole wheat.

OK, I have given you every excuse to make and love this bread. Make it!! Eat it! Love it!

Ingredients
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup blueberries tossed in a spoonful of cornstarch
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Streusel

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
pinch of salt
1 Tbl. butter melted

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside

In another bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until well combined. Add in vanilla and milk and mix thoroughly. Add wet ingredients into dry and mix to combine. Add in butter and mix.

Fold in blueberries and chocolate and pour into loaf pan.

Mix together all ingredients for streusel and crumble over top of batter.

Bake for 50-55 minutes.

Enjoy!

Superfood baked oatmeal

Oats – Superfood
Oats are low in calories and high in protein and fiber. They are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates which your body needs in order to sustain energy. They are also a rich source of thiamine, iron, selenium, and contain phytonutrients that help reduce heart disease and some forms of cancer. They also help lower cholesterol.

Blueberries – Superfood
Blueberries are one of the three major superfoods (along with spinach and salmon). They contain more powerful disease fighting antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. They also have some anti-aging benefits. If you eat one cup of blueberries daily, the increased level of antioxidant play an important role in prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, senility, cancer, and degenerative eye diseases.

Walnuts – Superfood
Walnuts are the flagship superfood nut. They are one of the few rich sources of plant derived omega-3 fatty acids. They are rich in plant sterols, which help lower cholesterol levels. They are also a good source of fiber, protein, folate, and vitamin E. Finally, they are the nut with the highest antioxidant activity.

This oatmeal keeps you full for hours and it is packed with many great foods to boost your health. It is a great “make ahead” breakfast that you can just keep in your fridge and reheat whenever you want some. It would also make for a great healthy dessert if you added some dark chocolate chips!

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2 Tbl butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

In a bowl, combine oats, 1/2 of the walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together milk, egg, 1 Tbl of butter, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Spray a baking dish with non stick spray and place bananas in a single layer of the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with half of the blueberries. Pour oat mixture over the top of the fruit, making sure it is an even layer. Drizzle milk mixture over the top of the oats. Make sure to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle remaining blueberries and walnuts over the top.

Bake the oatmeal for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the oats have set.

Remove from the oven and pour the remaining 1 Tbl butter over the top and serve!

*** This oatmeal can be reheated and eaten throughout the week!!

I used this book as a reference when researching the benefits of the superfoods in this recipe. If you are interested in learning more about them, this is a really great book to read! It has some amazing recipes, tips, shopping lists, and information that will put you on a really healthy track!