Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Pineapple Coconut Cacao Oats

So, it snowed here in Jersey this week.  Snow days!  I swear teachers want them more than kids.

It did, however, give me a chance to experiment with some oatmeal for breakfast.  Ah, the gift of time.

This oatmeal flavor combination was inspired by one of my favorite cakes that my mom made when I was growing up - Pineapple Coconut Chocolate Chip Cake.  Sounds weird right?  But, it was delicious!

For this oatmeal, to add in some healthy fats, I used Fourth and Heart Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ghee.  For those unfamiliar with ghee, it's a clarified butter that has some really terrific health benefits, such as:
  • does not need refrigeration
  • can be eaten by those who are intolerant to dairy or lactose
  • Vitamin A & E

You can read more about it here!

Now it's totally optional in this recipe, but it does add a sweet, deep flavor that really added to the oatmeal!

I also used old fashioned oats, rather than quick cooking.  Takes a bit longer but I just like the texture better.  I've also tried this as an overnight oats mixture - haven't taste tested yet thought!

Pineapple Coconut Cacao Oats
Serves 1

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup reduced fat coconut milk (the kind in the can!)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup crushed pineapple in juice, slightly drained
1 tsp. organic coconut palm sugar (or sweetener of choice)
2 tsp. reduced fat unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp. Fourth and Heart Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ghee
1 tsp. cacao nibs

Bring liquids to boil.  Add oats, stirring occasionally, for about 14 minutes (or until thickened to the consistency you like).  Remove from heat, and add the pineapple, 1/2 tsp. of the cacao nibs, sugar, 1 tsp. coconut flakes, and the ghee, stirring until combined. 

Top with the remaining cacao nibs and coconut.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Banana Cinnamon Chia Overnight Oats

I've always been a big fan of oatmeal, and overnight oats really changed the game for me.  Oats you can meal prep in advance and have on hand to grab and go?  Yes please!

What I love about them, in addition to the convenience, is that oatmeal is pretty much a blank slate.  You can make it whatever you want or with flavors you have on hand.

This is super simple, slightly sweet with a warmth from the cinnamon.  I top mine with either almond butter or creamy peanut butter and it's a super filling meal!

Banana Cinnamon Chia Overnight Oats
Serves 1
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. chia seeds
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine ingredients and stir well.  Pop in the fridge overnight and enjoy the next day!

Monday, February 27, 2017

February Favorites!

Can you believe it's the end of February?  Of course, it feels like August here in Jersey, which is nice but...odd.

Some random favorites this month, a food fave, a cleaning item, a TV show and a playlist!

So I've been trying to eat and drink less dairy.  I had tried the Silk and So Delicious creamers and I like them, but this?  This creamer by Califia Farms is a game changer. It's super thick and creamy and only 15 calories for a tablespoon!  Also, REALLY good ingredient list.  Took me forever to find it by it was worth it!

I've been all about Spotify lately, even bumped up to the premium edition.  I love LOVE that you can download lists to play offline, follow people and see their lists, as well as create your own.  But this playlist has quickly become a fave.  Discover Weekly is a list by Spotify that updates early Monday morning and basically creates a playlist based on what you've listened to, with some songs you probably know and then those you might like based on what your tastes.  It's a great Monday morning playlist to get you into the week, and I've found myself adding quite a few of these new discoveries to my own playlists.

Let's be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of cleaning.  I'm still not, but this Method polish definitely helps. Not just because of the polish itself, but the scent.  Oh the scent.  It's almond scented and made my apartment smell like almond and I kept wanting to dust.  Who am I? 

P.S. - it's also non-toxic, which I like for many reasons, including my cat :)

                                               Image result for riverdale tv show

If you are not watching this show, you should be.  It's on the CW on Thursdays at 9 (and on demand), and it's a darker, slightly more twisted take on Archie comics.  The cast is great and the mystery is intriguing.  Also, Luke Perry, aka Dylan McKay, plays Archie's dad.  All you 90210 fans let that sink in for a minute.

What are you loving this month???

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What's on My Workout Playlist?

I always love reading posts like these because I get inspiration. 

When I workout, I either run or do a video.  When I run, I *need* music. 

But I also have the tendency to get super bored with the same playlist over and over, so I do change it up a bit.  To add to that, I have seriously eclectic (some would say weird) taste in music.  Put my iPhone on shuffle and basically you go from Broadway to rap to country to 80s to TV theme songs.

I make no apologies.

So here is a look at my current running playlist (which I've actually had since summer, believe it or not!).

Shoot to Thrill - AC/DC (I blame this one on Iron Man)
Bait a Hook - Justin Moore
Clint Eastwood - Jesse James Decker
Danny - Tiffany
Fight Like a Girl - Kalie Shorr
Four Years of Chances - Margo Price
Home Alone Tonight - Luke Bryan and Karen Fairchild
I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift
I Saw Him Standing There - Tiffany
I Think We're Alone Now - Tiffany
It's a Heartache - Bonnie Tyler
Moneytalks - AC/DC
Mony Mony - Billy Idol
My Church - Maren Morris
Old Alabama - Brad Paisley
Oh L'Amour - Erasure
Red - Taylor Swift
Sunshine Superman - Jewel
Waste Another Beer - Old Southern Moonshine Revival
We Are Never Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift
Without a Fight - Brad Paisley and Demi Lovato
Young and Crazy - Frankie Ballard
Cruise Remix - Florida Georgia Line and Nelly
Point at You - Justin Moore
Peter Pan - Kelsea Ballerini
Think of You - Chris Young and Cassadee Pope

What's on your workout playlist??

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Banana Tahini Smoothie

I know what you are thinking.

Tahini?  In a smoothie?

Sounds weird.  I mean, when I think of tahini, I'm thinking hummus.  I'm thinking savory.

But not a smoothie.

However, I saw @thymeandtoast on Instagram putting tahini in smoothies and raving so I was like, ok, why not give it a shot?

So, on this snowy day (which equaled a snow day from work for me!), after my workout, I totally wanted a smoothie.  I had tahini so I figured, what better day to experiment?

The result was a super creamy smoothie that wasn't overly sweet and had hints of savory.  Suffice to say, I'm obsessed.

(Real talk - ignore the nails - they are recovering from weeks of gels.  Seriously, I need a manicure!)

I topped mine with a sprinkle of the Trader Joe's Super Seed Blend which I'm legit obsessed with.  Perfect topping for smoothies or a mix-in for yogurt!

Banana Tahini Smoothie
Serves 1

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp. tahini
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen peptides (optional)

Combine and blend!  Top with whatever you like!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Favorites

So it's officially February.  And I'd like to point out that the only snowstorm we have had was on a weekend.  Which, teachers, you all know what I'm talking about. 

I've tried a few new things this month that I am LOVING, so I wanted to share!

So true story, I don't like nuts.  I'm not allergic but I don't like the texture - I can handle it if they are super ground up, but that's about it.  And it's very difficult to find protein bars that don't have big chunks of nuts. 

Enter these Square Bars.  Wow!  SO good, and super filling.  I have had the Chocolate Cherry, the Chocolate Mint, and the Chocolate Coconut and all are yum, though the Chocolate Coconut may be my favorite because it straight up tastes like a Mounds candy bar.  These have been a terrific pre-workout / late afternoon snack!

I'm not dairy free as a rule, but I am trying to lessen the amount of dairy I eat (let's be real, I'm not giving up cheese).  Basically, if it's a substitute I don't mind, then I will go with it.  Not only don't I mind this, but it has quickly become one of my two favorites (next one coming up later).  This Kite Hill yogurt is super creamy and has a very different texture than Greek yogurt, but it is also really refreshing and light.  Topped with some granola, it's a great snack.  I've had the blueberry and the vanilla, both of which I love, and was psyched to find some new flavors, including pineapple and key lime, at my Whole Foods!

And my other favorite is this So Delicious coconut milk yogurt.  Again, very different texture than Greek yogurt but really light and flavorful.  The chocolate flavor is AMAZING!  It's legit dessert.

I am a popcorn junkie to the extreme.  The boxes of microwave popcorn I would go through - not okay.  But, in trying to institute some healthier habits, I came across the idea of popping popcorn in coconut oil and was hooked.  Then, on Instagram, I noticed this Nutiva buttery coconut oil and I knew I HAD to try it.  I pop the popcorn in about a teaspoon of this oil, and then melt another teaspoon to put on top and it tastes SO buttery.  Definitely calls back to that buttery, delicious movie popcorn.  I've also used this to fry up hash browns and eggs and it's amazing!

So, all food faves this month as I've been trying to make some healthier choices and found some things I was super excited about.  

What are some of your favorites this month?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cocoa Oats

I'm very seasonal when it comes to breakfasts.

Spring and summer?  I'm all about the smoothies.

Fall and winter?  Give me all the hot breakfasts.

While most days it's avocado toast with an egg, I do get cravings for a hearty bowl of oatmeal.

And apparently, the secret to this, which I literally just found out, is to add more liquid than called for.  Makes the oats fluffy and bigger, hence more filling.  While it does take a bit longer to cook, it's totally worth it.

This bowl is loaded with chocolatey goodness.  I added some Vital Proteins collagen peptides in the recipe, which is totally optional.  I've been using it for a few weeks now and I have to say, definitely seeing a difference in my hair and nails!

Of course, the great thing about oatmeal is being able to top it with whatever you want!  I topped this one with some almond butter, some banana, and some Trader Joe's super seed blend (which I am obsessed with!).

Cocoa Oats
Serves 1

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. extra virgin coconut oil
1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.  Add in oats and reduce heat, stirring occasionally as the oats cook.  (Mine took about 7-10 minutes until it was a nice thick consistency)  Once the oats are at the consistency you like, remove from heat and stir in coconut oil until melted.  Then, add the collagen, maple syrup, and cocoa, and stir well until combined.

Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings!