Oatmeal Snack (It’s Not Just for Breakfast)

You guys know I love oatmeal. I love it especially for breakfast, but I’ve also eaten it for lunch, dinner, and dessert.

And, today, I enjoyed some oatmeal as a….

S-N-A-C-K!!!

A pre-work-out snack that is.

After a pretty awesome day of eats, I wanted a really good afternoon snack.

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What to look for in a pre-workout snack: I always try to fuel up for a workout by eating a little extra food to give me energy and make up for some of my soon-to-be-burned calories. I look for carbs with a little protein. I shoot for between 100-250 calories for my exercise fuel, depending on what else I ate that day. If I already had a snack earlier in the day or a large breakfast/lunch, I stay to the lower end and visa versa.

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When to eat a pre-workout snack: I try to eat my snack about an hour to an hour and a half before my work out.

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I usually go for a meal bar, but mostly because they’re convenient and I can keep them at my desk at work.

Today, since I was WFH, I decided to make…OATMEAL! :) Oatmeal is great for breakfast but also makes for a great pre-workut snack.

I went for AB+J (almond butter and jelly) Oatmeal. I think I would have been better off using dried fruit as my sweetener instead of jelly. I don’t think (though I’m not exactly sure) that jelly gives you energy (maybe a sugar high if anything?) but dried fruit gives you a good energy boost from what I understand. Today, I was more worried about getting some good carbs for energy.

AB+J Oatmeal

To the pot:

  • 1/4 cup organic skim milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp flaxseeds
  • (no sweetener)

Cooked stove top till thickened.

Toppings:

  • Barney Butter (about or just under 1 tbsp)
  • Earthfare Organic pomegranate jelly (about 1 tbsp – this was my sweetener)
  • Chopped raw almonds (about 2 – I mean, I already had plenty in the Barney Butter!)

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Not sure if it was the oatmeal or my good job with Project Hydrate today, but I had an awesome workout and plenty of energy! Yay!

1 amazing hour of dance fitness…I love starting my weekend out with a good exercise!

We worked on more of my choreography tonight: Meet Me Halfway (as a warm up song). We just need to polish that one off and finish Bad Romance. Oh yea! I love choreographing songs. Perhaps I should have been a figure skating instructor or something?

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Check out my friend Megan rocking out a song at class tonight. Get it Megan! :)

Reader question: Have you eaten oatmeal any time other than breakfast?

Starbucks Friday Too?

Goodbye Bagel Day Friday?

As most of you know, I celebrate Starbucks Monday every Monday and Bagel Day Friday every Friday. While I still adore my vanilla soy lattes, I’ve been falling out of love with bagels. I mean, I used to eat bagels almost every day, but since turning my attention to really focusing on eating whole grains and finding so many delicious options (hello oatmeal and power toast), I don’t really see any point in eating bagels any more…especially since I don’t really care for them. I mean, if I’d as soon eat a bowl of oatmeal or a piece of whole grain toast as eat a bagel….why not eat the choice that’s better for me?

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Of course, this morning, I ended up asking hubby to pick up another fave splurge of mine – the Starbucks spinach feta wrap.

Will I be having Starbucks FRIDAY too now? Hmm…

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I love the tender inside paired with the crispy tortilla. Yummers!

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I’ve added water to my breakfast to drink with my coffee. The slice of lemon is so visually pretty….plus it makes the water taste good. I really think it makes me want to drink more water. :mrgreen:

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Later on – more water and a yerba mate latte.

I had TONS of water today! I did a really good job with Project Hydrate. Must have been the lemon? ;)

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I had a repeat of yesterday for lunch.

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I had another veggie hummus sammie: Great Harvest Dakota bread, TJ’s organic hummus, spinach, red bell pepper, cucumber, and HEMP SEEDS! Yes, I added the hemp seeds because…well, why not? They’re good for you and you can’t really taste them. Plus they add a lil extra protein.

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On the side, I noshed on some red bell pepper and cucumber (I chopped too much up!) and some dill pickles. I love the tang of pickles!

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Hubby picked up more local doughnuts today. How could I saw no to one.

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I couldn’t. :)

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I had a healthier snack later – a small handful of raw almonds (there were more but I ate some before remembering a photo…oops!)

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Hey, I have almost twice as many Facebook friends today as I did yesterday – you guys rock! If you’re not my FB friend yet, click here to become one. :) Oh, and you should check out my page either way because I have some stuff in the works and my FB friends will find out FIRST!

Oh, and if you’re celebrating Lent and not sure what meatless meal to eat tonight (or if you’re vegetarian or vegan) check out these articles for ideas:

You can check out my other recipe ideas on my Recipe page.

Random reader question: Do you drink water with lemon? Lime? Something else? Or plain/straight-up?

M4L Guest Post: Janice’s 7 Tips for Making Salad Right

Continuing my Meatless 4 Lent Guest Post series is Janice Stanger, author of The Perfect Formula Diet, which is book about eating whole foods. Yay whole foods! :)

Check under the article for more details on Janice.

Anywho, if you’re not sure what to eat tonight for dinner and you’re thinking salad, check out these tips on making salad the right way.

Take it away Janice!

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Seven Tips for Making Salad Right

If you are observing Lent by giving up meat on Fridays, you may be eating more salad just for the next few weeks. Or perhaps this choice is always a diet staple for you. In either case, you’ll greatly benefit from learning to do your salad the right way.

Salads have a great image, so it’s easy to fall into the habit of assuming that anything on a bed of lettuce is healthy. Constructing a salad that is healthy, satisfying, and appetizing all at the same time requires some thought, though. Here are seven tips you can use now or any time of the year.

   1. Greens are the basis of your salad, so have lots of choices to keep from getting bored. Generally, the darker green the leaf, the more dense the nutrients in each bite. For maximum vitamins, minerals, protein, and phytochemicals (beneficial plant substances), choose dark green lettuce, such as romaine. You don’t need to limit yourself to lettuce, through. Try spinach, kale, baby bok choy, collard greens, and other leafy wonders to mix and match.

   2. Strive for colorful salads with a variety of vegetables, either raw or cooked. Each color in the vegetable represents a different family of phytochemicals. Your health will benefit from the superstar team you gain when mixing the colors.

   3. Your salad must satisfy your appetite, or you will likely regard it as no more than a necessary evil to be avoided whenever French fries are also on the menu. Your body has sensors for both nutrients and energy in your food. Vegetables do great on the nutrient front, but don’t have enough calories to keep you going for long. Therefore, if you are very hungry or your salad is the center of your meal, you need more kinds of foods in it. The most satiating foods are beans, potatoes, and whole grains, all dense with fiber to fill your stomach and enough calories to turn off your appetite (without making you fat). Add these to your salad in abundance.

   4. Salad is most nutritious and satisfying when it is fresh. Assemble your salad close to the time you will eat it, and use ingredients that would still taste great if you ate it by itself. Wilted lettuce is out. On the other hand, salad is a great way to use up leftovers, as long as they are still in good shape. If you don’t have time to cook beans, open a can and rinse the beans in a strainer to get off most of the salt.

   5. Use a variety of herbs and spices – not all at the same time, of course. Herbs and spices are your best source of phytochemicals, and their fragrance and taste make every meal a treat. Try fresh parley, cilantro, chives, garlic, ginger, rosemary, basil, or whatever is available to you. Dried herbs and spices are also awesome. These flavors make food with little or no salt taste great, so cut back on your sodium as well.

   6. An oily or overly salty dressing is the downfall of most salads. Most of the stuff in a bottle or that you get in a restaurant is not made with your health in mind – or weight loss either. Your tastes take about three weeks to get reeducated once you change your eating choices. At first, a salad lightly dressed with vinegar and herbs, or a silken tofu or tahini-based dressing, may taste strange if you are used to olive oil and lots of salt. But if you make the healthier choice for three weeks, you will grow to love it

   7. Pair your salad with other healthy dietary choices. The healthiest salad in the world, if eaten with animal foods or junk foods, will do little good in the overall scheme of things to improve your health or weight. In other words, keep chicken, fish, and cheese off your carefully planned salad. Use dairy-free milks instead of estrogen-laden cow’s milk in your coffee or other cooking. Eat whole grain bread instead of white. Salad is not a magic bullet. You will benefit to the extent your eating choices as a whole support your vigorous health and lean weight.

Have fun with your salads. As these tips become second nature for you, healthy eating will become easier every day – with results to match.

http://perfectformuladiet.com

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About Janice Stanger, Ph.D.

Janice Stanger is an author, educator, and health industry expert. Her mission in writing The Perfect Formula Diet is to help people and the planet at the same time through a whole foods diet. Janice did not always eat this healthy. For much of her adult life she was overweight and suffered from conditions including daily headaches, frequent sinusitis and respiratory infections, depression, mysterious aches and pains, and crippling fatigue.

Janice was motivated to research plant-based nutrition by the examples of her two daughters, who stopped eating meat at ages 11 and 13. She spent 14 years critically analyzing scientific findings until perfecting the whole foods discoveries she wants to share with you now.

While working as a consultant to employers on their health benefits, Janice has observed one health insurance industry gimmick after another, including managed care, fail to control costs and keep people healthy. In her continuing work in the health insurance industry, she sees every day the devastation that obesity and illness brings to both individuals and companies struggling to stay in business and provide benefits.

Janice has a Ph.D. in Human Development and Aging from University of California, San Francisco – one of the country’s leading health sciences campuses. She also has an M.B.A from University of California, Berkeley.

Janice’s site is http://perfectformuladiet.com

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Thank you so much Janice so your informative salad article! Those are some great tips!

Check out other fabulous Meatless 4 Lent Guest posts by clicking here

Bloggies Do Zada Janes + Amelie’s

Before I forget, you guys are hilarious with your cupcake eating styles. Here are some:

  • Tasha – I’m a topper – I eat the top first, then the bottom half. It totally reminds me of the Muffin Stump episode on Seinfeld! =)
  • Katie – I have to admit, I usually lick all of the icing off the top right away!
  • Caitlin – I eat all of the icing first (although I am picky with icing and if it is too sweet I won’t eat it)!

Love it! Have a cupcake eating style? Weigh in here (click).

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Today has been pretty fabulous. First a yummy breakfast complete with a homemade dark chocolate almond butter topping, then a yummy + refreshing lunch, plus some (short) QT with Bailey

I had some new friends join my The Chic Life Facebook page (check it out for the inside scoop, to be the first to know about giveaways, and other cool stuff like that).

and then…

A food-bloggie-get-together!!!!!

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I got gussied up with some biker-ish jeans and a biker-ish jacket softened up with a girly pale-pink ruffle tank.

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And if I look taller than normal, it’s because I was wearing these bad boys. My ankle booties…Boo-yah! I scored these cute booties on clearance at Marshall’s one day. I think they were full price over $100 but around $30 for moi. Yesss!

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I met up with Jessie, Jennifer and Katie (who was stopping by on her way to FitBloggin – jealous!). We went to Zada Jane’s, which happens to be a restaurant where I had another bloggie get together with Kath, Tina (from Carrots N Cake), Stacey, Michelle, Kate, Nate, Jason, Ben, and of course Mal.

I love the fun & funky vibe in Zada Jane’s.

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I had a glass of La Villa pinot grigio.

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Jessie in action.

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For my dinner, I chose the crab cake sandwich. I LOVE crab cakes, but I wasn’t sure how I’d like it in sandwich format. I’ve always been a bit afraid to order a crab cake sandwich for fear of hating it, but you know what…it was DEE-LISH!

I ordered collard greens for my side, they were pretty awesome, too, though a little sweeter than I’m used to. I still enjoyed them.

I didn’t quite finish my meal, but…I did save room for dessert.

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After dinner, we hit up local French bakery Amelie’s.

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Inside…

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…there were plenty of yummy sweets to choose from.

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We found a spot in the Atrium area behind the bakery. It was so bright! It felt like daylight out there! I loved the greenery. It was the perfect place for us girls to chat it up over dessert.

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I ended up selecting the recommendation of the guy helping me – the fruit tart. Hellooooo

I have fond memories of fruit tarts enjoyed in France when I was on exchange in high school. I remember the last day of our trip, we were allowed 1/2 a day of free time. I wandered around the streets of the town we were visiting and hit up a patisserie like it was my job. I think I got a pain au chocolat, something else, and a fruit tart. Pain au chocolat is normally my fave, but that day, the fruit tart won my heart.

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Though I think it’s impossible to compare a French baked good to one IN France, this one was really really good!

I liked the selection of fruits on top of the tart – they even used kiwi. Yum! The sweet cream filling was really tasty. I could probably eat that stuff like pudding!

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Nom nom nom

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I traded in the last bite of my tart for…

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…a bite of the dessert I was bringing home to hubby. Amelie’s famous salted caramel brownie. Jessie told me the brownie wasn’t brownie-like in texture at all. She was totally right! The brownie was definitely delicious, though! I didn’t notice any obvious salt flavor – it was very subtle (for any one who’s scared to try it), but in general, I really liked the combination of flavors.

I mean chocolate + caramel = delicious!

Thank you ladies for the fun get-together! Let’s do that again soon! :D

Project Hydrate Day #11

The citrus in my water is really encouraging me to drink more. Starting earlier in the day helps, too, though I did get side-tracked this morning and didn’t remember to do my “glass of water first thing” like I did yesterday.

Consumed:

Yay! Met my goal today! :) How are you doing?

Share your tips or problems (so we can send you some tips) on The Chic Life Facebook discussion (click here for direct link to the discussion).

Tidbits

Click here to check out my Facebook page and become a fan. Be in the know when you get the inside scoop on my FB page. :)

Like chocolate peanut butter but only have a plain nut butter? Click here for an easy recipe to make your own chocolate nut butter.

If you can’t eat meat on Fridays for Lent or if you’re vegetarian or vegan, check out this awesome guest post by Oh She Glows for veggie burgers!

This mushroom ravioli dinner from last May would be an easy vegetarian meal for a meatless Friday dinner.

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