Easy Mornin’

I know it was only Monday when I said that weekends aren’t really weekends for me because of my job. ¬†Today, however, thanks to a couple of amazing parents who volunteered to drive a group of our youth on a scheduled service project, I have a Saturday. <Cue angels singing.> ūüėÄ

I kicked it off by sleeping in until 9:15. ¬†That *never* happens. ¬†I initially woke up at 7, which is pretty typical for me, went back to sleep, and the next thing I knew it was after 9. ¬†I didn’t quite know what to do with myself!

It’s a perfect fall day today–mid-60’s and sunny–and I hadn’t done a long(er) run yet this week, so I ate a banana with some peanut butter, got dressed, and headed out the door.

run

I didn’t run especially fast, but my goal was to complete 6 miles and enjoy. ¬†Check. ¬†ūüôā

I followed up the run with a delicious breakfast: blueberry oatmeal, scrambled eggs, and (two!!) cups of coffee with almond milk.  I even cooked the oatmeal on the stove as opposed to making it the night before.  Overnight oats are great, but hot oatmeal wins in terms of taste.

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Now we are getting ready to watch some football–Andrew’s alma mater, Virginia Tech, is playing–and later this afternoon we are going wine-tasting at a nearby vineyard.

Yep, it’s just an easy Saturday over here. ūüôā

What are you up to this weekend?

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New Favorite Breakfast: Overnight Oats

For years I was a faithful Kashi Go Lean cereal eater. ¬†This week I decided to try something new–something with fewer ingredients and less fiber–for the most important meal of the day, and I am pleased with the switch.

I don’t know who stumbled upon or coined the term “Overnight Oats,” but they must be brilliant. ¬†I love oatmeal, but I never want to take the time to make it in the morning–we don’t have a microwave, and who wants to dirty a pot on a weekday before they’ve had coffee? ¬†Not this girl. ¬†Enter overnight oats. ¬†Put the ingredients in a bowl before you go to bed, and it’s ready when you wake up.

overnight oats

In my bowl this week:  1/2 c oats (not instant), 1/2 c + splash soy milk, frozen blueberries, sprinkle of cinnamon, pinch of salt.  In the morning I stir in a spoonful of peanut butter.  And, of course, coffee with soy milk to wash it all down.

It’s easy, delicious, and keeps me full for hours! ¬†I think I’m in love.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

MyFitnessPal and a Sweet Question

I consider myself a fairly healthy eater. ¬†Yesterday, out of curiosity, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app, entered my height and weight, set it to “maintain current weight”, and recorded my exercise and food to see how I measure up nutritionally.

Here’s my report card from the end of the day:

myfitnesspal

 

I fell short in a few areas–fat, calcium, iron–and really nailed a few others–protein, fiber, and vitamins A & C.

What stuck out the most was that I’d exceeded their recommended sugar intake before lunch. ¬†Hah! ¬†What sugar bomb did I eat before noon, you might ask? ¬†Blueberry muffin? ¬†Cinnamon roll? ¬†Nay. ¬†I had a bowl of Kashi Go Lean cereal with blueberries, raw almonds, and unsweetened soy milk, coffee with the same unsweetened soy milk, and after working out, a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter. ¬†Somebody stop me; I’m out of control. ¬†ūüėČ

This prompted me to do some research on sugar, and I found a lot of conflicting information. ¬†From what I can tell, the recommended amount refers mostly to added sugar, rather that those occurring naturally in fruits and dairy products. ¬†Why, then, doesn’t MyFitnessPal differentiate? ¬†Two-three servings of fruit can easily put one over their limit! ¬†On the other hand, with very limited knowledge of chemistry/biology/etc., my understanding is that our bodies cannot tell the difference–sugar is sugar.

So what do we do with that information? ¬†I say (again, with very limited knowledge on the subject…this is purely my experience), take a step back, don’t hyper-focus on how many grams of this or that, and just eat real food. ¬†I know there are many popular diets out there that limit (or eliminate) fruit, but are you really telling that a highly processed protein bar with who-knows-what as a sweetener is better for my body than something that grew from the earth? ¬†I don’t buy it. ¬†Intuitively, I just don’t buy it. ¬†I feel certain that the benefits of eating an orange far outweigh the grams of sugar it contains.

I am not criticizing MyFitnessPal for this–it’s a helpful tool that prompted some research. ¬†Near¬†the end of the day yesterday, the app¬†showed me¬†that I’d fallen pretty short on fat, Vitamin A, calcium, and iron, so I made myself a kale salad with Balsamic vinaigrette (umm, raw kale is disgusting, but I muscled it down for the sake of my health. ;-)) ¬†That helped close the gap on most of those nutrients.

Ultimately, it all comes back to my very basic belief about nutrition–just eat real food.

Do you use the MyFitnessPal app?  What do you think about it?
Thoughts on sugar?

Breakfast for Dinner (BFD) + Long Run

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I am officially in 10k training mode. ¬†My runs must be more intentional now, including fewer 30-minute-just-for-fitness-run-walks. ¬†On Wednesday evening, I set out on a long run. ¬†Now, I suppose long runs are relative to the distance one is training for, but I feel a little silly calling 5.5 miles “long.” ¬†Still, having been in a 3-4 mile routine for quite a while, 5.5 miles was tougher than I’d anticipated!

As I neared the end of the run–around mile 4 or so–I began thinking about dinner. ¬†I’d planned to make a curried pork stir-fry, but with tired legs and sweat dripping off my face, all I could think about was pancakes. ¬†And eggs. ¬†And bacon. ¬†Mmm… must. run. faster…

Because I typically say no to BFD (breakfast for dinner,) Andrew was thrilled when I suggested it.

On the menu:

Eggs (hard-boiled for me, fried for Andrew)

Turkey Bacon (all natural)

Pancakes (gluten-free, dairy-free; we like Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix)

Bananas 

BFD BFD2

It totally hit the spot.

Sometimes bananas and eggs upset my stomach separately, so I took a big risk eating both with this meal.  Thankfully, I felt fine!

Are you a fan of BFD, or do you prefer to keep your breakfast foods in the morning?

Breakfast and Post Run Fuel

I’m a morning runner. ¬†I enjoy the stillness of life before most people are awake, the sounds, the dim light. ¬†I am a morning runner, but I am not a roll-out-of-bed-put-on-my-running-shoes runner. ¬†I am a hungry person in the morning, and the hunger hits hard and fast. ¬†From the time my eyes open in that blissful, half-awake state, I have approximately eleven minutes until my stomach is snarling (yes, it’s beyond a growl) in a painful way.

Here’s one of my morning favorites that is satisfying, healthy, and delicious (and probably won’t give you “the feeling” in the middle of your run. ¬†You know what I’m talking about.) :

Cocoa Almond Oatmeal with Banana

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1/2 c oats (not instant oatmeal)

1 c almond milk (unsweetened)

1 tbsp almond butter

1 tsp cocoa powder (not hot cocoa mix)

banana

1. Bring almond milk to a boil.  2. Add oats. Reduce heat, and cook oats for about 3 minutes, stirring regularly.  3. Add cocoa powder.  Continue cooking for about 2 minutes, stirring well to mix the cocoa and oats.  4.  Remove from heat, add almond butter, and stir well.  5. Top with sliced banana, and enjoy!

You could certainly use regular or soy milk rather than almond milk, and peanut butter rather than almond butter. ¬†Using hot cocoa mix instead of cocoa powder would be extra tasty, but I am trying to keep the added sugar to a minimum ūüėČ ¬†Also, shredded coconut would be excellent in this bowl, but alas, we did not have any.

After running or any type of workout, it’s important to refuel your muscles with a combination of carbohydrates and protein. ¬†My go-to is a smoothie:

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Frozen berries + frozen mango + spinach + soy milk

Why frozen fruit? ¬†It gives the smoothie thickness without having to add ice. ¬†Spinach? ¬†It has SO many health benefits, and you can’t taste it, I promise. ūüôā ¬†A banana will do wonders for your smoothie as well, but I’ve found my stomach can only handle banana in small doses (weird, I know.) ¬†I had already hit my daily limit with the oatmeal!

DSCN7264Ooh Yeeah.

Just make sure you floss; those berry bits you see have a way of placing themselves between every single one of your teeth ūüôā