Category Archives: Breakfast

Healthy Breakfast Quinoa

This morning I woke up and realized I only had a tiny, tiny amount of oatmeal left. Since I’ve been trying to eat mostly vegan lately, I didn’t want to eat yogurt or eggs for breakfast, so I thought I’d get a little creative and use inspiration from many recipes I’ve seen to create my own breakfast quinoa.

The result was actually amazing! I can’t wait to try this again tomorrow morning.

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Since I rarely use real recipes and I just make things up as I go, here I’ll try to describe my process, in case you want to recreate it (which you should, because this was SO good).

Ingredients:

Quinoa

Almond Milk

Raisins

Dried Apricots (or any dried or fresh fruit)

Cinnamon

Honey

Almonds (or walnuts)

I already had quinoa pre-made from last night, but if you don’t, you can start from scratch, which might actually be better. (I’ll be trying that tomorrow.) Mine was a quinoa-bulgur wheat mix, but I recommend just straight quinoa. I had… a normal serving size? About a cup? Not really sure. You can be more precise if you want.

I put it in a little sauce pan, turned the heat on low, and poured in some almond milk (but not too much at first). I tossed in some raisins, and a small amount of honey and cinnamon and some sliced dried apricots (though you can use whatever fresh or dried fruit you desire). I mixed it all together and kept adding almond milk until it was a consistency that looked good to me (I didn’t want it to be too watery but you can make it as watery or dry as you’d like). At the end, I chopped up some almonds (if you have slivered almonds, or shelled walnuts, even better so you don’t have to deal with cutting whole almonds) and tossed them in, and gave it a little taste test to see what I thought. YUM.

Since I had a tiny bit of oatmeal, I cooked that and mixed both together, and the result was a delicious, sweet, healthy, protein-filled, fiber-filled, nutrient-dense breakfast to start my day. Seriously this might be my new favorite thing. Dare I say… better than oatmeal??

TRY IT. I dare you.

Here are some suggestions for things to add, though the beauty of this is that you pretty much can just do whatever you want and it will most likely be amazing.

– Fresh blueberries

– Fresh strawberries

– Almond butter

– Avocados

– Maple syrup

– Peaches

– Mashed banana

– Protein powder

– Chocolate chips

– Greek yogurt

… The list can go on as far as you’d like. Just some ideas to get you started.

Seriously this is my new favorite discovery. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

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Raspberry Banana Oatmeal Protein Smoothie

No almond butter? No peanut butter? What am I supposed to do with myself for an afternoon snack?!?!

I was hungry and I knew that dinner tonight will be soup, and I know that this soup contains probably very little healthy protein (mostly vegetables and heavy cream), so I wanted to get some protein in before dinner so I wouldn’t feel nutrient-deprived later, so….

I experimented with a few different ingredients to make a Raspberry-Banana-Oatmeal Protein Smoothie, and it was glorious!

The raspberries were a lucky find… I did some digging in the freezer because I knew a while ago my host mom had some frozen raspberries for one of her amazing desserts, and I wondered if there might still be some. To my delight, there were! So I tossed some of those in with half a banana (the bananas were huge), some almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, oatmeal, and cinnamon and blended that shit uppppp.

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Raspberry Banana Protein Smoothie

3/4 cup raspberries

1/2 large banana

1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal

1 scoop protein powder

3/4 – 1 cup almond milk

Sprinkle of cinnamon

** Blend in blender. Drink. Make this face:

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Stronger Than Yesterday

You know what happens when you set your intentions for the day, when you plan ahead, and when you find internal motivation to have a better day than yesterday? You fucking succeed! Or at least I do.

Today was SO much better than yesterday, oh my god! I went to bed earlier, woke up earlier, and went on my morning run as promised, and that was crucial in setting the tone for the rest of the day. I ate clean all day, I had energy, and I accomplished quite a number of things, with plenty of time to spare to talk to a few friends back home.

After my run, I had my usual oatmeal with protein powder which kept me full for hours and hours. I mixed it with my usual cinnamon and walnuts and I added apples today, just ‘cuz.

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For lunch, I had a minor moment of distress when I opened the fridge and felt discouraged and too lazy to cook. I really wanted to spend a minimal amount of effort on my meal and I almost settled for some poor choices, for sake of convenience (i.e. leftover French food, aka a heart attack), but I paused, took a deep breath, and decided to do a little hunting to see what I could make. Sometimes I start cooking and I don’t even know what it is that I’m making until halfway through the process, and today was one of those days. I found vegetables, sauteed them, and found some eggs and decided to make a veggie eggwhite scramble with half of a small avocado that I had from my picnic this past weekend.

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It was a great success, totally lean, full of good protein, raw, full of vitamins and minerals, vegetarian, had good fats (from the avocado), filling, and low calorie. When I feel lazy and I have eggs around, I’ll usually make a plain eggwhite scramble, but today’s was even better because of all the veggies. I could eat this every day! This meal is all sorts of GOOD.

In the afternoon, I made myself a protein shake with a little almond milk, water, a scoop of protein powder, and a tablespoon of almond butter, because I’m addicted, duh. I don’t have my shaker bottle like I do at home, so I found a janky ass bowl and whisked it all together. Not ideal, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

Four my 4th “meal”, I had a picnic with the little girl and I ate an apple and some dried fruit. And when dinner came around, I didn’t have much (aka any) freedom to choose what I ate, but I controlled my portions and ate slowly and mindfully. It was lamb with all sorts of sauces, and good lord it was good, but its red meat, and I try to avoid that at all costs. I’m proud of myself for avoiding the nightly cheese course, the bread, and the dessert… all things which I crave more than life itself. But my willpower carried me all the way through a successful dinner time, and now, moments before going to bed, I don’t feel sick to my stomach as I do when I overeat, I don’t feel bloated as I do when I eat the wrong things, I don’t feel remorse as I do when I lose self control… I feel perfectly content, healthy, and satisfied with myself today.

It really is amazing what starting the day off on the right foot can do for the outcome of the rest of the day. For me, waking up early and working out early was absolutely the key to my continued success all day long. I want to try to turn this into a habit, as it clearly works well for me! I feel strong, physically and mentally… I’d call that a success.

What habits work well for you? What do you do to start your day off on the right foot?

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This Shit Is Bananas

And only about 20 minutes later after that last post, another friend sent me a text saying this: “Ok, you have officially inspired me too”, followed by these 2 pictures:

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I had mentioned my experiment to this friend in adding oatmeal (uncooked) to the smoothie, and looks like it was a total hit for them as well. Plus frozen strawberries. Yum.

KEEP ‘EM COMING, folks!!

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Peanut Butter + Banana Protein Smoothie

Holy mother of all that is good, I just made a bomb fucking smoothie. Check it out…

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1 banana

1 scoop protein powder (I use Sun Warrior vanilla)

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1/2 cup almond milk

About 1/8 cup water (or however much you think is necessary. Just a little is fine)

Blend that shit up. Drink it on down. Maybe cry a little ‘cus its so damn good.

I discovered that my house does indeed have a blender – a hand blender, actually, which is even better. So, since I’m tacky and had nothing else, I used whatever I could find (a nasty old tupperware container. IT WAS CLEAN I SWEAR) and tossed all my ingredients in there to blend. I was decent enough to drink it out of a cup for you, so be thankful.

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Almond milk? In France! C’est n’est pas possible!

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I would prefer natural, organic peanut butter, but in France, anything “natural” or “organic” or “healthy” or “not a complete hazard to your health” is considered snobby and is super expensive, or just doesn’t exist, so finding Skippy was a little miracle for me at the corner supermarket. Ehhh. (I’m not really complaining… lets be honest here, we all know Skippy tastes better than the watery organic shit.)

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Looks like the kind of thing you make when you’re a kid and you think its funny to waste a bunch of food for the sake of your stupid little game. Like mixing ketchup and wet, soggy bread, or something, and trying to convince your little sister to eat it. NOT THAT I EVER DID THAT OR ANYTHING…

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Et voilà! Your perfect barf-colored smoothie. It’ll knock your socks off, I swear.

** Note: I originally added 4 ice cubes, but my blender couldn’t crush them so I took them out, mid-blend, and added them back in later, only to realize that smoothies with ice cubes in them are kinda weird, so I took them out again. For future reference, use ice cubes if you have a real blender. If not, just skip them.**

This loin-tingling sensation has 285 calories and it’ll keep you full for hours. Its great for post-workout, or for breakfast, or for whatever moment in your day when you’re like, damn, I waunt that. Because even healthy people can treat themselves! Shiet.

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Holy Oatmeal

This morning, like most mornings, I made myself my favorite breakfast food: oatmeal. Considering that I have high cholesterol, oatmeal is an amazing and delicious breakfast option, as it is filled with soluble fiber which helps absorb the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol in your bloodstream. It is also incredibly filling, which is great if you are trying to watch your weight because you wont find yourself starving in an hour like you would with other less nutritious breakfast foods, like sugary cereal or white bread. Oatmeal doesn’t overload you with calories (less than 150 in a serving), it has a good amount of protein in one serving considering its a carbohydrate (about 6-7 grams) and its super versatile so you don’t have to get bored with the same toppings every day.

My usual oatmeal (cooked with water, not milk) consists of a scoop of protein powder, cinnamon, ground flax seed, mixed berries, and maybe a few slivered almonds or walnut pieces, but I will make do with whatever is available. Here in France, my host family doesn’t tend to buy berries, flax seed, protein powder, or nuts (much to my disappointment) so I have had to buy some of my own supplies in secret, while expanding my oatmeal horizons by occasionally adding apples or bananas, or, my most recent discovery, peanut butter.

This morning I had already eaten some plain yogurt with preserves (a very French breakfast), which would have been fine but the preserves are very sugary and, well, I love sweet things so I kind of had a lot. So when I went for my second meal (of my 5-6 small daily meals), I wanted it to be a little lighter than normal, so I made oatmeal (measured exactly one serving because my eyes always deceive me when I try to eyeball it) with a scoop of protein powder, cinnamon, and just about 3 walnuts, broken into pieces. It was satisfying, filling, and as delicious as always, and not too high in calories.

Used this handy kitchen scale to get my portion correct

My oatmeal trying to seduce me with its romantic morning glow

Since today is Wednesday (and I’m an au pair), I work all day because French kids don’t have school on Wednesdays (lucky fuckers) so I don’t really get much time to exercise. I know I probably should, you know, wake up at like 6am and work out in my tiny little room or something, but I have totally lost my ability to wake up early for exercise (there was a time when I would wake up at 5am and be done with exercise by 6:30 am. Those days are long gone, but I hope one day I can get them back) so Wednesdays are what I will call my “rest” days, because I flat out don’t do shit. I spend 12 hours with a 6-year-old and I spend most of those 12 hours praying that she will be good to me…

Anyway, since I don’t get any exercise on Wednesdays, I have to be extra careful with what I eat because I won’t really be burning much off. To be perfectly honest, I’m rarely extra careful. I’m at home all day, usually near the kitchen with the kids, and my lack of willpower is on attack mode. I’m hoping that writing about it in this blog will start to help keep me accountable, so for whoever is reading out there, I urge you to hold me to my promises, including my promise to be honest with myself and with you!

Back to oatmeal.

There are tons of healthy oatmeal recipes out there for those of you that might not be entirely convinced about the mothafuckin deliciousness of this kickass healthy food. I use Pinterest to find great recipes, most of which I never try (but sometimes I do, and I’m rarely disappointed), but in case you’re feeling up for it, here are a few links to oatmeal recipes that look amazing, though don’t take my word for it… I’ve never actually tried most of these. (Though maybe now that I’m posting this, I actually will!)

Baked Oatmeal

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Blueberry Cheesecake Oatmeal

Clean Eating Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

And a Youtube video with a few quick recipe ideas for oatmeal:

Thank you to WebMD for providing me with accurate nutritional information on this holy delicious food.

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