• Feeds

oats and tuna melts

This morning, I was all about oatmeal.  It sure doesn’t feel like fall in Boston, but it is September!

Simple Rolled Oats

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind will do)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt

Yum, I love the addition of cinnamon and vanilla in the oats.  They are delicious.

Check out the chia seeds in there too!  You can’t taste them, but they pack quite the nutritious punch.

Topped with a drizzle of Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, cinnamon crispies and dried blueberries!!

Yummy!

The thing I really love about oatmeal, is how it keeps me full for hours, but doesn’t make me feel super full.  Delicious!

Lunch was kind of boring.

Leftover pasta from a few nights ago.  I cooked whole wheat pasta, then tossed it with 1/2 jar of Trader Joe’s marinara sauce and some homemade pesto that I defrosted from the freezer.  All mixed together, it was great.

I also snacked on a banana and yogurt mid-afternoon.

We kept it simple for dinner with tuna melts and salad!

1 can of tuna mixed with a little yogurt, mustard and celery seed.  Served on 2 slices of whole grain seeded bread stacked with 1/4 sliced avocado and colby jack cheese.

Our salad was simple with greens, radishes, and rosemary pecans and cranberries.  All tossed in a honey/olive oil dressing.

A simple, but terrific weeknight dinner.

ch-ch-ch-chia!

I know that I have talked about Chia Seeds in the past, but they came up in a book that I was reading, so I decided that I wanted to mention them again!

I started reading Born To Run by Christopher MacDougall last week and when I hit page 44, I was psyched!  [If you are a runner and haven’t read the book, you should definitely do so.  I haven’t finished yet, but I love it already!]

The author had met up with the Tarahumaras and they had given him something to drink, iskiate.  Check out what he says below:

“Months later, I’d learn that iskiate is otherwise known as chia fresca – “chilly chia.”  It’s brewed up by dissolving chia seeds in water with a little sugar and a squirt of lime.  In terms of nutritional content, a tablespoon of chia is like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach, and human growth hormone.  As tiny as those seeds are, they’re super packed with omega-3s, omega-6s, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber, and antioxidants. If you had to pick just one desert-island food, you couldn’t do much better than chia, at least if you were interested in building muscle, lowering cholesterol, and reducing your risk of heart disease; after a few months on the chia diet, you could probably swim home.  Chia was once so treasured, the Aztecs used to deliver it to their king in homage.  Aztec runners used to chomp chia seeds as they went into battle, and the Hopis fueled themselves on chia during their epic runs from Arizona to the Pacific Ocean.  The Mexican state of Chiapas is actually names after the seed; it used to rank right up there with corn and beans as cash crop.  Despite its liquid-gold status, chia is ridiculously easy to grow; if you own a Chia Pet, in fact, you’re only a few stepped away from your own batch of the devil drink.” From Born To Run by Christopher McDougall.

Now do you believe how great chia seeds are for you?!

Yes, by chia seeds, I mean the same ones that come from our favorite pets…

(Source)

…the chia pet is sprouts grown from the seeds.  Obviously, if kept dry, yours will not sprout.

Initially, some may not like the texture of the seeds, but it does grow on you!  They take in a lot of water and have a sort of slimy texture.  If you mix it them into smoothies or oatmeal, or sprinkle them on your foods, you can barely tell they are there. 🙂

Chia seeds have amazing health benefits:

  • you do not need to grind the seed to make it digestible
  • helps stabilize your blood sugar
  • has nutrients like Omega-3’s, calcium, proteins, antioxidants, fiber and complex carbohydrates
  • maintains hydration
  • help to fill you up – chia seeds expand to more than 30 times their size
  • and much more…

Chia seeds can basically be added to anything.  In the past, I have added them to many things:

Smoothies

Overnight oats – before & after

Granola Bars

They are also great as salad toppers, oatmeal toppers and cereal toppers.  And, I have heard that they can replace flaxseeds in some recipes.  I hope to try that out soon!

Chia seeds have become very widely available over the past few years.  I have always seen them at Whole Foods and my local health food store.  Give them a try!

my favorite things – part one

We are headed out of town this weekend on a mini vacation, so I wanted to leave you with something fun!

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I get quite a few questions from readers, family and friends about some of the things that I eat, bake and cook with and why I use them over other ingredients.  Therefore, I thought that it would be fun to write a post about some of my favorite ingredients.

Since I have so many favorite things, I decided to split this up into two parts.

Enjoy. 🙂

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are packed with fiber, antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3.  They are extremely easily digestible in their state, unlike flax seeds which need to be ground.  They are great for athletes because the seeds give you an energy boost and absorb water to keep you hydrated!

You can eat chia seeds on their own, but I prefer to add them to smoothies, yogurt and oatmeal!

Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup is a sweetener with a honey-like thickness that will not cause your blood sugar to spike.  It is a simple sugar which means that your body does not need to work as hard to break it down for digestion.  All sugars that enter your body are broken down into simple sugars before they can be digested.  In this case, the work has been done before the sugar enters your body.  This makes brown rice syrup one of the healthiest out there.

I like to substitute brown rice syrup for honey, maple syrup, white sugar, etc in recipes.

Almonds

What is not to like here?  Almonds are packed with all sorts of stuff – Vitamin E, calcium, fiber, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron – making them one of the healthiest nuts out there.  Yes, like all nuts, almonds are hign in fat.  However, they are high in monosaturated fat which is the healthy fat.  The kind of fat that your body uses to live.  Eating almonds has been show to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and will keep your cravings at bay by keeping you satisfied!

Almonds are tasty on their own, but I also love them in trail mix, cereal, on top of oatmeal or crushed into almond butter!

Cinnamon

Did you know that cinnamon is often used as a health remedy?  It slows the rate at which the stomach empties after you eat, which reduces the rise of blood sugar after meals.  Cinnamon is also a great source of dietary fiber, iron and calcium.  Plus, it tastes delicious!

I love cinnamon mixed in oatmeal and yogurt or sprinkled on fruit.

Greek Yogurt

I would choose greek yogurt over other types anyday!  It has a thicker texture which turns some people off, but once you get used to it you won’t look back.

Not only does greek yogurt keep you full much longer than other types, but it is also full of protein!  Make sure to watch the sugar content if you buy flavored yogurts – it is can be decieving!  I prefer to buy plain greek yogurt and add my own flavorings.  You can add everything – vanilla, honey, peanut butter, granola, etc.

Have fun with your food!

Cacao Powder & Nibs

These 2 things could easily be my favorite!  Cacao = Cocoa.  Cacao powder is unsweetened and usually raw.  It is ground from cacao nibs.  Cacao nibs & powder contain more antioxidants and magnesium than any other food out there.  However, in order to reap the benefits, you need to eat cacao in it’s natural form – the nibs and powder count!

Cacao powder is delicious when added to smoothies or in oatmeal.  You can use it as chocolate in baked goods when combined with a sweetener of your choice.  I add cacao nibs to everything – trail mix, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, ice cream, etc!

Coconut Water

Coconut water is my post-workout drink of choice.  It contains natural electrolytes to replenish lost stores in your body.  Check out more benefits of coconut water in my last post!

Drink it straight up, mix is with your favorite fruit juice or add it to a smoothie!

Ginger

Ginger is often used to aid in digestion, treat stomach upsets and nausea.  It has also been shown to treat arthritis and the common cold.  I love ginger for the taste, but I also love it for helping with tummy troubles.

I drink ginger tea after large meals or when my stomach is upset.  I also love dried ginger!  It’s perfect to keep in your purse to nibble on a few pieces after you eat or drop it in a cup of hot water for tea.

Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are very rich in omega-3’s which makes this seed very powerful for everyone, especially vegetarian’s and vegan’s who stay away from animal products.  It also contains a lot of fiber and has been shown to increase immunity strength in your body.  Whole flaxseeds cannot be digested by your body, so it is important to grind them (or purchase the ground!) before eating.  I grind my own in my coffee grinder!

Flaxseeds and ground flax can easily be added to yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or in baked goods!

Steel Cut Oats

In a nutshell, oatmeal is good for you.  It has been shown to reduce cholesterol when eaten on a regular basis.  It is filling, satisfying and a great breakfast, especially on cold winter days!  Oatmeal is high in protein and fiber and will not make your blood sugar spike.

I prefer Steel-Cut Oats because they are the least processed of most oats.  The different types of oats (steel-cut, rolled, oatbran) all have to do with the amount and type of processing that they go through before hitting store shelves.

Steel-cut oats take much longer to cook due to the minimal processing, but it is worth it.  They have a heartier taste that I love!

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I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite things!  Make sure to come back later on this weekend for part 2!

eat real food

It is really hard to get used to this daylight savings change in the morning, but I love it at night!

I was craving a smoothie, once again, this morning!  Today, I made the real Cherry Chocolate Bomb because I finally picked up some frozen cherries.  I did add a few other goodies as well, including 1 tbsp of chia seeds, 1 tsp of maca and 2 handfuls of spinach.

I find that having a substantial smoothie in the morning seems to help with digestion.  The essential nutrients are absorbed more quickly because your body is not spending time breaking down the food – the blender does the work for it!  Some days it keeps me full until lunch, but most days I have a small mid-morning snack, such as an apple or a few dates with 1 tbsp of peanut/almond butter.

I love the addition of both chia seeds and maca to my smoothies.  The chia seeds thicken it up, without having to use xanthan and/or guar gums to do so.  I prefer to use chia seeds due to the health benefits.  Maca adds a natural boost in energy.  I have been trying to stay away from caffeine in the mornings, so the maca is great.  Both maca and chia seeds have wonderful benefits.  You can rest assurred that you are adding healthy, natural foods to your body which will help it to thrive.

I have to say that I have yet to get sick this year (knock on wood!) nor have I been sick for the past few years despite everyone around me catching a cold or bug at some point.  I really believe that eating real foods, exercising and making it a priority to get outside everyday plays a major roll in my healthy immune system.  Obviously, those are not the only things that will prevent an illness from plaguing your immune system, but it may help.

Anyways, on to lunch!

Part 1 of lunch was leftover salad from last night’s potluck.  My salad contained a mix of romaine and spinach, granny smith apple, celery, cucumber, craisins, Sahale pomegranate cashews and pear infused white vinegar.

Along with some Vitamin C.

Part 2 was a Chobani Strawnana greek yogurt with granola.

Very filling and satisfying!  After my yogurt supply has run out, I think I need to stay away from it for awhile.  My stomach just really isn’t liking it these days.

Anyways, before leaving work I snacked on an Almond granola bar to fuel up for my afternoon run.

It looks gorgeous out – time to run! 🙂