Weird Food Combos I Love

We all have those things we love that send people into spirals. “You eat what?” or “You actually wear those??
I always try to be polite, address these concerns with a smile, and then continue right along, because I eat yummy food and wear fabulous socks:)
I will admit that some things I eat are decidedly strange. Not foul, just plain weird.
My latest obsession is a whim that that turned into breakfast this past week.
This sounds insane, but an oatmeal topped potato. Yup. Oatmeal on top of a baked potato.

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Above is a potato stuffed with cocoa oatmeal, buttered up with PB&Co Spicy Peanut Butter, and a crushed up Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cup.

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This one was the potato-oatmeal combo that sparked it all. Berry Oats, stuffed in a sweet potato, topped with berries and some cashew butter.

Another thing I love? Zucchini. I stick it in EVERYTHING. And trust me, I get looks.

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Overnight oats complete with my little green friend. Stuffed in a trader joes peanut butter jar, of course (they have the BEST peanut butter!).

Another weird love?

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Squash. I throw it on everything. Yogurt, oatmeal, mug-cakes. I eat it plain, topped with peanut butter, with some hummus, some salsa, or in a salad.
And yes, I am extremely orange:)

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What are some of your weird obsessions?

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Going to the Gym Tips + Pre-Workout Nutrition

Going to the gym can be a menacing task, trust me, I get that. In my utopian world, it would always be forty-five degrees, with a light breeze, and a hazy sun. Running outside motivates me more than any monotonous machines and sweaty drips.
But, this isn’t my paradise. Storms, arctic winds, saunic heat waves, and blizzards plague my area, and sometimes the gym is the only option.
But I always try to fit in my workout. It keeps me sane and lets me achieve something every day. (Well, except on rest days:)
It has taken me some time, but I have found ways to make the treadmill (*cough* dreadmill *cough*) or other machine more bearable.

1. Music, Audiobooks, Instagram, Internet- DISTRACTIONS.
Use whatever distractions you can to keep yourself sane. Personally, I love love love music. I can get lost in a good playlist. It keeps me from getting too “thinky”. One machines like the stepmaster though, you can check instagram or surf the web, because the lower body is so isolated. This is serves as an amazing distraction.

2. Intervals
Interval, or HIIT, training, is extremely effective and entertaining. With intervals typically between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, you constantly are changing treadmill (or bike/elliptical) speeds or inclines. It also mentally makes working out easier. “Mini-goals” can be more easily set.

3. Set Mini-Goals
Chunk you workout into a couple parts and focus on a chunk at a time. Running 2 miles 3 times is SO much easier than running six miles.

4. Eat a good pre-workout snack or meal.
Fuel yourself well. The best for me is to eat a bigger dinner a few hours before. I find that eating a majority of carbs, and some fat and protein is perfect. But experiment, because every body is different!

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Pre-workout tonight (eaten about 2 hours before my workout) was Farro, cooked with date chutney, carrot and veggie broth, tossed with corn, lettuce, and tofu. I served it with a potato and peanut butter!

5. Prepare
Lay out your workout clothes, bag, water bottle, headphones, whatever you need, BEFORE you start your day. Put that in your car, or by your door. That way when you have to go workout- you have no excuse at all.

6. Just do it.
Think of how much better you will feel after the workout. Then smile, and crush it. If your put your mind to it, anything is possible!

What are some of your favorite workout tips? Share then below!

Puffed Wheat Parfait for National Peanut Butter Day!

Yesterday, while searching for some steal cut oats in the recess of my pantry, I discovered a plastic container of puffed wheat. I had completely forgotten about the enthusiastic purchase I made weeks prior, due to my poor placement!
So, naturally, I resolved to experiment with the puffed wheat as soon as possible. And that is precisely what I did!
Today is (fun fact!) National Peanut Butter Day. I found out around lunchtime while scrolling through some blogs, and realized that desert tonight was going to be grand. Peanut butter, puffed wheat, and some other yummy things? Where could this train of thinking possibly go awry?
I sat and stared at my pantry for a good 20 minutes. What did I want? Carrots. I wanted carrots. Wait no, I wanted a potato. WAIT. PEANUT BUTTER. PUFFED WHEAT. Ohhhh yeah and I have that carrot juice I need to drink before it goes bad…. And that cashew milk…
Thoughts and thoughts and thoughts. So finally I started throwing things in a bowl. I froze the creamy blend, and then topped with with warm baked sweet potato chunks, some strawberries, some peanut butter, and a molasses drizzle.
The end result was heavenly. I knew I just had to share this. It had volume, it had protein, it was filling, and even had some veggies! A home run, slam dunk, and touchdown all in one!!

Carrot Cake Puffed Wheat Parfait

Ingredients:
1 carrot
1 cup puffed wheat
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons cashew milk
1 tablespoon carrot juice
Pinch of nutmeg and ginger
2 pinches of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Any toppings desired (I included a chopped baked sweet potato, some strawberries, some molasses, and some peanut butter)

Directions

1. Grate the carrot into a bowl.
2. Add the yogurt and mix with the grated carrot.
2. Add the puffed wheat, cashew milk, spices, and carrot juice. Stir thoroughly to combine.
3. Place in the freeze for one hour, stirring ever 20 minutes (VERY important step!!)
4. Add toppings!!
5. Devour!

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Super Thick Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a blessing. Maybe not a photogenic blessing, but certainly a welcome gift on busy mornings where time is of the essence. Lately, during that time of the school year where the snooze button becomes a bad friend that pushes you into the realm of avoidable hurry, overnight oats have become a delectable treat of convenience. And I believe I have developed the perfect overnight oatmeal recipe.

Adaptable, easy, flavorful, and balanced, this porridge is a newfound staple of mine. The creamy thickness coats your mouth and fills your stomach, leaving you pleasantly satisfied for hours after eating. This is also a customizable bowl. Feel free to change the liquid, switch any extracts and spices, or add non acidic fruits and vegetables (acidic fruits, like berries, tend to turn sour overnight) to paint a flavor onto the oats. Changing the protein powder, adding spreads or jams, or other flavoring powders will give the same effect. This is a basic recipe that you can change to suit your personal needs. Vegans can simply replace the yogurt with applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin (and additional sweetener) or coconut yogurt. Whey or other protein powders can be substituted for the pea protein powder, whey just upsets my stomach and this is what I had on hand!

Perfectly Thick Overnight Oats

Ingredients

1/2-1 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup yogurt**

1/4 cup cashew milk

1 scoop of protein powder**I used vanilla orgain organic pea protein

1-2 tablespoons of raisons

1 teaspoon of honey or stevia

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon, to taste

Nearly Empty or “Nearly Empty” nut butter jar

**see above for substitutions

Directions

1. Add the shredded zucchini to a bowl and cook in the microwave with a tabkespoon water for a few minutes (I do three, but this will change depending on your microwave. Just make sure your zucchini is well cooked! You could omit the zucchini if you wanted.

2. Remove the cooked zucchini from the microwave, add the oats and yogurt, and stir.

3. Wait a few minutes for the mixture to cool a bit before adding the cinnamon, vanilla extract, raisons, protein powder, and milk. The mixture will be quite thick. You can add more milk, if desired.

4. Plop the mixture into the peanut butter jar. Lid it and let it sit overnight.

5. In the morning, add more nut butter, some nuts, some fruit, and anything else you desire! Enjoy your perfect bowl of oatmeal!

IMG_1133-0(Bonus- no dishes to clean!!)