Oh! It’s You, Oatmeal!

Now that I’ve surpassed the age of 40 (please don’t tell my girls – they think I’m 29), I’m quickly learning those few extra calories I grab here and there actually stick…and in places about which I’m not too happy. So I’ve vowed to stop performing the old “pick off their plates” routine I’ve lately perfected (letter “P” anyone?). And it starts with breakfast. Those last bites of their waffles add up, and who knew donut holes can have as many as 70 calories? Yikes! According to my new Lose It app, I have to walk almost a mile to burn that off!

shutterstock_97491371So I’m making a commitment to oatmeal. Every day. First thing. My hope is it will keep me full (because sometimes my schedule demands that lunch runs late) and that I’m doing all sorts of good things for my body when I eat it: fiber, protein, antioxidants, lignans – yay! And what I’ve discovered is that if the plain oatmeal routine gets too boring, I can always doctor it up. Here are some delicious takes on this breakfast staple:

Almond Joy Oatmeal

1 cup dry old fashioned oats, water (as directed), 1 tablespoon shredded coconut, 1 scoop (about 1/4 cup) chocolate protein powder, sugar-free Da Vinnici coconut syrup, sugar-free Da Vinnici chocolate syrup

Apple Walnut Oatmeal

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (not instant), 1 cup low-fat milk, 2 apples – cored and peeled and diced, 1/2 cup crushed walnuts, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Banana Cream Oatmeal

4 cups water, 2 cups quick-cooking oats, 2 bananas cut into thin coins, 1/2 cup non-fat sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal

1/4 cup steel-cut oats, 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal

1 and 3/4 cups water, 1 cup quick cooking oats, 1/4 cup dried cherries, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons cherry jam

Now go tackle that drop-off line!

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Stop Smirking and Drink the Smoothie!

Ok, so I’ve told you I run.  What I haven’t told you, is that running is just about the only uber healthy thing I do.  I’m not a vegan, I don’t mind gluten, I only take vitamins when I suspect I’m getting sick, and I have no idea what it means to eat a macrobiotic diet.  While I think these choices mean I have quite a lot in common with most women, they also mean I have very little in common with the likes of Madonna, Gwyneth and Gisele (as if we didn’t know this already).

So imagine how riddled with doubt I was when a girlfriend recommended Gwyneth’s smoothie recipe.  I immediately conjured up images of seaweed, kale and flax seeds in my blender, and I subsequently balked.  My friend was not to be deterred, however, and so after our last run, she hit the kitchen.  I’m not gonna’ lie.  Gwyneth’s on to something, and it’s not just perfect gowns for awards season!  The smoothie was delish, and though there’s a few ingredients that raised my eyebrows (green powder?), from a taste perspective, this smoothie hit the spot, especially post-run.  Here’s how it goes (and yep, you might have to hit Whole Foods for a couple of the ingredients).

Into the blender:blueberry-smoothie

1/2 Cup of blueberries (the recipe calls for fresh, but my girlfriend used frozen)

1 Scoop whey powder

1 Scoop of green powder (my girlfriend used something called Macro Greens; I looked it up and Vitamin World offers something similar called Life’s Greens)

1 & 1/2 Cups of almond milk

Blend away!

I know, I can feel your doubt emanating from the pixels on my computer screen, and I promise, I was right there with you.  But you know what?  It was tasty, it was refreshing, and it was a nice way to start the day!  Despite the weird green powder, the only thing I tasted were the blueberries, which I love!  So go on….I dare you.

Tastes like chicken!

Fruit Fetish

My girls love fruit, and I mean they really love it.  We can go through as many as four pints of strawberries in a single day.  And that’s just the strawberries.  Don’t get me started on the flats of blueberries my neighbor brings us from Michigan, or the bags of clementines that are here one day, gone the next.  Sometimes I worry this fruit consumption is all a bit gluttonous, but I tell myself it’s all okay because we’re talking fruit, not Cheetos – right?

The good news about my girls’ eating habits is that I don’t think my little trio will ever have a vitamins A and/or C deficiency.  And I’m pretty sure they run around filled to the brim with antioxidants.  The bad news is just this: have you ever priced out what four pints of strawberries cost when they are not in season?  Holy savings account, Batman!  And so, I apologize for the recipe that is about to follow.  When not in season, this little salad can get expensive.  I recommend editing to accommodate what’s least expensive at the grocery store right now.  I also highly recommend shopping at your local farmers’ market so that at the very least, your hard earned dollars are going straight into the growers’ pockets (this is very preachy of me, and I’m sorry, but I do love to eat locally grown produce when I can).

Favorite Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

1 pint of fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

1 large peach, pitted and cut into bite-size pieces

2 plums, pitted and cut into bite-size pieces

2 kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

1 cup dark, sweet cherries, pitted and halved

1 cup honeydew melon balls or cubes

1 cup cantaloupe balls or cubes

1 cup cubed, fresh pineapple

1 cup grapes

2 containers of lowfat vanilla yogurt

Preparation:

Lightly mix all of the fruit together until well integrated.  Spoon the yogurt on top and serve.

Albert Einstein said, “A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?”  I don’t know, Albert, but according to my girls, not even the dining room furniture and the musical instruments are necessary.

Does a Body Good

My 11-year-old had her annual physical yesterday.  Aside from my shock and horror (and yes, delight) at how very, very, very much she has grown, I was thankful to learn tween girls need a significant amount of calcium during these transition years.  Key information, especially since my little giraffe is not a milk-drinker.  The pediatrician did a nice job of giving us a calcium 101 lecture, and we’ve now been charged to hit at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day.  She also told my daughter this was her responsibility (with mom’s help and guidance).  I love the empowerment!

Here’s a quick how-to for those of you who also have young ladies in your house.

Breakfast:

Glass of calcium fortified OJ with your breakfast: 300 milligrams

Lunch:

Carton of milk with your lunch at school: 300 milligrams

Two slices of calcium fortified Roman Meal bread for your sandwich: 300 milligrams

After school snack:

Container of yogurt: approximately 200 milligrams

You’re at approximately 1,000 milligrams before dinner is even served!  How easy was that?  Of course, my 11-year-old is a little obsessed with efficiency, so she proposed we make smoothies for breakfast with OJ and yogurt to get a head start.  Works for me!

Take care of you and yours!