Coach’s Oats GIVEAWAY

Oatmeal.  What a fantastic food.  There are a million different toppings you can add, it’s crazy healthy, and it’s a fast breakfast to make.  William’s first food was oatmeal, my niece Audrey loves oatmeal, and I eat oatmeal multiple times a week.  Everyone loves oatmeal.  Today I want to tell you about Coach’s Oats.  Stay tuned, because at the end of this post there is a great giveaway for THREE lucky readers!

oatmeal

Coach’s Oats has reinvented oatmeal.  Most of you have probably heard of steel cut oats and rolled oats.  (Click HERE to learn the difference.)  Coach’s Oats are prepared in an entirely new way. The groats are toasted to bring the natural sugars to the surface of the oat, then cracked into small pieces. This patented Cracked n’ Toasted™ process means that Coach’s Oats are never mushy, always naturally delicious and cook in just 3 to 5 minutes on a stovetop or in the microwave.  Winning.

You know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  You must eat breakfast.  Making breakfast doesn’t need to be time consuming or difficult.  A daily bowl of Coach’s Oats oatmeal provides many benefits.  It can help lower total cholesterol – including bad LDL cholesterol that can build up in arteries leading to your heart and brain.  Coach’s Oats has very low sodium, so they also help maintain a healthy normal blood pressure.

coaches oats

How can you eat Coach’s Oats?  A million different ways, seriously.  My all time favorite combination is oatmeal, banana, peanut butter, cinnamon, raisins, and honey.  Don’t measure, just add a bit of everything (being extra generous with the peanut butter).  Other fun toppings include any and all fruit (fresh, frozen, or dried), coconut, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, or nut butters.  While oatmeal is healthy all on its own, it’s easy to add additional nutrition, too.  Flax seed, chia seed, hemp seed, wheat germ are other options you can add.

I know mornings are busy.  Trust me, I know.  I have a wild 16-month old who adds a lot of fun to my morning routine.  However, it literally takes two seconds to pour in oatmeal, add water or milk, and pop the bowl in the microwave for three minutes to cook.  So easy; there’s literally no reason not to eat breakfast.

And if you want to do some meal prep to make mornings even easier, use Coach’s Oats to make oatmeal cookies or oatmeal pancakes (both these recipes are listed on the back of the bag) or check out the many recipes they have on their website.  I may have to make the Caramel Chocolate Oat Bars; how good do those sound?!

linking up with healthy diva for mimm!

September is Better Breakfast Month, so what better way to celebrate than with me, Coach’s Oats, and a deliciously healthy bowl of oatmeal?  Those of you who usually skimp on breakfast for whatever reason, I’d like to encourage you to take part of the Better Breakfast Month and create a healthy habit of eating breakfast.  Coach’s Oats is an easy way to do this and now you have your chance to win!

Alright, are you ready for the giveaway?  THREE readers will win a massive three pound bag of Coach’s Oats! That’s more than a month’s supply of oatmeal!

coach's oats

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite oatmeal toppings! (I always love hearing about new combinations!)  For an additional optional entry, follow Itz Linz and Coach’s Oats on Twitter and tweet the following, “September is Better Breakfast Month! I want to celebrate with @ItzLinz & @coachsoats! http://wp.me/p2WMfo-3kT #FitFluential”  Be sure to leave an extra comment to get credit for your follow and tweet!  This giveaway will be open until Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm CST.  Three winners will be randomly selected and announced on Friday morning.  CLOSED!

Congratulations to #19 Jessica, #51 Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday, and #15 Jill!

Use promo code FitBBM to save 20% on one or two bags of Coach’s Oats! (valid through 10/02/15)

What I Ate On Race Day

Thank you all for your kind words on running the half marathon I didn’t train for and then again as I explained how I was a little too glib in the post.  Your kindness is always appreciated.  I’m still riding my high for running such a good race (for me), and enjoying being back in the racing game.  I enjoy reading what people eat on race day, so I figured I’d share what I ate, as well.

breakfast: oatmeal with a side of mizuno shoes

oatmeal

Haha, I’m sure my mom will be thrilled to see this picture and discover I put my running shoes on the counter.  Sorry, Mom!  (We slept at my parents’ the night before since it was going to be such an early morning, and they were watching William.)  Back when I was running a few years ago, I always ate a bowl of oatmeal before a race or long run.  Classic toppings include bananas, cinnamon, peanut butter, and raisins.  Usually I add honey, but I couldn’t find it in their kitchen.

mid-race fuel: (no pictures since I was running and am not coordinated enough nor did I feel like trying to take out my phone during the race. all my energy was put towards running!)

  • Mile 5: A pack of Supercandy Beans that I brought
  • Mile 8: Gu that was passed out
  • Mile 10: Another Gu
  • Gatorade at every station

I may be weird, but I love race fuel.  I love it all.  Supercandy is a relatively new-to-me fuel that I’ve really been enjoying.  It tastes good, is more natural than others, and includes b vitamins, antioxidants, and electrolytes.

post-race: an ice cream sandwich from Ted Drewes

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Instead of going for the granola bars or bananas, I went for the ice cream sandwich.  And I ate it before a picture could be snapped, so Barbie re-enacted what I probably looked like.  The Go! had great food when you crossed the finish line. But truthfully, my hands were full of my ice cream sandwich so I couldn’t grab anything else.  There was even toasted ravioli!!! (unique to St. Louis!)

linking up with peas & crayons for what i ate wednesday

VIP tent: AMAZING BREAKFAST #2

waffle

Thanks to Chipotle, I was able to go to the VIP tent after the race.  There was a wonderful spread of food, and I had a little bit of most of it.  A waffle with strawberry topping, pecans, and syrup, sausage, bacon, cheesy eggs with spianch, and potatoes.  There were sweet rolls and fruit, too, but I stuck with the hearty stuff.

lunch: CHIPOTLE!

chipotle

I actually thought there would be Chipotle in the VIP tent, but there wasn’t.  I had it stuck in my head that I was having Chipotle after the race, so around 1:30 in the afternoon, William and I ventured out to fulfill my craving.  William took a nap shortly after, so I could have leisurely eaten my bowl.  Nope.  I was starving  I literally inhaled it.  Usually I get a bowl with chicken, but after my race I was famished, so I went with steak, black beans, brown rice, lettuce, corn salsa, and cheese.  So good.  I could eat Chipotle everyday and never get sick of it.

dinner snacks: everything in sight!

Since I had a large late lunch and I didn’t feel like making anything, I literally grazed the rest of the day on anything and everything I found in my kitchen.  Some of my snacks included chicken, a whole avocado, cereal, cheesy toast, scoops of peanut butter… I’m telling you, I ate everything.  It was fantastic!

And I drank a couple bottles full of Cocogo to make sure I replenished after the race.

What do you eat on race day?

30 Recipes for Overnight Oats

Itz the big overnight oats post I was telling you about: 30 Recipes for Overnight Oats.

overnight oats recipes

But first, real quick, let’s talk about overnight oats in case you’re unfamiliar.  What are they? What’s the benefit? Why would you make them? How do you make them?  And what are the possibilities? (Oh, the possibilities are endless, my friends!)

What are overnight oats?  Overnight oats are, essentially, cold oatmeal.  Wait, don’t run away yet.  Itz actually absolutely delicious, there are so many benefits, and a million possibilities.  I promise you that you can find something in here that you like.  Overnight oats are made with oats (shocking!) that have been soaked in some sort of liquid and other add-ins.  And, if you’re weird about the cold oats thing, feel free to pop them in the microwave in the morning to warm ’em up a bit.

What’s the nutritional benefit of overnight oats?  Oatmeal is a super healthy whole grain.  Itz a great source of fiber and protein; one serving (1/2 cup of uncooked oats) contain 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.  Fiber and protein both help keep you full longer.  Oatmeal can help lower your cholesterol (your LDL or “bad” cholesterol) when eaten regularly.  Oatmeal may help reduce high blood pressure and may reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. (source)  Oatmeal is all natural and not processed making it a fabulous option for a meal or a snack.

How do you make overnight oats?  This is the beauty of them: you prep them ahead of time, so when it comes to eat, you’re all ready to rock and roll!  Many people make them the night before.  Since I’m the biggest procrastinator ever, often times I will make them the morning of, let them soak for thirty minutes, and then eat them.  Either way works.

So you put all your dry ingredients in a bowl, mix them, and then add your liquid (milk or yogurt).  If I’m eating overnight oats as my breakfast, then I typically use dairy milk so the protein is increased. However, if I’m making them for a snack and don’t need quite the staying power as I do in the morning, then I may use almond milk.  Overnight oats can easily be vegan if you don’t use cow’s milk.  Using Greek yogurt is a fabulous way to increase the protein content, as well, and using any yogurt makes the oats extra creamy!

Using protein powder is yet another way to increase the protein in overnight oats.  Other options for add-ins are granola, fresh, frozen, or dried fruit, or nuts and seeds and their butters.  Feel free to add a touch more of milk in the morning if you prefer them a bit runnier, otherwise enjoy the thickness!

overnightoats

What are the flavor possibilities of overnight oats?  ENDLESS!  I’m going to link to 30 different recipes (many by my wonderful fellow FitFluential Ambassadors!), but if none of them sound appealing to you (yeah right), I encourage you to experiment in the kitchen and come up with your own flavor combination!

30 Recipes for Overnight Oats

GO MAKE SOME OVERNIGHT OATS! 🙂

What’s your favorite overnight oats recipe?  Which recipe are you going to try?

Blue Diamond Nutty Honey Vanilla Very Berry Oats

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

I’m not gonna lie… this being a full-time working mom thing is for the birds!  I’ve been back work for a week now, with kids for a couple days, and man oh man I am absolutely exhausted.  Yes, I’m grateful to have a good job and one that I love, but wow am I tired!  I’ve heard the first week as a new working mom is the hardest, so I can only hope it gets easier.  (Stay at home moms, I know you have your own challenges, too!  All moms rock.)

Mornings feel rushed, to say the least.  I do as much as I can the night before, but there’s still so much to do in the morning that can’t be done the night before. (Getting dressed, makeup, nursing, pumping, eating.)  All of those are non-negotiable, but I can prep my breakfast the night before which has helped.  I loooove my breakfasts and always need something substantial.

honey vanilla overnight oats1

I became obsessed with overnight oats this summer.  Not only are they healthy, but there are a million different combinations and they can be prepped the night (or the hour) before to make for a quick, easy, tasty breakfast.  Plus, itz believed that oatmeal is good for breastfeeding mommas.  Well, folks, I’ve found a new favorite.

Blue Diamond recently sent me two containers of their newest flavors: Honey Roasted Vanilla and Honey Roasted Chipotle.  Be still my heart.  I love honey.  Like, I can (and do) eat it by the spoonful.  Honey + vanilla was made for me, I’m pretty sure.  Vanilla is one of my most favorite flavors ever, so the combination is totally killer.  Honey roasted chipotle is also fantastic, but I’m just such a sucker for vanilla!

honey roasted vanilla almonds

I’m going to need more honey roasted vanilla almonds because those guys didn’t last long.  Alright, are you ready for the best overnight oats recipe ever?  Seriously.  And not technically a recipe because I really throw it all together, stir, chill, and eat.  And I don’t measure all the ingredients.  But here’s what I got:

Blue Diamond Nutty Honey Vanilla Very Berry Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • drizzle of honey (more or less depending on desired sweetness)
  • dash of pure vanilla extract
  • berries
  • chia seeds
  • Blue Diamond honey roasted vanilla almonds, some crushed and some whole

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except berries and whole almonds.
  2. Chill overnight.
  3. Add more milk if needed in the morning.
  4. Stir in berries and whole almonds.

I’ve been using dairy milk because I really need a good amount of protein in the morning to help keep me full, but I do think vanilla almond milk would be great, as well!  The almonds add a wonderful crunch among the creamy, mushy oats.  Mmm, itz so good!

honey vanilla overnight oats

Honey roasted vanilla or honey roasted chipotle?

#PileOnTheVeggies at Subway GIVEAWAY {closed}

Funny story: In William’s two month old baby update post yesterday, I made a pretty large error.  Within the same hour of the morning, my grandma Mama, and Jonny’s Grandma Adelaide both called me to say, “William is 13 pounds? Wow! Is that right?”  Immediately I went to check the post… Errrr, I had written 13 pounds 9 ounces instead of 9 pounds 13 ounces which he actually is.  That’s a big difference when we’re talking newborns!  Whoops!  Itz fixed now. Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s talk food.

Breakfast: Chilled Swiss Oatmeal from Eating Bird Food

oatmeal

This recipe was posted two days ago and I’ve already made it two times if that tells you about how good it is.  The first time I made it with all milk and the second time I used half milk and half greek yogurt.  Greek yogurt makes it way creamier.  Greek yogurt for the win!  Itz a perfect combination of sweet, creamy, and crunchy!

Lunch:  An improvised attempt at She Rocks Fitness’ Slow Cooker Turkey Lentil Joe’s

lunch

You see, what happened was, I thought I had all the ingredients on hand that I needed.  I started making it and then realized I didn’t quite have enough lentils.  So I added beans.  Or an onion.  So I added peppers and corn.  Or worcestershire sauce.  So I added…. I didn’t know how to improvise on that one.    And it came out nothing like it was supposed to.  Still good, but I’m going to have to give those Turkey Lentil Joe’s another shot!

Snack: Chex Mix Popped White Cheddar and Sweet & Salty

chexmix

I was sent these two bags of the newest Chex Mix flavors as a Klout perk, and oh my gosh, I can get enough!  They’re the best Chex Mix flavors yet; I just can’t decide which one is better.  Jonny votes for White Cheddar, but my verdict is still up in the air.  They’re both good.  Really good.  The bags are almost gone.

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday

Dinner: Operation #PileOnTheVeggies at Subway

subway

Subway wants to empower kids to make the sandwich they love, so they’re encouraging kiddos to #PileOnTheVeggies for special powers like Disney’s Maleficent movie!  We all went out to Subway to make sandwiches for ourselves.  (Jonny was out that night, so I made one for him.)  My niece and nephew, Audrey and Jacob, don’t love veggies – itz no secret.  So anything we can do to help encourage them to eat vegetables is a win in my book!

Subway has a Fresh Fit menu which features tasty, heart-healthy choices for all ages.  Kids get a special meal of their own, complete with a Fit Mini Sub (piled high with fresh veggies such as cucumbers and spinach), apple slices, and low-fat milk.

subway1

Jacob staring longingly at all the magical chips veggies.

We’re still working on the whole vegetables are magical thing.  Maybe once we see Disney’s Maleficent it’ll happen.  But here’s the really magical part – one lucky Itz Linz winner will receive a $25 Subway gift card and a $50 Fandango gift card to see Disney’s Maleficent!  All you have to do is comment on this post with an answer to this question: How do veggies and healthy eating help your family power through summer activities? (mandatory)  

  • You may receive an additional optional entry by following Itz Linz and SUBWAY on Twitter and tweeting, “I want to #PileOnTheVeggies at @SUBWAY to power through summer & see @Disney’s Maleficent like @ItzLinz. http://wp.me/p2WMfo-2sA”

This giveaway will be open until Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 at 8:00 pm CST.  The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Wednesday, June 18th.  CLOSED.

Congratulations to #28 Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl! Please email me so we can get your gift cards shipped out!

*This post is sponsored by SUBWAY.  All opinions are my own.

Cherry Coconut Granola Recipe

Wow! Fabulous discussion on yesterday’s Placenta Encapsulation post!  I promise not to mention placenta any more in today’s food-themed post. 🙂

Since I’m on spring break, I’ve obviously have had a lot more time on my hands. That means trying new recipes and spending longer in the kitchen which I love.  I felt like lately I hadn’t done a whole lot of baking or cooking, and I’m definitely making up for it this week.

Breakfast: Coconut Cookie Dough Oatmeal

coconut cookie dough oatmeal

I followed Chocolate Covered Katie’s Coconut Cookie Dough Oatmeal recipe and it was a winner! I was actually so eager to try it that I totally burnt the heck outta my tongue and mouth on the first bite. I don’t usually bake my oatmeal, but like Katie promised, each bite was warm and gooey.

Lunch: Deconstructed Refried Bean Burrito Salad

refried bean salad

I followed Kitchen Treaty’s recipe for Easy Refried Bean and Cheese Burritos and had plenty of the mixture leftover, so I used it to make a salad the following two days.  I started with a bed of shredded iceberg and spinach, added the mixture, and topped it with cheddar cheese and plain Chobani Greek yogurt.  Awesome.

Dinner: Easy Refried Bean and Cheese Burritos

Easy-Refried-Bean-and-Cheese-Burritos

That is actually Kitchen Treaty’s photo because I couldn’t get my burritos as pretty as that. I don’t think I wrapped them tight enough.  I also pinned this recipe to make it again because it was such a hit between Jonny and me.  Her recipe called for refried beans (obviously) and she linked to one of her previous recipes on Easy Vegetarian Crock Pot Refried Beans (without the lard!).  I made these to use in the recipe and loved how easy it is. They are much more economical than purchasing refried beans, not to mention much healthier since there’s no lard or added junk they put in. I probably won’t ever buy canned refried beans ever again.

Today’s What I Ate Wednesday is hosted, as always, by Jenn at Peas and Crayons.

Dessert: Healthy Whole Wheat Hamantashen

Hamantashen

Purim is a Jewish holiday in which itz customary to make hamantashen. Hamantashen are symbolic as they’re triangular-shaped to represent Hamen’s three-cornered hat. Hamantashan are usually filled with fruit, cheese, or poppy seed. This was the first time I made them and I followed No Way That’s Healthy! Healthy Whole Wheat Hamantashen recipe which was fantastic and so easy. I’ve made several batches including fillings of raspberry jam, poppy seed, and chocolate peanut butter.  I actually went to my grandma’s house, so she could taste them and when I got there she told me she had something she wanted me to taste, as well. It turns out, we both had made hamantashen!  (Her’s were much prettier – I posted a pic comparing the two on Instagram.) Both tasted good!

Snack: Cherry Coconut Granola

cherry choconut granola

Consider yourself warned: this stuff is addicting! We’ve been eating it by the spoonfuls by itself, with oatmeal, mixed in yogurt, and on top of smoothies.  This first batch didn’t last long at all. I absolutely love homemade granola and here is another prime example.

Cherry Coconut Granola Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Several drops of NuNaturals Cherry NuStevia
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Mix coconut oil, honey, and NuNaturals in a bowl.
  2. Slowly add oats.
  3. Stir in dried cherries and shredded coconut.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through, ensuring itz not burning.

cherry choconut granola recipe

Do you make your own granola? What’s your favorite recipe? Leave a link!

carby eats

Like I told you yesterday, carbs have sounded reaaaally good lately.  So that’s exactly what I’ve eaten!  After I walked on the treadmill for my morning workout, I finished off our last two Trader Joe’s pumpkin waffles with a [large] dollop of peanut butter and a drizzle of syrup.

waffles

Not surprisingly, due to the lack of protein, I was hungry an hour later.  So I fixed myself a bowl of oatmeal that I picked up on sale ($2!) at Whole Foods last week. (Yes, I realize this, too, had minimal protein, but groceries were running low in our home, to say the least.)  At least they’re healthy carbs…

oatmeal

Itz Three Sisters pomegranate oatmeal and itz really, really good.  It caught my eye because the box said itz made with flaxseed, quinoa, barley, rye, and wheat.

My carby eats are being linked up to Peas & Crayons’ What I Ate Wednesday.

My grandma made a batch of her homemade barley soup and sent me with a jar last time I saw her, so I’ve been enjoying it for lunch these past couple of days.

barley soup

Vegetables including corn, carrots, peas, green beans, and beans with barley and some pieces of meat, as well.  So good and very comforting during these chilly days.  An Activia yogurt was also consumed during lunch.

Shortly after, word in school was that there were fresh donuts in the teacher’s lounge, so I marched my carby butt up there and helped myself to a fritter (the best!).  One of the teacher’s asked, “Is this going to make ‘Itz Linz?'”  Ehhh no picture, but I’ll just tell ya about it instead haha.

When I got home, a couple spoonfuls of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter were consumed.

maple almond butter

Itz my absolute favorite, but not a regular buy since itz on the pricy side.  However, when I do buy it, itz best to buy from iherb.com as you can earn rewards with your purchases and they have the lowest prices on tons of food and other products.  Use my code VAJ523 to save money on your first purchase! Plus, you get free shipping when you spend $20, and they literally have everything!  Everything from natural cleaning products to products for dogs, babies, beauty products, food of every variety, I mean you could spend hours browsing.  They also include a free sample of something with every order and if you click the “freebies” button at the top, you can choose something free they are offering.  The more you order, the more rewards you earn to use for later purchases…. hence, making my jar of Justin’s maple almond butter totally justifiable!

Dinner happened at The Cheesecake Factory with a friend who was in town for the night.  I decided to load up on vegetables (after eating two slices of bread, of course), so I ordered the Luau Salad which was good.  It comes with a couple of giant “crisp wontons” and the portion is enormous which means leftovers.  No picture, sorry, use your imagination. 🙂

What kind of carbs are your favorite? Do you order from iherb? If so, what?

chocolate chip cranberry oatmeal

Well hello 2014 and Happy New Year to each and everyone one of YOU! What better way to start the new year than with some delicious food? On Monday I told you that I made The Lean Green Bean’s Fresh Cranberry Sauce, and I have been putting it on everything for the last two days.  And that’s how my chocolate chip cranberry oatmeal was born.

chocolate chip cranberry oatmeal

Make oatmeal as you desire (water, milk, microwave, stove, etc.)  Top with a generous portion of Fresh Cranberry Sauce and sprinkle liberally with chocolate chips.  Optional add-ins include flaxseed or chia seeds. Thank me later.  DEVOUR!

You guys, I was always too intimidated to make my own cranberry sauce.  Heck, I never bought anything besides dried cranberries before.  However, after Lindsay posted her recipe, I knew I had to give it a try because it just seemed so simple.  And you know what? It was! She suggested adding 2/3 – 3/4 cup sugar depending on how sweet you like it, and I definitely measured on the high end because I do love my sweets. While it was the perfect sweetness to add in with oatmeal, next time I’ll probably cut back on the sugar.

And when I say I can’t get enough of it, I’m serious. Check out this awesome snack time / lunch / I’ve made this multiple times during the day and called it different things.

cranberry chobani snack

This is plain Chobani Greek yogurt with a big ol’ scoop of cranberry sauce on top.  I mixed it together and dipped my apple slices in it.  So good.  On Monday, this passed for my lunch since I was home most of the day, and when that happens I snack all.the.time.  So my “meals” tend to be on the smaller side since I’ve eaten just a short time before and most likely will eat a short time after, as well.

Not to mention the white cheddar Cheez-Its and frosted sugar cookies I consumed at my sister’s house.  Anyway…

Let’s give a shout-out to Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

It has been downright chilly in St. Louis lately.  That’s par for the course, ya know bein’ winter and all, but I was totally in the mood for some warm comfort food.  Ain’t never too old for some grilled cheese and tomato soup!

grilled cheese tomato soup

However, I’d like to think of this as the adult version of the childhood favorite.  The creamy tomato soup is from Trader Joe’s (the best!), and I toasted bread with Swiss cheese, sautéed onions and mushrooms, and steamed spinach for the ultimate grilled cheese.

Have you ever made your own cranberry sauce? What else should I put it on?  What do you put on your grilled cheese as an adult?

Whole Grain Oatmeal Protein Bars

Thanks so much for all of your kind words on my post yesterday regarding body image and pregnancy.  You’re really wonderful, you know that?  Today let’s talk about something else wonderful: FOOD!  I’ll show ya a day of my eats.  Well, not every little nibble because that happens way too frequently now, but I’ll show ya the big meals of the day.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with banana slices, cinnamon, and peanut butter

oatmeal

Doesn’t that lump of peanut butter look funny?  Someone on Instagram said it looked like a fish coming out of water and one of my coworkers said it looked like a fortune cookie – haha!  I had planned on making eggs for breakfast because it had been awhile, but I was in the mood for something way more carby.  Oatmeal with my favorite toppings it was!

Linking up with Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.

Lunch: Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Macaroni & Cheese and steamed broccoli

lunch

I’d never bought the pre-made frozen mac and cheese from Trader Joe’s before, and it was a good impulse buy and last minute lunch!  What I liked most was that it was not just a measly portion as you can tell from the picture.  It was a good size and filled me up.

Snack: Detour Smart Whole Grain Oatmeal Protein Bars

detour smart bars

Big fan here of these bars.  Sometimes I feel like all protein bars are chocolate; does anyone else feel like that?  I’m all for chocolate, but sometimes I don’t want anything quite as sweet.  So when Detour emailed me asking if I’d like to try their new bars, I was all over it.  Some quick facts about the bars:

  • Gluten-free
  • 130 calories
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 4 grams sugar
  • 10 grams protein
  • Topped with a Greek style yogurt drizzle

They make a great snack, especially on the go.  They’re a good size; not enormous, but definitely satisfying.  I was sent a box each of the Blueberry and Apple Cinnamon flavors, and really truly enjoy them both.  And guess what the new flavor is that just came out?  Cranberry Flax!! Sounds so good!  Well done, as always, Detour!

Dinner: Kitchen sink salad, leftover brisket, rice, & green beans

dinner

Kitchen sink salad because I threw a bunch of random stuff in I had in the fridge.  It included spinach, tomatoes, roasted mushrooms, avocado, pomegranate seeds, and drizzled balsamic vinegar on top.  We had leftover rice from my in-laws’ dinner on Sunday, a piece of brisket from my friend Diana’s parents, and steamed green beans.  We always go to Diana’s parents for their annual Chanukah party, but this year we were unable to go due to other plans.  Her parents were so sweet and had Diana bring over a tupperware full of brisket!  Jonny and I both snacked on pieces here and there and finished it last night!

Dessert/Snack/Handfuls: Chocolate covered raisins

choc covered raisins

When we had friends over a couple of weeks ago, I bought chocolate covered raisins from Trader Joe’s to set out in a candy dish because itz always nice to have candy out.  Well, pretty much every time I walk past, I grab a few.  A few here, a few there, a handful here, a mouthful there.  Those little suckers won’t last much longer!

Do you prefer chocolate, fruit, or other flavors of protein bars?

no cooking for me

Happy Wednesday!  Itz HUMP DAY!  (Please tell me you’ve seen the GEICO Hump Day Camel Commercial?? If not, watch it here.)  The title of this post is, “No cooking for me” because I have literally done zero cooking lately.  I made a batch of kale chips on Saturday and that was the longest I spent in the kitchen in quite some time.  So let me show you what I have been eating lately.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal for breakfast!  Yes, I made this bowl of oatmeal, but I don’t really consider making any breakfast cooking unless we’re talking homemade pancakes or muffins or something.  Not oatmeal.

pumpkin pie oatmeal

Cooking or not, this oatmeal was fantastic.  I followed Chocolate Covered Katie’s Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal recipe and it was awesome.  It was loaded with pumpkin (duh), brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts.  Comforting on a chilly morning and incredibly filling, as well.  I see many more bowls in my future.

Linking up with Peas and Crayons’ What I Ate Wednesday.

On Monday night, Jonny and I went over to my in-laws’ for dinner as my mother-in-law had made a big batch of soup.  It was loaded with vegetables, beans, barley, and meat from a beef soup bone.  While it didn’t photograph so beautifully, it tasted magnificently.

lunch soup

She was kind enough to send us with leftovers, so I enjoyed a second bowl for lunch yesterday.  Soup totally hit the spot with this cold weather we’ve been having, and they’re a great way to pack in lots of vegetables.  I need to get my butt in the kitchen and make a batch!

On Sunday, I went over to my parents’ for dinner since Jonny was working.  My dad made beef tenderloin (his favorite cut of meat!) which was absolutely fantastic, along with a salad with homemade dressing, steamed broccoli, and baked potatoes.

dinner

My parents also kindly sent me with leftovers, so I enjoyed this meal for a second time on Monday afternoon.  Aren’t parents the best? 🙂

My mother-in-law made a wonderful pumpkin pie (the first of the season!).  Not only was this delicious on Monday night, but they sent us with the leftovers!

pumpkin pie

We’re just about out of leftovers now, so itz time for me to get a-cookin’!  Good thing I bought supplies to make (heat up) tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches at the store!  Ha!  Let’s see if I get more creative than that!

What’s your favorite meal that your parents make?