Posts tagged: oatmeal

What I Ate – 2/13/2010

By Katie, 6:00 pm

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you are feeling very loved today. :-D

Dave and I went patriotic this V-day, spending the weekend in our nation’s capital. I love the city of Washington D.C.; we don’t go there nearly enough, considering how close it is!

Here are the highlights! :-)

Breakfast

Before we set off for our little trip, I cooked up a batch of banana oats on the stovetop. I have to say, it is definitely worth it to make oatmeal on the stove rather than in the microwave. The texture and consistency are just so much better!

In the mix:

  • old-fashioned oats, cooked in water
  • pinch salt
  • sliced banana (mixed in at the beginning)
  • ground flaxseed
  • cinnamon
  • toppings: natural crunchy peanut butter, dried cranberries

You just can’t beat oatmeal for a warm, hearty breakfast!

Before we left I packed up a bunch of snacks. If someone were to ask me for my #1 healthy eating tip, I think it would be these four simple words: Plan Ahead. Be Prepared. It is so much easier to bypass nutritionally-empty convenience foods when you’ve got plenty of healthy options on hand. It’s a lot cheaper too.

I packed a lot of food because our dinner reservations weren’t until 9:15 p.m., so I wanted to be sure we had plenty to hold us over.

Mid-Morning Snack

Well, more like early afternoon snack. The drive down took a bit longer than expected due to traffic/snow. We didn’t mind. :-)

Around noon I realized that it might still be awhile until lunch, so I broke into my raw almonds and dried apricots.

We finally arrived and checked into the Washington Court Hotel. Oh my goodness, this hotel is amazing. I mean, check out the lobby!

Gorgeous, right? Our room was equally fantastic; Tina would love it!

If you’re looking for a hotel in D.C., I definitely recommend this place!

Lunch

For lunch we checked out this tiny little place in Capitol Hill called the Wellness Cafe. It was cute! I had a grilled Alaskan salmon burger on a multigrain kaiser roll, with onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and alfalfa sprouts. And I subbed mustard for the mayo.

Dave and I shared this bag of carrot chips. (Well, I had about 1/4 of the bag.) The carrot flavor was subtle; they tasted a lot like Fritos, actually.

And a Pomegranate Honest Tea for some hydration.

On our way to our next destination, we snapped some nice shots of the Capitol. :-)

Do we look freezing in this one? The wind was crazy; we were chilled to the bone!

We couldn’t wait to warm up inside our destination – The Newseum!!! (Yes, we are the type of people who opt to spend Valentine’s Day at a museum. Does that make us total geeks?  )

The Newseum may not have been romantic, exactly, but it was incredibly interesting. We spent about 3 hours there, and would have stayed longer had it not been closing!

Even if you’re not a news junkie, you should check out this museum if you have a chance. There are so many interesting exhibits. My favorites were: the gallery of Pulitzer Prize photographs, eight sections of the original Berlin Wall, and the Internet, TV, & Radio Gallery (lots of good info. on the impact of BLOGS!).

Oh, and a special exhibit on First Dogs! Lots of fun photos of presidential puppies.

There was even an interactive exhibit where you give a live news update on camera. Yes, we totally did it. ;-)

Afternoon Snack

After the museum we still had almost four hours until our dinner reservations (we booked a bit too late, considering the holiday, so our options were limited). Naturally we hit up the hotel fitness center. ;-) I did 35 minutes on the treadmill – 20 min. running and 15 min. incline walking. Not much, but I think it was plenty since we also walked about three miles around the city throughout the course of the day.

Pre-workout fuel: a clementine from the snack stash.

And post-workout nourishment: apple pie LARA bar.

Dinner

Even with the snacking, I was about ready to gnaw my arm off by the time we got to the restaurant. We had reservations at this hip little French bistro right in Capitol Hill called Bistro Bis.

Smiling on the outside, screaming “BRING US THE BREAD BASKET!” on the inside.

Whew, there it is!!! :-D

I had one piece with a smidge of whipped butter.

To start I had this incredible salad.

Endive and radicchio with pears, walnuts, blue cheese, and cider-walnut vinaigrette. I got the vinaigrette on the side and only used a tiny bit; it was pretty strong, and the salad by itself wasn’t dry at all.

For the main course, Dave got the lobster special: a whole lobster with rice, mushrooms, leeks, and some kind of creamy sauce. He thought it was good but not earth-shattering. :-|

I got the honey-glazed pork chop with chestnuts, butternut squash pierogi, and Brussels sprouts. This is a prime example of the “everything in moderation” motto, because it was definitely not healthy!

The pork chop was HUGE (I probably ate about half) and a bit fatty, but it was cooked perfectly and tasted tender and delicious! The pierogi were also delicious, albeit extremely buttery. My only complaint was the sauce; it just wasn’t good, and my sprouts were drenched in it, which pretty much ruined them. But my love of Brussels sprouts meant I ate them anyway!  ;-)

I left feeling full but not stuffed, which is always my goal at restaurants.

Ok, I have shared ENOUGH! Your turn! :-)

Are you a snack-packer like me? What are your go-to snacks when you’re travelling?

AND

What’s your favorite place to visit in Washington D.C.? If you haven’t been there, definitely put the Newseum on your list of places to visit!

What I Ate – 1/30/2010

By Katie, 4:41 pm

Did you get any snow yesterday??? We thought it was going to miss us, but such was not the case. :-D I can smile like that because the not-so-fun snow tasks – such as shovelling it – are usually handled by the Hubs. Although snow-shovelling does make for an excellent workout! (For the record, we currently only own one shovel, I’m not actually that lazy!)

Breakfast

I woke up freezing. A bowl of oats was definitely in order.

In the bowl:

  • old-fashioned oats
  • pinch salt
  • banana slices
  • natural chunky peanut butter
  • Archer Farms (a.k.a. TARGET!) Sunny Cranberry Trail Mix
  • ground flaxseed

I’ve been meaning to start adding ground flax to my oatmeal, and finally did it after a lovely blog reader suggested it. (I ♥ when you make comments and suggestions!) Flaxseed has an impressive list of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and risk of heart disease, and helping to prevent the growth of some types of cancers. It’s also a great source of fiber. Livestrong.com has more information if you’re interested. However, don’t make the mistake I did a few months ago and try to acquire these benefits by consuming the flax seeds whole - either buy ground flaxseed or grind the seeds yourself. Apparently, as this article from MayoClinic.com explains, whole flaxseed just passes through your system undigested, so you don’t really get any health benefits.

A great breakfast!

After breakfast I popped in Jillian Michaels’ Banish Fat Boost Metabolism exercise DVD. Of all the workout DVDs I own/have tried, Jillian Michaels’ are definitely my favorite. I’m actually not a big fan of hers ever since she came out with a line of supplements and detox-type products, but I still love her workouts. I like that they focus on bootcamp-style moves, which I prefer when it comes to workout videos. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to shake my booty, and I dance around my house all the time. But when it comes to exercising, I just prefer jumping jacks and high-knees to jazz boxes. Do you like dance-based DVDs and exercise classes?

Post exercise, Dave and I immediately headed to the farmers’ market to get our local groceries for the week. On the drive there it started snowing, so we dashed around, picking out our fresh bread, produce, and meat as quickly as possible (this particular market is entirely outdoors but is open year-round). It was fun but cold.

Lunch

After our snowy market experience, Dave and I both knew exactly what we wanted for lunch – HOT SOUP! Paired with a sandwich.

The sammie consisted of cream cheese, spinach, tomato, cucumber, and pickles on pumpernickel bread. (Cream cheese and pumpernickel go so well together!)

Dave and I split this Amy’s Organic Split Pea Soup.

Definitely one of this brand’s best soups. (Although it might be pretty high in sodium. I usually check that with canned soups, but I forgot this time.) It’s the perfect texture for pea soup – not too chunky, not too creamy.

After lunch the snow was still coming down pretty hard, which I took to be a sign that I should put my pajamas back on and curl up on the couch under a warm blanket. I had lots of reading to do for school, so it worked out perfectly. Except that it’s difficult to concentrate on school work when you have this face staring at you the entire time:

I’m sure every kitty-mother says this, but I think I have the most beautiful cats in the world! :-D

Dave had a kitty companion too. ;-)

Afternoon Snack

First I enjoyed a small apple alongside a Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedge.

Does anyone else insist on always cutting up their fruit? I much prefer to eat fruit in slices if at all possible.

Later I heard Dave breaking open a new bag of chips I’ve been wanting to try: Trader Joe’s Vegetable Root Chips.

I wasn’t super hungry, so I just sampled a few of each kind.

The parsnip ones were my favorite. :-)

Dinner

Dinner was a repeat from earlier in the week: Last-Minute Lasagna + salad.

This lasagna is one of those dishes that you think won’t make good leftovers judging by the way it looks in the refrigerator, but as soon as you heat it up and take a bite, you realize you were quite mistaken.

Spinach salad with grape tomatoes, cuke slices, carrots, and white balsamic vinegar.

Yum, yum, yum! Unfortunately my eyes were a little bigger than my stomach on this one, and I couldn’t quite finish my entire serving of lasagna. (I left maybe two or three bites.)

Evening Snack

I kept “dessert” light since the lasagna was pretty heavy. I tried a new (to me) yogurt: Stonyfield Farms Chocolate Underground.

Vanilla yogurt for about 3/4 of the container, and then – SURPRISE! – a layer of chocolate on the bottom. Fun! 8-)

Plus a nectarine and a kiwi.

Did you get any snow this weekend? How did you spend your snow day?

What I Ate – 1/13/2010

By Katie, 8:17 pm

Welcome to the first installment of what I am titling What I Ate posts.

Today we hear a lot about striving for a balanced, varied diet. We hear phrases like portion control and everything in moderation, but what does that really mean? What does a balanced diet really look like?

Many popular food bloggers document every single thing they eat, every single day. While that is a little much for me, I’m planning on including What I Ate posts about three times a week. Why? Because I’ve personally reaped several benefits from seeing the food choices of other bloggers, including:

  1. Seeing just how much food you can eat, while still maintaining a healthy weight, when you make wholesome, nutritious choices (read: it’s a lot more than I initially thought!)
  2. Seeing how treats and splurges can be integrated into a healthy lifestyle
  3. Getting ideas about new, interesting foods to try

I’m hoping that by sharing some of my choices, you can reap these benefits too! 

I should make a few things clear before I go any further. I am NOT implying that my diet is perfect. I am NOT an expert on food or nutrition. I am NOT implying that everyone should eat like I do. We all have unique dietary needs and preferences, based on a wide range of factors (including but not limited to: age, gender, activity level, medical background, body composition…you get the idea). What I am documenting here is meant to provide one example, to show what eating a whole, healthy diet – with everything in moderation – means to me.

And now, onto the FOOD! :-D

Breakfast

This lovely bowl is a pretty standard breakfast for me.

In the mix:

  • old fashioned rolled oats (made with water)
  • pinch of salt
  • lots of cinnamon
  • banana slices
  • almond butter

Mid-Morning Snack

Breakfast gave me the perfect amount of fuel for my morning trip to the YMCA. I did 40 minutes on the elliptical machine, plus some ab exercises, push-ups, and LOTS of stretching. Upon returning home I felt like I needed to refuel and was totally craving CITRUS. So I grabbed this awesome piece of fruit. BEHOLD: THE COCKTAIL GRAPEFRUIT

In general I am not a huge fan of grapefruit, but I saw this sign at Trader Joe’s and knew I had to try one.

All sliced up

While this was definitely what I was craving, I thought it would be a good idea to add some protein as well, so I also had a small serving of cottage cheese with a dollop of fruit preserves on top.

The grapefruit was definitely sweet, with just a subtle “grapefruit-y” taste (there must be a more eloquent way to describe it!). It hit the spot. :-D

Lunch

When I finally got hungry again (much later than usual for some reason), I put together a satisfying lunch.

Including:

  • Whole wheat wrap
  • Applegate Farms Organic Herb Turkey Breast
  • Avocado
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Red bell pepper slices (for some CRUNCH!)
  • Dijon mustard

Plus some Honeycrisp apple slices on the side.

And a mini dessert from the stash Dave gave me for Christmas. ;-)

Afternoon Snack

I’m always sampling new, interesting bars, but yesterday I decided to stick to an old favorite:

I ♥ Luna bars. And I always love reading the inspirations and dedications on the back of the wrappers:

Dinner

I decided to try making a new recipe from the latest issue of Vegetarian Times – Sweet Potato “Shepherd’s Pie.”  It featured such wonderful ingredients as sweet potatoes (shocking!), onion, leeks, turnips, carrots, and cannellini beans (protein!). And I got to play with fresh herbs, which is always fun.

Prepping the veggies:

Adding the beans:

(Notice the much higher quality of these photos – taken with Dave’s amazing camera as opposed to with my cell phone!!!)

Dinner is served!

A heaping serving of sweet potato shepherd’s pie, plus a slice of whole wheat toast topped with Earth Balance “butter.”

It was good but not great. :-| Not enough sweet potatoes! Dave and I agreed that if I make it again, I should double the amount of sweet potatoes it calls for. But Dave took the leftovers for lunch today, so it couldn’t have been too bad. ;-)

(I wanted to link to the recipe, but I can’t find it on the Vegetarian Times website! :-x If you’re interested in making this, let me know and I’ll get you the info!)

Evening Snack

Dinner kept me pretty full, but I wanted a little treat.

Piping hot mug of tea and a slowly-savored oatmeal raisin cookie.

Wish it had been homemade, but alas, it was Kashi brand. Nice and soft, though!

So there you have it! An entire day’s worth of eats and treats!

I’d love to receive your feedback on these posts – do you like them? Do you hate them? Should I include them more often? Less often? Let me know!

And a question: Have you ever had a cocktail grapefruit? Do you enjoy trying new kinds of fresh fruits? In recent months I’ve tried persimmons, kumquats, and now a cocktail grapefruit! FUN!

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