Baked Oatmeal- up with the moon, out with the sugar

Some days are perfectly lovely. This week early in the morning, we were able to enjoy the lunar eclipse.

I had zero awareness it was this week. My little two year old, however, was awake at 4am, and my husband said from under his covers, ‘there is a lunar eclipse…’ With that we turned our early morning lemons into lemonade and bundled ourselves up to go outside and watch the moon.

Before venturing out though my husband brewed some coffee over the chemex, and I thought ‘hey, there’s enough time to bake the oatmeal,’ and I set out to find a recipe that didn’t use sugar.

Here’s the thing, so many recipes say they’re ‘sugar free’ and they are quite literal about it- while there may be no sugar, there is honey, or molasses, or agave. While each is unique and precious, when my goal is to eliminate minimally nutritious carbs, those sweetners aren’t much better than sugar.

So I decided to improvise.

For mine:

1/2 mushy banana
1/3 cup unsweetned applesauce
1 egg and 3/4 cup egg whites, whisked together
1 cup oats
1/2 a medium to large apple, cubed
Pumpkin spice to taste
Dash of salt

Combine the egg mixture with the applesauce, banana, pumpkin spice and salt. Add in the oats and apple.

We baked ours at about 425 for 30 minutes. Cook as long as you need to for a golden hue.

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We watched, huddled in blankets, as the earths shadow covered the moon and turned it red. My son delighted at seeing stars, and the moon, and we stamped on the earth as he thought about it casting a shadow, just like he does.

We then enjoyed our baked oatmeal with a bit of almond butter and yogurt. Truly sugar free, since honestly life is sweet enough already.

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Did you catch the eclipse? How do you make your recipes slightly healthier, what subs do you make?

XOXO

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I HAVE A COACH

Awesome exciting news 🙂

I get to start working with a coach again to guide my preparations for the stage!

I am SO thrilled!

Physique competition prep is so challenging to accomplish solo.

This is happening by pure gift from people who love me and believe in me.

My coach is just as sweet as can be and I can tell she’ll have my back with the mental rigors of prep- and that’s a huge part of the battle!

Check back to watch me prepare and plan- I’m feeling ambitious, so expect something awesome 😉

Have you ever competed, or thought about it? What was your experience?

What big hairy fitness goals do you have?

XOXO

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#onajourney

Quick Beef and Wild Rice bowl

Besides the magical microwave, the crockpot is my easy healthy cooking weapon of choice.

You pretty much ignore it and it does everything else!

And it does well with approximations, so you dump stuff in and cook it till you want to eat. My toddler can prep that!

So for today’s bowl I threw in:

1 cup mixed red, brown and wild rice
16oz 99% lean grass fed beef
1 onion
A bunch of water
1 can tomatoes
1 bag frozen broccoli
Garlic Salt up the wazoo
Oregano

And I let that baby roll all day. The rice just grows, so does everything else. So when you go to eat it, it feels like loads of food!

This made about 6-8 servings, depending, so plenty of happy easy left overs.

I put a handful of fresh spinach under mine to wilt, and to add just a bit more veg. Then I topped it with crumbled mushroom, some of my mean homemade salsa, and fresh avocado. And more garlic salt. Lol.

Do you use the crockpot? I love how easy it is to control the quality of ingredients and how wonderfully low maintenance this whole process is.
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You can mix all kinds of goodies in there and the crockpot will work it out for you!

Have a great day!

XOXO

Cumin Roasted Chickpeas (good as potato chips!)

Chickpeas roasted in olive oil my friends taste just as decadent as any potato chip, but do so much more for you.

Fiber, heart healthy fats, vitamins. Get the picture? Just mind the portions 😉

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1 can chickpeas

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1/4 cup olive oil

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smother in garlic salt

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and cumin

broil them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, till desired crunchyness is achieved.

My dear son loved playing with crispy crunchy balls, and oh boy, were they good.

Unfortunately I was a dork and don’t have a pic of the final product 😉

XOXO

Quick Salad

I aim to eat as nutrient dense as possible, even when bulking, aka, adding muscle 🙂

Sometimes you wanna ration your fat grams and might want to spend them on something other than the oil for your salad, as good for you as it might be to eat that oil.

The solution? A garbage salad!

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chicken, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/2 small avocado, tbl fresh hummus, lots of salsa, spritz of vinegar, garlic salt, over a bed of fresh spinach

mmmmmmm

Leaving me room for avocado aaaaand a Halloween trader joe joe 😉

Do you trade your calories, save here to splurge there?

Do you enjoy salads?

XOXO

There’s Always Time :)

Pre-dinner HIIT cardio for the hubs.

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Have you ever done HIIT?? It’s amazing. You burn some amazing fat while preserving that muscle. Win win.

Here are some awesome options from Around the Web:

fitness blender produces simple and effective workouts, tons of options for hiit workouts of varying lengths

jamcore produces some of the toughest hiit workouts I’ve ever done!

zwows by zuzka light are for the advanced exerciser, prepare to fall in love with this inspiring woman

And then lisa marie at dailyhiit who took zuzka’a place at bodyrock is also crush and love worthy- and oh so motivating

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Are there pockets of time that you can squeeze in fitness?

Have you tried doing HIIT for your cardio in lieu of the traditional cardio exercises?

Happy sweating!

XOXO

Learning From Arnold

Ok so most of my associations with Arnold Schwarzenegger were um, corny at best.

Until I wanted to pack on muscle. Then I got it.

For all his machismo and arrogance, the guy was one of the best at putting on muscle. As an aspiring bodybuilder, I saw him in a whole new light.

Putting on muscle is hard. You gotta respect people who pour sweat and blood into something, and get great results.

Ladies, don’t be afraid of lean mass. This stuff looks good.

Here is an article on the T-Nation website about some lessons from Arnold’s training that are spot-on.

I was particularly interested in the ‘pump’. I love getting a good pump- and apparently that’s a very good thing for muscle growth. So basically training at high weight and low reps and high reps and low weights and then medium weights and reps all deliver benefits.

My favorite muscle group to work, grow, and yeah, pump? Dem glutes.

Here is a great set of glute pumping workouts from Bret Contreras, the ‘Glute Guy.’

The other big take away from the Arnold article is the power of the mind. Do you ever find yourself just going through the motion? Just moving that weight around? Well to really activate that muscle, try visualizing it working, growing. Connect the movement to your goal in doing that movement- this will encourage to squeeze harder, as well as actually improve your minds connection to that muscle, allowing you to lift more.. More lifting means more gains, brah. Here’s an article from psychologytoday that goes into greater detail on how to practice that mind-body connection when lifting.

Who motivates you to get fit? Do you have a strength training hero?

XOXO