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

Loosing Fat, Eating Chocolate

Hey friends!

Guess what???

I’m bodybuilding, loosing fat and eating chocolate.

Like, real chocolate- not any sugar free creative use of protein powder version.

See??
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Look at those macros for the day all in order? And notice the chocolate chip pancakes?

(In case you’re wondering, the tracking app I use is from sparkpeople and can be found here)

Really there’s room for everything in even the tightest cutting plan if you plan 🙂

The rest of the day I’ll be focusing on lean proteins, lots of fresh produce and a few more healthy fats.

If it’s not ‘good enough’ for you to have anything but a perfectly clean diet then that’s no longer really about nutrition or physique goals but something else.

So loosen up, have fun and still meet those goals :))

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Happy noshing!

XOXO

Long Mornings, Parts 1 and 2

I’ve been on a ‘cut’ for a while, and the deeper we go into it, the more spartan my meal plan has become. So what does a body-building girl who’s in love with breakfast do?? Well let me show you.

Right now I’m kindof acting as short-order cook for my family. My son eats like a toddler, I’m eating like a bodybuilder on a big cut, and I can totally respect that my husband would like to eat like a normal person. Since I love both food and cooking, and since I have the time, this is not a problem for me. Oh but, with a toddler you gotta cook fast. And I’ve learned how:

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the prep station

Part 1 of our morning consists of getting all this food made, while maybe getting some emergency calories into Munchie stat when he’s in a growth spurt or whatnot and is starving after a long night. I feel his pain, truly I do. My muscles CANT WAIT to be off this cut.

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Munchie excited to EAT!

What he ate:

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apricot and PB toast fingers, cheesy egg and raspberries

I feel no shame in extolling the virtues of the microwave. Cheesy eggs with no pans my friends! Crack an egg or two into a ramekin or small bowl, drop in some chunks of your favorite cheese- we did a sharp cheddar, but I always love eggs with a pungent blue of some description- and microwave for give or take 90 seconds, giving the whole thing a whip with the fork half way through.

What Daddy ate:

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lucky for me, today Daddy and Munch were game for the same breakfast

If you have extra time, throw some salsa or fresh herbs over those eggs. Cheesy, runny fresh eggs in seconds.

And then there’s my sorry fare.

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Egg whites with a 1/4 cup oats. Oh dear. Sure, I’ll get a protein shake in about an hour, but this is a far cry from the feast I get on maintenance, let alone a bulk.

So here’s what I do.

Combine those whites and oats. This really works better with another 1/4 cup oats but here we are. And microwave that sucker.

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still looks monstrous- stick with me!

Then there’s this stuff.

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Pumpkin butter! Seriously delicious, and only a few carbs to count here. This one was made locally, and uses far less sugar than the versions you sometimes find in chain grocers.

Check your farmers markets, food co-ops and lovely next-door-neighbor-grandmothers-who-still-make-their-own-preserves-and-will-pinch-your-cheeks, for fruit spreads that are likely made with less sugar and are delightfully fresher than your standard commercial retail versions. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found my system goes wonky on artificial sweeteners, so I opt for low-sugar versions of the real stuff.

So on it goes, along with a tbl of greek yogurt. Voila! Something lovely!

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Sure, it’s no chocolate chip pancake, but it’s not bad considering I can see a six pack poking through. 😉 On me, not the eggs you silly goose!

Keeping Munchie occupied during breakfast prep is paramount.

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oodles of doodles!

Since bodybuilding I’ve learned how important it is for my sanity and for my muscles to have a good ratio of proteins, carbs and fats. Getting this right has made such a difference in the way I look and feel- whether you do a meal plan, IIFYM, intuitive eating, calorie counting, you should definitely consider your own ratios. You could be selling yourself short.

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And then there’s the delicious cup of coffee my husband brews every morning. It tastes like liquid chocolate when the beans are I Have a Bean, and we’re using Chemex.

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What does your breakfast look like when you’re trying to cut down? How do you keep the flavor in the equation?

What kindof principles do you follow in making your food choices? Are you an intuitive eater sort of earthy chick? Are you a muscle-maxing meal planning man? Are you a calorie and macro planning IIFYM whiz kid? What’s working for you?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Fruit is fun!

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think they’re picking at the left-overs

XOXO

Long Mornings, part 3

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I love mornings. Even before having a baby who would start his day at oh, say, 5 or 6am, I liked to get up early. And dear me, I love a leisurely breakfast. It’s probably been said too many times, but mornings just taste of possibility. Often, I go to bed sooner than I might need to because I’m excited for the morning to come, and with it, breakfast.

Our mornings these days definitely have three stages, with 2-3 breakfasts. I’m in heaven. I’m going to jump right into Part 3 with you today.

After we eat the ‘main course,’ we usually wander over to the living room. Today my son wanted to hear my husband play the banjo.IMG_0275.JPG
After running around, and multiple requests for Kermit’s rainbow song, Munchie (my son), heads back to the playroom/toddler-friendly-dining-room for second breakfast. Today he wanted bunny crackers.
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And we made toast together for the first time. Wish you could have seen his surprise when the toast popped! back out of the toaster. I love how exciting and new everything is for a toddler. Also I find if I let him guide the process of choosing what he eats, and making it, he’s waaay more likely to eat without fuss. That’s a good thing!

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Me, I mix up my protein shake while my husband showers and gets ready for work.

I’ve come to adore the taste and texture and standards of the Bodylogix whey. I chill a glass the night before.

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Add a little chemex-made coffee and some ice cubes.

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And then enjoy the frothy, frosty, chocolatey delight.

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Then we get ready to go, all the essentials in hand:

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Then we drop daddy off at work and head to the gym. Munchie LOVES going. So do I.

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Here’s today’s workout, provided by my awesome coach. As you can see, or not see since my writing is like chicken-scratch, it’s ALL ARMS.

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I love working my shoulders. I feel awesome doing Arnold presses. But blech to bicep work.

I did have my sights on some sort of fitness competition, but as I’m home with my son, and in moving we lost a lot of our supplementary gigs, which for me included teaching fitness classes and nannying, we’ve had to cut back. I still would love to compete, but for now I can’t plan for it financially.

Right now, my arms are still small, but definitely got some muscles popping:

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Then I pick up my son, and it’s time for next breakfast. He pretty much carbs it up with chocolate milk, applesauce, and crackers, while we watch people working out below us. It’s a special time we share, chatting about toddler things. He’s actually really insightful, and frankly, hilarious.

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I never thought I’d be home with a son, but right now I can’t think of anything better for my life. How little we know ourselves, huh?

What are your mornings like? Are they long and leisurely? Or a blustery affair?

And do you take anything pre-workout? Do you work your arms separately?

Xo