Posts Tagged ‘oats


Fat Free (nearly) Protein PB Granola

Looky, looky!

Delicious chunks of oats, puffed kamut, almonds, raisins with an awesome peanut buttery taste.. and almost NO FAT.  I’m a proud girl.  I have read probably 100 recipes for fat free homemade granola and got a general idea of how to concoct this stuff.  Then, I decided to wing it. 

What I ended up with was most amazing on my Greek yogurt this morning and it’s got extra protein too.  Who needs to buy packaged granola?!  Not this chica! This was so easy – took me 5 minutes to throw together and only about 10 to bake.

(Almost) Fat Free Protein Peanut Butter Granola

    1 1/2 C rolled oats
    1 C puffed kamut (or other puffed grain)
    1/3 C sliced almonds
    1/2 C vanilla protein powder
    2 Tbsp peanut flour (or PB2)
    2 Tbsp flax meal
    1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
    3 Tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
    1 Tbsp vanilla
    1/4 C raisins
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
    In medium bowl, mix oats, puffed grain, almonds, protein powder and peanut flour well. Stir in vanilla and agave.
    In a separate, small bowl, add 3 Tbsps water to flax and stir. Let sit for several minutes to thicken. Once thickened, add applesauce, agave and vanilla. Pour this mixture over oat mixture and stir until clumps form.
    Spread on prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring every 3-4 minutes for about 10 minutes total or until just beginning to crisp.
    Allow to cool and stir in raisins. Store in an air tight (tupperware) container.


Nutritional Info for 18 servings (1/4 C or 20g)
  • Calories: 72.0
  • Total Fat: 1.8 g  (.2g saturated)
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 18.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 11.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g

I’m a big fan of the nutritional info too.. considering most store-bought granolas are much higher in fat and sodium.  A few tablespoons of it on my yogurt definitely powered me through a tough chest/tri/cardio workout this morning.. enjoy!


A fest for gluttony

It comes around each year, and each year I used to get very excited.  Since I began my weight loss journey and total diet change, the Great American Food Fest held in Chesapeake has not been quite as thrilling.  I still enjoy spending time with my parents and socializing with friends.  I still enjoy the people-watching fodder – and there is a TON of it.

The food that is served by area restaurants, however, leaves a bit to be desired for anyone that is not eating clean or watching how their food is prepared.

There are plenty of fried items – corndogs, chicken wings, fried fish, hushpuppies, shrimp and funnel cakes.

There are endless varieties of soups – clam chowder, shrimp and crab bisque, creamy roasted red pepper and multiple styles of chili.

There is cotton candy, pizza, meatballs, shrimp & grits, pulled pork barbecue, chips and salsa, riblets, soda and more beer and liquor than should be allowed in such limited square footage.

I can’t say I was fully unprepared for such an occurence.  I solved the problem by filling up on a great breakfast.


Peachy custard oats + Oikos Greek Yogurt with Total Fiber cereal + Nestle Fat Free Hot Cocoa

At the Food Fest, I then find the cleanest food possible and eat like a fiend.

Grilled Tuna skewers

I think I may have eaten my weight in these.  OK, not really.. I only had 4. 

I struggled tonight – really struggled but not with the food, surprisingly.  Some of my parents friends (that I had never met before) tagged along.  At nearly every tent stop, the wife asked “Do you eat anything? That’s worries me” By the third round of a similar statement, I wanted to scream.  Thankfully, my mom was standing by to insist that, yes, I ate quite well, but my dietary choices were different.   I have never gotten truly angry when asked about my food choices, but to be asked this over and over again and for someone who does not know me to say that my choices worried them was quite upsetting.  Needless to say, I soon left.

I wonder, though, when our society began to think that eating unprocessed, natural food instead of sugar-laden, man-made crap was “worrisome.”  I don’t always eat the best food, but I think the choices I make (for the most part) are the choices that we should all make to treat our God-given bodies with care and respect.  I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but eating fried, processed or rich foods makes me feel physically awful.  I feel amazingly strong, empowered and healthy when I eat clean food. 

Instead of screaming, rolling my eyes or just walking away, I quietly agreed with my mom.  “Yep.. what she said.”  Then I snapped a pic of a mini, gluten-free chocolate cupcake (enjoyed by my gracious mother and courtesy of the Carolina Cupcakery)

and basked in the warm sun and thanked God for giving me a body that is healthy enough to get through life.

Have you ever faced a similar statement or question?  How did you react?



sweet, brave success

It’s no big secret – I’m an Atlanta Braves fan through and through.

I’ve sat through rain at Turner Field for hours, only for the game to be called.  We “Brave”d Atlanta traffic 24 hours later to watch them the following night.

I’ve forced (okay.. maybe he looks like he’s having fun) Steve to sit through games with me.

In fact, I’ve made him sit through several!

I’ve accumulated many, many pictures of this gentleman (and his behind).  Yes, that’s Chipper Jones and next to Tom Glavine, he is my favorite Brave of all time.

I can’t help it.. I’m maybe slightly obsessed.  So, of course, it was a sad day when he was injured early this season and had to sit on the sidelines for the remainder of it.  Last weekend, we ventured up to D.C. to see my beloved Braves play the Nationals.  While I was impressed with the stadium,

their awesome food offerings,

and the fact that they honored an awesome Braves manager,

I couldn’t hide my disappointment that the Braves lost another game so close to the postseason!  Luckily, they pushed through and clinched the Wild Card spot for the National League.  Thank goodness!

I can now enjoy my breakfast.  It’s also no secret, if you’ve paid attention, that I love my sweet breakfasts.  Berry-topped oats, berry-topped pancakes, yogurt sweetened with Stevia and topped with cereal.  It’s almost too sweet to handle!  I need a break from the sweet and a return to the savory.  But, I can’t just turn my back on the end to my sugar cravings.  So what’s a girl to do?  Compromise!

Half sweet and half savory!

An egg puff with broccoli (and a hidden wedge of Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb) + Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats with peaches and strawberry syrup

I thoroughly missed my egg puffs.  Not to mention how much I missed my Laughing Cow!  If you didn’t get your fill of seeing these last Fall, be prepared to see more.  I actually found this to fill me up as much as custard oats and yogurt for about 100 fewer calories.  It’s a win-win situation.

But.. I still craved some more sweet later in the day.  Trust me, the news about the Braves making the post-season was not enough.  Enter Starbucks Vanilla Rooibos hot tea. 

 I need NO stevia with this drink.  It’s slightly sweet and perfectly spicy.  I successfully satisfied my sweet tooth today.

What is the best thing to satisfy your sweet tooth?


Spring has returned!

We have had some amazing weather over the past few days, so I have been trying to avoid my computer and embrace it as much as possible recently.  After some odd snow days and unbearable cold temperatures, we earned the sunshine!  Unfortunately, the avoidance of the computer was more due to the full schedules over the past few days as opposed to the weather.  Sad, huh?

Friday was a very long work day, but it was preceded by a great cardio session, some fabulous meals and a sweet shopping trip.  When I hit the gym in the am, I did 25 minutes on the elliptical, ran 2 miles on the treadmill and finished with another 15 minutes on the crosstraining elliptical.  My legs spent the rest of the weekend yelling at me for this workout! 

Check out the good eats (although, they don’t look so purty..)


1/2 C rolled oats, 4 egg whites, 5 drops of stevia and some defrosted Trader Joe’s strawberries.  Heaven!

Lunch was also yummy, but far less photogenic.

2/3 C of Morningstar Sausage Style Crumbles + 4 egg whites + 1/2 C frozen spinach.  It looks like the remnants of a meal, but it was so tasty!

That shopping trip resulted in new goodies for my pantry –

A new blender bottle was desperately needed.  I finally found some Nutritional Yeast (aka “nooch” – stay tuned for fabulous recipes to result).  And I splurged on the liquid Stevia.  Let’s face it – I’m sick of opening individual packets and find the amount of paper that I throw away from them to be wasteful.  The liquid is so easy to mix into ANYTHING.  Sometimes, when I use the powdered form in oatmeal, it forms incredibly sweet, icky clumps. They are not fun to bite into!

I started Saturday with a very long class and ended with a CPR and AED certification. Sweet!  I don’t think the man that I rescued will be able to tell you how awesome my skills were, but trust me, I rocked it and am now certified for 2 years!

I was hoping that when we attached the AED and it provided the shock, he might do a little dance, but no luck.  Perhaps the rubber body..

When I returned Saturday, my new furniture had arrived and Steve was very hard at work assembling the tables.  He did a great job and we are both so happy with how cozy our living room is now!

It would have been so much better if we had it for the super cold winter and the times when our heater was broken, but I’ll take it now!  It warms up the wood floors.  Next upgrade?  Tall plants and a throw rug! Hubby & I soaked up some time on the new couches and headed to dinner at our fave Mexican joint, Plaza Azteca.  I had a yummy Azteca salad – lettuce, sauteed mushrooms and onions, chicken and shrimp.  I had just a couple of chips and their delicious salsa.

Sunday was an incredibly full day that started with an early call time at work and another morning full of cheerleaders and their moms.  After work, we relocated our old furniture to it’s new storage place at Omah’s garage and I hit the gym for an AMAZING upper body circuit that kicked my butt.  I had picked up the new Muscle and Fitness Hers mag and it had a bikini body, 4-week workout plan. 

I got through 3 circuits after a 15-minute elliptical warmup.  Each exercise was performed for 15-20 reps with no rest until after the 5-minute cardio.

  1. Barbell Chest Press (30# + bar)
  2. Dumbbell Overhead Press (15# DB’s)
  3. Bent-over Dumbbell Row (20# DB’s)
  4. Dumbbell Bicep Curl (10# DB’s)
  5. Lying Tricep Extension (12# DB’s)
  6. Exercise Ball Crunch (to failure)
  7. Reverse Crunch on Bench (to failure)
  8. Exercise Ball Bridge (to failure
  9. 5 minutes of treadmill running

3 rounds of this and I was pooped.  It was a very easy circuit to complete in one area of the gym, so I could keep my rest time minimal between exercises.  I plan to keep up with the 4-week routine and see where it goes.

Sunday night was GIRL’S NIGHT with a few of my favorite girls from dance.  We hit up Cheesecake Factory – a restaurant notorious for huge meals and insane calorie counts.  I ordered the Weight Management (yes, they actually call it that..) Asian Chicken Salad with no crunchy noodles or nuts.  I was so engaged in chatting that I forgot to take a pic, but it looked a bit like this:

(source)  I absolutely loved it!  After dinner, we walked to a gelato shop called Melt and indulged our sweet tooth.  We were not about to eat one of those ridiculous cheesecakes!  As soon as I walked into Melt, I was in love.  It’s a very open space that looks really great for having some ice cream or a coffee and catching up with old friends.  (It was a bit too nice outside so we walked).  The trays of different gelatos were stunning!  Most had delicious toppings like chopped up PB cups, lady fingers (Tiramisu), coconut shreds, chocolate chips and fresh fruits.  I was feeling like playing safe so I got a mix of raspberry and mango sorbetto.  The raspberry was a bit tart so the sweetness of the mango balanced it perfectly.  Their menu also boasts paninis, coffee concoctions and both sweet and savory crepes.  I will definitely be returning!  I haven’t tried a savory crepe so I am intrigued.  My sorbetto mix was halfway gone before I remembered my camera!


This certainly made for a perfectly sweet end to an amazing weekend.  I’m hyped up for the week – I leave tomorrow for a 2-day orientation for a NEW JOB in Fredericksburg.  I’d share more details, but its top secret.  No, seriously.. it’s a Department of Defense position that will require travel, but I am so eager to dive in!  Both of my parents are retired civil service employees and my mom worked for the DoD, so I am excited to start working for an organization that treated them both so well. 

Tomorrow’s agenda includes much packing and grocery shopping for healthy, hotel room eats!  Luckily, the hotel has a 24-hour gym and free Wi-Fi!  Can’t wait.  See you in a few days!

PS:  Got a granola craving?  Heather over at Hangry Pants might help you solve it with her granola bar giveaway!  Not only that, but there’s also an awesome PB giveaway over at Simply Life.  To top things off, Lara is celebrating 2 happy blogging years and having an Amazing Grass giveaway .  Go get in the game!


black bean brownies = decreased funk

So, instead of cleaning, I did a 10-minute ab workout, took a long shower and baked a batch of Vegan Black Bean Brownies from a recipe by Lindsay over at Happy Herbivore.  Unbelievably yummy, ooey gooey and unlike anything I had expected!  The only difference is that I left out the raw sugar – after tasting the batter with the agave nectar and my seriously overripe bananas, it seemed sweet enough.  I’m glad I did – they were perfectly sweet!

The cast of characters (not including 2 very ugly bananas):

Unfortunately, I don’t have a food processor, so I had to mix up the ingredients in a blender, which took some serious work and lots of spatula scraping to get a fully-mixed batter.


Instead of greasing a pan, I used aluminum foil, which worked out well.  It peeled right off once the finished brownies were cooled.

Sliced and ready to head to the gym to give to a friend (who, last week, made me some amazing raisin buns)

Not gonna lie.. I saved a couple for myself as a post-dinner treat!  Lunch and work calls..


A funky day

It’s odd, but I had a day of no work yesterday, a job interview, 2 stellar workouts and I still feel as if I am in a funk that I can’t pinpoint.  Ever had one of those days?  The only thing I desire to do is to crawl back into bed and take a nap. Oh, a nap…

I am hoping that a good, warming breakfast of oats and yogurt will return me to my normal state. 

That’s a glob of raspberry preserves sitting on top of my custardy yumminess!

And that’s my Hawaiian Happiness MixMyGranola on top! (Muesli, dried papaya, dried mango and chia seeds)

I added a cup of sugar cookie hot tea to aid in de-funking.  So far, it’s working – with a little help from the DVR & last night’s Housewives.  If anything, my life will never be quite as crazy as those ladies! 

Perhaps a hot shower to rid myself of the serious DOMS I got from these workouts too.

Oddly enough, the only thing that is really hurting are my shoulders, but they did get most of the focus during workout #1.  I anticipate that other pains will surface throughout the day. 

Another cup of tea and a hot shower are next on the list and perhaps a little cleaning.  Here’s hoping that something works soon.  I’d like to be a bit more upbeat when I head to work tonight.  What do you do to get rid of blah feelings?


Tuned up Tuesday

I think I got an overnight tune-up – or maybe my immune system rocks harder than I give it credit for (knock on wood).  Whatever the case, I woke up feeling much more rejuvenated.  I’m still a bit stuffy in the head and the nose will not quit running, which has resulted in the painful-overrubbed-snozz syndrome, but I can function normally.

In fact, I got a really amazing workout in at 5:30 am and didn’t feel the need to quit halfway through.  I started off with 45 minutes on the elliptical (average HR = 158) and hit my back and shoulders.  I did a bit of back on Sunday, but that was a gigantic flop!

1. Circuit 1

A. Overhead Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10 with 20# DBs

B. Bent-Over Row – 3 sets of 10 with 20# DBs

C. Jumping Jacks/High Knees/Jump Plie Squats – 1 set of each for 30 seconds

2. Circuit 2

A. Front Raise – 1 set of 10 with 10# DBs; 2 sets of 10 with 12# DBs

B. Seated Low Row – 1 set of 10 at 60#; 2 sets of 10 at 70#

C. Jumping Jacks/High Knees/Squats – 1 set of each for 30 seconds

3. Kettlebell Swings – 3 sets of 15 with 20# KB

4. Kettlebell Upright Row – 3 sets of 10 with 20# KB

I followed strength training with 15 minutes of “fat burn” on the crosstrainer (Average HR = 135)

In 75 minutes, I managed to burn 850 calories, have a max HR of 175 and an average HR of 134.  Not too shabby!

I was a very hungry girl after that workout.  The hunger beast could only be quieted by a big, hot bowl of custard oats.

1/2 cup of this

1/2 cup of this

Plus a little squirt of this

Topped with some frozen raspberries and blueberries = HEAVEN!  PURE HEAVEN!

My lunch was almost as good as my breakfast!


Are you grossed out?  Don’t be!  It was way tastier than it looked!

Another 1/2 cup of this

2/3 cup of this

Thrown in a carrot (or two) = HEAVEN PART DEUX!

I worked this afternoon and threw together some tasty snacks to carry me through my shift.

A very crispy, very sweet Fuji tossed in cinnamon and a Blueberry Clif Z-Bar which will hopefully keep my tummy occupied until dinner.

On a non-food related, more serious note, I am visiting a doc tomorrow and am a little queasy about it.  This past weekend, I felt a lump so I am getting it checked out tomorrow.  After last August’s skin cancer diagnosis, I am nervous.  Probably more nervous than need be, but would love some extra good vibes and prayers if you’d like to send them my way.  I’m planning to complete my normal 5:30 workout to appease my anxiety, but will give updates as soon as I can.

Lots of cinnamon-covered thanks for your support and happy thoughts!

PS: I’ve gone a little Cracker Crazy recently and so has Lily.  Head over to her blog and enter the Mary’s Gone Crackers giveaway!

Also, if your skin sucks up moisture like mine does during the winter, you can go see Jolene at Everyday Foodie and enter her giveaway.  It’s a giveaway extravaganza!

And if those amazing giveaways weren’t enough, Lara is giving away… wait for it.. CHOCOLATE! Attune probiotic chocolate to be exact and you can enter here!  Do it now!

Hi Ya’ll!

Hiya! I'm Heidi, a 28-year-old "retired" student living in Virginia. I am a newlywed and currently on the hunt for a full-time job that will use either my Biology or Secondary Education degree. In the meantime, I work in retail and at an event venue part-time. When I'm not working, I love to kill hours at the gym, scrapbook, and act as a domesticated diva to keep my hubby happy!