Cranberry and Coconut Oatmeal

Cranberries are one of my favorite dried fruits and I love this combination of cranberries and coconut flakes! You get just the right balance of tart and sweet, plus you can easily switch out the cranberries for your favorite dried fruit.

Cranberry and Coconut Oatmeal

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup liquid of choice (I’m currently using almond milk)

  • ½ cup oats

  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries

  • 2 tablespoons coconut flakes

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • ½ tsp nutmeg

  • 6 tbsp egg whites

Instructions:

  1. Bring liquid to a low boil on the stove top.

  2. Turn down the heat slightly and stir in oats and spices.

  3. Cook for 4-5 minutes until liquid is absorbed and oats are soft.

  4. Stir in egg whites. Let cook for about 30 seconds more, then put oatmeal in a bowl and top with coconut flakes and cranberries. Enjoy!

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Get Ready for Winter with Gingerbread Oatmeal

Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite Christmas cookie flavors so I decided to recreate the flavor in oatmeal form! I added candied walnuts for some extra crunch and shredded zucchini to bulk up the oatmeal. I’ve been loving having this week as our temperatures have dropped below freezing in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup liquid of choice (I’m currently using almond milk)

  • ½ cup oats

  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

  • 1 tablespoon gingerbread spice mixture (below)

  • 6 tbsp egg whites

  • ¼ cup candied walnuts (below)

Gingerbread spice mix:

Combine together and store in an airtight container:

  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 tbsp ground ginger

  • 2 tbsp ground allspice

  • 1 tbsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 tbsp ground cloves

Candied walnuts:

Combine together in a non-stick pan over medium heat, stirring frequently for about five minutes. Transfer to parchment paper and separate nuts

  • 1 cup walnut halves/pieces

  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Bring liquid to a low boil on the stove top.

  2. Turn down heat slightly and stir in oats, shredded zucchini and spice mixture.

  3. Cook for 4-5 minutes until liquid is absorbed and oats are soft.

  4. Stir in egg white and let cook for about 30 seconds more. Top with candied walnuts and enjoy!

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What Do I Eat Before Workouts?

It took me a while to figure out that I should be eating something before I work out (unless I’m doing an early morning run) and the a little bit longer for me to figure out what works best. Today I’m sharing what foods work best for me in different situations and why I think they work for me.

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Runs After Work: Fruit

This is my typical pre-run food when I’m running after work (at about 4 p.m.). It’s the perfect way to get in some fast digesting carbs in about 45 minutes before my run to make sure I’m not going to be feeling weak or lethargic before or right after my run. My go-to fruit is usually a banana or apple since they are easy to throw into my purse and I can buy enough for a week at a time without worrying about them going bad.

One thing I found didn’t work pre-run was having some Greek yogurt with my fruit. That made my stomach feel upset pre-run and I’ve ended up cutting out eating dairy on a regular basis since it generally doesn’t agree with my body.

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Cross Training Days: Bars

For my cross training days, I like to eat a little bit bigger snack than just a piece of fruit because I tend to work out for longer (and later) so I need more fuel to make it through my workout. Bars are the easiest thing I’ve found that give me more calories (adding in some fat and protein instead of only carbs like my pre-run snack) to keep me full for longer.

Some sort of bar fulfills this while (again) being easy to throw in my purse. Currently, I’ve been on a Larabar kick (I might have bought three boxes of their fall/winter limited edition flavors) but  RXBars offer a similar nutritional profile and have worked well for me.

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Weekend Runs: Oatmeal

If you’ve spent any time around this blog, you’ll probably realize that I love oatmeal so much. It’s my go-to breakfast every morning and works really well as a pre-run meal on the weekends. I usually eat about 2-2.5 hours before my weekend runs and oatmeal gives me the perfect mixture of carbs, fats and proteins to be fueled for a longer run (right now between 5-10 miles, sometimes a pace run) without it being too heavy in my stomach.

5 a.m. Runs: Nothing!

I’m not doing 5 a.m. runs anymore since it’s dark and cold during the fall mornings but when I was during the summer, I didn’t eat anything before heading out the door. I did drink a glass of water but otherwise there wasn’t anything in my stomach. I wasn’t doing long runs on these days (only 3-4 miles) so I was fine waiting to get home to eat. Plus, I didn’t want to get up any earlier than I already was to eat something and let it digest before my runs.




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Apple Pie Oatmeal: The Perfect Way to Start a Fall Morning

One of my favorite fall foods (besides everything pumpkin), is apple. Minnesota has so many great apples varieties and I usually end up having an apple every day during the fall. And of course, I love a good apple pie so I had to re-create those flavors in oatmeal form.

Apple Pie Oatmeal

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Ingredients

  • 1 baking apple (I prefer Honeyscrisp), cubed

  • ½ tablespoon brown sugar

  • ½ tablespoon butter

  • 1 cup liquid

  • ½ cup old fashioned oats

  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon allspice

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 6 tablespoons egg whites (for extra protein)

Directions

  1. In a small pan, melt butter and saute cubed apple and brown sugar over low heat until softened. Be sure to keep an eye on them to prevent burning and stir occasionally.

  2. At the same time, bring liquid to a low boil on the stove top.

  3. Turn down heat slightly and stir in oats and spices.

  4. Cook for 4-5 minutes until liquid is absorbed and oats are soft.

  5. Stir in egg whites and apple. Let cook for about 30 seconds more then enjoy!



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