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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What I Eat In A Day: Intuitive Eating And Cross Training

Since giving you a look at how I eat when I’m working from home, I wanted to give you a look at how I intuitively eat on a cross training day. The day I chose was this past Monday, and Mondays happen to be the more intense of my cross training days because I do 90 minutes of exercising. About 30 minutes of strength training and an hour long spin class.

According to my Garmin, between the exercise I get and the amount walking I get in on a typical Monday, I burn as many calories as my long run day! Of course, I get a lot more non-exercise steps in on Monday (between walking Vinnie, being at work and taking a lunchtime walk, I have at least 9,000 steps before working out) and I’m pretty low-key on Sundays besides my long run. So keep in mind that I’m eating more because I’m pretty active. Let’s get into the day!

Breakfast

I’m working on a couple of seasonal oatmeal recipes so I’ve been experimenting lately. This morning, I made a couple of final tweaks to my apple pie oatmeal (recipe coming this weekend) and it was delicious! I also had my usual giant cup of coffee (with peanut butter cup creamer) with my oatmeal and two glasses of water while making breakfast and packing my food for the day.

Lunch

I had made stuffed bell peppers for Saturday night’s dinner and brought one in along with a salad for my lunch. These stuffed peppers are so delicious and have a good amount of vegetables since there’s cauliflower in there instead of rice.

I’m not counting calories of course but I have a rough estimate of my calorie intake throughout the day just from years of calorie counting. Which is how i knew I probably had enough wiggle room for some baked treats at work. And that I would need them based on the food I had packed for the day...I need to do a better job of thinking through what I bring to eat on Mondays since I constantly feel like I’m not bringing enough). So I had two zucchini brownies a co-worker had brought in (they were amazing!)

Pre-Workout

It was a good thing i had those zucchini brownie because the only thing I brought in to eat before my workouts was a Larabar! Which is my usual pre-workout snack but I like to add in an apple too for Mondays since I don’t get home from spin class until almost 7 p.m. But with the brownies after lunch, the Larabar worked perfectly to keep me fueled during weights and spin class.

And during my workouts, I was of course drinking Nuun. Today’s flavor was Lemon Lime and after drinking plain water all day long at work it was so nice to have some flavored water. By the time I got done with spin class, I had finsihed off the Nuun. There were some really tough climbing sections in today’s class that got my heart rate up fast and staying there!

Dinner

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I always combine my post-workout and dinner into one meal on Mondays. I don’t get home from spin class until almost 7 p.m. so I’m pretty hungry by the time I get home and done shower. So the easiest way for me to get in a good ratio of carbs, protein and fats is a nice big smoothie bowl. I had mixed frozen fruit, spinach and protein powder blended together for this one and then topped with mini chocolate chips and sweetened coconut flakes.

After dinner, it was getting close to 8 p.m. So I settled in with Vinnie and my tea on the couch while Mike got in his workout at the apartment gym. Having a full day of work followed by some intense exercise really wears me out so I got my meditation in and was ready for bed by a little bit after 9 p.m.


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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Cake

Now that it’s cooler outside, I’ve been passing over the post-workout smoothies I had all summer long for a warm protein cake. And since it’s pumpkin season, I had to experiment with a pumpkin version! And since who doesn’t need a little chocolate after a hard workout, I added in some mini chocolate chips which melt perfectly.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Cake

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree

  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ cup liquid as needed

Mix together all ingredients and microwave 60-90 seconds until outside is firm but inside is slightly gooey.

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Update: Six Months of Intuitive Eating

I’ve just passed the six month mark of intuitive eating and I couldn’t be happier. After years of macro or calorie counting (even when I wasn’t trying to lose weight), it feels so good not be constantly measuring my food and trying to figure out how to fit in food.

At first, I was struggling some with the freedom of not having to eat specific amounts of food but now I’ve settled into eating enough to be full but not stuffed. Of course, because I counted calories for so long, I have a pretty good idea of how much I’m eating versus burning on a daily basis just by eyeballing portions. So I’ve been able to maintain my weight without having to be on top of measuring my food (which hasn’t happened before).

 
10/1/17
11/1/17
12/1/17
1/1/18
4/1/18
10/11/18
Weight (lbs)
142.6
137.8
135.6
135.6
134.9
133.9
Body fat (%)
27.5
26.3
25.7
25.7
25.5
25.2
Waist (inches)
29
28.5
28.5
28.5
28.5
29
Hips (inches)
37
36.5
36
36
35.5
35.5
Thighs (inches)
20.25
20
20
20
19.75
20
Forearms (inches)
11
10.5
10.5
10.5
10.5
10.25

My weight has gone down just a little bit since I did my last round of measurements in early April, not surprising since I was at peak marathon training mileage at that time and was probably retaining some extra water. I have randomly jumped on the scale a couple times during the last six months and have seen my weight range from about 132.5 to 134 lbs. It feels really good to know that I can easily maintain my weight without obsessively measuring my intake because I haven’t been able to in the past.

One other thing that I’ve found that has gotten easier with my transition to intuitive eating is getting in a variety of vegetables. Even when I was counting macros, I didn’t really get in a variety of vegetables or many servings of vegetables in general. But once I wasn’t measuring my intake, I wanted to make a focus of getting in more vegetables on a daily basis.

So now it’s second nature for me to have a side salad for my lunch and to look for ways to add in vegetables to what I’m making (as evidenced by the recipes I’ve been sharing on the blog lately). I’m actually finding that now I have to pay attention to getting in some fruit on a daily versus when it was so easy before!

To wrap up this six month recap, I wanted to talk about a change I’m making to my workout schedule. I’ve been running five days a week for a while (probably since I started training for my first half marathon in 2015) and I’m cutting it back to four days a week. I’ll be running about 19-20 miles a week and adding in a second cross training day of weights and easy cardio.

Here’s what my workout schedule will look like going forward:

  • Monday: strength training (Triple Threat on the NTC app) and spin class

  • Tuesday: alternating 3 mile interval run or 30 minute tempo run

  • Wednesday: 3 mile easy run

  • Thursday: strength training (Better Basics on the NTC app) and easy cardio

  • Friday: Rest day (yoga)

  • Saturday: 5 mile run (pace run every three weeks)

  • Sunday: 8 mile run

I have three reasons to make this change: building muscle, injury prevention and regulating my cycle. I’ve really enjoyed the muscle that was showing during my cutting phase last winter and I’m hoping to get that back by adding in an extra strength training day. And since I’ve been running faster, I’ve noticed more soreness and I’m hoping cutting back on an easy run day for more strength training will help out with that.

And then there’s cycle regulation, which is a huge topic that I’m probably in no way qualified to talk about. But we are hoping to have a baby at some point and I’ve been off hormonal birth control since May because of this. My cycle is still regulating itself, not surprising since I was using hormones to regulate it for almost six years, but I’ve started to wonder if continuing to run five days a week while not training for a race is the best thing right now since those are pretty intense workouts compared to strength training. So I’m going to try for a couple of months to see if cutting out one run a week will help my cycle regulate.

So be on the lookout in the coming months to see how my progress is going with switching out a run day for a second cross training day while intuitive eating!


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