Category Archives: healthy

25 Going on 65

Change of plans, no cooking tonight. Nor moving. Yep, that’s right, I pulled out my back. How does a 25 year old pull out their back? I’m not really sure, but I think it had to do with a mix of a super hard Pilates class, sleeping in the oddest position ever, and plain bad luck. My back started hurting at work and by the time I was on the train home I was wailing (in my head) in pain. So now I am lying on the heating pad and may be eating cooking dough that my loving boyfriend (who I may have called to come home from work to take care of me) may have bought me. Somehow I think that Pilates class may have been counterproductive after all.

Perhaps I need this book.

Source

 

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Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

Yesterday I finally got around to making Homemade Instant Oatmeal packets. I got the basic recipe off of this website mentioned in this NYT article. I was inspired to make my own packets, because of several reasons. Making my own packets allows me to experiment with lots of different add-ins. I can make any combo that I can dream up. Making lots of packets at once, instead of new ones every morning, allows me to save precious morning time. I am anything but a morning person. Most importantly, since I eat Quaker instant packets every morning, I go through a lot of oatmeal. Instant oats aren’t cheap, especially in my area, so making my own packets ultimately saves me money.

Here’s what you’ll need for the basic oatmeal:

Quick oats, sugar, salt, and sealable bags. That’s it. Fill each bag with 1/4 cup of quick oats. Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.  

Basic oatmeal packets.

Now time to jazz up your oatmeal:

The Quick Oat container filled 20 bags, so I decided to make 4 different types of oatmeal. I used the following for add-ins:

Chocolate Coconut Cream Oatmeal: Add 1 tablespoon of non-dairy creamer, a pinch of shredded coconut, and a few chocolate chips. Be sure to use non-dairy creamer, as powdered milk may spoil over time.

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal: Sprinkle in cinnamon and add about a dozen raisins.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookie Oatmeal: Add about a dozen cranberries, a few chocolate chips, and 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring.

Peanut Butter Cup Oatmeal: Add chocolate chips now. The morning you plan on eating the oatmeal, add desired amount of PB.

These are just how I choose to jazz up my oatmeal. You can add whatever you enjoy most. I had the Chocolate Coconut Cream this morning, and I prepared it just as I would any other instant oatmeal. Look at me being a money-saver!

How would you jazz up your oatmeal?

On the Upswing

Yesterday I was productive at taking the steps I need to get back on track with healthy eating. I cleaned the whole apartment with help from the beau and even organized my clothing drawers. Now home is a happier place. 🙂

Since home was happy and clean, I made lunch for myself today. I packed an open face PB and banana sandwich with a pear on the side. The sandwich was delicious, but the pear was a little past ripe. 😦

My friend and I picked out the restaurant we are going out to eat tonight already, so that I can decide what I’m going to eat before I get there. 🙂

 I went for a jog yesterday with an uninterested Hadley (he’s too young still to have the concentration) and took a Pilates class. Friday I plan on running outside for 2.25 miles. Let’s hope the weather cooperates. 🙂

I am going to take the time to make a list of recipes for next week. Then on Sunday, I am going to pick-up the necessary ingredients. 🙂

Yay for little achievements!!!

Getting Back on Track

I was doing very well in my new healthy lifestyle, but lately life has been so hectic that I feel myself failing to keep on track. It’s hard to eat healthy when going out to eat a lot, having celebrations, being away from home, or flat out being stressed. So I feel that though my exercise has been great and my intentions good, I have been failing over the past few weeks to eat a truly healthy lifestyle.

I am challenging myself TODAY to make changes.

How To Get “Re-Healthy”:

  1. Clean the darn apartment. When my apartment is neat and organized, I feel neat and organized. Right now, my apartment is in post apocalyptic mood, so you can imagine my mindset. It makes me not want to be in the house, or if I am in the house, on the couch or in bed away from the laundry that needs to be put away or the whatnots that need to be tidied up. When the kitchen is messy, it is especially hard for me to motivate myself to cook – I’ll only add to the mess. So today, I will clean and organize my apartment. It’s small, so it only really needs about 2 hours of my time to be truly shiny.
  2. Plan out my meals. When I don’t plan what to eat, I tend to either just take-in or eat poorly. I was doing really well bringing lunch to work every day, but stopped randomly last week. This is because I am not thinking what I want to have for lunch the next day until it is bedtime. Then I think, I’ll just figure it out in the morning. Then I’m a sleepy monster in the morning and forget. I need to make lunches for the next day when I am making dinner. I also need to plan dinners during the day, so when I come home I know what to make. I need a plan people!
  3. Try out new recipes. This has been the most successful part of my healthy living transition. Since I enjoy cooking new things, new recipes keep me motivated to eat healthy. Since the kitchen is messy, and I have no plans, I haven’t been finding new recipes to get excited over.
  4. Check the menu before I go. Tomorrow I know that I am going out to eat with a friend. I need to have a game-plan before going hungry to the restaurant. That way, I know all day what I’ll eat, and I won’t hungrily order the most horrid thing on the menu. Cheese sticks does not good decisions make.

So that’s my plan. Step 1: Clean the darn kitchen TONIGHT. Step 2: Make lunch for tomorrow right after dinner. Step 3: Think of some recipes I want to try out next week and buy the ingredients this weekend. Step 4: Plan where I am eating tomorrow evening and decide on my meal.

What do you do when you have a healthy lifestyle hiccup?

Sicky McSickerson

Chris and I have this habit of making up weird nicknames for Hadley. Amongst them are the simple like Hads or the the random like Didley or the amusing such as Sniffy McSnifferson. Well today, call me Sicky McSickerson.

I jinxed myself last week when I said I was so proud of making it through the entire winter without a bad cold. Yesterday, I woke up with a wonderful cold that kept me sneezing all day and today it advanced to that “I can’t think straight, do I also have a fever?” level. I made it into work despite the rain and hoped if I had a filling breakfast I would feel better. I never buy breakfast, but today I ate this:

Paired with orange juice.

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After eating breakfast and still feeling like the world was spinning, sneezing, and starting to sweat through my pretty work dress I wore in hopes that it would make me feel better, I decided it was best for me to go home.

I have been spending the rest of my failed day cuddling in bed with Hadley, consuming glasses of OJ, and watching Friday Night Lights. I also enjoyed a big lunch. I know they say “feed a fever, starve a cold”, but I have decided from past experiences that feeding is really a good strategy for colds, too. So I ate this:

My get-well pack.

Yup, I ate the whole sandwich. I was too full to eat any of the soup – good thing I have a lot of tuperware. I also have a Chobani calling my name for snack later. As you can see, I also had myself some Dayquil. So basically, I’m fighting this thing hard. Chris and I are celebrating our 3-year anniversary this weekend, and I know he has some surprise in the works, (I LOVE surprises) and I don’t want to miss out on it. Here’s to fighting the good fight!

Oats in the News

Today the NYT featured an interesting article about my beloved oatmeal. I eat oatmeal almost every morning for breakfast. I find it soothing and more filling than most other breakfast options. I also prefer sweet to savory most mornings, so once again oatmeal comes out on top. In fact, I am currently eating a packet of Quaker’s Instant Maple Sugar oatmeal with some dark hot chocolate powder from my morning cocoa added in. Yum.

The article speaks towards how commercial food chains, specifically McDonald’s take something healthy like oatmeal, and completely ruin it. They add “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.” And they charge you over $2 in NYC.

McDonald's oatmeal

Source

The article also provides a link that teaches you how to make your own oatmeal packets. Considering I hate spending the hyped up price of Quakers Instant in my area, and I know that it’s not the healthiest version of oats out there, I will be buying these ingredients (most which I already own), and try to make my own oatmeal ready-to-go packets soon.  

Some recommended ingredients.

Source

What would you put in your own oatmeal ready-to-go packets?

A Soapbox Moment and Creamy Avocado Sauce Pasta

The whole allowing your pet to sleep in bed with you issue has been blowing up lately in the news and in the blog world. Chris and I allow Hadley to sleep with us in bed every night and will continue to do so. He is cute, cuddly, and doesn’t bother us. When Chris is working late, he keeps me company. I read one place about a rabies argument, but besides the fact that Hads is up on his shots, there hasn’t been a case of rabies in NYC in decades. The whole germ thing, in a cost-benefit analysis doesn’t persuade me either. Personally, I think today’s article in the NYT is a little over the top. I’m pretty sure they just found the most ridiculous case and wrote about it in the women who sleeps with her pig and owns 150 animals. I guess it was a slow news day at the NY Times. Does your pet sleep in bed with you?

Off that soap box, yesterday evening was a good one. Hadley and I made our first trip to the dog park where there were other doggies to play with for the first time in forever. The snow had kept most people out of the ice skating rink that was the dog park for a while, but Hadley and I persisted throughout the winter all the same. Hadley was thrilled to have friends to play with and it was a good time to watch.

Afterwards I almost skipped the gym because I was oh-so-sleepy, but I convinced myself that I would feel good once I was there. I ran my two miles and forced myself to get into it. I did so by being that person at the gym who lip-syncs to her ipod while rocking out on the treadmill. The guy next to me kept stealing glances and laughing. I was happy I could help others enjoy their workouts.

After my sweaty sing-along, I came home to find that Chris had brought home a bottle of red wine. Score! Cheryl came over, and we all enjoyed the wine while cooking a new recipe. Here’s what we made:

Creamy Avocado Sauce Pasta

Adapted from Angela’s recipe

1 Avocado

1 Lemon

2 tsp Olive Oil

Garlic powder

Salt

Pepper

2 serving sizes (6 oz) of pasta of choice

Boil water and prepare pasta. We used spinach fettuccine. While the pasta is making, prep the sauce. Peel and pit the avocado. Place the avocado in a blender or food processor. Cut lemon in half and squeeze half the juice over the avocado. Zest the other half of the lemon, but do not add the juice unless you want the sauce very lemony. Add the olive oil and as much garlic powder, salt, and pepper as desired. We went heavy handed on the garlic. Blend everything together to create a cream sauce. If using a blender, be prepared to stop it several times to help chop up the avocado with a fork and blend the mix by hand. When the pasta is ready, place it in a serving bowl and immediately mix the sauce in. Serve topped with feta.

This pasta was really creamy but included no cream! I actually didn’t love it, but that is because I always think that I like creamy foods, but rarely can eat much of them. If you are looking for a healthy fat alternative t o a cream sauce and/or are vegan (just exclude the feta) then this is a recipe you should try out. Thanks Angela for the idea!