WIAW #2 & Crockpot Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

I really liked participating in WIAW last week so I’m back this week. This is a very typical day of eats for me so I thought it was a good day to share. I received a few requests for the Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal recipe I showed last week, so I’ve included that info below. It’s a really easy recipe that guarantees a healthy and hearty breakfast on the fly.

 

Breakfast

Speaking of Apple Cinnamon Oats…I was in a rush for breakfast this morning so I grabbed one from the fridge. I added a dash of coconut milk and microwave it for 2 minutes, I find that it revives really well. Coffee was necessary and I’m currently loving the KCup Mocha Coconut from Donut Shop with frothed organic milk, topped with a dash of cocoa powder. Then I grabbed a handful of Rainer cherries on the side.  Cherries are my FAVORITE fruit so I eat them in bulk during their limited season.

 

What I Ate Wednesday_5_29_1

 

Apple Cinnamon CrockPot Steel Cut Oats

Serves: 4

 

1 Cup uncooked steel cut oats

1 T Ground Cinnamon (adjust this to your personal taste, 1 Tablespoon is quite strong)

2 medium apples, cored and chopped (I left the skin on)

1 Cup Vanilla Coconut Milk

2.5 Cups Water (I like my oats drier, if you prefer, you can increase the water to 3 cups). You can also use all milk or all water for this recipe.

 

Add all ingredients to the Crockpot and cook on low overnight. I put mine in at about 11:30pm and it was ready when I came down for breakfast at around 8am. That’s it, super simple and delicious.

 

Snack

In between morning calls I grabbed a small apple (anyone else love those bags of little apples at Trader Joe’s?), sliced Rotisserie chicken, and a glass of VitaminWater Zero in Revive. I tend to run incredibly low on potassium and the Revive water has no calories, no sugar, and 880mg of potassium. So lately I try to drink one bottle over the course of the day.

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Lunch

Lunch was my go to salad. Trader Joe’s sells cooked, seasoned chicken breasts in their prepackaged food case. They’re a little higher than I like in sodium, but they’re are incredibly convenient. This salad had one chopped chicken breast, about 3 cups of Romaine lettuce, 2 Tablespoons of grated parmesan, and 2 Tablespoon of Trader Joe’s Cilantro Dressing. Sometimes I add some black beans, but today I kept it simple, and paired it with a big glass of unsweetened iced tea.

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Dinner

This dinner was a total win and really very simple as well. It’s a bed of brussel sprouts (sautéed with a bit of coconut oil), black beans, and feta cheese tossed with a little Italian dressing. I topped the sprouts with a piece of (premade) Macadamia Nut crusted Mahi Mahi. I buy the fish in the freezer section at Costco and they are DELICIOUS! I know frozen fish can get a bad wrap in terms of taste, but this is the best I’ve ever had, I absolutely love them. Not pictured, I had another glass of the VitaminWater.

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Dessert

After dinner, I had the last of my angel food cake topped with fat free whip cream and fresh blueberries. Too good for words.

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So that’s it. I did have an eBoost around 5pm and I finished the VitaminWater after working out later that evening, but otherwise this was everything I ate. Oh, and I don’t usually take pictures of the water I drink, but I down a lot of water over the course of the day in addition to the beverages above, usually around 12+ glasses. For those that know I’m trying to lose weight, this is very typical of what I eat, though I usually leave out the angel food cake. This was about 1500 calories, 32g fat, 110g protein, and 30g fiber. If you want to see more of my daily eats, let me know…or you can follow me on instagram. I don’t post every meal, but I share quite a few.

 

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What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) #1

Ok, I give in…I’m jumping on the WIAW bandwagon (a bit late). I don’t know why I find it so fascinating seeing what other people eat throughout the day. Perhaps it’s because I love to cook, so I feel a bit inspired…but it also gives me alternate ideas for snacks and quick meals. Here’s a foodie snapshot into my day yesterday.

Breakfast

I tried a new recipe this week and made a batch of Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut oats in my Crockpot. It was so nice to wake up to hot oatmeal without lifting a finger. I also made enough to reheat throughout the week. I like to get a lot of protein in the morning, it keeps me full throughout the day, so I paired the oatmeal with a few egg whites.

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Snack

I broke away from a meeting to grab a quick snack later in the morning. I filled a bowl with fresh pineapple, some Pineapple Flavored Greek Yogurt and a scoop of grape nuts. Most of the time grape nuts tastes like little rocks, but the yogurt softens it perfectly and it adds the best crunch to a creamy snack.

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Lunch

Lunch stumped me yesterday. I only had a few minutes between meetings and I didn’t want another salad (which is my go to quick lunch), so I made a few chicken & cheddar quesadillas. I topped them with a bit of mashed avocado and downed a sparkling water just before I had to dial in for my next meeting.

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Dinner

Since I was lacking some veggies for lunch, I  made a whole bunch of green beans for dinner. I tossed them with a Tablespoon of parmesan and baked them at 425 for 10 minutes. Crispy and cheesy! I also threw a baked potato and Feta chicken burger on the plate. It looks a little boring, but it was oh so delicious.

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I also had my standard glass of eboost around 3pm, and a (not so standard) brownie as desert which I forgot to photograph. I may have also eaten half the green beans before I remembered to snap the picture above. How do the daily eats bloggers do it?

Green Spring Smoothie

I’m enjoying a rare Monday off and I thought it was a great time to try out a new smoothie recipe. With the warm weather, this cold fruity smoothie is a delicious start to the day. I added whey protein powder since this was my breakfast, but you could leave it out if protein powder isn’t your thing. I actually like the texture with the protein powder since it thickens the drink, I haven’t found it grainy at all. I use Tera’s Whey Organic brand, Bourbon Vanilla for this recipe.

Green Spring Smoothie

 

Green Spring Smoothie

Adapted from the Vitamix Recipe Booklet

Serves: 1-2

 

1/2 Cup Vanilla Coconut Milk

1 Cup Frozen Grapes

1/2 Cup Fresh Pineapple

2 Scoops Tera’s Whey Vanilla Protein Powder

1 Medium Frozen Banana

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Baby Spinach

 

Green Spring Smoothie

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Green Spring Smoothie

Enjoy straight up or with a little granola on top.

Costco had the Vitamix blender in stock about 2 weeks ago. The last time I saw them there was nearly 3 years ago and I didn’t have the cash to pick one up back then which was a bummer. I’ve been duct taping my magic bullet together lately, waiting for it to die, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to score the super blender at a great price.

Green Spring Smoothie

 

This recipe make one very large smoothie which I use as a meal replacement or 2 smaller smoothies which can compliment a regular meal. I built the recipe in the MyFitnessPal tool and the large smoothie has about 334 calories, 5g fat, 25g protein, 7g fiber, 53g carbs, and 40g sugar.

April Favorites [Beauty/Fashion]

I have a lot of beauty favorites this month since I’ve been rebuilding my ‘beauty collection’, but these are at the top right now. What are some of your favorites right now? Feel free to share recommendations in the comments, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

 

Makeup Favorites

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MAC Fix+

I’ve been using this everyday (both before and after applying my makeup) to keep it lasting all day. It also does an amazing job at removing the ‘cakey’ look that can appear when using powders.

 

Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer

I used to use the Smashbox Primer, but I like this one SO MUCH better. I use it in the T-Zone, not all over, to prep areas where my pores are more visible.  After applying makeup, the pores are nearly invisible, it’s AMAZING!

 

L’Oreal Magic Anti-Redness Primer (I think they’ve renamed the product to Studio Secrets Anti-Redness Skin Primer Liquid)

Drugstore find of the month! Don’t let the color scare you off, if you have any redness or ruddiness, I would recommend this product. I have redness particularly in my cheeks and chin, but this green liquid balances the color perfectly. I use a VERY tiny amount and pat it on the red areas, just blending enough to blur the edges. It will leave a slight green cast, so you definitely want to use some sort of foundation over this primer.

 

Z-Palette

I just started using Z-palettes this past month, but I’m really impressed with their versatility. I have a bunch of small eye shadow quads & single blushes, that take up a lot of space. With the Z-Palettes, I’m able to de-pot the shadow quads and put them all in the palette. I have one palette for blushes, a second for eye shadows, and a third for bronzers (not shown). 

 

Skincare Favorites

Skincare Favorites_April

Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter

I may start an uproar with this statement, but…this beats The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter, HANDS DOWN! The smell is amazing, the texture is perfect. As long as I can get my hands on this stuff, it will be a favorite. Bonus: while it’s cheaper if you buy it at Trader Joe’s, you can also get it off Amazon! Great for those that don’t have a Trader Joe’s locally.

 

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum

An excellent, hydrating serum if you struggle with dry skin. It is pricey, but I think it’s worth it. It’s not heavy or greasy, and it soaks in quickly making it easy to top with my night moisturizer right away. I’ve used it morning an night and haven’t had any problem with breakouts due to this serum.

 

Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion for Hands, Face & Body

Speaking of night moisturizers, I’ve been using Skin MD for the past month since my skin has been SO dry. I usually use really thick night creams, thinking that it was necessary for dry skin. This lotion is not thick or heavy at all. In fact, it seems a little more on the watery side, but it does it’s job. I have found the 4oz size for about $10 it at only one Walgreens (not all locations), or I buy the 8oz size at Amazon for about $15.

 

Sephora Precision Pore Cleansing Pad

I can’t even pretend to hide my love for these. I’ve actually been using these more than my Clarisonic [GASP!], and I no longer use a wash cloth which can often feel very abrasive. I use two of the ‘scrubbies’, one on each hand, when I wash my face. They are made of soft silicone so it has a ‘massage like’ feel and are not scratchy at all.  I actually love these so much, and am afraid Sephora will stop carrying them, so I’ve bought 2 for my sink, 2 for my shower…and I may have a few tucked away for travelling as well. Just in case.

 

Nail Favorites – Colors

Nail Favorites_April

Harmony Gelish Sizzling Summer Nights Collection

By far, these are my favorite Gel nail colors. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen these on #manicuremonday. The Sizzling Summer Nights Collection has four colors: Sunrise in the City, Big City Siren, Showstopping, and Shake Your Money Maker. They are amazing color shifting glitters. Big City Siren & Shake Your Money Maker are solid is 2 coats. The others are a bit more sheer, but can be built up.

 

Essie – Beyond Cozy

The best White Gold micro glitter polish. Great as an all over color or as just an accent nail. 

 

Butter London – All Hail The Queen

When I get tired of the bright spring colors, I reach for a neutral. This shade is a great neutral polish with a subtle shimmer.

 

Nail Favorites – Treatments

Nail Favorites_April

Mavala Cuticle Cream

I used this Cuticle Cream in college when a very pushy sales person talked me into buying it. I’ll admit, she was right. When my local beauty supply shop stopped carrying it I was bummed. But I recently found this at both Ulta and online via Amazon so I’m back in love. It’s a thicker cream, and can be a bit sticky, but it’s amazing stuff. I use this every night before I go to sleep.

 

Gelish Basix Kit

I overpaid for this kit by buying it at Sally Beauty, you can find it cheaper online. In fact, I’m a bit bummed that I didn’t just buy the Full Size kit on Amazon since it was the same price as I paid fo the mini. While I’ve used other brand gel colors, I’ve only used the Gelish brand kit so far and it’s been great. I’ve done 4 full manicures so far and haven’t had a single problem with peeling, chipping, or tip wear. I’m SOLD.

 

Haircare Favorites

Haircare Favorites_April

Tangle Teezer

Regardless of what shampoo and condition I use, my hair is incredibly tangled out of the shower.  At first I thought this was simply an over priced comb, but it’s no joke. It works really well at getting tangles out of wet hair with minimal effort meaning less damage to my hair while it’s wet.

 

TIGI Bed Head Manipulator

I used to use this product when my hair was super short. When I grew it out, I stopped using the ‘manipulator’ because I thought it wasn’t useful on long hair. I’ve held onto it because, truth be told, I really like the scent. Long story short, I started using this recently on dry hair, just at the ends. I only use a very little bit, but it completely removes any static or frizz.

 

Organix Coconut Oil Weightless Hydrating Oil Mist

I don’t like using oil serums on my hair because of the mess it leaves on my hands. The Organix spray is a fine mist that I add to the ends and comb through with my fingers. It has the GREATEST coconut scent and is completely mess free.

 

L’Oreal Evercreme Cleansing Conditioner

I’m no expert, but my guess is that this cleansing conditioner is L’Oreal’s version of Wen. I’ve never used Wen so I can’t compare the two, but I love the L’Oreal version (and it’s so much cheaper). It really conditions my dry hair without feeling heavy or greasy. I use it about 2 times a week as opposed to every time I wash my hair.

 

Fashion Favorites

Fashion Favorites_April

Sequin Clutch (Rose Gold/Smoke)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these clutches. I picked them up at DailyLook in both Rose Gold and Smoke because I love them that much. They are padded so they work great as a Tablet case which is what I use them for, but I’d happily swap out my tablet to use the clutch as an evening bag.

 

MIA Floral Wedges

I love these wedges for spring! I couldn’t find them online anymore, I think I bought them at DSW a few years back. Now that the temperature has warmed up (at little too much at 105 yesterday), I’m breaking in the spring/summer shoes. These are great because with the colors, they go with so many outfits and the wedge style is so versatile.

 

Rose Gold Jewelry (DailyLook, Henri Bendel, Fossil)

Silver has always been my favorite type of jewelry, but lately I’m seriously warming up to gold…rose gold at least. I’ve already talked about the clutch, but I’ve also been collecting some beautiful rose gold jewelry. The necklaces are from the Fossil outlet, the bangles and ring are from Henri Bendel, and I found the chain link bracelet at DailyLook.

 

 

*Some links contained within this post are affiliate; however, none of the products were provided to me, nor was I asked to review them.

31

Hello!

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Today is my birthday!

I’m turning 31.

I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone. I celebrated a bit this weekend, but it will be pretty low key this year since my birthday falls on a Monday and I have to work. A few years back, I started a tradition for when I’m not celebrating with friends/family on my actual birthday. I get take out from my favorite restaurant, a little ice cream cake from 31 Flavors, and my favorite movie. It’s a awesome evening that I look forward to it all day long. Granted, it’s not wild and crazy, but I love the quiet evening at home cuddled up on the couch with my pup and my favorite Italian food. I don’t know if this makes sense to  a lot of people, I probably just sound incredibly boring, but it’s the perfect solution when my birthday falls during the week.

I’m working on my thoughts for the 30 in 30 list…and I’m still finalizing my 31 in 31 list (oh yeah, it’s happening!). I have a ton of things on tap for the next few months in particular that I’m excited about. I really want to push myself more, so I figured I’d start right now and begin showing my face more on the blog. I don’t like pictures being taken of me (REALLY don’t like it), but as I enter my 30’s, I’m feeling much more comfortable in my own skin. [I was also having too much fun playing with the Instagram filters this past weekend.] So don’t worry, I won’t begin plastering my face everywhere…but I may be making an appearance from time to time. 

Lots more to come in the next few days, but for now…I’m off to work celebrate!

Easy Lentil & Quinoa Side Dish (Customize With Your Favorite Flavors!)

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I have a new toy! Recently I purchased a rice cooker at Target because I wanted a way to make cooking grains easier while I’m at work. I don’t eat rice very often, but I do eat Quinoa, Oatmeal, and Lentils all the time. The Rice Cooker has made the whole lentil/quinoa cooking process so much easier.

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I never knew these Green lentils could be so easy, versatile, and delicious!

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Easy Quinoa & Lentil Side Dish

Makes: 8 Cups

 

1 Cup uncooked green lentils

1 Cup uncooked (rinsed) Quinoa

3.75 Cups Water

dash of salt (you can always add more later, so go easy)

 

This recipe will make the basic Lentil/Quinoa mix. Once cooked you can add anything you want. If you want more flavor to the basic mix, you can use chicken/veggie broth in place of the water.

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Add all the ingredients to the rice cooker.

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I set my cooker for the ‘Brown Rice’ setting then went back to work. I believe it only cooks for about 45 minutes, but I can’t tell you exactly because the rice cooker takes care of that for me. When it’s done, it switches to a ‘Keep Warm’ mode until I turn it off. I actually left it for a few hours since I had several back to back meetings. It wasn’t overcooked at all when I finally unplugged the machine.

Follow the instructions for your specific machine when deciding what setting to use.

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I store it in the fridge and eat it over the course of the week. It goes well with so many things. The flavor is a little nutty, but otherwise very neutral.

  • Add salsa and eat it with eggs
  • Added cinnamon and mixed it with oatmeal
  • Mix with a little feta and roasted veggies for a vegetarian main course or serve along side Fish/Chicken/Steak
  • Throw a scoop into your favorite salad or soup for a protein/fiber boost
  • Use it as a replacement for rice in a Stir Fry 

Today for lunch I mixed it with some grated parmesan cheese, a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, and some chopped cherry tomatoes. Next time I might even mix in some sausage to add a bit of spice.

Absolutely Delicious!

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Nutritional stats are pretty damn awesome too. 1 cup of the Lentil/Quinoa Mix has about 170 calories, 29g carbs, 1g fat, 9g protein, and 9g fiber. I used the MyFitnessPal recipe creator to get these stats and it doesn’t account for any other ingredients you may mix in for flavor.

 

Bon Appétit!