Friday, February 24, 2012

New habits, Old commercials and a touch of Yum!

I have neglected this blog quite badly over the past two weeks and for that I'm sorry! I have been both busy and stressed which is never a good combination. Luckily I have not been neglecting my workouts. In fact, I've been plugging along pretty consistently. I am logging my meals and my workouts daily and according to my fabulous Polar FT7 heart rate monitor, I'm burning an average of 400 calories per workout. I am finding that I need to incorporate more strength training with my cardio but am struggling to find the energy to do it all at once. I've found myself mildly discouraged because the scale has not budged in two weeks. I've decided to reduce my daily calories to see if it makes a difference. I also need to focus even more of my attention on what I'm eating.

I've built up some good habits since my last blog post. I made a conscious decision to be more active at work. Last year I went from working on my feet eight hours a day to sitting on my butt for 40 hours a week! It has been a huge adjustment and I find myself needing to be more active just to maintain my weight, let alone lose any. Over the last week I've been trying to fit in at least one daily wall sit and a plank a day. Some days I even do wall pushups and squats (I make sure to close my office door first, ha!).

I also bought a pair of Ryka sneakers to leave at the office so now I have no excuse not to get up and walk. On a side note, this is my first pair of Rykas and they are SO comfortable! They're designed specifically for women's feet and I feel like I'm walking on a cloud. They're quite a bit clunkier than my Brooks Adrenaline running shoes but for quick work day walks they are perfect. Anyway, I digress. I've managed to recruit two coworkers to walk with me during the day. It's usually just a 20-minute, 1-mile stroll but it feels great to get out and stretch the legs and enjoy some sunshine! We call it our Diet Coke break haha.

I've recently discovered steel cut oats which I'm absolutely in love with. I have been an instant-oatmeal hater for as long as I can remember; the mushy texture just turns me off. In the past I've tried adding chopped walnuts to the oatmeal but even then I couldn't stomach it. I've seen steel cut oats mentioned a lot lately on various blogs and my twitter feed so I decided to give them a try. Wow! They have sort of an odd chewy texture that I like a lot. I've been seeking out recipes that require baking the steel cut oats so they're even more firm and hearty. Each week I choose a flavor, cook my oatmeal on Sunday and then portion it out for the whole work week. It is insanely easy to grab a container from the fridge and head out the door in the morning. The best part is that I get a huge portion for roughly 300 calories! The oats and a small fruit are enough to keep me full until lunch time, which is impressive in itself.

Baked Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal
yields 5 large servings

1 tablespoon butter
1 ¼ cups steel cut oatmeal
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of your choice)
2 cups hot water
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 cup chopped apple

1. Pre-heat your oven to 375°F. In a large dutch oven (or other oven-safe sauce pan), melt butter over medium heat until froth forms.
2. Add in the steel cut oats and toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Don't let them burn!
3. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice and salt.
4. Pour in the milk, hot water and maple syrup and stir to combine.
5. Cover and remove from heat. Place the covered pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
6. Take the pan out of the oven and remove the lid carefully. *Add in the chopped apples and stir to combine. The oatmeal will still appear loose but will thicken as it cools. I let mine cool completely and then portion it out for the week and refrigerate it.

At work, I warm my oatmeal and simply add half of a freshly chopped apple on top. You can also add chopped nuts, milk or additional maple syrup to your taste.

*If you prefer your oatmeal on the mushy side, you can add the apples before placing the oatmeal in the oven.

The next time I make this recipe I may try adding some vanilla extract and some fresh lemon juice for even more of an "apple pie" taste.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recipe my friend! I'm glad you remembered that you have a blog! :)