Oatmeal Cookies for Breakfast? Oh yeah.

Usually when I decide to bake something I know it will require me to set aside a chunk of uninterrupted time and then I mentally prepare myself for the onslaught of dirty dishes to follow. Because of this, my major baking usually happens in the middle of the night. Today I had about 45 minutes to make and bake something and then head out to a babysitting job. I was delighted to find a recipe for oatmeal cookies that was healthy and quick (and I had all the ingredients!)

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of my favorite healthy dessert bloggers. I can almost always finds something on her site to suite what I need. She did not disappoint today. I have been wanting to find a snack I can have in the middle of the day at school (to replace buying something like cheese filled crackers…..may fav). I’ve also been wanting something that can work for a quick breakfast when I’m running out the door for class (because who has time to make eggs? Not this girl). This recipe fulfills both those needs! As Katie says on her blog, these “cookies” don’t taste like your typical, unhealthy oatmeal raisin cookie. But personally, for breakfast, I don’t want something super sugary. I think these have the perfect amount of sweet for a snack or morning fuel.

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You simply mash a banana and 1/4 cup of peanut butter together and then add oats, vanilla, salt, raisins, and sweetener.

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Katie suggests using a stevia packet or even sugar. I keep stevia drops around and use them for just about anything I need to sweeten (tea, coffee, healthy desserts, plain yogurt, etc). I put in several drops and tasted the batter. Stevia can be tricky because it will easily make something taste bitter, so it’s always better to start out with a little and gradually add more.

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I just got a new (used) oven and this was the first time for me to bake something in it. While it was preheating the fire alarm went off about three times (sorry neighbors) and then these guys came out a little burned on the bottom. So, hey, the oven works! Probably baking them around 11 minutes (instead of 14 minutes like I did) would have been perfect.

Be sure to check out the recipe here!

Long time

Well well. It’s been awhile, that’s for sure. I’ve decided to bring back the blog to help me get on track with healthy living again. It’s January – the ultimate diet month. So, of course it’s fitting to have a fleeting New Year’s resolution to “eat right! work out! be healthy!” But by this time, [personally] those resolutions are starting to falter.

This past December I had a rude awakening. I had back pain for about a month. I tried the heating pad, ibuprofen, rest, more rest, etc. and the pain would always come back. I have had a “bad back” for about ten years (scoliosis, boston brace for two years – 18 hours a day, and two spine surgeries, one of which kinda sorta failed).533393_4076343033298_1070577398_n (1)

(I know the outfit is rad, but I would like to avoid this situation again. Photo is from the first back surgery.)

So, I’m used to just living with aches here and there. But this was different. I knew my unhealthy college lifestyle (lack of consistent exercise, not the best diet around, and minimal hours of sleep) had caught up with me and was probably the culprit behind the pesky back pain.

This lengthy introduction is leading me into my main point: I want to be healthy! I want to be a good steward of this body God has given me. And quite frankly, I would like to do without the back pain and be able to stay awake during class. I have a tiny kitchen I will utilize to make healthy meals and some lovely friends to workout with, so we’ll give it a go! I plan to post recipes and things that are working/not working on this little journey. I would love if you follow along!

Oatmeal Cupcakes

Want a quick, easy, make-ahead breakfast?  Hop over to Chocolate Covered Katie for her recipe for these fantastic, healthy oatmeal cupcakes.  I made them last night and they were such a treat to wake up to this morning. Katie added chocolate chips, but I didn’t use them and they still turned out just fine.  You can really get creative with different add-ins.  Next time I think I’ll throw in cranberries and coconut (do those go together?)

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Enjoy!    

three whole years.

The tiniest member of our family turned three this week.  I love birthdays because they make me realize how fast time moves by and I get to watch “time grow” in a little person. I was in Mexico when Ainslee was born so I missed all the hospital excitement.  But I got to her as soon as I could when I got home.

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She was such a tiny one.

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Yes, three years change a lot of things (except the way I wear my hear, apparently.)

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At Ainslee’s little family b-day party, we had spaghetti and meat sauce with salad, bread and mixed veggies.  We discovered that Target has quite a variety of gluten free pastas, so THAT was exciting. Mom kindly made me a separate pot of gluten free pasta. I stayed away from the bread, and it was still a very satisfying, meal. 🙂

ainslee3bdayWe had a monkey theme complete with hats and party blowers (?…is that what they’re called?).

I’m so looking forward to summer days spent with these little people.  Even with all the Texas heat, there’s nothing quite like the gift of summer and all the special times that go with it. 🙂

Not Food.

If I’m going to keep it real, I would hop on here and say that I made gluten packed/sugar filled/dairy laden brownies this weekend for company and ate my fair share of ’em.

But, that’s only if I were keeping it real.

This week has been busy and I’ve hardly made anything healthy and fell off this “healthy lifestyle” with a thud. I’m planning to jump back on bright and early Monday morning, but tonight, I don’t feel like talking about food. Sometimes it’s just good to share a picture and a quote and call it a night:

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Grace in all its forms He freely renders to His people: comforting, preserving, sanctifying, directing, instructing, assisting grace, He generously pours into their souls without ceasing, and He always will do so, whatever may occur. – Charles Spurgeon

Grateful for grace, for it is needed everyday

Breakfast in a Snap

This morning I wanted something a little different than scrambled eggs.  Since I’m home for the summer, my mom and I usually eat breakfast together (this is so much better than the school year when I hastily grab a piece of bread or food bar and inhale it as I’m walking to class…so healthy. :p ).  Mom and I like to make either scramble eggs (along with a vegetable stir fry) or throw together easy spinach and mushroom omelets. This morning I wanted to do something a little different but wanted to use eggs. Crepes!  So, being all sophisticated, I looked up “gluten free crepes” on Pinterest and found a recipe: eggs, water, salt. Yeah, I’d say that’s gluten free.  To give it a little sweetness I added a few drops of vanilla flavored stevia and a little vanilla extract.

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I know we all have seen eggs before, but it’s seriously such a happy color to cheer up your Monday!

My first crepe was a little too thin: 

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.

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That’s a little better, except now, it’s more just like a flat omelet because I haven’t perfected the thin crepe technique yet. 

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We had some frozen strawberries to use for smoothies, so I microwaved them for 30 seconds, then sliced them and sprinkled a small package of stevia on top and stirred.  I microwaved them again to get the chill off, and wha-la! We had ourselves a strawberry compote (sorta)!

You can find the original recipe for the crepes by clicking here.  

Milkshake! (except, it’s not)

I’ve lived in Texas all my life, and I still have not gotten used to the heat and humidity. It’s June 1st and you can practically cut the air, it’s so sticky today.  From now until around mid-September I would be perfectly happy with a varied diet of frozen yogurt, frappuccinos, ice cream and smoothies.  But, that’s not really an option right.  I ran across a modified version of the fast food chain, Wendy’s frosty. It is SO yum.  You can get the original healthy version from the blog, Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth by clicking here.

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I like to double the recipe to share with my parents and I also add coconut oil (because I’m in love with the stuff), dark chocolate flavored stevia, and I leave out chia seeds (simply because I don’t have any on hand.)

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Beautiful liquid right there, folks.

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Need to work on my drink picture skills.

The stuff is good! Super refreshing and very chocolatey (don’t hold back on the cocoa).