Lights Out

Image

toasty…

Since yesterday was an early day, I feel asleep super early! But, of course, my phone started ringing at 2000. I tried to ignore it, but it just kept ringing. Then, as I hung up with the person on the other line, the power goes out. We made it through Hurricane Sandy with only a few flickering lights, but for some reason, the power lines couldn’t stand up to the cold. My mom went into manic-mode, lighting candles and such. Me? My phone was charged and the alarm was set. I curled up next to the fire place for some warmth, and relaxed. But unfortunately, I could not fall back asleep, especially with mom calling the power company, on speaker phone, every 25 minutes! So I whipped out my phone and started working on some posts for you all!

Image

Apparently power outages have
no effect on this Sleeping Beauty…

The power came back on around 0130. Just in time for me to watch a great movie, called Canvas! I finally fell back asleep around 0300, I would say. Apparently, the universe prefers me sleep deprived…

On another subject, I found this link last night after I mysteriously developed an overwhelming appetite. The article discusses seeing food as “good” or “bad.” I began to feel really guilty about not working out, yesterday. I felt even worse after eating so much later in the night. A few sentences really stood out to me so I thought I’d highlight them for the overly anxious, bingers and  health seekers, like me.

the quality and the balance of what you eat may play a bigger role in weight control and the regulation of your metabolism than the calories alone.

A study found that a daily variance of as much as 600 calories won’t reflect on your waistline, as long as you maintain a healthy diet in the long run.

                Researchers believe that little to no weight gain occurs because healthy individuals usually “undereat” one day and “overeat” on another. So in the end, it all evens out. As long as you’re eating healthy most of the time, having an occasional treat won’t wreck your diet.

I need to remember that although I’ve been rather over indulgent this week, I can even it out. I can’t stress or crawl in my corner.

Now lets get into the goods. Good as in tasty, that is…

I planned this breakfast a few days ago while making the Walnana Muffin Cookies. I decided to use Katie’s melted banana trick in my oatmeal. I was surprised when my mom ask me to make her one too! I was really impressed with how it turned out! If I wasn’t so full from this stick-to-your-ribs breakfast, I would have eaten another bowl! Yeah, its that good!

Walnana (Banana Bread) OatmealImage
serves 2

1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Flax Milk (or milk of your choice)
1 1/2 to 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 bananas
1 Tbsp Artisana Walnut Butter
1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar, or 1 tsp brown sugar

Combine oats through cinnamon in a pot, stir, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring often. After 15 minutes, cut bananas in half, place in a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Pour the fruit into the simmering oats, add the walnut butter. Stir really well ensuring the butter is fully dissolved. Sprinkle the brown sugar over top. Give it a quick stir and serve. Each bowl gets a heaping cupful!

ImageNutrition Facts, per serving:
Calories: 303
Fat: 8.7g
Sat. Fat: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 21.4mg
Carbs: 52.9g
Fiber: 7.5g
Sugar: 14.2g
Protein: 7.4g

Image

melted banana

Melting the bananas really brings out their natural sugars and allows the fruit to really distribute evenly throughout the oatmeal; and adding the walnut butter while it was cooking, gave the oats a smoother texture. I topped mine with some chopped walnuts to add a crunch. I was going for a banana bread feel, but the milk added a creaminess that made it a bit of banana creme pie-like. Wow this was good!
Speaking of pie. Today is National Pie Day! Being the nerd that I am, I usually celebrate Pie Day on March 14th. Get it? 3.14?
I thought about it… Pizza pie or fruit pie? But banana creme pie-ish oatmeal counts, right? Sure, why not? I won’t tell if you don’t.

I enjoyed the oatmeal with a mug of some new herbal tea I picked up at the co-op, yesterday.

Image

While I waited for my oatmeal to fluff up and cook, I tried my hand at some homemade cashew Imagebutter. I used about 1/2 lb raw cashews, and soaked them in water over night. I was surprised by how much water the nuts soaked up.

I drained the cashews and popped them in the Magic Bullet. Every so often I removed the whipped cashews and gave the whole nuts a shake. As the butter accumulated I removed it from the bullet. Never having had store-bought cashew butter, I wasn’t really sure how it was supposed to taste. I will say, I loved the smooth consistency  I also sprinkled a little less than 1/4 tsp of salt into the mix.

Image

Image

Dinner tonight was the Lean Cuisine I’ve been putting off eating! I added some of the baby carrots, as planned, to the broccoli,a sprinkled some black pepper. The meal was pretty decent. Theres a lot of the gravy and I wasn’t quite filled enough. If I get it again, I’m going to need more veggies. The flavor was good and the steak tender, but lacking in mushrooms. This frozen meal has a lot of potential.

Image

I snacked on some graham crackers and PB, the best hospital snack ever! And tapped into the homemade chips and salsa one of the nurse’s brought in. I love fresh, homemade salsa!

Even though the oatmeal was pretty darn spectacular, the highlight of my day was booking my flight to San Jose, for my trip in April! Every year I try to attend the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society International Convention. I’ve been blessed with being able to afford Seattle, two years ago, and Nashville, last April. I’m glad I have some time to save up some dinero for the trip!

Apple Pie Oats: Crock Pot Recipe #4

Another restless night! Grrrr! I’m not sure why I’ve been having such a difficult time sleeping lately. I wonder if I’m a little stressed about school… Hopefully, tonight I sleep solid since I have to be at 0430 Tuesday morning…
I adore oatmeal! And  I’m a firm believer in “an apple a day.” This recipe combines the two loves! I also have never made oats in a crock pot, but I’ve heard about it for years! This day off was not only the perfect opportunity to try a new crock pot recipe, but also to get dad to eat oatmeal!
I found this recipe here, which Julie adapted from Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal.

Heres the Sammy adaptation:

Apple Cinnamon Crock Pot Oats

2 md to lg apples, finely dicedWP_000849
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 cup rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp apple cinnamon spice
4 1/2 cups water
1 tsp Splenda brown sugar (or 2 tsp regular brown sugar)

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot, toss, and cook on low overnight. Top with whatever you’d like. (serves 4)

WP_000848Nutrition (without toppings):
Calories: 215
Total Fat: 2.8g
Sat. Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 5.3 mg
Carbs: 43.7g
Fiber: 6.7g
Sugar: 12.6g
Protein: 5.2g

Since I had an abundance of apples from my uncle, I chose the two largest and chopped them up. I did not have any nutmeg in the house, so I substituted apple pie spice! Oh my gosh, I had not even added the water and turned the pot on yet and it smelled like a fresh baked apple pie!

Julie was right… it doe look a little funky when you first take off the lid. Give it a good stir and serve it up! It wasn’t sweet enough for

Don't they look so cheery in the morning...

Don’t they look so cheery in the morning…

this family, so we sprinkled some Splenda brown sugar or sugar free syrup over top. My dad and step both enjoyed theirs with just brown sugar. Mom and I topped ours with raisins and sunflower seeds. I also stirred in half a scoop of Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1 to give it a little more sustenance. Since I was determined to get my dad to like oatmeal, I was nervous about him digging in. He liked it! Victory!

WP_000858I was shocked by how much the oats grew over night! It basically doubled in size and each bowl was filled! The apples melted right into the oats. I kept the skin on mine, but feel free to give them a peel.

I decided to do a workout from Julie’s site today, 5×50 Workout. After yesterday’s 1000 Rep Workout, my hamies and tush are pretty sore, so I spaced the 5×50 throughout my day.

Today, I did a little baking, watched some lectures, and ran a few errands to pick up some things before the chill settled in for the next few days. Among some of these things are items for Thursday’s crock pot dinner!

As for tonight’s dinner, in honor of New England Clam Chowder Day, I wanted to have some to warm me up. I discovered that I did not have any, so I kicked it Manhattan style (with a side a Light and Crisp Wasa Crackers)!WP_000863
Speaking of Manhattan, a package came on Saturday!
My girlfriend, Meaghen and I are both extreme foodies! I went to visit her in Brooklyn back in December and I wound up bringing home food more than anything else. As we discussed some of our favorite finds, we realized their are things in DE you can’t get in NY, and things in NY you can’t get in DE. We decided to start a food exchange. I shipped her out a box a while back, and Saturday I got a goodie box, with a cute little letter! Among the items included were:

  • dark chocolate covered espresso beans (from the coffee shop she works at),
  • Divine Organics Gojiberry Brittle
  • Indian-style Lentils and Beans
  • Artisana Walnut butter (since she knows I’m a nut butter freak)
  • Hateva Sugar Free Vanilla Almond Pudding (she knows my love for Sugar Free)
  • King Sobe Organic Buckwheat Ramen
  • Biscolinos Coconut and Cacao Nibs

WP_000850

I ate an espresso bean this morning (since I woke up so darn early), and wow! They were the best I’ve ever had. The Biscolinos I had to take a nibble of. It reminded me of the raw food truck Meaghan and I ate at in Brooklyn. I was like a less chocolate-y Almond Joy. I bought some Dunkin Donut Mocha Mint Coffee and I can’t wait to enjoy these two together! I’ve never had Buckwheat noodles, but I’ve contemplate buying them many times! I’m already brainstorming meal ideas! Knowing my love of fiber, you had to have known I was excited about the beans and lentils. Any recipe suggestions? The brittle wasn’t bitter like some dark chocolate and the Gojiberries added the most mild sweetness. I’m very excited to try the pudding! I’ve had soy pudding before and wasn’t a huge fan, but I’m most definitely open to this!

Thanks so much Meaghen! I miss you and can’t wait to see you!

I’m spending the rest of the evening watching “Ted” with my dad, followed by some studying, and light strength training.