Monthly Archives: July 2013

Lunch/Dinner in 25 minutes: Chia Berry Oatmeal

I’ve been craving iron lately thanks to some ongoing PCOS issues (I’ll leave it at that!) so oatmeal has been my go-to for a quick lunch and dinner. I have found that eating oatmeal in the morning will make me hungry quickly, but it makes a very filling lunch or dinner. This is a great one-dish meal that involves minimal prep time and clean-up. It’s packed full of fiber and all kinds of good vitamins, too!

Chia Berry Baked Oatmeal

1/2 c rolled oats (not instant)
1-1.5 c fresh or frozen berries of your choice
2 tbsp chia seeds

Preheat oven to 375. Combine 1/2 c rolled oats in an oven-safe glass dish and 1 c water (or milk) and microwave for 3-5 minutes. Measure out 2 tbsp chia seeds in a separate bowl. Add 2 tbsp water and let sit for a few minutes. Mix up the chia seeds and oatmeal; add another tablespoon of water if it looks too dry. Fold in berries and bake for 15 minutes.

I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats (although I’m switching to steel cut this weekend – exciting!), 1.3 cups of the frozen three-berry blend from Costco, and chia seeds from Costco.

Nutrition Details
400 calories
14g fat
19g fiber
14g protein
3% vitamin a, 28% vitamin C, 34% calcium, 34% iron

If you’re looking for a quick lunch to pack for work, I can’t recommend this highly enough! It reheats well and the flavors just get better overnight.


(Not the prettiest photo, but it sure is delicious! This is about half a portion; I forgot to snap a photo before I started eating.)


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Dinner in 30 minutes: Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowls

One of the main complaints I read often about real food is that it takes a long time to make. While many people don’t have time to cook up extremely elaborate meals, you can feed your family good, nutritious, homemade food without spending hours in the kitchen.

Here’s a recipe that takes 30 minutes from start to finish, and produces enough leftovers for at least a few extra meals. It’s outrageously good, ridiculously cheap, filling, and nutritious. What’s more, you can make this for a weight-loss or weight-maintenance diet while still feeding your spouse/partner the same meal. I enjoyed one serving of this for dinner, while my husband got the nutrition he needs by doubling his portion of quinoa, adding more cheese, and eating a roasted sweet potato on the side.


Cook up about 1c dry quinoa (makes 3c cooked -great for leftovers, and it freezes well!)
Meanwhile, bake your chicken. I bake mine in the oven for 10-15 minutes & then finish them on the stovetop.
Chop up a few cucumbers and carrots, plus some celery if you have it on hand. (I didn’t.)
When the quinoa is done, portion it into bowls and top with goat cheese or blue cheese.
Stir the cheese around so it melts in the hot quinoa.
Fold in the chopped vegetables and chicken.
Top with buffalo sauce of choice and stir well so that everything is mixed together.

One serving is 3/4c cooked quinoa, 1 chopped chicken breast, 1-2 tbsp buffalo sauce of choice, and 1/2c chopped cucumber plus any other veggies you want.

I used organic quinoa from Costco, a 4-oz Perdue frozen chicken breast (also from Costco), 1 tbsp of Wing Time buffalo sauce (medium), 1 oz goat cheese from Whole Foods, and 1/2 c chopped cucumber with the peel.

Nutrition facts: 11 g fat (4g saturated), 34g carbs, 3g fiber, 1g sugar, 646 mg sodium, 33g protein, 9% vit A, 8% vit C, 3% calcium, 27% iron. Cost: $2.00 for 6 generous servings

I served this with roasted summer squash on the side for extra vegetables. I roasted the squash while I cooked the chicken, so that didn’t add any extra time. It 30 minutes from start to finish and was well worth the minimal effort.

This would also be delicious with blue cheese instead of goat cheese!

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A delicious breakfast

I have been so negligent about posting lately, but wanted to share my amazing breakfast from this morning!


One roasted sweet potato with raw almond butter. It was so good that I had seconds. It sounds like an odd combination, but it was absolutely scrumptious.

Lunch today will probably be a salad. Snack is a lemon Quest bar and a diet coke. Dinner? Who knows.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

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Weekend Recap

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Ours was busy from dawn to sundown. Saturday was spent with family. I got a pedicure, played outside with my toddler, and ate some really delicous gluten-free chocolate cake.

Sunday was spent shopping, cleaning, and moving around heavy furniture. I got a cleaning bug and decided to rearrange the house. It looks pretty good!

My arthritic knee was really aching and sore on Friday, so I took two days off of exercise. I’m still not sure if that was the best decision… this morning’s workout (just 10 minutes on the elliptical + 20 minutes biking) was tough. I keep having to remind myself that it’s okay for that to be all I can do right now. I have to take a long view and just put the time in with light impact, and hope that I’ll be back to some kind of routine at this time next year.

Really, when it comes down to it – my “workouts” are nothing to write home about. I can barely break a sweat. But it has to be enough. I have to remember that it’s literally all I can do right now. I can’t work out to burn calories… I just have to move a little bit to keep sane. And so, it has to be okay.

Today’s menu is pretty simple.

Post-workout breakfast: spinach shake (frozen banana, 1 c almond milk, 4c spinach), coffee (with 3 tbsp whole milk + 2 truvia), 1/3 of a large avocado, supplements


It was delicious and so filling!

Morning snack: 1 hard-boiled egg
Lunch: 2 chicken breasts drizzled with lemon juice
Afternoon snack: 2 hard-boiled eggs
Dinner: 6 oz wild salmon filet, asparagus, a few slices of avocado
Dessert: 1 slice GF bread with 1 tbsp almond butter

Heavy on the protein, light on the carbs (35g sugar total), filling, home-cooked, and delicious. Today is shaping up to be a lower calorie day, I think.

Happy Monday, everyone!

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Fake Fruit Cobbler… the best dessert ever.


Hope everyone had a great holiday! We had a wonderful time celebrating my birthday a day late and America with burgers, grilled veggies, and a bodacious salad with home-grown lettuce. (Sandra, if you happen to see this, happy belated birthday to you!)

My stomach has been feeling off lately. I don’t know if it’s stress or the heat, but I’m frequently hitting 8 pm with hundreds of calories remaining. Not surprisingly, my weight has dropped… imagine that, what you eat affects your weight. 😉 anyway, I’d like to keep it above 124, so I’ve been adding a fake fruit cobbler to my evening meal.

I used to LOVE cobbler – the more sugar, the better. Now, I wouldn’t eat a normal one anyway since I’m gluten-free. But I’ve been experimenting a little bit and have found that baked fruit by itself is probably my favorite dessert of all time. It’s filling and there’s automatic portion control, since it takes about 20 minutes to make.

By cutting my fruit intake to one bowl for dessert, picking more nutrient dense fruit (peaches and berries instead of grapes), and upping my protein a lot, I’ve been able to pretty much eliminate cravings. 5c of grapes in the morning just was not working out.


This beautiful bowl is one white peach, sliced, with about half a cup of frozen blueberries and a few local raspberries thrown in. I like to slice the peach thinly and then layer it with berries. Bake at 375 for about 18 minutes or until the fruit is the texture you want. The juices run together and become thick and delicious. You can top a bowl with 1 tsp of sugar or your sweetener of choice… I tried both ways and I honestly prefer the plain version more. This makes an amazing topping for vanilla ice cream too! 

Have a wonderful weekend, all!


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Happy Monday, everyone!

We had a wonderful weekend full of family, fun, and healthy food. Not too much in the way of exercise -it rained a lot and we were so busy that sprints through Costco will have to suffice for movement. I tried sopresata (sp?) for the first time this weekend, and it was amazing. We enjoyed some great Alexander Valley cabernet on Saturday night with dinner.

Checking in with food: I’m pleased to report that upping my protein significantly has made a gigantic difference in my eating. I’ve been really intentional about getting close to 100 grams per day, as opposed to 55-60 (which I’d been getting previously.) My new favorite combination is chicken breast topped with mango salsa… delicious.150 calories and 22g protein.

Kicked off the day with 4.3 miles in 30 minutes on the elliptical. I tried 5 miles last week and it really aggravated my arthritic right knee, so 4ish miles on a lower resistance will have to do for now.

I’m grateful to be able to move and sweat, even if it’s not as much as I’d like.

Today’s menu…

Post-workout breakfast: green smoothie (4c spinach, 1c almond milk, 1 frozen banana, a few ice cubes) + supplements (glucosamine, fish oil, vitamin D, fiber gummies… I’m old) + coffee Morning snack: 6oz chicken breast with 60g mango salsa (200 calories, 33g protein) Lunch: Chicken and quinoa topped with marinara sauce (340 calories, 34g protein) Afternoon snack: Celebrating a co-worker’s birthday with a small slice of gf cake (estimating around 200-250 calories.) Dinner: Arugula salad with lemon dressing, a little crumbled feta cheese, and grapefruit, plus a cocktail. Date night!

What are you doing to make July amazing?

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