Building the Breakfast Cookie

Ode to the Breakfast Cookie… 

Step #1: Mix-Ins

Each breakfast cookie starts with good mix-ins.  You can really be creative and add a li’ bit of this and that, but just keep in mind that a very ripe banana is your key ingredient.  If the banana is sweet, you can’t go wrong. 😉

Last night I combined:

  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 1 [very] ripe banana, mashed well (save 1/4 of it for the top!)
  • 1 T. peanut butter
  • 1-2 T. milk
  • 2 T. wheat bran
  • 2 T. crushed flax
  • spices: roughly 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp clove 

Note: If you usually add sweetener to your oats, don’t be afraid to add a tsp or two of brown sugar, molasses, honey, etc. 

Step #2: Mix, mix, mash!

Don’t hold back! :mrgreen:  I smash it really well and add a little bit of milk as I go, until it is moist (but not soppy!)  Really smoosh it all together.

Step #3: Spread

Once you like the consistency of the mix-ins, spread it evenly on your plate. 

Step #4: Refrigerate!

Top your cookie with some saran wrap and pop it in the fridge overnight (or at least 3-4 hrs.)

Note: Don’t forget to hide the other 1/4 of your banana that you are saving for the top of your cookie.  This avoids having any unmentioned members of the family (or friends) unknowingly consume your cookie garnish.  The top of the fridge is a good place. 😉

Step #5: Enjoy!

Top your cookie with the saved banana portion and savor slowly. 😀  I always eat it with a glass of milk on the side and a large glass of water.  YUM!

Last night I had layed out my gym clothes and bag so that I would have no excuse to take a rest day due to rainy weather (yes, rain…the snow is practically gone already!)  When my alarm clock went off at 6:30, I really felt like sleeping in.  Then I remembered all the brave souls out there who get up at 5 to make it for their workout and suddenly I felt super wimpy.  It was enough to get me to drag myself out of my cozy–oh so cozy!!–bed and head out.

The local gym membership, by the way, is a gift from my parents.  They offered to buy me a one month membership at the local gym since I’ve been having the foot and knee problems.  I couldn’t be happier or more thankful.  Thank you both so much! 😀

I kept my workout simple this morning by cranking out 3 miles in 30 minutes on the elliptical at a resistance of 12.  I have no idea how to work most of the machines, or how to get the most out of a gym workout, but I don’t think it will take too long to figure things out.  And with plenty of group classes being offered, I’ll have chances to really spice up my workout routine.  Excited!!!

When I came home, I sipped on a cup of coffee while blogging for a bit.  Somehow my morning seemed much more relaxed then normal.  I think I owe that to getting up early for a workout this morning. 😀

Quick snack before heading out the door to classes!  I’m really loving these Doctor Kracker Seeded Spelt crisps, by the way.  They’re so buttery and crunchy with a nice rustic touch.  This is one flavor I’ll definitely be buying again.  And I’m not just saying that because they sent me these in the mail either. 😉  I’m always honest with reviews, whether I love ’em or dislike them.

I munched on the crisps with some cottage cheese on the side for dunking.

Lunch was awesome!

I haven’t had a wrap in forever, and sometimes they just hit all the right spots.  I spread about 1/4 c. vegetable hummus over a whole wheat wrap, then preceded to add 1/2 c. black beans.  On top of that, I added a grated carrot and some diced celery.  I love eating carrots with my lunch, and grating it this way adds so much sweetness and avoids having to crunch really loudly during a lecture. :mrgreen:

Then I tucked in the sides and rolled it right up into a peice of foil for easy transport.  I just peel back the foil as I’m eating it…no mess required!

Packed away with a pre-sliced apple for munching.

Also along for the ride, I brought a juicy pear and some almonds.  These were both eaten in the library while I was working on some Nutrition Problems Homework Assignments.  Right now we’re learning all about Type 2 Diabetes, which is fascinating.  It runs in my family, and I’ve always had an interest in learning all that I can about it. 

The good news about many cases of Type 2 Diabetes is that diet and exercise can work against the development of it (even if you’re predisposed through genetic factors/heredity.)  And even in the case where medicine *is* required, we can gain more control by implementing good nutrition and staying active. 😀 

Driving home from classes was a bit nerve-racking.  I absolutely hate driving in storms, and it was pouring cats and dogs out there.  The puddles on the road were really deep, and cars were driving incredibly slow to avoid hydroplaning.  Ugh!  Thankfully I made it home in one peice after telling myself to relax and just stay calm.  Sometimes I just need to remind myself that breathing is not an option, it’s a necessity…haha. 😉

The whole wheat pizza dough (click for recipe) that I made a while back makes two doughs which is perfect for freezing!  Talk about a quick and easy meal to put together.  I had two delicious slices plus a whole, sauteed zucchini on the side.   

Sauteed Zucchini

  • 1 zucchini, sliced thin
  • [tons of] garlic powder (I think I have an obsession with garlic powder!)
  • dried basil
  • splash of balsamic vinegar

Zucchini and balsamic were meant to be together.  😀

+ a night snack of yogurt with 2 T. crushed flax, topped with granola (and a couple of grapes, which my dad claims is the best yogurt mix-in…it *was* pretty good!  I wonder how it would be in oatmeal?)

It’s still pouring outside…I hope you all are staying nice and warm and dry, wherever you might be!

Question(s):

1. Do you think I should try adding grapes to my oatmeal tomorrow morning, or is that just *weird*? :mrgreen: 
 
2. Rain storms…love or hate?  I love them as long as I’m home and safe. 😉  And, as long as it’s not thundering and lightening!

Frugal or not?

Ever think about how much you pay for each week of food?  I’m not talking grocery bills.  I mean, the actual food consumption on a weekly basis.  One of my classes required that we write down exactly how much we spent for a week based on what we ate.  Mine came out to $45.00.  But the most interesting part of this experiment was that it really pinpointed where I spend the most.  Things like organic spinach and cottage cheese were the post expensive, along with yogurts too.  Obviously I would never give some of my favorite foods up, but it’s interesting to see where the money goes. 😉  The good news is that even with choosing healthier fare, my lunches were still cheaper then a typical fastfood meal.  That made me happy. :mrgreen:

Do you think you spend a lot or a little on your food consumption, and where does most of that money go?

For breakfast I had a very frugal bowl of oats.

  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 1/2 c. milk + 1/2 c. water
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  • 1/2 banana
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt with 1 T. flax (stirred in after oats were cooked)
  • toppings: 1/2 whole wheat pumpkin muffin, peanut butter sauce (1 T. peanut butter + 1 T. milk, heated—KERF idea!) and a sprinklin’ of coconu

At first I didn’t know what to think of the yogurt & oatmeal mix.  Not quite hot, not quite cold.  But then as I ate my way through it, I started to really enjoy it.  It was very reminiscent of both regular oats and overnight oats—the best of both worlds. 😀

 For a quick morning snack, I snagged a handful of pistachios and an orange.

I was really excited for today’s workout.  Along with my foot pains, I haven’t been able to indulge in my normal weekend long runs.  In a moment of thinking outside the box, I decided to embrace both running and biking for one fun workout. 

I decided to start with the 4-mile run so that my legs would be nice and fresh.  Then I hopped on my bike for a fast-paced, hilly 6-mile loop.  I’m trying to slowly reintroduce myself to biking, since it always takes me a while to fall in love with it.  Once the warm weather rolls around though, I’d like to lengthen my bike rides and shorten my weekly running mileage.  There are some great loops that I’d love to check out! 😀

After my bike ride, I snacked on an end peice of whole wheat sourdough bread with a pat of cashew butter.

I felt very “spring-ish” after spending my morning outside in 40 degree weather.  A big ol’ salad was exactly what I was craving: greens, cucumbers, carrots, garbanzos, black & green olives, green bell peppers and my favoritest dressing mix: tsp each of olive oil, balsamic, orange juice and a dash of garlic powder and mustard.

+ whole wheat bunnies which are always fun to eat!

These next couple of weeks are going to be insane with homework for me!  I have my presentation on coconuts for Wednesday, two exams on Tuesday, a Cancer presentation coming up, and multiple other assignments (including the Haitian Diet paper, which I promise to turn into a special posting very soon!! 😀 )  I love feeling busy and productive though.  And despite feeling nervous for the presentations, I have to say I’m kind of looking forward to the extra practice.  Besides, talking about coconuts is going to be really interesting. 😀

I had an insatiable appetite this afternoon and made an early snack of Doctor Kracker’s Seeded Spelt crisps (yum, yum, yum!!!) with some vegetable hummus and a laughing cow wedge and an apple on the side. 

Look at this handsome man! 😀

My sister and her husband were having internet problems, so my dad went over to work on it.  I stopped by to chat with Nicole and see my two favorite nephews (aka, Highstreet and Stitch.)  Stitch is such a ham for getting his picture taken.

Everyone was home for dinner tonight, and eggs were on the menu (which, by the way, are another super cheap protein choice!) for a quick and easy meal.  I turned mine into French toast and topped it with peanut butter and homemade blueberry jam.  Veggies on the side were slightly unconventional but still fun to crunch on. 😀

The finale of my meal took place with an oatmeal raisin cookie. 

My mom “won” a few cookies from work, as she met a certain goal.  She passed on this cookie to me, and I opened it up tonight.  So doughy and chewy and perfect! :mrgreen:  I love my oatmeal raisin cookies to be slightly undercooked, chewy with oats and studded with raisins.  This one was so rich and buttery. 

I think I’ll get back to studying for a bit, and then I plan on making a snack and relaxing! 

Question of the Day: Do you think you spend a lot or a little, and where does most of your monetary food bills go?  I think I spend about average, considering where I live.  Some of my costs are definitely a little higher with eating healthy, in regards to organic spinach and low fat dairy products (gotta have my yogurt!)  But I try to cut costs in other areas to make up for it too. 😉

Soup(or) Salad

Quick mornings demand quick breakfasts! 

  • 1.5 c. kashi cinnamon heart to heart
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • 2 T. crushed flax
  • 1/2 banana
  • handful of almonds

My snuffly nose was still here this morning, but that didn’t prevent me from wanting to work out.  I’m taking this as a good sign that my energy levels are coming back to some degree of normalcy. 😀  These last couple of days have left me feeling wiped out! 

I took advantage of a) my unexpected energy levels and b) no foot pain (!!!) to go out for a run.  I’ve always followed the guidelines of listening to my body.  If the pain came back or persisted to be worse, then I’d stop…immediatey.  Speaking of which, I always thought that the whole bit of advice on stopping a run when limping begins to occur is a bit extreme.  I think by the point limping starts, there’s a serious problem, and the run probably could have been cut short sooner.  That’s just my personal opinion.  I much prefer to air on the side of caution. 😀

The run went really well.  I walked down one long hill to avoid pounding on my foot, and really concentrated on short steps with a quick turnover rate.  It’s hard trying to get 3 steps per second, but that’s my goal. 😀  It does wonders for taking the extra impact off the feet and legs!

After my run, I made a quick smoothie-to-go:

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 c. milk
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 T. crushed flax

I *heart* my amazing grass travel cup! :mrgreen:

My packed lunch for today included more sweet potatoes!  One large–very large!!!–sweet potato provided three meals.  Not bad for $1. :mrgreen:

  • 1/4 sweet potato, cooked and diced
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • salsa (about 1/4 c.)

This mix was just okay.  Nothing special, but it wasn’t bad either. 

Also in my packed lunch were orange slices and a Doctor Kracker Sunflower Cheddar flatbread with a laughing cow wedge.  Totally love these Doctor Kracker flatbreads!  I think they’re even tastier then the mini “crisps”.  They’re super crunchy but not as hard as the little ones. 

Last week, I had the funnest package arrive on my doorstep. :mrgreen:

Elli at KIND Snacks offered to send me some samples of their products!  I’ve sampled the KIND fruit and nut bar before (and loved it!) and can’t wait to dig into the rest of their flavors! 😀 

I snagged the Passion Fruit Macadamia bar for an afternoon snack while in Community Nutrition.  Honestly, I did not love this bar.  I *did* love the coconut bits and the crispy puffed rice peices, but there was something about the tropical flavor that I wasn’t a fan of.  I’m thinking that’s personal preference though.  If you normally go for the fruity bars, you might enjoy this particular bar. 😉

I didn’t get to eat until 7 tonight, but it was totally worth it for this Moosewood Cookbook Minestrone Soup. 😀  It was chock full of zucchini, garbanzo beans, green peppers, onions, tomatoes and barley.  I love tomato based soups.  They make such an awesome salad replacement in the cold winter months. 😀

Annies whole wheat bunnies kept things simple.

I’m taking the night off from homework since today is technically my Friday.  I feel as if I got a lot done this afternoon in the library, working on a paper with one of my friends.  We’re focusing on the dietary habits of Haiti and it’s so fascinating!  It totally has me captivated. 😀

If you had to pick one of these three ways to eat your vegetables, would it be in smoothie, soup or salad form?  Honesly, I love all of them, but if I absolutely had to choose, I’d pick soup (although I can guarentee you that this will change when summer rolls around. 😀 )