Archive for February, 2010

Oatmeal Observations

Don’t you just love how making one thing in the kitchen can lead to creating another thing, and another…? I do! Well, case in point, yesterday’s successful batch of Cappuccino Chip Muffins got my mind in a coffee-chocolate fix. What else could I concoct with my favorite flavors? Yep…oatmeal! In my mind, oatmeal is a blank canvas – there are endless possibilities…except, I think I’ll stay away from the savory side.

Besides adding espresso and chocolate to my oats today, I also wanted to add another variable to my Sunday science experiment. My dad suggested that I try rinsing my rolled oats before cooking them. Alright, sure…that’s not too difficult. So, I rinsed my 2/3 cup of rolled oats and then cooked them per usual in 1 cup of water.

Oatmeal Observations: The oats did not absorb the water as quickly, resulting in a little bit longer cooking time, and a creamier result. I tend to like my oatmeal thicker than not, but today it just worked.

Experiment:

1 cup water

2/3 cup rolled oats, rinsed

1/2 T ground flax

1/2 T instant espresso powder

1 tsp. pure vanilla

1 T mini chocolate chips

1 T chopped walnuts

+ 1/4 cup 1% milk

Results: A very satisfied scientist with a full belly and espresso buzzzz!

***

Today’s Agenda: MORE studying, LESS blogging! I’m even bribing myself with coffee by studying at Starbucks this afternoon. Whatever works : ) I hope you have a fabulous Sunday!

Always,

~ The Nutrition Nut

February 28, 2010 at 10:36 AM 14 comments

Real Food Reigns Supreme

Evening Readers!

Hope you had a refreshing Saturday. I sure did. I whizzed through my to-do list, and somehow skimmed over my homework ; ) After our last “chat”, I got to baking — my favorite way to procrastinate. I asked my mom to send me her recipe for Cappuccino Chip Muffins that I’ve grown up on. She started making these in 1992! This is the first time I’ve actually made them; they are super simple and definitely a crowd pleaser.

espresso

semisweet chocolate morsels

a hint of cinnamon

I most certainly ate not one, but two warm muffins & a homemade iced latte for an afternoon snack…you betcha! Not long after, I was back in the kitchen attacking the monster of a butternut squash that I brought home in my backpack Thursday. This is what it turned into:

Not bad, eh? It was scrumptious with a capital S.

I roasted the squash with olive oil, real maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt & pepper at 400* for approximately 30 minutes, until the edges were caramelized and the house was saturated with sweet air. Then baby spinach was washed, creamy avocado was chopped, chevre was crumbled, and pepitas were sprinkled on top…a drizzle of balsamic was the finishing touch. I definitely need to thank my teacher for this one.

Overall, I had a very scrumptious Saturday! I am so thankful to be able to fill my belly with nutritious and delicious eats. I really, really am.

Check It Out: My Green Monster recipe is featured on Green Monster Movement. Thanks, Angela!

Take it easy,

~ Hillary

February 27, 2010 at 8:01 PM 12 comments

I Like It Green

Hello, how goes it? I got up nice and early this morning and have been crossing things off my to-do list right and left.

First thing first…breakfast! Today’s inspiration came from Miss Caitlin. She is sort of famous for her pumpkin yogurt, and even though it’s no longer “pumpkin season”, she still enjoys her orange yogurt bowls on a regular basis. I love pumpkin, so yesterday while on my grocery quest, I bought a huge 30 oz. can of pumpkin. I was really excited adding another item to my breakfast possibilities list, but was so disappointed when I did not like it [icky texture]. I maybe ate half of what is pictured, and then resorted to a piece of toast. Dang it! Now I’ve got a life-supply of canned pumpkin that I need to figure out what to do with. Ideas?

1/3 cup Pumpkin, 1/3 cup 0%  Plain Greek, 1/3 cup Humboldt Honey Granola + a few raisins & drizzle of agave

Whole Wheat Toast with Real Butter, Cinnamon & Sugar

…sometimes you just need the real deal.

Next on my list: SPIN! I went to my usual 10:00am class at The Resort and left an hour later after a rockin’ ride. I think that makes three hard rides for the week – yippee!

After running a couple errands, I refueled with a Green Monster. Oh, how I missed these. It’s been far too long.

In the mix:

1 banana

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 T ground flax

1 cup fresh spinach

Ice

…polished off with of hunk of 73% dark chocolate, of course!

I am hoping the addition of the oats to my smoothie will make it stick to my ribs a little longer than normal, so I can keep moving on down my Saturday “chore” list.

What are ya’ll up to today? Anyone have a kick-butt workout to share?

Peace Out,

~ Hillary

***

Your Questions Answered

What’s your workout schedule like? Do you plan it out or just do whatever you feel like doing that particular day?

My workout schedule is fairly random. It changes depending on whether or not I am at school [where I have a “free” gym], or at home where I do not belong to a gym, but have friends to run with/make me run a million miles =] I currently exercise an average of 5 days per week. I would probably prefer 6, but my school schedule makes that difficult. With the luxurious recreation center on campus [a.k.a. The Resort], I am able to switch up my workouts…as there are numerous types of cardio machines and fun classes, such as Zumba. The majority of my gym workouts usually include some sort of strength training as well. While at home, my workouts consist of running and DanceFit classes [run 3-4 days a week & dance 3 days].

February 27, 2010 at 1:10 PM 9 comments

5 & [Barely] Alive

Ahhhhhh [sigh]. Week 5 is officially over and I made it out alive…just barely! I had one long week with a huge Hump Day. For some reason, I feel smothered with exams this semester. I have 6 exams in a 4-week span, not including an equal amount of quizzes – gahhh. Can Spring Break come any sooner?

I woke up feeling exhausted this morning and dreaded the thought of O. Chem + Geography with my 80-year-old monotone professor. I somehow managed to get through my classes, although I am pretty sure I looked like sleep-walking zombie. The last thing I wanted to do was exercise, but I usually meet my roommate at the gym Friday afternoons – and since she was my ride home – I mustered up my hidden energy for a “workout”. I think it’s really interesting how one day your body can haul a** and the next it can’t move faster than a banana slug. Weird, isn’t it?

Friday:

  • 20 minutes: Treadmill [5 minutes each @ 3.6, 3.8, 4.0, 4.2mph]
  • 15  minutes: Run [indoor track]
  • 10 minutes: Stair Master

After eating my 2nd piece of PB & honey toast, I couldn’t stand it any longer and set out in the stormy weather on a quest for groceries. Three stuffed reusable bags later…mission accomplished! With a restocked kitchen and [homemade] iced coffee + dark chocolate in my system, I felt so much better.

I made up for my lack of produce during the day with a colorful salad for dinner:

Crispy, Crunchy Organic Romaine, Avocado, Carrot, Cucumber, Red Onion, Yellow Bell Pepper & TJ’s Parmesan Ranch

…it reminded me of home : )

Think there might be some fro-yo/ice cream in the near future with the roomies.

Happy Weekend!

~ Hillary

February 26, 2010 at 8:38 PM 7 comments

No Dairy. No Produce. No Chocolate!

Howdy ho, neighbor!

I really don’t have anything exciting to talk about tonight [no news is good news, right?], but I thought I would pop in for a quick hello.

I think my Statistics exam went swimmingly today. I’ll have to wait to find out if that’s really true. Food Lab…not much to say about that either. Today’s topic of study was food preservation, so we made jams and pressure-processed carrots, etc. I did come home with a butternut squash in my backpack. Haha, gotta love free veggies!

On another random note, today’s eats were scattered across the flavor map. My grocery stash is so low, it’s ridiculous. Ya’ll know I go grocery shopping weekly, so I guess I had an extra-large appetite this week. I swear I’ve got nothing: no dairy, no produce, no chocolate! Tomorrow = Friday = Grocery Shopping Day! I think my cart is going to overflow =]

Example #1 of my fridge scrounging:

Whole Wheat Toast with Chevre, Fresh Basil & Tomato

Example #2:

Apricot Almond Element Bar

I’ve only got 3 left! I ate this after my exam around 1:00pm and it held me over through my workout until 7:30pm! That’s a substantial snack!

I was really energized after class (thanks, Element Bar), and excited to put on my new Nike Dri-Fit top and get spinning!

Heart-Pumping Cardio

  • 18-mile ride [48 minutes spinning]
  • erg [12 minutes rowing]

Arms

  • 2 x 12 lat pull-down @ 40 lbs.
  • 2 x 12 seated row @ 40 lbs.
  • 2 x 12 tricep extension @ 10 lbs.

Abs

  • 3 x 12 side dips @ 10 lbs. [each side]
  • 3 x 20 stability ball crunches
  • 2 x 10 “knee-to-chest rollers”
  • + 20 squats @ 10 lbs.

Alright, I must shut up now and get crackin’ on the chem homework!

Night,

Hillary

February 25, 2010 at 9:32 PM 3 comments

I’m In Love

…with spinning!

I had a kick-butt workout last night!

  • 1.5-mile run [indoor track]
  • 12-mile ride [spinning for 32 min.]
  • 1.5-mile run, including sprint intervals [indoor track]
  • + 4 x 15 “knee-to-chest step raises”

The new spinning bikes at the gym are awesome. I finally found something to push me to that next “level”…and it’s such a fun way to cross-train. As much as I would love to just run, and run, and run…I know that is not what’s best for my body. Drenched in sweat and high off endorphines, I hurried across campus to my bi-monthly Nutrition and Food Science Association meeting. I scored a sweet tee:

Only the cool kids wear I <3 Fruits & Veggies shirts =]

At home and out of the rain, I scarfed down a huge piece of leftover pizza while catching up with a friend on the phone. Then it was time to study my fruits & veggies for my Elementary Foods exam.

***

Today has been one of the longest Wednesdays to date. I was at school from 10:00am – 6:30pm! I was really hoping to post this morning before I left home, but clearly that did not happen. I inhaled a yogurt mess of 2% Greek, 1/4 cup Raisin Bran, 1/4 cup Humboldt Honey Granola & 1/2 banana, tossed my lunch into my backpack, and was out the door.

PB&Co Bee’s Knees & Banana Sandwich on Whole Wheat

Carrot, Cucumber & Tomato

2 TJ’s Truffle Hearts [from my valentine]

After my Elementary Foods exam [which went well, or so I feel], I had an hour and half to kill before my last class, so I decided to search for something to satisfy my already empty tummy. What is better than a hot latte in the middle of a long [wet & cold] day? I fought and fought the temptation, but at last…I caved and lost the Coffee Challenge. It was definitely worth it though. After a week and half of being espresso-free, my grande decaf latte with raw sugar was tastier than ever. However, this means no Friday Starbucks treat for me.

Warning: repeat photo…oopsie!

I was famished by the time I finally got home, so I whipped up my favorite 3-minute-meal:

Dr. Praeger’s California Love Veggie Burger + Mashed Avocado & Salsa

…with a side of black beans

I’m glad I made it through the day in one piece. It’s been one heck of a Hump Day! I’m feeling pretty prepared for my Statistics exam after tonight’s review session, and am looking forward to getting on the bike again tomorrow. Spinning = love.

Hope you are having a nice night,

~ Hillary

***

Just a reminder, I TWEET @ HILLontherun =]

February 24, 2010 at 8:13 PM 18 comments

It’s the little things…

Afternoon, friends!  Tuesdays are officially the worst day of the week [in my book], but so far, so good…

I finally got out of bed around 8:15 – an hour later than I had wanted – but I must have needed the extra hour because I was still tired and moody (?) upon waking. I was in the kitchen making my breakfast when my roommate strolls in wearing her pajamas, pours a bowl of cereal, and asks, “Don’t you not have class until 11:00?”. She was right. As I’ve said before, I l.o.v.e. my mornings! I had already showered, gotten dressed and had a pot of oat bran simmering away before she had woken up…and she had class at 9:30! I hate having to rush my morning routine : )

Anywho…my bowl of oat bran today was double delicious! I like oatmeal 12x better than oat bran, but it’s nice to switch it up occasionally. I learned that the key to making a successful bowl of bran is cooking it on LOW heat, and making sure to not overcook it.

1 1/4 cup water

1/2 cup oat bran

1/2 T ground flax

~ 1/4 cup blueberries

~ 1 T chopped walnuts

[TJ’s “baking” walnuts are so convenient!]

~ 1 tsp. agave

splash of 1% milk

A cup of [caffeinated] green tea is becoming a part of my morning routine.

***

Thankfully, we finished our chemistry lab early today, so I was able to come home to enjoy a hot lunch on this rainy, cold day [bipolar weather, I think so].

brown rice & stir-fried Soyaki tofu + slightly steamed broccolini, carrot & sesame seeds

The brown rice & tofu were left over from last night’s dinner, so I was able to just reheat them and enjoy within minutes. I honestly liked today’s lunch better than yesterday’s dinner – mmm…healthy & delicious!

***

It’s the little things in life that seem to be bringing me the most happiness right now: a creamy bowl of oats, a hot cup of tea, natural lighting and bright photographs, my reader’s sweet comments, a sweaty workout, a new magazine…

When life get’s tough, what makes you happy?

My muscles are soreness-free, so I’ll be hitting up the gym before my Nutrition & Food Science Association meeting tonight. Elementary Foods exam tomorrow. Statistics exam Thursday. Here we go…

February 23, 2010 at 2:54 PM 12 comments

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