Brian and I are in the process of moving, a chaotic event which we are managing by largely knowing where our next meal is coming from. When it came to breakfast, though, Brian had a quandary. He wasn't going to have time to make his usual weekly stash of granola, let alone likely be able to find the pans and ingredients he would need in our many boxes (over 75!). So I forwarded him a recipe for Overnight Oats from my peer coach Jennifer, a recipe she herself had found on Pinterest.
Separately from this, though also during the move, I taught a course on Meal Planning last weekend at a local community center. By far, the most requested recipe of the workshop was for Overnight Oats. Everyone it seems is looking for a quick, easy to assemble breakfast that is low in sugar, high in protein, and will keep you satisfied until lunchtime. Oh, and it must taste good, too.
The recipe I present here is an adaptation of Jennifer's version based on what Brian created using her recipe as a template. And what I am really telling you is that this recipe is truly a guideline that is so easy to manipulate into your own culinary creation. For example, Brian prefers to add the fruit and seeds in the morning so they are still a bit crunchy and add a nice textural contrast, but the fruit can be added the night before if you prefer. The amount of liquid can be adjusted to your desired thick- or thinness.
For the night before:
1/2 cup old-fashioned, rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 cup yogurt (plain, unflavored, unsweetened)
1/4 cup milk of your preference (dairy, almond, coconut, etc.)
1/2 tablespoon honey (adjust to taste)
1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax meal, optional
Cinnamon, to taste, optional
Stir together and store covered in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, add:
1/2 cup fresh berries, washed and rinsed or 1/4 cup dried fruit
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
Stir to combine and enjoy!
Nutritional awesomeness: Oats have a lot of protein and fiber. They are excellent sources of a number of vitamins and minerals including iron, thiamin, folate and magnesium. Studies have shown honey has anti-viral properties. Both chia seeds and flax meal are good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Blueberries are high in anti-oxidants, and strawberries are a good source of Vitamin C. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and an excellent source of iron. Their high "good" fat content means a little goes a long way and will contribute to satiety. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E, copper and selenium.
Happy Wednesday Everyone!
Lots of good stuff on the web this week to keep us healthy. First up is a free online offering from my friend Melanie Elkin of Yoga'licious. Melanie is doing great work in the world teaching women to love themselves just as they are, that nothing needs to be fixed or is broken. I did a retreat with her last year and it was magical, especially because she attracted such a great group of women with phenomenally positive energy. And now you don't have to live in California to learn from Melanie. Starting next week, she is offering an 8-day online program with daily prompts for self-care that guide you to love yourself just as you are! It doesn't take a lot of time, but the rewards for creating a shift in how you see and love yourself could be huge. And it's FREE! Whee hoo Yay! Did I mention the free part? If you are ready for a more positive relationship with yourself, all you need to do is click here.
It seems there's a lot of conflicting advice in the nutritional world about what to eat, when to eat it, etc. Paleo is right for some but not all. Some people thrive on a vegan diet. I am a failed vegetarian who gets a lot of energy from animal and fish protein. If you are looking for some simple guidelines, check out this recent New York Times op-ed.
Kraft is removing all synthetic dyes from it's Mac n' Cheese. Did you know that a lot of synthetic food additives and colors we use in the United States are banned in Europe? Britain's University of Liverpool did a groundbreaking study in the mid-2000's showing the harmful side effects in children of the combination of certain additives, most commonly leading to hyperactivity disorders.
And that's a wrap on this edition of Web Wellness Wednesday!
In good health,
Meal Planning reduces stress. It saves time. It can boost connection within a family. It also can lead to healthier food choices, a strengthened immune system, and less illness.
We are moving this week. The last time we moved was across the country, and it was easier than moving locally. There is no gray area moving across the country. You pack what you can in a suitcase or two, ship a box of cooking/eating supplies, and get on a plane. This local move has us in a geographic purgatory, stuck between two apartments, not fully living in either, sleeping in one but doing laundry in the other. It's happening during a very busy month for me professionally with multiple workshops plus travel and family events. It was already testing me when this happened: a flat tire.
Funny enough, I didn't just have one flat tire experience, but two over a twenty-four hour period. The mantra for this move has become: I accept. It's one I also use when driving in LA traffic.
One thing that is not contributing to my stress is wondering where my next meal is coming from. As we do every week, Sunday we planned our meals for the week, less elaborate this week than most. Brian hit the farmers market, I went to the grocery store, and the fridge is stocked. I know exactly what we are having each night for dinner, which always includes a big green salad and a lean protein. Because we cook once and eat twice, I also know what I am having for lunch most days. I am prone to emotional eating, especially when untethered as I am now. Meal planning helps prevent that and it ensures that what I am eating makes me feel good and gives me sustained energy for this massive transition.
This Saturday, April 25, I am teaching a Meal Planning workshop at the Borchard Community Center in Newbury Park, California. Registration is open to everyone, just go here and type "meal planning" into the search bar. It's only $20 and it's going to teach you how to plan meals, shop for those meals and even create those meals. You will walk out of there with your own weekly meal plan. If you don't live in Ventura County, stay tuned as I will be offering it as a webinar later this year.
I'll be back next Tuesday with another recipe. In the meantime, if you are in the area, I'd love to see you at my Meal Planning workshop! Also, I'd love to hear your meal planning strategies in the Comments below.
In good health,
This is the better late than never edition as we've be home only a day since a rush trip to DC over the weekend to meet our new (and only) nephew! Whew! Plus we signed the lease on an apartment this morning so that means we are in moving mode. Rather, we are in moving mode as much as two procrastinators in denial can be. We are totally thinking about packing a box or two soon. I'll keep you posted if we do.
In the meantime, here are some gems from around the internet.
This essay by David Brooks should be required reading because it makes the distinction between resume virtues and eulogy virtues and how to develop the latter and become a better person. Really, it's worth your time. It comes down to what do you want people to remember and say about you after you've exited the building.
Orthorexia Nervosa. It's not categorized as an eating disorder...yet. But the obsession to eat healthy and restrictively so can easily become dangerous.
I love travel and I love dogs. And if you are reading this, it's pretty likely you love to travel and at least like dogs. So here you go: a video about how a dog makes traveling easier.
Have a good rest of the week everyone! And I'll be back next week to let you know if we actually managed to pack a box or two in support of our impending move.
With that post title I am pretty sure my in-laws just unsubscribed from my blog. ;)
This Saturday I am hosting a workshop on battling sugar addiction, something I have struggled with my whole life. A couple of years ago I spent an entire year being sick, my body sending me all sorts of warning signs I couldn't quite decipher (and neither could the Western medical community as it happened). Finally, I found a nutritionist who successfully managed her own lupus through diet alone. When she and I crafted a plan to strengthen my immune system and bring my body back to health, eliminating sugar was a huge part of that. That is not to say that I don't still enjoy the occasional piece of chocolate or bowl of frozen yogurt, but it does mean that processed sugar products are no longer part of my daily life and neither is napping for three hours in the afternoon and wondering what is wrong with me!
My brain freaked out a little bit at the thought of deleting sweets from my daily routine, and now I know why. It turns out that sugar is nine (9!) times more addictive than cocaine, a finding supported by separate studies done at Princeton University and the University of Bordeaux in France. My nutritionist suggested that if I need something a little sweet after dinner, that a date would be a great choice. They are loaded with anti-oxidants and other good for you vitamins and minerals, are considered low glycemic, and have a reputation for being the Viagra of Saudi Arabia (ahem and bada bing bada boom!). If you want more information about the health benefits of dates, check out this article, and this one, and also this one.
If you live in Ventura County, California and you're interested in learning more about successfully battling sugar addiction, I'd love to meet you at my Sugar Blues workshop this Saturday, April 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Dos Vientos Community Center in Newbury Park. Registration is open to everyone, even if you are not a resident of the Conejo Valley. Just go to their registration page, type Sugar Blues into the Keyword Search, and follow the prompts.
And for those of you wonderful people who read this blog from other parts of the world, I'll be offering this as a webinar come Fall 2015 so stay tuned!
Let's cut right to it: women say horrible things to themselves about their bodies, and often we do it in front of impressionable young girls. It needs to stop, NOW. I grew up surrounded by women, young and old, who struggled with their weight, and I now can see that struggle is more about self-acceptance and self-love than it is about numbers on a scale.
If you are living your struggle with weight loss out loud in front of your daughter, then she is learning that she is not acceptable exactly as she is. She is learning there is something shameful about a woman's body. And that lesson, well, it sticks and can create some perilous outcomes down the road like eating disorders. These articles are worthy of your time, especially since if we are to shift cultural attitudes about women's bodies, then we have to start with ourselves.
This New York Times op-ed highlights the meaning behind the existence and removal of the Facebook "I Feel Fat" emoticon.
Young girls listen to the way we adult women talk about ourselves. This helpful article points out ways to change how we talk in front of our daughters.
If you want more articles on body shaming and its pervasiveness in our culture, The Huffington Post has a good assortment on this topic and you can choose from their catalog here.
Thank you for reading this post and one or two of the articles, considering your internal conversation about your body, and hopefully committing to making it a loving and joyful dialog.
At the end of this week, I have one of those crazy trips where you are on a plane for six hours each way just to spend a mere 48 hours in a place. It's the kind of trip that can make my immune system go haywire and turn a fun trip into a miserable weekend of being sick on the road. There are a couple of things I do in the days leading up to the trip to strengthen my immune system so that I ensure I am well throughout my travels, and I think you'll find them helpful, too!
Get plenty of sleep. Nothing depletes your immunity like a lack of sleep, so in the nights leading up to travel, I keep a strict bedtime that allows for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I try to avoid things that can interfere with my sleep cycle. That means I turn off my cell phone and computer by 8:00 p.m., and I avoid consuming anything with caffeine (hello chocolate!) after about 2:00 p.m. During the flight and at my destination, I'll sleep with a sleep mask. It fits comfortably over my eyes and yet blocks out all the light in an airplane or a hotel room (so many little lights from the TV to the alarm clock to the fire alarm). Years ago, I did a workshop with a famous expert on intuition. She talked about the importance of sleep and how she would cover up all the little lights in her hotel room. I can't even imagine how long it took her to track down all the light sources. Um, so yeah, using a sleep mask is much easier.
Exercise regularly. Even if it is just 15 minutes on my yoga mat or a 20 minute walk, I try to exercise every day leading up to a trip. And then, in the airport, I'll find an empty gate area to do a little yoga or Qigong. Here is my favorite Qigong move if I only have a couple of minutes, and you don't even need to be traveling to do it. Try it if you are feeling sluggish at your desk.
Eat to feel good. To operate optimally on a trip, eating well the week of the trip is paramount. Avoid sugar, alcohol, and, for me, soy (all trigger immune responses in my body). Eat green vegetables at least two out of three daily meals. Instead of having a green smoothie every other day, I'll try to drink one per day. I travel with these handy flax seed packets and powdered green juices. I sprinkle the flax on oatmeal or yogurt at breakfast to ensure I am getting enough fiber in my diet. Let's be honest, staying regular on the road is important (eating an apple also can help in this department). When possible, we reserve a hotel room with a mini-fridge so we can stock it with our favorite foods, including yogurt, hummus and berries. I'll bring my vitamins, which these days include a women's multi-vitamin, fish oil, and glutamine.
Stay hydrated. One big reason to avoid alcohol the week of a trip is it is so dehydrating, a state only compounded by a pressurized airplane cabin. I bring two empty 1L water bottles to the airport so I can stay hydrated on the flight, especially since some airlines are pretty stingy with the water (United, for example). At my destination, I drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning. Just hit the breakfast buffet, grab a cup of hot water from the coffee station and squeeze the juice from a couple of lemon quarters in it. Drink this first and then have breakfast. It's detoxifying and aids your digestive system.
Do your research. To stay healthy at my destination, I do a little research ahead of time. As gluten and I are no longer friends, I'll look up restaurants that are good for gluten free eaters and actively avoid cross contamination. I'll find juice bars near my hotel so I can boost my immune system and hydrate with green juice. If I have a layover, I'll use the GateGuru app to find out what food and retail options are available at the airport.
Enjoy the trip...and then once I've eaten and exercised to optimize my immune system, packed to preserve my health, and researched where my next five meals (or so) are coming from, I'll sit back, relax and enjoy the trip!
Now it's your turn. What is your best tip for staying healthy on the road?
Hi friends! I am Molly. Welcome to my blog where I share my creations and adventures to help you create a life you love. I am passionate about food, travel, and health! Thanks for stopping by and looking around. All photos are taken by me unless otherwise attributed. I develop and write all my recipes with attribution for inspiration and ideas where applicable. All of my recipes are gluten free.