What to Eat For Breakfast When It’s Hot

We had our first taste of summer on Mother’s Day–a hot and humid one with temps in the 80s. Despite our ridiculously cold and snowy winter and spring, humidity will never be met with smiles from me. Give me cold over hot humidity any day!

Don’t let the trees fool you–it was hot!

The change in weather, coupled with the fact that the A/C hadn’t been set to go off at work, left us with a very stuffy office on Monday. I was glad for the cool breakfast I had already eaten (smoothie), while my coworker waited for her breakfast (oatmeal) to get to room temperature so she could enjoy tolerate it.

This got me thinking about some good grab and go breakfasts for the warmer weather and wanted to share some of my favorites. The best part is that they’re all easily adapted to what you’re in the mood for and can be made a day or more ahead if that’s how you roll. You know, like when you set up your breakfasts assembly line style.

Yogurt parfait assembly

Smoothie

My basic formula is:

  • protein powder
  • greens
  • fruit
  • fats
  • liquid

In the mix below is Garden of Life RAW Organic Protein Vanilla (here’s a review of the protein powder), a heaping teaspoon of almond butter, frozen banana chunks, giant handful of mixed greens, about a tablespoon of hemp seeds, a heaping teaspoon of shredded coconut, and about a cup of unflavored, unsweetened almond milk.
Green smoothie

A variation of this is the smoothie bowl. You usually use yogurt as your protein source and don’t add a liquid so it stays thick enough to eat with a spoon. I made the delicious blackberry coconut smoothie bowl below using a recipe from Hello Natural.

blackberry smoothie bowl

Yogurt Parfait

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know how much I love my yogurt parfaits! I have a basic formula for my parfaits:

  • Plain full fat yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Omega fatty acid
  • Sweetener
  • Nuts

Here’s a view of the layers:

strawberry yogurt parfait

This one had flax, a handful of oats, a handful of almonds, about 1/2 tsp royal jelly, frozen strawberries (made the night before, so they thaw overnight), and yogurt.

Overnight Oats

I love that this breakfast is adaptable for cold and warm temperatures. When it’s cold, I microwave it in the morning to warm it up and when it’s hot outside I’ll eat it cold or warm it up just a little bit in the microwave so it’s a little below room temperature. The formula:

  • Old fashioned oats
  • Chia Seeds
  • Fruit (usually frozen banana)
  • Liquid
  • Spices
  • Separate container of nuts and/or seeds for topping

overnight oats in glass container

The key is to use a 1:2 ratio of oats to liquid. Above specifics include almond milk, banana, and cinnamon topped with walnuts and raw pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas). The used Bonne Maman preserve jar makes for a great (and free!) container for this purpose. I also use them for my yogurt parfaits.

Breakfast cookie dough cereal

This is a bonus one that I make on the weekends. I could make it on the weekdays and then wait to add milk at work, I suppose, but I oddly like having something different on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I use Fitnessista’s recipe and will often throw it (figuratively, of course) in the microwave on cool mornings or eat it cold on warmer mornings.

Here’s how it starts out once you add the nut butter:

Breakfast cookie dough cereal

I’ll admit it’s a little bit of a pain when you’re really hungry and can make a bit of a racket, but the results are worth it! Once you’ve broken up and mixed in the nut butter, it should resemble something more like this:

Breakfast cookie dough cereal

Mmmm…now we’re talking! Then it gets even more fun–pick your toppings and drown it in milk! Below I’ve added raw shredded coconut, pepitas, walnuts, and raw cacao nibs.

Breakfast cookie dough cereal

This is one of the few times I use cow’s milk instead of almond milk. I don’t have anything against cow’s milk, I just find I like different liquids for different situations. And cereal is definitely the right occasion for regular milk for me!

Questions: If you had to deal with either bitter cold or hot and humid weather, which would you prefer? Do you change up your breakfast routine when the weather changes? What are some of your breakfast go-tos?

Easy and Healthy American Chop Suey

First of all, can I give myself a small pat on the back for not having the same thing for breakfast every day? And I made overnight oats like I said I would in Wednesday’s post! I loosely followed this recipe for the overnight oats and it was quite yummy!

Overnight oats with nuts

I actually popped the oats mixture it in the microwave a little to warm it up (warm, not hot) since my office was chilly and something cold to eat wasn’t appealing. The texture was incredibly cream–very different from stove top or microwaved. Perhaps because of the almond milk (I usually use water)? My only complaint is that it didn’t keep me as full as I would have liked, despite adding the extra nuts on top. See–this is why I am hesitant to mix it up! But I will keep on with my pledge and want to try Gina’s breakfast cookie dough tomorrow!

Speaking of being cold, we had a serious cold snap a few days ago that left me craving some warm comfort food.

Wednesday temperature

This cold weather had me searching for clothes and blankets that had been put away at the beginning of May, then searching my mind for an idea for dinner. I remembered Tina’s post earlier this week about having American Chop Suey for dinner and I knew it would hit the spot perfectly!

The WHD version of this classic dish is a bit different from the one I grew up with. Growing up, it was just pasta, pasta sauce, and ground beef. WHH convinced me years ago that we should also throw in some pepper and onions as well as my favorite ingredient that makes it just a little bit better, Worcestershire sauce!  Here’s how you do it (full recipe at the end):

Start by getting some water boiling for your pasta. While that’s starting up,  cut up some peppers and onions and throw them in a pan with some oil to sauté (I’ve come to discover that I eat an awful lot of these as most of my recipes feature sautéed peppers and onions!).

Sauteed pepper and onion

While the peppers and onions are cooking, get another pan out and put a ground meat of your choice in it to cook (we used some ground bison).

Ground bison cooking

Cook the meat thoroughly and once the pasta, veggies, and meat are all cooked, combine them one pan with. Next, add pasta sauce to your desired sauciness and Worcestershire sauce to taste.  We end up using about 1/3 jar of pasta sauce and 1-2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

American Chop Suey in pan

A little trick to keeping the suey warm while you’re mixing everything is to keep the stove top going on a low heat. That way, when you serve it, it’s piping hot (hence the steam in the picture below).

Gluten-free American Chop Suey

Whole Health Dork’s American Chop Suey

Ingredients:
1 pepper
1/2 onion
1 lb ground protein of choice
~ 1/3 C tomato sauce
1-2 tb Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
Boil water for pasta and cook per directions.

Chop and sauté the pepper and onion. Get your protein of choice cooking at the same time. Sauté the veggies until soft and mix with the protein when cooked. Add pasta and desired amount of tomato and Worcestershire sauces. Mix well and serve hot.

I hope you enjoy!

Questions: Is Mother Nature playing tricks on your part of the world? Have you tried any new recipes this week? Anything fun planned for the weekend?

Protein pancake mix

Gluten-Free Protein Pancakes

Hi everyone! Did you have a nice weekend? We had quite a productive one! Not only did we get our homemade shelves up in the kitchen, but I also started, finished, and filed our taxes yesterday! Woohoo!

Here are the shelves (instructions from Amy Krist’s website). I’ve really been liking the industrial look and had fallen in love with these reclaimed wood shelves from West Elm as well as their L-beam wood shelf , but knew we could do something for less money. We only spent around $30 for the wood, brackets, stain, and screws (we already had the wall anchors). Much better than the $200-$250 we would have spent, plus we (or rather, WHH) have the pride of having made it ourselves!

Here they are empty:

West Elm inspired DIY Industrial Shelves empty

And with (most) of their intended items, such as our fruits and veggies that don’t go in the fridge:

West Elm inspired DIY Industrial Shelves filled

Now on to other things I’ve been whipping up lately: protein pancakes (gluten free, per usual)! I made up the recipe based on some other similar recipes I had seen. I need a hearty breakfast full of fiber and protein to fill me up for a good 3-4 hours. After messing around with different combinations, this one finally held me over! It makes about two medium-sized pancakes. The full recipe can be found at the end of the post.

Mix together 1/2 banana, 1 egg, 1/2 scoop protein powder (I use RAW protein in Vanilla), ~1/8 c ground oats (I use regular oats and grind it in our Magic Bullet until it makes a powder, but you could also use them as is).

Gluten-free protein pancake mix

Heat a little coconut oil on a small pan.

Heating coconut oil on pan

Once the oil is liquid, move it around the pan to coat, then put in about half of the batter. Flip the pancake once bubbles start to form and cook to your desired crispiness.

Finally, the best part: top with whatever your heart desires! Some combos I’ve tried are organic raspberries, a little family maple syrup, and fresh ground honey peanut butter from Whole Foods…

Gluten-free protein pancakes with organic raspberries, maple syrup, and peanut butter

…and what I call the “healthy Elvis”—peanut butter, a little family maple syrup, and the other half of the banana cut up.

The healthy Elvis: gluten-free protein pancakes with bananas, maple syrup, and peanut butter.

Whole Health Dork’s Gluten Free Protein Pancakes
Serving: 2 medium-sized pancakes
Nutrition (without toppings):  241 calories, 23g carbs, 10g fat, 17g protein, 71g sodium, 7g sugar

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (such as RAW protein in Vanilla),
  • ~1/8 c ground oats
  • ~1 tsp coconut oil

Mix together banana, egg, protein powder, and oats while you heat up the coconut oil on a small pan. Once the oil is liquid, move it around the pan to coat, then put in about half of the batter. Flip the pancake once bubbles start to form and cook to your desired crispiness.

Questions: Did you get anything accomplished recently that feels really good to have done? Do you like tweaking recipes to find what works for you? Would you try my pancakes?

As always, I welcome any questions or suggestions! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday Favorite: Yogurt Parfaits

Hi all! How was your Christmas (for those who celebrate)?

Christmas tree 2013

Our holiday was hectic, but fun. It was wonderful to spend time with my brother, who was visiting from DC. He was entertaining, as usual.

Nick bag head

Today’s favorite is what I have for breakfast nearly every single day. What can I say? I’m a creature of habit and this breakfast can keep me full for over four hours! I usually switch to a hearty oatmeal mixture in the winter, but it hasn’t been staying with me as long as the yogurt.

Pumpkin parfait container

I make them ahead of time on “school nights” so all I have to do is grab one in the morning and go. I’ll usually make them ahead two or three times at a time, but no more than that because then the mixture can get kind of slimy.

Parfait top

What’s in the mix? I combine:

  • A handful of almonds (I have a small hand, so about 1/8 cup?)
  • A handful of uncooked oats
  • Approximately 1 tsp chia seeds
  • Approximately 1 tsp flax seeds
  • Approximately ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • A little less than ¼ cup Siggi’s or other flavored yogurt (if I don’t have any flavored, I’ll increase the amount of plain and add some agave or maple syrup)

The almonds add extra protein, the oats, chia seeds, and flax seeds add fiber, and the chia seeds and flax also add healthy sources of fat. Protein + fiber + fat = full for hours!

Parfait ingredients

As you can see from the picture above, I had some leftover canned pumpkin, so I added that and a little bit of cinnamon to make a pumpkin pie-inspired parfait.

Yum!

Yum!

Aw, all gone! :-(

Aw, all gone! 😦

Does anyone else have the same breakfast every day? What’s your favorite go-to breakfast to keep you full through the morning?

In Return to Running news, I have successfully completed Stage 3 after one attempt! I used the track again, KT tape, custom orthotics, and Sauconys. I warmed up with medicine ball rolling. I could tell my app was malfunctioning again because I actually exercised for over twenty minutes:

Run 12-22-13

I’m going to attempt Stage 4 today (which is actually the same as Stage 3). What will be different today is that I don’t have KT tape on my foot, so we’ll see how that impacts the plantar fasciitis. Everything else will remain the same. Oh, and I’ll be trying out a different app. I’ll let you know which one and how it worked.

I have to admit that I haven’t been as good as usual about icing and rolling my foot the past week, so I’m lucky my foot is feeling so good. I do keep an extra tennis ball/Foot Rubz set under my desk at work, so I’ve been trying to do that whenever I remember.

PF under desk

And of course, the dorky spreadsheet update (with mileage and date adjusted due to minor setback a couple of weeks ago):

Returntorunning 12-22

If you click in on them, the full size images of these look better. I’m still tweaking with the settings to get them to look better. 

Returntorunning stage 3

Does anyone have any exciting New Year’s plans for next week? Whole Health Husband and I will probably go low-key. After so much celebrating since Thanksgiving, something mellow sounds good to us.