Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups

pumpkin baked oatsI hope everyone is having a great Monday.  I cannot believe it is October!  I love fall and all the fun fall recipes.  I thought I would share one of my new favorite breakfast recipes I have been loving lately.  These are super easy to make and you can keep them in the fridge for a quick healthy breakfast. 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups
Serves 19
Healthy Breakfast Recipe
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Cups Quick Cooking Oats (gluten free if needed)
  2. 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (optional)
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  8. 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  9. 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. 2 large eggs
  12. 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients until well combined. Stir all wet ingredients together until mixed well. Slowly stir into the dry ingredients. Spoon approximately 1/4 cup of oat mixture into muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Eat warm from the oven or store in an air tight container for the week.
Notes
  1. Optional toppings can include mini chocolate chips, chopped almonds or pecans,or shredded coconut. I like to top mine with a teaspoon of almond butter. Feel free to omit the protein powder if desired, but you may also want to decrease the milk to 1 and 1/2 cups.
http://4livingthewrightway.com/

 pumpkin baked oatmeal

Here is the calorie breakdown for each muffin based on my ingredients. I entered it in myfitnesspal.   

137 Calories Each, 2.6 g fat, 22.5 g carbs, 6.1 g protein.  Your numbers will vary depending on your protein powder and oats. 

I like to top my baked oatmeal muffins with a bit of nut butter.  It makes them soooo yummy!  You could also make this in a pan instead of muffins as well.  These are a great post workout breakfast or could be great before a long run too.  If you are joining my 21 day Lean for Halloween Challenge they will fit right in the meal plan too.  Enjoy.

Lean For Halloween 21 Day Challenge

I did a fitness challenge and here is what happened!

Being a fitness instructor is so much fun.  I love it.  I have been doing it since I was inspired by my step aerobics instructor in college.  I will probably be teaching fitness classes when I am 80 or at least I hope so.  Teaching fitness is my passion because I love helping others reach their goals. However, by focusing on helping others sometimes I forget about challenging myself.  So when Anna Renderer, host of popsugar fitness, inspired me to join her in her 22 minute hard corps challenge I was immediately ready!  I have been feeling like I need a bit of a change in not only my workouts but my eating as well.  The challenge was for 4 weeks and it came at a time I really needed a boost.  Here is what I loved about this challenge.  

Accountability

It keeps me accountable for my exercise, my food choices and for drinking my water!  

Pushed Me

It has also helped me push a little harder during my workouts.  I had a lot of inspiring women and men in the community inspiring me to work to my full potential.  

Shakeology

I was very skeptical about this product, but I have to tell you it really works for me.  I replaced all of my snacks with this shake during the challenge and I found that I was not ravenous by lunch or dinner, my stomach was not bloated like other whey protein does to me, felt more energy, and it was an all in one shake.  I didn’t need to add in my normal green vibrance, probiotics etc.  It is more expensive but not really when you add the price of all the other supplements I purchase.  I convinced my husband he has to try it!

Getting beyond the physical appearance and a number on the scale!

I really enjoyed the motivating and inspirational stories from others in the community and the encouragement from Anna Renderer my coach.  It helped me not focus on the extra pounds I gained over the summer.  When I took my focus away from the scale, the scale actually returned to my previous weight in 3 short weeks. This reinforced where my focus should really be!  

Since my passion is helping people with fitness goals I am inviting you to join my next challenge.  

21 day challenge

Are stuck in a rut?  Do you need to get out of your comfort zone?    This challenge will focus on fitness, nutrition, and SUPPORT!!!!!  We will combine all elements and practice them consistently for 21 days.  Are you in?  If so email me at 4livingthewrightway@gmail.com and I will send you all the details to join me.  I am so pumped for you to do this with me.  

Healthy Trail Mix Cookies

TGIF!  I am so glad the weekend is almost here.  This was a crazy busy week and I am ready for a bit of down time, coffee with my BFF and a long run with the girls.  We will also be watching a bit of Boise State football this weekend.  So I thought I would share one of my favorite healthy treats to snack on while watching the game.  

healthy cookies

 

Healthy Trail Mix Cookies
Yields 30
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Ripe Bananas Mashed
  2. 1 cup chopped dates
  3. 3/4 cup chopped almonds
  4. 2 cups oats
  5. 2 TBS vanilla extract
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  8. 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  9. 2 TBS hemp seeds
  10. 14 chopped prunes (you could sub another dried fruit)
  11. 10 chopped dried apricots
  12. 2 TBS melted coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together and bake at 375 degrees for 18 min. The recipe makes 30 cookies about 2 tbs per cookie.
Notes
  1. Approximately 98 calories per cookie (I entered the recipe in my fitness pal).
http://4livingthewrightway.com/

This recipe was given to me by a fellow fitness instructor Hilary who also happens to be the Director of Sports Nutrition for BSU, so I thought it fitting that we snack on these during the BSU football game.  I call them the Bronco Sport Cookies and they are yummy!  They are also good for school lunches, after school treats, and I have even eaten them before a cardio workout.  They satisfy that sweet craving when you need it! 

I hope you guys have an amazing weekend and get to do something fun! 

Friday Faves

Hi guys!  TGIF!  I am so excited for the weekend.  We have a wedding, a race, and we get to celebrate the hubby’s Birthday.  A lot of plans which I love. 

It has been a busy week but I wanted to share a few of my favorite things that I am into lately. 

Friday Faves

Back Country Bars 

First I am totally addicted too these bars for a pre-run Back Country Bars (long run) snack or meal idea.  They offer both regular and gluten free bars that are packed with high quality ingredients.  They are local and I love that.  They taste super yummy too.  Check out there site and where to buy them.  http://backcountrybar.com/index.html

Have you guys tried Halo Top? Halo Top

I am was totally skeptical about trying this but I had heard good things about it from my friends.  So when I had a major ice cream craving last week I bought a carton and the hubby and I shared it.  It was pretty good.  The entire pint has 280 calories and 24 grams of protein.  I bought this at the co-op. 

Vanilla Almond Coconut Smoothie.  This smoothie is soooooo good.  I got the recipe from Anna Renderer from Popsugar Fitness and I have been drinking it all week.  It is super filling and so tasty.  I am addicted!  Sorry I don’t have a picture because it didn’t last long enough . 

Vanilla Coconut Almond Smoothie
Yields 1
A healthy smoothie recipe
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 Serving Vanilla Shakeology or Vanilla Protein Powder
  2. 8 oz Coconut Water
  3. 1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
  4. 1/2 Frozen Banana
  5. Ice
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender and drink!
Adapted from Anna Renderer
Adapted from Anna Renderer
http://4livingthewrightway.com/
My final favorite for the week is this book.  I am starting a couples book study on Sunday and I am so excited.  I have already started reading the book and it is really good.  I think it is so important to not only focus on our physical strength but also to strengthen our relationships as well, especially our marriages.  If you have not read this book you need to start! Love and Respect Book

I hope you all have a great weekend.  Do any of you have any exciting plans? 

 

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Protein Oatmeal

Fall is definitely in the air!  I love fall and all the fun recipes I get to bring back into my meal rotations.  Some of my favorites include soups and stews, but mostly PUMPKIN!!!!  I’m not just talking the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, while that is tasty, it is a bit too sweet for my taste buds.  To get the same flavor combo I came up with my Pumpkin Spice Overnight Protein Oatmeal.  It is so good!  You can eat it cold right out of the fridge or heat it up.  It makes a great post workout meal for those chilly mornings. I had it today after a killer workout my friend Holly gave me.  Stay tuned for that workout coming soon! 

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Protein Oatmeal
Yields 1
St
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup of oats or steel cut oats (quick cooking works best)
  2. 1/2 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  3. 2 Tablespoons of Canned Pumpkin
  4. 2 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Applesauce
  5. 1/2 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder (half a serving)
  6. 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  8. 1 Teaspoon Almond Butter (optional)
  9. Stevia or sweetener of choice to taste
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredients into a mason jar until well combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve heat or enjoy cold. Stir in stevia and top with almond butter.
Notes
  1. Depending on your protein powder you may have to add additional liquid in the morning. If using a vegan protein your oats may be thick. Add almond milk to get our desired consistency. This is also good with chopped nuts on top instead of almond butter.
http://4livingthewrightway.com/

 

 

Post Workout/Sports Snacks plus WOD

Hi Guys.  School is officially off to a great start and sports are in full swing.  I don’t know about you guys but when I pick up my girls from sports practice the first thing out of their mouth is “I’m Kids Sports Snack Ideas starving”.  I learned a great tip from Leslie Bonci while attending the Idaho Sports Nutrition Symposium a few weeks ago. Bring a snack in the car to your kiddos so they can eat it on the way home.  Then you won’t feel like you have to rush to get dinner on the table.  Brilliant!  For those of you without kids or are in college sports these are also great post workout/sports snack options too.  Here are a few of our family’s favorite combos.  They provide both carbs and protein so you can refuel post workout and are portable.

Post Workout and Sports Practice Snack Ideas  

  • String Cheese and Sliced Apples
  • 8 Ounces of Chocolate Milk
  • Beef Jerky and a Piece of Fruit
  • Kind Bar or Protein Bar (made with natural ingredients)
  • No Bake Energy Bites and Fruit
  • Pretzels and String Cheese
  • Trail Mix (I like to make my own with dried fruit, nuts, and pretzel pieces)
  • Protein Shake (I keep protein powder in my bag in a shaker bottle just in case I need it)
  • Apple Peanut Butter Rings (kinda messy but worth it)
  • Nut Butter and Banana Slices on a Rice Cake

Give these a try.  It’s important to get in your post workout recovery nutrition in within 30-45 minute to refuel the body, repair muscle tissue and keep you from being ravenous when you get home.  Don’t forget to drink water or a sports drink if you have been working out for more than an hour and are a heavy sweater.

Now that you have a snack idea why not give one of them a try after today’s Workout of the Day

The Dirty Thirty Boot Camp Workout  

This is one of my favorite workouts to do in my class.  It is a great total body workout and can be done at the gym or at home.  All you need is a set of weights and a mat and your are ready to get sweaty!  

Warm Up:  3-5 minutes of dynamic exercises

Complete the following exercises for 30 seconds each.  Try to complete as many rounds as possible within 30 minutes.  

  • BurpeesDirty 30 Boot Camp Workout
  • Bicep Curls
  • Squat Jumps
  • Weighted Squats
  • Alternating Weighted Back Lunges
  • Lunge Hops  
  • Push Ups
  • Squat Jacks or Regular Jumping Jacks
  • Bent Over Rows
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Plank (hold in extended arm planks)
  • Rest for 30 Seconds to 1 Minute and Repeat for 30 minutes

I hope you guys have a great weekend.  If you have any great post-workout kid friendly snack ideas please share them in the comments!

 

Back To School Bowls

Bowl Recipes It’s official. I am back to school.  For those of you who don’t know besides teaching fitness classes I also teach theater and speech at a Junior High. This keeps me really busy.  Plus I have two daughters who are involved in a lot of sports and activities.  So sometimes I am throwing dinner together at the last minute like I did last night!  Here is a quick healthy meal option for those who are like me and scrambling to put a healthy and tasty dinner on the table for your family. 

Back To School Bowls

One of my plans with my prepped meal items was to make some bowls!  I love burrito bowls from one of those popular healthy fast food restaurants, but they are pricey!  What I loved about these bowls was that each person could customize their bowl just how they like it.  I had chicken, avocado, mango salsa, fresh tomatoes, homemade pickled jalapenos and brown rice tortilla chips.  My daughters each customized their bowls totally different but never complained because they got to make their own choices.  Bowls are so easy to make and there is not really a recipe you need to follow.  Just pick one item from the list below and you will have a custom built bowl loaded with power foods!  

Pick a Whole Grain

  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole Grain or Gluten Free Pasta
  • Bulgar
  • Black Bean Pasta (high in protein and lower carb)
  • Steel Cut Oats

Pick a Protein

  • Ground Beef
  • Shredded Roast
  • Diced or Canned Chicken
  • Diced Ham
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Tuna or Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Tofu

Add Some Veggie Power  Any diced veggies or frozen veggies will work and are convenient.  

  • Finely Chopped Broccoli or Cauliflower (the kids won’t even notice it)
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Mixed Roasted Veggies (get a bag and roast them in the oven in olive oil for 15-20 minutes until brown and crisp)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Salsas
  • Zucchini
  • Any leftover veggies you have in the fridge

Add Some Flavor

  • Salsa
  • Pesto
  • Honey Mustard
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (a soy sauce alternative I love)
  • Thai Chili Sauce
  • Salad Dressing (I make my own or buy Annie’s Brand)
  • Mrs. Dash Seasonings (garlic herb and southwest chipolte are my faves)

Bowl Recipes

There are endless possibilities to the bowls you can make.  You could make a breakfast bowl, a burrito bowl, an asian style bowl.  You could really get creative and if you have all of your food items prepped and ready, all you need to do is assemble, heat and eat! This will definitely be a back to school go-to dinner for me.  

I hope you all have a great weekend!  If you have any quick dinner ideas please comment I love to hear new ideas for those crazy nights! 

 

Meal Prep Recap and WOD (workout of the day)

Meal Prep Success

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So my meal planning was a success!  Even the dogs and kids got in on the fun!  Well the dogs got in the way a bit!  Yes, my kitchen looked like a bomb went off, but now I feel much more prepared going back to work and ready for sports practices this week.  I cooked mostly basics to keep in the fridge or freezer to create my meals from this week.  This will make dinners much easier.  Here is what I made:  ground beef, baked chicken breast, cut up veggies, garden salad, sweet potatoes, rice, hard boiled eggs and my no bake energy bites.   I have to share how I cooked my sweet potatoes.  I used my crockpot!  

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes  Sweet Potatoe

4-5 Medium Sweet Potatoes

Wash and Scrub your sweet potatoes but do not dry them.  This water will be needed n your crock pot.  Put them into your crock pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours until cooked through.  Store in the refrigerator or cut in chunks and freeze for later meals.  

This was sooooo easy!  Why have I not been cooking my potatoes in the crock pot?  And who knew you could freeze them too.  

Workout Of The Day

Today’s workout was a good one!  The focus was on upper body and core with cardio bursts throughout.  Give it a try!  

Warm Up:  5 Minutes on the treadmill at an easy jog pace.  You could bike, use the elliptical or row to warm up as well.  

Set 1

  • Single Arm Kettlebell Curl Press (use a dumbbell if needed)
  • Front Raise and Lateral Raises

Perform each exercise above for 10-12 reps.  Complete two to three times.  

Cardio

  • Row 3 Minutes (at a difficult pace, note your meters rowed)
  • Run 3 Minutes (at a push pace, note your pace)

Set 2

  • Bicep Curls using cable machine (use dumbbells if needed)
  • Pull Ups  (use assistance if needed)
  • Tricep Dips (use dip machine or a bench)

Perform each exercise above for 10-12 reps.  Complete two to three times.

Cardio

  • Row 3 Minutes (try to beat your previous meters rowed)
  • Run 3 Minutes (increase pace from your previous push pace)

Final Blast* :  Perform each of the following for 30 seconds.  Complete 2-3 rounds.

  • Battle Ropes (in a squat position lift the ends of the battle ropes and make waves in the outstretched ropes)
  • 1 PushUp-1 Plank Knee to elbow
  • Wall Balls (using a 10-20 pound wall ball stand approximately 16 inches from the wall.  Hold the ball at chin level squat down into a deep squat position and propel yourself up from the squat position while driving your heels on your way up and using hip action to propel the ball to the top of the wall.  

*There are some great tutorials on the web for the final blast exercises.  

Always follow your workout with a cool down and stretch.  

Upper Body Core and Cardio Workout

I hope you all have a great week.  It’s back to work for me this week!  I am actually excited and ready to go back to school.  

Teachers are you excited to go back to school?  Parents are you ready to send your kids back?

 

Back To School Quick Meal Planning Tips

meal prepNext week is officially the start of back to school for us teachers and coaches.  My daughter will be starting cross country as well so that means I will be her chauffeur to practices a few times a day.  Usually the beginning of the school year is nuts and I am running around like a crazy woman and can barely get dinner on the table.  Not this year!  I recently went to a sports nutrition symposium and got to hear some tips from an awesome co-worker Hilary Horton Brown RD.  She is the Director of Sports Nutrition for BSU and is also an amazing fitness instructor too!  She had some great ideas for quick meal planning that I am going to do this weekend and try to keep up during the school year!  First I have to hit the grocery store!  I thought I would share her tips with you and maybe inspire you to start meal planning as well.  

The main goal of meal planning is to prepare many meals and snacks all at once to have ready for the week or longer!  This will not only save you time and money but also avoid impulsive eating and calling for pizza delivery on those rushed nights.  Try to add as many veggies as you can into your meals to increase your fiber intake and boost antioxidants.  

Here is what I plan to do this weekend to kick off my back to school meal planning: 

  1. Cook 3-5 pounds of lean ground beef.  Season your meat as you would like and freeze if you don’t plan on using it within a few days.  
  • Add in some taco seasoning, a can of rinsed black beans, and veggies.  You can use this for burrito bowls, tacos, or taco salads.  
  • Use italian seasoning mix and make spaghetti.  Add some finely chopped zucchini or carrots to up the veggie intake.
  • Make sloppy joes.  Keep sandwich thins or whole grain buns in the freezer.  My favorite sloppy joes recipe is http://www.skinnytaste.com/skinny-sloppy-joes/
  1.  Bake a bag of chicken breasts or a whole chicken in the oven.   
  • Dice up portions of the chicken and freeze in freezer bags with a bit of chicken broth to add moisture.  Pull it out of the freezer and mix with veggies for a quick and easy stir fry or fajitas.
  • Marinate slices in your favorite dressing or sauce and freeze in the sauce.  Pull them out add a veggie and a sweet potato and you have a quick and easy meal.  My favorite dressing is a ginger sesame!  
  • Slices can be frozen plain and pulled out for easy lunches like salads, quesadillas or wraps.  Endless possibilities!  
  1.  Make a large pot of whole grain pasta or rice and use it throughout the week.  
  2.  Prepare your veggies for the week.
  • Clean, peel, and cut up veggies for the week for salads, stir frys or snacks.
  • Stock up on frozen veggies to add to soups or stews.
  • Make a large salad or mason jar salads for lunches or dinners for the week.  
  1.  Bulk cook your favorite meals
  • Make bulk batches of your family’s favorite meals like enchiladas, chili, lasagna or other faves and double or triple the recipe to freeze for later use.  
  1.  Break out the crock pot!  Or try an insta-pot.  My friend Ashley just got one of these and is raving about it!  I gotta get one!  
  • Layer chicken breasts in the crock pot with salsa or teriyaki sauce cook on low for 5-6 hours and when you get home shred and add to your veggies, pasta or rice.  
  • Cook an inexpensive roast with a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce or season with a chipotle seasoning blend and cook on low all day.  When you get home shred it and use it with your favorite sides.  I love to make this into street tacos! Save the rest for a later meal.  
  1.  Prepare your snacks.  
  • Portion out veggies and dip into container for the week.
  • Make some energy balls for the week.  Try my no-bake energy ball recipe
  • Make some chia puddings
  • Make individual bags of trail mix with dried fruit, dark chocolate, nuts and pretzels.  

I hope this helped you to get started with meal planning.  There are so many awesome recipes out there on the web for crock pot recipes and meal prep.  I encourage you all to give this a try especially for you busy moms out there who tend to feel like me at the start of the school year!  I am hoping to get some pictures of my meal prepping (it may be scary) and share with you the outcome next week.  Have a great weekend!   

Kickboxing Interval Workout & Coconut Cashew Energy Bites

Have you guys been watching the Olympics?  I am totally glued to the TV.  I don’t really consider myself a major sports fan, but when it comes to the Olympics I really get into it!  It’s so inspiring to watch the athletes, to hear their stories, and see their perseverance. This week is the official start of the Olympic Fitness challenge in my boot camp class at the gym.  I am so excited.  It was so fun to see all the activities my class members participated in over the weekend.  There were even a few people dressed in Olympic attire!  

Today’s workout is inspired by boxing (Olympic Sport)!  I wanted to incorporate boxing style drills with my strength training.  This workout can easily be done at home or at your gym.  

Warm Up:  Complete the following exercises for 30 seconds each.  

  • Boxer Shuffle or Jog in Place
  • Bob and Weave
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Jump Rope
  • Air Squats
  • Front Jabs a squat position

The Workout:  Cardio Kickboxing and Strength Interval Workout

Complete each exercise in the rounds 40 seconds each. Repeat 3 times before moving to the next round.  

  • Round 1
  • Burpee with Front Kicks Right and Left
  • Scissors
  • Squat with A Single Upright Row (right and left)

Round 2

  • Alternating Front Kicks
  • Side Jabs Right (optional: holding a small weight)
  • Plyo Push Ups

Round 3

  • High Knees (holding small weights overhead)
  • Squat Jack with a Hook
  • Bicep Curls

Round 4 (core)

  • Plank Punches (optional to punch with a small weight)
  • Full Sit-Ups with Punches at the top (small weights)
  • Scissors Crunch
  • Bicycle

Stretch and Cool Down

After the workout I had a few of my coconut cashew energy balls to refuel (recipe follows).  They are yummy, especially if you like coconut.  I love coconut!  The coconut butter I used in this recipe is really good straight out of the jar!  

On another note, today I got to spend the entire day at a sports nutrition symposium with some awesome registered dieticians including Lesli Bonci who is amazing.  I am so excited to share some awesome information and recipes I learned on the blog soon.  Have a great day!

 

Coconut Cashew Energy Balls
Serves 15
No bake, gluten free, dairy free snack.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup gluten free quick cooking oats
  2. 2 Tablespoons Coconut Butter
  3. 3 Tablespoons Cashew Butter
  4. 3 Tablespoons Honey
  5. 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (I used vegan pea protein)
  6. 2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seeds
  7. 2 Tablespoons Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  8. 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  9. Water as needed
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients together using a food processor on the pulse setting. Add water slowly as needed to soften the dough. Roll into tablespoon size balls and refrigerate.
Notes
  1. *Can sub vanilla whey protein powder
  2. *Can 1/4 cup of dried fruit
  3. Note: Coconut butter is different than coconut oil. It is also called coconut manna.
http://4livingthewrightway.com/