‘Ello Penguino

*Ben walks in through door*

Ben: (in British accent) ‘Ello, little penguin.

Me: (in British accent) ‘Ello, Penguino.

Ben (my brother) and I somehow developed a habit of talking to each other in British accents and referring to one another as penguins. He actually usually calls me a panda since it’s my favorite animal, but penguins are his favorite animal. Ben and I have always been really close, which I love if it means we can talk in British accents all day 😉 When he’s away at college, I NEVER speak in a British accent to anyone unless I do it on purpose. However, once Ben arrives, I automatically start getting my Harry Potter on without even thinking about it. Weird. But pretty funny.

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[source]

Mr. Squishy Penguin–another nickname for Ben. He’s not even squishy, but we (more like I) roll with it.

So besides conversing like royal penguins, I ate a colorful lunch this afternoon:

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Salmon and salsa over spinach + sweet potato wedges with hummus

I also decided to finally make some sort of energy bars using the prunes that have been sitting in our fridge for months and some sad, neglected dried cranberries. I looked up some recipes for homemade Larabars and energy bites to get some inspiration and ended up throwing together in the food processor:

  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
  • <1 c. salted cashews
  • 3 tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds

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They turned out quite tasty! I rolled out the mixture into a rectangle and cut it into 8 bars.

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Then I wrapped them individually in wax paper and put them into a Ziploc bag. If you decide to try this, make sure to cut the bars with a wet knife to prevent the mixture from sticking to the knife, and note that they will feel quite oily due to the cashews.

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These are sweet from the dried fruits and nutty from the cashews–great combo in my opinion! If you like trail mix, I think you would love these too. They are very energy dense (~195 cal/piece), but that makes them great for a workout snack or a hike when you need the energy but not the heaviness!

Moves

After fueling myself with one of the bars, I went to the gym. I’m waddling (like a penguin) today because some of my leg muscles are sore, so I took it easy on the lower body. I started with the usual 20 minutes on the elliptical and then did this workout and Julie’s 8 minute ab tabata. Good stuff!

I’m thinking about dinner now, and the kitchen is already filled with the aroma of my mom’s Thai fried bananas!

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Wowza

Have a lovely evening!

So tell me: Do you have any quirks between you and your sibling(s)? What do you like to eat for quick energy?

 

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Overnight Oats {How I Make My Favorite Breakfast}

Good morning!

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What should one do with an almost empty peanut butter jar? (I’m sure every healthy living blogger is thinking, “sheesh, nothing new.”)

Well I’m going to say it anyway–overnight oats! I’ve said it at least a couple times before on here, but overnight oats is my favorite breakfast. I tried it one day over a year ago before practicing driving with my Dad on an early Sunday morning, and I have made it about a thousand times since then. I used Kath’s recipe for a long time, but I’ve made little changes here and there to make it perfect for my palate. I highly recommend visiting her recipe link because you can see all of her overnight oats variations, which look 10x more appealing than mine. Check out The Oatmeal Artist for some yummy ideas too!

As Kath says in the recipe, there is NO COOKING involved! So if you and the stovetop don’t get along well, this takes care of ya! Also, once you prepare the oats at night, there is really nothing else you have to do with them when you wake up. Just take them out of the fridge, put on desired toppings, and devour enjoy!

This is exactly how I like to do mine:

Basic Banana Overnight Oats

by Alison Y.

adapted from the Basic KERF recipe

Serves 1

  • 1-2 tbsp. nut or seed butter of choice (or an almost empty nut/seed butter jar)
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • agave/honey/maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. cereal/granola (optional for topping in the morning)

Spread out nut/seed butter around the bottom of a bowl or large mug [mug>bowl because it mimics jars better!] (or just start out with an almost empty jar of nut/seed butter). Add in oats, greek yogurt, and milk. Thinly slice in the half banana. Add cinnamon and nutmeg as desired (start with a little first, then add more if needed). If using plain Greek yogurt, add sweetener to taste if desired. Mix all ingredients together well, incorporating some of the nut butter at the bottom, but not all of it (I like to have a nice amount of nut butter to eat almost by itself at the end!). Taste a little bit to make sure it is spiced/sweetened to your liking. Place in the fridge covered or uncovered overnight. (Optional: Place a note warning your family what the heck is in there if you’re trying this for the first time. They might be suspicious and throw it out.) In the morning, take it out of the fridge, stir it up, throw on the toppings, and EAT!

Here is a step-by-step photo demo for you visual learners:

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Line ’em up!

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Choose your vessel. (Again–mug>bowl if not using a jar! 🙂 )

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Oats.

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Greek yogurt and milk.

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Thinly sliced banana.

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Cinnamon, nutmeg, and agave.

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Stir it up (optional: using favorite breakfast spoon).

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Making sure to leave a little peanut butter at the bottom! Best part.

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Tuck it in the fridge and say goodnight.

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Take it out, give it a stir, dish out your toppings (I add a little bit at a time so each layer has a fresh batch of toppings).

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ENJOY!

Texture: Something you might have to get used to. Very thick, like a really thick rice pudding. If you want it a little thinner, you can add more milk.

Taste: Hm. A mix of cereal, a yogurt parfait, and nut butter.

Appearance: You can make your own judgements.

Other notes: Don’t be surprised if it feels really filling the first time you eat it. When I first had it with only 1/3 c. oats, my stomach wasn’t used to the filling feeling of the milk, yogurt, oats, and nut butter all together. But now I can have 1/2 c. just fine. Also, don’t microwave it. Just don’t. It was a sad day when I did.

I often add different fruits such as berries, peaches, or pineapple, and then I just decrease the banana size to about 1/3 instead of 1/2. But this recipe is what I do when there aren’t any other fruits in the house.

And finally, I would be thrilled to hear if you love overnight oats, but I wouldn’t be offended if you really hate them after trying. 😀

It’s a rainy, thunderstorm-y day here. But I’m still happy! Have a good one!

So tell me: Have you ever tried overnight oats before? If not, would you consider trying them?