Friday, April 5, 2013

Good (ugh) Morning and Breakfast Recipe Review

I hate mornings. I hate, hate, HATE mornings. Getting up in the mornings has to be one of the lowest points of my day (on the flip side, getting into bed at night is usually one of the best parts of my day :)).  This morning was no exception. When my alarm went off at 5:40 am is was still dark out and I could hear the rain… if I can hear the rain, I know it’s bad. I live on the third floor of a four story building. If I can hear the rain, it’s coming down hard. Never the less, I know I have to get up, and pressing snooze to get those extra few minutes only prolongs the pain (I figured that out after years of trial and error and complaints from a husband who doesn’t have to get up as early J). Once I am up, I’m usually good (things can only go up from there). Today I was up, dressed and ready to go by 6:10 which was awesome, because I  knew I’d make it to work earlier than usual which would allow me to get more stuff done before the work day started at 8.

(Which, as a side note, this in my new MO- getting to work a half hour earlier than needed to have some quiet, dedicated time to organize my life. This includes scheduling my workouts for the week, planning the weekend, looking up new recipes, paying bills, etc. Anything that I can just get done and out of the way to help me stay on track and focus throughout the rest of the day. #keystosuccess).
Anyway, I was up and out and on the bus by 6:18. By 6:19, while passing the next stop, I realized I had forgotten my whole lunch bag (full of meals 1-4) at home. [Insert look of shock and horror here]. By 6:20 panic had struck (“OMG, what am I going to do??”), by 6:21 I flirted with the idea to not go get it (“Could I go a day without my pre-planned, prepped meals? The answer to that was a quick and firm “NO”), and by 6:22 I was frantically ringing the bell to get off the bus so I could walk all the way back, in the rain, (uphill and in bare feet- just kidding!) home to pick up my lunch- which was just sitting out on the counter all packed up and ready to go. How could I have forgotten it? (The coffee distracted me).

Once I had my lunch in hand, and order was restored to my world, I trudged back up to the bus stop (still in the pouring rain, but it was getting a little lighter out) and caught the 6:45 bus- so much for my earlier morning. As soon as I was settled on the bus, it was back to business as usual and I had my morning favs: coffee, music, news and celebrity gossip... I love me some Celebitchy!

These things make morning life much more tolerable. As does a stop at Starbucks for a second cup of coffee :)

So, finally at work, I was able to dig into my breakfast, which, I have really been enjoying this week. Made up of grains and grain-like seeds and cinnamon, this warm and yummy breakfast is full of some delicious starchy carbs that leave me feeling satiated for hours. The full recipe I used (adapted from here) and the nutritional information can be found here and on my Recipes page under Wheat and Bran Crockpot Porridge.

Wheat and Bran Crockpot Porridge

Ingredients (for 10 servings):
  • ½ cup wheat bran
  • 1 ½ cup (310g) barley
  • ½ cup oat bran
  • ½ cup (95g) buckwheat
  • ¼ (45g) bulgar
  • 6 ½ cups water
  • 15 prunes
  • 3 TBSP cinnamon (this may have been a little too much)
  • 5 TBSP melted coconut oil
  • 40g walnuts

  1. Pour all ingredients into the crockpot. Mix together well to combine.
  2. Place cover on crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours or until liquid absorbed and grains are tender.

Per serving: 300 calories; 11.25g fat; 47g carb; 8g protein

Easy peasy! I have been enjoying this every morning heated up with a 1/3 cup apple sauce stirred in to naturally sweeten, cut the excess of cinnamon and add a little creaminess to the mixture.

And, while it turned out great, I have a couple tweaks in mind for next time:
1. I don’t really smell or taste the added coconut oil. Next time, I think that I will omit that from the recipe and add in ½ - 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or butter when I heat up the individual serving.

2. I might omit the walnuts and top the individual servings with some other type of nut butter, like almond butter or hazelnut butter, to switch it up.
3. To boost the protein, I am also thinking of stirring in a ¼ - ½ scoop of vanilla protein powder after I warm it up.

4. I also may try to add the apple sauce to the crockpot to see if it turns out more moist.
5. And, in the vein of zucchini cake, I want to try adding some shredded zucchini and cocoa powder.

So many options! Let me know if you try it out! Send me your pics.

My other “new” meal this week was the quinoa pudding recipe I found on Chelle Stratford’s Recipe for Fitness blog. Here’s what I made with the nutritional information.

Chocolate Quinoa Protein Pudding

Ingredients (for 5 servings):

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 scoops (60g) chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 ¼ cup almond milk
  • 3 TBSP cocoa

1. Cook quinoa as normal.
2. Once quinoa is done and still warm, stir in the almond milk, protein powder and cocoa.

Per serving: 190 calories; 3.3g fat; 24g carb; 15.5g protein
This turned out great! A delicious chocolaty delight! On days that I weight train I use it as my pre-workout snack (consumed on the bus- much more convenient and less smelly than tuna or eggs :)) and on non-weight training days I eat it in the morning as my Meal 2 with an added tablespoon of almond butter. I even tried it heated up this morning. Just as yummy. Like a hot chocolate soup.

Next time, I may add in a little less liquid so it’s not as runny, but again, overall, good as is. A definite repeat. And, it could be made with any flavor of protein powder and mix-ins (like nuts, fresh fruit, chia seeds, etc).
In any case, the week of mornings are now over, which means some weekend sleep ins! Yay! And know what else weekend mornings mean?? Protein pancakes! Mmmm…


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