good things : weekend peace

:: 1 ::

{ Friday Night Light }

There’s almost nothing in the world I crave more than time spent sitting outside on warm nights, reading magazines and listening to good music. It’s magically restorative.

:: 2 ::

{ Truth }

“Whatever we focus on, whether it’s positive or negative, tends to come true for us. That doesn’t mean if we expect to win, we’ll always win. Or that everything we fear will eventually happen. But there’s a general pattern: when we focus on what not to do, we often end up doing that. But if we can envision what we want to do, we have the motivation and the faith to see it through until it happens.

We need to discipline our thoughts to accomplish the things we dream of and the things God has called us to do. He wants us to do our best and use the gifts He has given us to achieve extraordinary results. In order to do that, we have to believe what He believes – that we can. It’s hard, if not impossible, to achieve what we dream while focusing on all the reasons we can’t. When we focus on the obstacles in front of us, they seem to grow larger and larger until we give up. But if we focus on what God can do through us – and on His promise that if we delight in Him, He will give us the desire of our hearts – we become confident and able to achieve whatever we were designed to achieve.”

The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker

:: 3 ::

{ Breakfast }

DIY Chocolate Greek Yogurt // Sliced Strawberries // Oatmeal // Golden Roasted Flax Seeds // Cacao Nibs // Cinnamon // Agave Nectar

beka stays hungry : PMS oatmeal

Or just TMI oatmeal for those of you of the male persuasion (sorry, guys).

This oatmeal was born out of the need to have chocolate for breakfast.

Women, can I get an amen?

This is just 1/3 cup cooked oats with 1 tsp of chia seeds mixed in. Then it’s topped with 2 tablespoons of DIY chocolate greek yogurt. Then it’s topped with sliced strawberries, toasted walnuts, large flake coconut, unsweetened vanilla coconut almond milk, and a drizzle of agave nectar.

Then it’s topped with exaltations of praise and adoration because it’s just SO good! It’s the 100% legal way to indulge chocolate cravings before dawn!

I wholeheartedly recommend this course of action…during any time of the month.

beka stays hungry : a tale of two breakfasts

[oatmeal with apricots, cherries, pumpkin seeds, and toasted coconut (and possibly one of my favorite food photos ever!)]

[greek yogurt with apricot, cherry, pumpkin seed, and toasted coconut granola]

Different base. Same toppings. Amazing results.

(And…surprisingly…I preferred the non-oatmeal version!)

(And…unsurprisingly….I already finished that batch of granola. I’m wondering how soon is too soon to throw away the new batch I made from a different recipe that wasn’t nearly as good as this one so I can make it again.)

(This weekend, you say? Oh, great! That’s what I was thinking too.)

beka stays hungry : rosemary olive oil oatmeal

I think this is the perfect oatmeal for January.

(This is also the last picture you’ll see using my Christmas tree as a flash…in January. You’re welcome.)

The idea for this oatmeal came from an interview in Whole Living with Daphne Oz. When I first read her recipe for Gladiator Oatmeal I thought it sounded pretty horrific. Rosemary and shallots and olive oil in oatmeal? In roasted vegetables, yes. In oatmeal, no.

But I decided to try it because I couldn’t stop wondering what oatmeal with olive oil would taste like. I ended up using ingredients I had on hand instead of following the recipe exactly (story of my life), and this is what happened:

1/3 Cup Oats

1/2 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary, Chopped

1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Pomegranate Seeds (or Chopped Cranberries)

1/2 Banana, Sliced

1 Teaspoon Honey or Agave

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

(I added the rosemary to the oats while they were cooking and then topped with all of the remaining ingredients afterward.)

When I made the cranberry version I looked down at my completed creation and felt like I was about to eat a Christmas tree. Luckily, it didn’t taste like eating a Christmas tree, or any other type of tree for that matter. It was amazing! After I ran out of cranberries I tried pomegranates and really love that flavor combo even more. Then I ate it for breakfast (and sometimes dinner) for weeks on end.

Here’s what I love about this oatmeal: it’s so clean. It feels like you are giving yourself the best possible start to the day. You’ve got healthy fat from the olive oil, protein and fiber from the oats, superfood prowess from the pomegranates, and nothing that is going to weigh you down first thing in the morning. It’s hearty and healthy, ideal attributes for a January breakfast.

Shake things up a bit. Give this weird oatmeal a try. It’s so good you’ll forget the crazy factor.

beka stays healthy : almond joy oatmeal

Is there any better way to start the day than with Joy?

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Especially if it’s Almond Joy?

Even more especially if it’s a breakfast that is delicious, good for you, and will keep you full for hours?

And all for 250 calories?

Sometimes life just seems too good to be true.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened, but I bet vanilla would be good too!)
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp walnuts (or almonds, I just prefer walnuts!)
  • 1/2 Tbsp carob chips or chocolate chips
  • 1/2 frozen banana

Recipe:

Cook the oats as per your preferred method – stovetop or microwave. Once cooked, stir in 2 tablespoons of almond milk and about 1 tablespoon of unsweetened shredded coconut, saving about a teaspoon for sprinkling on top. Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the top is just barely golden brown. Top with the nuts and put back under the broiler for another minute or so until the walnuts are toasted. Remove from broiler, top with carob or chocolate chips and remaining 2 tablespoons of almond milk. Let sit for a few minutes to cool and then top with chopped frozen bananas. You could definitely use fresh bananas; I just like the flavor/texture of the frozen ones in this oatmeal.

People. This one’s a winner. But don’t trust me – try it yourselves! There are so many variations you could try to make it even better too. I bet it would be great with coconut milk, a little vanilla, maybe some almond extract. Go crazy!

And if that weren’t enough, this is what I have to look forward to for lunch:

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Leftovers from yesterday’s lunch, Moroccan Chickpea Lentil Stew and a Rosemary Roll from Wegmans.

Oh, life is good. True story.

the dailies : 11.14.11

daily word: This one’s a tie between two verses from Ephesians. The first one stood out to me in a new way this morning: Ephesians 4:28 – “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” I swear I’m not a closet clepto. I just found it interesting that the person who no longer steals but works with their own hands doesn’t do it to provide for themselves, but to have something to share with those in need. That seems especially convicting, at least for me.

And the second one just seemed to be particularly meaningful today: Ephesians 5:15-17 – “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

daily sweat: I slept through CrossFit this morning! AH! But that’s ok, I kind of needed a day off and wouldn’t have taken it otherwise so it was a happy accident. Nothing a little extra work tomorrow can’t fix.

daily dish:

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Almond Joy Oatmeal. Breakfast decadence. 250 calories. Recipe coming soon.

daily miles:

People, it was ONE YEAR AGO today that I came home from the roadtrip. A whole year has passed! I can’t believe it! Now, no one loves a sentimental summation of events as much as I, but at the moment, I’ve got nothin’. And…I’m distracted by the Packers MNF game. This is no time for reflection. This is time for disrupting the peace in my building. But I really want to take some time to write a thoughtful post about life since the trip, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here are the concluding daily miles!

Day 68b: it’s just a two story kind of day

Day 69: christmas (thai)me

Day 70: america the beautiful

Day 71: be it ever so humble

the dailies : 10.31.11

daily word: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

daily sweat: CrossFit! Great way to start the day.

daily dish: I’d say it was the fall oatmeal we talked about earlier this morning…but it was actually the shoo fly pie I ate for lunch this afternoon. For real.

daily miles:

Day 54: crap

Day 55: the curse

(Totally forgot about the guy with the bird stuffed into his shirt. That detail was lost among the more colorful memories of the day.)

Day 56: beauty is a many splendored thing

beka stays healthy : hot or cold fall oatmeal jars

(That title makes me laugh. None of those words go together.)

There are people who like to believe that some things never change. But I like to believe that anything can change. Case in point: my passionate feelings toward oatmeal.

Just one short year ago, I hated oatmeal. It literally made me nauseous to think of eating hot mush at breakfast or any other time of day. And then I went on a 3 month road trip around the country. And it was not fully funded by the Travel Channel. So there were times in which eating whatever was cheapest was the best option. Slowly, reluctantly, I choked down my first few bowls of Gas Station Oatmeal: a fine delicacy created by heating a 50 cent package of oatmeal with hot water from the gas station. Desperate times call for desperate oatmeal.

Somehow, I literally don’t know how, this odd beginning forged a deep and meaningful relationship between me and oatmeal. One year later, I eat it nearly every day. But I don’t drive to the local gas station for the 50 cent variety anymore. No siree. Nowadays, I am all about elaborate oatmeal creations. My most recent favorite is this fall breakfast in a jar.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

For the oatmeal:

  • ¼ cup Rolled Oats (I Love Scottish Oats!)
  • ½ cup Water
  • ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk

For the toppings:

  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Butter
  • ½ Tablespoon Walnuts
  • ½ whole Banana
  • ⅛ cup Roasted Apples

To make the oatmeal, combine one quarter cup oats with one half cup water. You can cook it on a stove top over medium heat until thickened, but I am usually rushing to get out the door in the morning standing over a stove for 10 minutes is less preferable than throwing something in the microwave. So I microwave the oats for 4 minutes while I finish getting ready for the day. It’s a win/win.

Once cooked, add in spices and milk. (You can also add in protein powder, which I usually opt for if this jar is accompanying me to the gym in the morning.) Scoop the oatmeal into a medium sized mason jar.

Next, layer your toppings. For this jar: pumpkin butter, walnuts, banana, and roasted apples (don’t tell…but I just used a scoop of apples from recently made apple crisp). Top with a lid and run out the door!

Now, here’s the beauty of this particular recipe. It’s delicious hot, but it’s also delicious cold! Unconventional, but so true. When heated, it takes on the warm and comforting notes of banana bread. I usually stir everything together when I eat it hot. But when I eat it cold I like to keep the layers separate. The flavors are so distinct and refreshing!

I’ve made this for breakfast for three days straight – four, if you count tomorrow. Four hundred, if you count every day for the next year or so. I’ll probably still be eating this for breakfast by the time next Christmas comes around.

And, in a spontaneous burst of wisdom, I realized this morning that if I just make a huge batch of oatmeal on Monday morning and divide it into jars for the rest of the week, life would be so much easier. (Um, duh.) So I boiled a cup of oats with two cups of water. When it was just about done I mixed in 4 tablespoons protein powder, 4 tablespoons almond milk, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and about 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Then I divided it into 4 portions (I figured it would probably behoove me to have one oatmeal-free day this week) and topped it with a bunch of random stuff which I am too lazy to list out right now but will probably regale you with at a later date.

Me and Oatmeal. BFF’s. Who knew?! Just goes to show there’s always room for change. (That right there is a superfluous life lesson tucked into a post about breakfast. Wow. Must be Halloween in the air.)