Overnight High Protein Oatmeal

overnight oats

 

I feel like the only meals I make now that I have a baby are the ones I can make in bulk or in advance (both if I’m lucky). Overnight oats are a super easy breakfast for anyone who loves oatmeal like I do. I love that I can put together my breakfast the night before, and eat it while the baby plays under her activity mat. This recipe would also be great for mornings when you are on the go. You can easily grab and eat them before work, or take them and eat breakfast at your desk. Overnight oats will keep for several days in the fridge, so sometimes I’ll make a couple days worth at once!

 

There are tons of overnight oatmeal recipes out there, and the only thing I tweaked from this basic overnight oats recipe was increasing the protein content. Instead of using a milk or water as the liquid, I used liquid pasteurized egg whites. I’ve really been on a pasteurized egg white kick lately; they are a great flavorless way to increase the protein content of my smoothies, and now my oatmeal. I even found a cage-free egg whites brand! The egg whites combined with plain Greek yogurt bump up the protein content from a meager 3 grams to 20! And like all oatmeal recipes, there are a ton of flavor combos, so you never will get bored.

 

This has been my go-to summer breakfast before or after a run. I’m training for an extended sprint triathlon (great way to lose baby weight), and I’ve eaten this 30 minutes before a run in the heat with zero stomach issues. Plus, cold oatmeal in the summer is super satisfying. I was a little skeptical of eating it cold, but it’s delicious!

 

overnight oats2

 

 

 

Weekly Smoothie Prep with Recipes!

Freezer smoothies

 

I think it’s appropriate that my first blog post back after having a baby be about preparing a healthy meal like breakfast quickly–like as fast as possible before the tiny human starts crying again. I used to think that the requirements for making a smoothie were easy enough without prepping anything ahead of time, but now I realize that it could be a lot faster. So for those of you who have kids, or just don’t like waking up 5-10 minutes earlier to prep all the ingredients for a smoothie, then this post is for you.

 

sleeping

Passed out after a good meal

It takes roughly 30 minutes on the weekend to assemble these smoothie bags, and then you will have a super nutritious breakfast ready in no time flat during the work week. It’s totally worth it. I pre-assembled all of my smoothie ingredients minus the liquids, which means that in the morning all I have to do is add my milk and protein of choice to the blender with my frozen smoothie pack–breakfast pronto! If I can do it with a 6 week old, you can do it too! Although you probably don’t need to blend the smoothie in the bathroom with the door closed to keep from waking your child who naps next to the kitchen! Thankfully she can sleep through almost anything!

 

I make my smoothies with a rough formula of 1 1/2 cups fruit, a healthy fat, a vegetable, optional grain like oats, a liquid, and a protein. There are a lot of smoothie recipes out there with 3 or 4 pieces of fruit in them, which in my professional opinion is too many carbs for a breakfast drink. I like to spread my fruit out throughout the day for a healthy energy boost when I need it. For my liquid I usually do skim milk, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or unsweetened vanilla coconut milk, but you can use your favorite! I rarely think the flavor of a smoothie is changed much by the type of milk I use. For protein I’ve recently been using cage-free pasteurized egg whites–they add zero taste and a lot of great lean protein. Plain Greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, and plain protein powder are all also great options!

 

For all the smoothies you will need a quart-sized plastic bag, and a marker to write what is in your smoothie and what you need to add before blending–so you don’t forget! Feel free to make substitutions based on your taste preferences. It really doesn’t matter if you use chia seeds instead of flax seeds, or almond milk instead of soy milk, or protein powder instead of egg whites. Store smoothie bags in the freezer until you are ready to drink them!

 

smoothieprepbags

 

5 days of smoothies:

The Cinnamon Apple: 1 1/2 cups chopped apples (about 2 small), 1/2 cup baby carrots, handful of spinach or other leafy green, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp chia seeds

Add: 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese or protein of choice, and enough almond milk for blending (generally 1-1.5 cups)

This is a greener tasting smoothie–so if you aren’t used to green smoothies you may want to add a tbsp of honey or agave to your smoothie

The StrawBananaCado: 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen), 1/2 sliced banana, 1/2 small avocado, 1 handful spinach, 1/4 cup oats, 1 tbsp chia seeds

Add: 1/3 cup liquid pasteurized egg whites or protein of choice, and enough almond milk for blending (generally 1-1.5 cups)

The Berry Good Breakfast: 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries (like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries), 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cubed small avocado, 1 handful spinach, 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds,

Add: 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese or protein of choice, and enough almond milk for blending (generally 1-1.5 cups)

The Nutty Chocolate Banana: 1 1/2 sliced bananas, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/2 cubed small avocado, 2 tbsp almonds, 1 tbsp chia seeds

Add: 1/3 cup liquid pasteurized egg whites or protein of choice, and enough almond milk for blending (generally 1-1.5 cups)

The Tropical Veggie Twist: 1 small diced mango, 1/2 sliced banana, 1/2 cup baby carrots, 1 handful spinach, 1/4 cup oats, 1 tbsp flax seeds

Add: 1/3 cup liquid pasteurized egg whites or protein of choice, and enough almond milk for blending (generally 1-1.5 cups)

 

Here is your list of ingredients you will need:

1 mango

2 small apples

3 bananas

1 large bag frozen mixed berries (great for multiple weeks of smoothies)

1 large bag frozen strawberries (great for multiple weeks of smoothies)

1 bag baby carrots

2 avocados

1 tub of spinach or leafy green of choice

1/2 gallon milk of choice: I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk

protein of choice: I used a mixture of lowfat cottage cheese and pasteurized egg whites

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp flax seeds (chia and flax are nutritionally similar–if you don’t like one, use the other)

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp almonds

1 1/2 cup oats

1 tbsp cocoa

1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

 

smoothieprep_ingredients

 

 

Chicken Pot Pie with an Almond Cheddar Crust

chickenpotpie_glutenfree_casserole

 

The last few weeks have been crazy for this dietitian. My baby girl will be here in less than a month, so I’ve been rushing to get her room ready, clothes washed, and hospital bags packed. Plus, I was fortunate enough to have two baby showers recently. baby shower_dietitiansPictured is me at 35 weeks with some of my local dietitian friends. I even ate a cupcake without checking my blood sugar after (I’m a rebel sometimes)! One of my amazing gifts was a BOB running stroller. My post-pregnancy goal is to complete the Arcardia triathlon again in August, so the stroller will be great for the running training portion. It’s really important for me to have a fun fitness goal for after she arrives–for my health and sanity. I hear motherhood is just a tad crazy in the beginning, so I know it will be a challenge to balance my time and energy, but I have a goal to achieve! I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress with getting back in shape and getting a new nutrition plan lined up post baby. I can’t deny it will be nice to eat more carbs again after the birth, since my gestational diabetes will be no more. As of right now though, I’m still counting my carbs, and trying to make healthy lower carb meals–like this chicken pot pie made with an almond meal and cheddar crust! I never said low-carb had to be any less delicious!

 

Whether you are gluten-free, diabetic, or just looking for a tasty alternative to the classic chicken pot pie, I know you will love this recipe. Instead of using heavy cream and butter for the crust and filling, I went with 1% milk and olive oil to make it heart healthier. There is also NO chopping of vegetables required for this meal, because I used a bag of frozen mixed vegetables–the standard bag with green beans, carrots, peas, and corn. I also used shredded rotisserie chicken as another time saver. For the almond meal crust, you could definitely use a store-bought brand like Bob Mills almond meal/flour, or you can easily make your own in a food processor or high-powered blender using roasted unsalted almonds. Simply run the almonds through a food processor until there are no more nut pieces, and it resembles a course flour. If you grind too much, you will have almond butter (not a bad mistake). The crust recipe is very forgiving, so don’t worry if your almond meal is too course or fine; I still had some chunks in mine with no baking consequence. The recipe is very easy to prepare–just some mixing and heating! It’s also super filling and savory, making it the ultimate healthified comfort food. For you almond meal crust skeptics, my husband absolutely loved this recipe, and he doesn’t even like regular chicken pot pie!

 

chicken pot pie_gluten free_bowl

 

 

Rice Crispy Almond Butter Truffles

crisp rice almond butter truffles

 

Being under house arrest inspires delicious creativity, so you can thank the snowy Oklahoma weather this past weekend for these chocolate covered delights. I somehow managed to whip up these truffles in the middle of my 13 hour binge watching marathon of Season 3 of House of Cards (no shame). I really just wanted something sweet, and I desperately needed to get the circulation back in my legs from sitting on the couch for so long. It was really out of concern for my health that I ventured into the kitchen for dessert! I love for my sweet treats to be made with healthy ingredients whenever possible, and I like just enough sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth, without being overly sweet. These rice crispy almond butter truffles fit those requirements perfectly.

 

Since I’ve basically lived off Whole Foods 365 brand crunchy peanut butter for the better part of my pregnancy, I thought branching out to almond butter would be a nice change of pace for this dessert recipe. You are of course free to use peanut butter; you can never go wrong with a chocolate and peanut butter combo! For the inside of the truffles I combined natural almond butter with shredded unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, puffed brown rice cereal, and agave syrup. The outside chocolate layer is 85% dark chocolate and a little coconut oil. They taste like a nutty rice crispy treat covered in chocolate!

 

Now you just need to make sure you have the ingredients on hand to make these almond butter truffles before the next wave of snow hits!

 

 

 

 

Bacon & Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo made with Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Bacon & Broccoli Fettuccine

 

If you haven’t ever tried spaghetti squash, or swore you would never replace your beloved pasta noodles with a vegetable, I beg you to give this spaghetti squash fettuccine alfredo recipe a try. It’s not often that I feel like a large bowl of vegetables could in any way, shape, or form, replace the satisfaction received from the classic rich fettuccine alfredo, but this version does it. It has all the rich, creamy taste of fettuccine alfredo, without maxing out a days worth of carbs and fat in a single meal. Maybe it’s the bacon that makes the dish so awesome (it’s probably the bacon), but thankfully bacon can be included in a healthy diet, especially when it’s accenting over 2 cups of vegetables.

 

The spaghetti squash, broccoli, and tomatoes makes this an obvious healthy dish based on vegetable content alone, but the sauce is also way lightened up from the typical heavy cream alfredo–I used 1% milk instead of heavy cream, with just a little butter and flour to thicken up the sauce. You can substitute 1/2 the amount of cornstarch if you need this meal to be gluten-free.

 

My favorite part of this recipe is how full and satisfied I feel after eating it, without feeling heavy and lethargic like I would after eating a giant bowl of pasta. Plus, for people who are watching their blood sugar levels (like this pregnant girl is) this recipe fits perfectly into a diabetic meal plan with only 42 grams of carbs. It also comes in just under 500 calories–I’d like to see an Italian restaurant serve up those kind of numbers with this large of a portion!