Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Oat Bar

I am always trying to find quick, easy meals I can prepare in advance so I can just grab ‘n go in the morning as we are rushing out the door to daycare and work. I love making egg muffins or oat bakes because you just have to mix up the ingredients and throw it in the oven.

This week, I was lazy and didn’t do any meal prep on Sunday. I woke up on Monday morning bummed I didn’t have anything ready for the week so naturally I decided to start meal prepping at 6am. I quickly threw together this recipe and I am super happy with how it came out. It is moist, but not too moist, and sweet, but not too sweet. It is filling and easy to make and it will last you all week which means it meets all my criteria!

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Oat Bar

Emerson even ate it for dinner last night which is an added bonus. I love when we have meals prepped that the whole family can enjoy!

This breakfast was inspired by Tone It Up Blueberry Lemon Zest Muffins. I added some protein and took out some sugar. You can drizzle with maple syrup or top with a dallop of peanut butter. Both would be amazing additions to this berry delicious breakfast!

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast OatBar

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Oat Bar

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Calories per serving: 140

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain oats
  • 1 scoop Tone It Up Vanilla Protein
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 lemon, juiced (save the rind for zest at the end, optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • coconut oil spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (except blueberries)
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together
  5. Fold in the blueberries
  6. Spray a baking pan with coconut oil spray and add mixture
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  8. Sprinkle with lemon zest
http://www.comfyconfident.com/2017/08/01/blueberry-lemon-breakfast-oat-bar/

 

Spring has Sprung

This past weekend we finally saw the first signs of Spring here in Boston.  Sunday was incredibly nice!! I went for a run and could not stop taking pictures, smiling and enjoying  the spring air. I ended up running an extra 3.5 miles because I was having so much fun!

The Charles River was full of  sail boats, the park was full of kids playing soccer and the walking path had rows of people walking, running and biking.

All this nice weather makes me excited to get outside and energized to exercise. I have been looking for that extra push to get in shape and work out. The nice weather is helping and I plan riding this wave as long as I can!

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yoga under the blooming tree!

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Strawberry Banana Coconut Smoothie

This smoothie was so good and so easy to make. I may of had two!

Coconut Strawberry Banana Smoothie

1 cup of strawberries

1 banana

1 scoop protein powder

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut almond milk
1 cup of water

Put in your blender and mix until it is all blended together and smooth.

view of the Zakim Bridge
Beautiful view of the Zakim Bridge

 

Veggie Egg Bake

This week, I have made a serious effort to prep my food and plan ahead so I make healthy decisions. I chopped a lot of veggies, cooked chicken and quinoa and made an baked egg dish to have for breakfast. All the prep has been really helpful and I have been much more controlled in my eating and snacking because I am properly fueled through all my meals. Meal Prep2

I am always looking for easy and convenient breakfast options because I am frequently eating at my desk at work. The Veggie Egg Casserole I made this week is by far the easiest, healthiest and most convenient thing I have made in a while. It is loaded with veggies and protein packed eggs.

Easy Veggie Baked Egg Casserole

Eggs are my favorite thing to have in the morning. Every weekend, Vinnie and I always make some sort of egg breakfast. I have been trying to figure out how to eat eggs during the work week and this recipe fit the bill. I love the ability to wake up in the morning, cut a slice of the egg bake, heat it up and I’m good to go.

Easy Veggie Baked Egg Casserole

I paired my eggs with a side of salsa and grapefruit slices and Vinnie sandwiched his between an English muffin. Easy Veggie Baked Egg Casserole

Veggie Egg Bake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Mushroom
  • 1/2 Red Pepper
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Tomato
  • 2 1/2 Cups Kale
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Egg Whites
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree
  2. Chop the mushrooms, red , onion and tomatoes
  3. In a large skillet, melt butter and add chopped veggies. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the veggies are soft. Add Kale and cook until the kale is wilted.
  4. In a separate bowl, crack the 5 eggs and add egg whites. Mix together until blended. Add almond milk and spices
  5. Grease a 8x8 casserole dish, pour veggie mixture in and spread evenly along the bottom of the dish.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the veggie mixture and ensure it is spread evenly and coats all the veggies.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  8. Take out and let cool for 5 minutes before eating. Enjoy!
http://www.comfyconfident.com/2015/02/11/veggie-egg-bake/

While I have breakfast figured out for the week, I have been eating some great meals for lunch and dinner as well.

For lunch, sauteed tofu [I never eat tofu, but I am sick of always eating chicken so I gave it a whirl and I am loving it – it’s such a nice change to my typical lean protein choices.], brussels and cole slaw.

Brussels, quinoa and cole slaw

With all the snow, I have been relying heavily on my crock pot. It’s the perfect tool for snow days. It makes your house warm, cozy and smell delicious. On Monday during the storm I made a crock pot chicken dish based off Gina at Skinny Taste’s recipe for Chicken Ropa Veija [I don’t even know what that means, eek!!]. It was really good and flavorful.

Crock Pot Chicken Ropa Vieja, Quinoa and Spinach

 

Today, I am linking up with Jenn for WIAW. I hope you enjoyed it!

Do you have any easy go-to meals you make for breakfast?

Whats your favorite meal you’ve eaten this week?

Jumping Jack Interval Workout + Snowpocalypse 2015

Yesterday was a fabulous snowy day here in Boston. It was like Christmas morning when I woke up. I was so excited to see how much snow fell and if the storm was as big as the meteorologists were saying. Well… we got a lot of snow and we were buried! My car was completely covered and everything was closed because of the snowpolocalypse. My office, restaurants, the gym – everything.

Monument
Bunker Hill Monument

 

Car Covered In Snow
My buried car

Snowy Day

Around lunch time Vinnie and I decided to venture outside, brave the snow and shovel out my car. It was really fun to go outside in the storm.  There were no cars on the road due to the travel ban so the streets were clear of vehicles. But, there were so many people in the streets shoveling, sledding and exploring.

I got a decent workout from shoveling and walking around in the snow, but I really wanted to get a little something else in. I put together this Jumping Jack Workout that I could do in my apartment. Jumping jacks are great because they work your entire body and get your heart rate up. I paired jumping jacks with a bunch of other plyometric exercises and toning moves to make it a 30 minute total body workout. It ended up being a great workout and I got a great workout at home on this snowy day!

Jumping Jack Interval Workout

And… since it is Wednesday I thought I would share what I ate while snowed in. I have to say working from home is hard, I kept wanting to go into the kitchen and snack. After I had my giant smoothie I was pretty full and satisfied. It was the perfect treat to tie me over.

WIAW Meals 1 28 15

Breakfast:
Mixed Berry Smoothie
1/2 Banana
1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup of frozen strawberries
1 cup of OJ
1/4 cup of plain fat free yogurt

Lunch:
Eggs with Whole Wheat toast

Snack:
Trail Mix from the bins at Whole Foods — this is my absolute favorite thing. I can’t go to Whole Foods without getting some.

Dinner:
Turkey meat taco with peppers, romaine lettuce, salsa, cheddar cheese and plain yogurt

That is all for now! I NEED to go curl up on the couch and watch some Scandal. Vinnie and I are into season 3 and can’t get enough. It is so good!

How was your day? Did you have a snow day?
Were you able to fit in a workout?
What was the best thing you ate?

 

Special K Chewy Bars

I am not sure if you know this about me but I am constantly on the go. I get up early to work out, eat every meal except dinner at the office, I travel endlessly for work and play, and I am always snacking. At all times, I have snacks on me in case for when I get hungry. My go-to snacks are easy to carry and no hassle to eat such as granola or protein bars, mixed nuts, fruit, gum, carrots or (dare I say it) cookies and treats.

The best thing about these type of snacks is you can also have them as a compliment to any meal. You can have mixed nuts or carrots on top of your salad, fruit or cookies as a treat after lunch and granola bars can be mixed into your oatmeal or yogurt which is exactly what I have been doing all week with Special K Chewy Bars. I have been eating them on the regular as a snack and compliment to my breakfast.

The Special K Chewy Bars are made with wholesome ingredients that you can see like rich chocolate chunks, crunchy salted pretzels (so good!) and real fruit pieces. They are light and satisfying and the variety of flavors allow for options depending on your mood and cravings. The 4 new flavors are berry medley, blueberry bliss, salted caramel chocolate and salted pretzel chocolate. Personally, I like the fruity bars in the morning and the more decedent chocolate bars in the afternoon.

SPECIAL K CHEWY BAR FLAVORS 2

I liked the Berry Medley bar so much I used it as the granola topping on my yogurt. By combining the bar with a banana and yogurt I got a serving of fruit and added protein to my breakfast. I try to incorporate protein into every breakfast because it makes you feel full and remain full for a longer period of time and it helps the body build and repair tissues for muscle recovery and growth. This parfait combines a good mix of protein and wholesome ingredients. It is sweet, satisfying and has a ton of flavor.  I have been eating it all week.

SPECIAL K CHEWY BARS 5

Special K Berry Medley Chewy Bar Parfait

Ingredients

  • 1 Special K Berry Medley Chewy Bar
  • 1/2 cup Chobani non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbs unsweetened coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Put the yogurt into the bottom of a bowl
  2. Place on top of the yogurt:
  3. Sliced banana
  4. Crumbled Special K Berry Medley
  5. Sprinkle the coconut flakes
http://www.comfyconfident.com/2015/01/15/special-k-chewy-bars/

For 250 calories you can have a wholesome and balanced breakfast full of flavor.

Special K Berry Medley Chewy Bar Parfait Nutrition Info

SPECIAL K CHEWY BAR PARFAITd

These chewy bars are super versatile. Not only did I use them as an add on to my breakfast but I have been snacking on them all week. I had the Blueberry Bliss bar before a cold early morning run and the Salted Pretzel Chocolate bar for a pick-me-up during the usual 3pm workday slump. The chewy bars are very light and satisfying and perfect for a quick snack when on the go.

What are your favorite on the go snacks?

*This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K. The product was provided to me by Special K but all opinions and reviews are my own.

Friendsgiving

I had a great weekend!

On Friday, I was sitting at my computer trying to think about what we should do after work and decided to look up tickets to Hunger Games: Mockingjay. I assumed the movie was going to be sold out but to my surprise they had 2 seats left! The AMC Theatre at Assembly Row is our favorite theatre and really the only place we ever go. You can buy adult drinks, ‘real’ food and the seats are really comfy. But the best part is they have assigned seating, so when you buy your ticket you also pick your seats which is super nice because you don’t have to worry about getting to the movies early for a good seat. With all that being said, we were able to get tickets and good seats for the Friday showing. I loved the movie. Katniss is a powerful and inspiring heroin. The strength and passion is captivating. And then there’s the love triangle… Liam Hemsworth Gale is a total stud but I am #teampeeta. Katniss and Peeta are just meant to be!

On Saturday we prepped for Friendsgiving. We had 10 of our closest friends over to give thanks and celebrate our friendship. It was the first time we have hosted that many people and we took advantage of all our fabulous wedding gifts. It was a team effort to pull it off, everyone brought a side dish and we had plenty of beer and wine!

I cooked the turkey, made the stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes.

Basting The Turkey

Vinnie helped with all of it too! He really shined when it came to making the gravy and carving up the bird.

Cutting The Turkey

Kara came!

Me And Kara

She brought delicious brussel sprouts with pecans, gorgonzola and cranberries.

Brussels

The whole spread of delicious food!

Thanksgiving Dinner Spread

Plate Of Food Kara

Everyone ate until they sufficiently satisfied and full. We did not go hungry! And, our fridge is full of leftovers. We will be eating turkey dinner until the actual turkey dinner feast on Thursday.

Day After Fridge

I happily over ate and drank at Friendsgiving. I was moving slow on Sunday and had a foggy head for a good part of the day! But, that happens when you having a good time! Going into the weekend, I had plans to go for two long runs because as part of the Pile on the Miles challenge I want to get 100 miles in by the end of November. I am falling a bit short, but the month is not over. 

8 Mile RunI did manage to get one 8  mile run in. It felt great to get outside and feel the cold air against my face. Sunday was so warm, I really should of gone out for a run, but the Pats game really interfered. It happens!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Friendsgiving made me really excited to see my family and for the Holiday season to really kick off.

Turkey Beer Chili

I am back from a whirlwind weekend trip in Michigan for work. It was full of back-to-back meetings and presentations. The weather in Michigan was super cold and snowy. I woke up on Sunday morning a couple inches of snow accumulation on the ground. I went to Starbucks for breakfast and between the red cups and the snow on the ground, it really felt like the Holidays were coming! Starbucks Coffe On A Snowy DayBefore then, I was feeling overwhelmed by how quickly Christmas was coming, but I have to say seeing snow, drinking hot coffee and sitting in Starbucks made we excited. This is always my favorite time of year, it just came really fast this year. 2014 has been a total and complete blur.

Snowy Day Of Flying

I was nervous that I wouldn’t make it home, because it was so snowy. We had to be de-iced but there were no major delays and I made it home on-time. Vinnie picked me up and brought me home to a house smelling absolutely amazing. I had left a magazine tear on the kitchen counter of few Runner’s World Chili recipes that I wanted to try and Vinnie went ahead and decided to make one for dinner. It was such a great surprise! The article had 3 recipes and of course, he picked the Beef and Beer Chili because what guy doesn’t like beer and beef! He did make a few small tweaks to make it a little leaner and add more flavor.

Runners World Chili Power Recipes

Vinnie and I love chili, we make it all the time on the weekend and eat leftovers for lunch through out the week. This chili was really good and satisfying. We topped it with shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips for a creamy and crunchy bonus!

Turkey Beer Chili

Turkey Beer Chili
This classic combo is both filling and satisfying.
*recipe adapted from Runners World

1 pound ground turkey
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup dark beer
1 can (15 ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained

Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook until just barely pink, breaking meat into crumbles while cooking. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook 2 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add beer and scrape to release any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes (with their juices). Stir in spices. Gently stir in beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 4.

Per serving: 267 cals, 27 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 27 g protein, 5 g fat

 

Pumpkin Pie Bar

Pumpkin Pie Bar

It has been almost 3 months since our wedding. Crazy how fast time flies but it’s all good because I am really enjoying married life. It is fun to come to my husband every day! We have gotten into a nice routine of relaxing and catching up with friends. However, all this fun and socializing usually comes with wine and food. As most brides do, leading up to the wedding I was conscious of my diet and worked out consistently with a good blend of cardio and toning. I would say I did a pretty good job of getting into the shape I wanted, but I wasn’t 100% happy. Even so, my dress fit, I was happy and I had an incredible time.

Since the wedding, I have fallen out of the routine a bit. Which is totally ok, however and I am ready to get back into it. I am feeling very lethargic and unmotivated and I hate that. And to top it off, my stomach has been bothering me which is a problem that comes and goes. It often flairs up when I start eating more sugar, carbs and processed/fried foods and less veggies and protein. I get really bloated and have frequent pain and pressure. I really need to figure out my digestive issues in a more permanent way, but for now I have learned if I eat really clean it will ease up a bit. These Pumpkin Bars I have been snacking on haven’t been helping my stomach problems or my sugar intack!

Pumpkin Pie Bar

In order to get back on track I need to stop making on my favorite yummy treats which will be hard because this is the best time of year to bake. But before I do, I want to share with you this awesome Pumpkin Pie Bar. I was at the Fruit Center Marketplace (which is amazing – it’s like a local Whole Foods) and they were giving out samples of this delicious Pumpkin Treat. It was great so I immediately went home, pulled out the ingredients and decided to recreate it.

Pumpkin Pie Bar Ingredients

These bars are super good. I shared them with my family and friends and every time they asked me for the recipe.  I had a lot of the oatmeal crumble left over so I actually ended up buying more of all the pumpkin filling ingredients and making another batch.  I highly recommend these for all your pre-Thanksgiving gatherings. Treats for all… Now if only I could resist my sweet tooth!

Pumpkin Pie Bar

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Serving Size: 9

Pumpkin Pie Bar

Ingredients

    Oatmeal Crust/Crumble:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 granulated sugar (or cane sugar)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (about 1.5 sticks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin Filling:
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 pinch cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 evaporated milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. First make the Oatmeal Crumble: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Mix until no clumps. Add the melted butter and vanilla extract, and stir with a fork mixed. Press half of the mixture into the greased pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Next prepare the Pumpkin Filling: In another bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, salt, whole egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract until smooth. Then, whisk in the pumpkin and evaporated milk until well blended and combined.
  4. Once the crust is finished baking, pour the pumpkin filling over the bottom crust and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture over the pumpkin filling (I had oatmeal mixture left over). Put the pan back in the oven and bake for another 20 - 25 minutes or until golden on top and the center only jiggles slightly.
  5. It is good served fresh out of the oven, warm.
  6. It is also incredibly good if you allow it to cool for 3 hours and it becomes more like pumpkin pie!
http://www.comfyconfident.com/2014/11/07/pumpkin-pie-bar/

 

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