Posts tagged ‘oatmeal’


Friends, I have a confession to make…

I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t been posting much lately. That I’ve gone MIA from time to time. There’s a reason for this.

It has been..gasp…an entire month since I’ve worked out.


I could explain to you how life has been hectic and stressful (it has), with starting a new job and moving to a new apartment. I could explain how I simply feel burnt out, and couldn’t get myself excited or motivated with the usual tactics. I could even tell you about the knee pain that has been plaguing me, with the only solution being a seemingly expensive trip to the physical therapist that I simply cannot afford at the moment.

Unfortunately, these are just excuses. I haven’t exercised (vigorously) because…well, because I haven’t. I’ve chosen not to. There have certainly been days (say, the two weeks I was very sick with a nasty cold/sinus infection) where working out wouldn’t have been an option, or at least a good one, but there have been other days where I simply said, Eh, I don’t feel like it today. I’d rather watch TV and lay around the apartment.

I need to cut this shit out.

I’m running my first 5k in a few weeks, and thankfully I had been training enough beforehand where I feel I’ll still have plenty of time to do just fine, but this is the point where I need to shake some sense into my lazy ass and get it back in gear. I know a huge part of this has been feeling sorry for myself, not being able to fit in all the fun social activities brimming from every corner of Chicago in the summertime AND get my workouts in. Oh, well if I work out after work, I can’t do spontaneous things after work, like beers on the patio or concerts in the park. Well, Laura, figure it out.

I can’t lie to you — I’m freaked out. I’m worried that I’m going to continue to lose my diligence and totally suck at (or even completely bail out of) this 5k, especially after telling almost everyone I know about it. I’m worried I’m going to lose a grip on the progress I’ve made from making healthier portion and food choices, resulting in a ~10ish lb. weight loss. I’m worried I’m going to slip on a bathing suit and feel terrible about myself (again). I’m worried the lumpiness I see creeping up on my thighs is going to get worse.

I don’t like how I feel when I’m not working out, but sometimes — well, I’m a lazy piece of shit. It’s go-time, and I need to keep my eye on the prize and come up with a solution that will work with a) my tendency toward skipping workouts in order to lay on the couch or grab dinner/drinks with friends, b) my busy schedule, and c) my utter hatred of mornings/total inability to wake up early.

I have no idea how to do this. If you’ve been reading for awhile but never commented, now is the time…any and all tips, suggestions, stories or motivators are welcomed….Oh hell…PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO DO THIS, GUYS! I NEED HELP!!

Hmph. Well, that’s that :D

In other news, I’m still totally addicted to Greek yogurt. Seriously, this stuff is my crack — I go through a giant tub per week. It’s so delicious! And ya know what else is in abundance in Casa de Laura?



STRAWBERRIES. Oh. Mah. Gawd. I can’t get enough.


I had some with oatmeal the other day, but it couldn’t hold up against the creamy Fage 0% I usually roll with…There is almost always a healthy sprinkling of cinnamon, Milk + Honey Cafe Mix Granola and walnuts involved as well.

I’ve also been rolling on the salad wagon lately. Below is my unbelievably tasty mustard maple chicken atop some butter lettuce, cukes, goat cheese and Sabra roasted red pep hummus. Despite the fact that I was pretty hungry a few hours later (no carbs, maybe?), this salad was GOOD.


Today I mixed it up a bit with butter and torn-up red leaf lettuce, cukes, some pinto beans, goat cheese, baby carrots and some organic chicken breast that I slow cooked last night with thyme, TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute, garlic powder and veggie broth. The chicken was insanely flavorful, and all the flavors mixed together perfectly. As a bonus, the added beans really gave this bad boy some sticking power, but because I am a fatty and seriously can’t understand how anyone can eat JUST a salad for lunch (wtf??), I swiped a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle from a friend, watered down half the can with some hot water from the Keurig, and had at it (only 70 calories! nice!). It was a perfect lunch for a wet, dreary day. I love gloomy weather from time to time, but Chicago has been testing my patience recently…

Anyway, I’m off to finish up the work day. I did some seriously ill-advised shopping last week and came home with far too many adorable dresses, so I’ll be sure to share those coming up here. Thanks for reading my nutty rant, and please do provide feedback if you have any, I’d love to hear from you!

May 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm 4 comments

Fast food

Boy, did this day fly by! I had a lot of work on my plate and barely looked up from the computer most of the day. I’m glad it went by quickly, but I felt like a big lump of blah.

Instead of staying late, I decided to eat lunch at my desk so I could leave at a normal time. (I do this far more often than I’d like to admit). Since it was a Monday, I went with healthy convenience foods instead of something elaborate for lunch; since I already had a can of soup in my desk, I grabbed a strawberry Chobani and an English cucumber to throw in my purse while my morning oatmeal was cooking in the rice cooker.

Sidenote: I am legitimately obsessed with making oatmeal in my rice cooker. Post on this to come!

I ate one of these guys:


As noted before, this stuff, while delicious, is just too salty for me. I had to down several glasses of water, all in my goofy Santa-Simpsons cup.


I never got to the cucumber, so it’s still waiting for me in the fridge at work!

I got hungry a few hours later (shocker) so I had the Chobani with some of the strawberry stuff mixed in (all of it makes it too sweet, in my opinion), some uncooked old fashioned oats and some of Kara’s Vanilla Almond Special K mixed in to tide me over. Delish and worked like a charm!


So despite it being only Monday, I already had plans set for every day this week, as well as a trip for this weekend, so I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed and worried that I would’ve have much me time – let alone any gym time. I decided to rearrange my plans a bit so I could not only have Laura time (very important :D), but also feel less..I don’t know, boxed in? I tend to get really anxious when I’m overwhelmed and it’s just not good for anybody. I’m now on the bus home (update: finished the post at home!) and feeling much better about the week ahead :)

In other and less important news, why do the ends of my hair always look like they’ve been chewed on by an animal?! I need to get a haircut, blegh.

February 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm 1 comment

Thank you!!!

Well friends, I think there is only one way to sum up my excitement at this moment.

a picture is worth a thousand words...or a really ugly hat

You may have a few questions. What am  I excited about and thanking you for? Why do I have fake freckles? Why am I wearing a PBR hat with puffy red sleeves?

All very good questions. Wouldn’t you love to just have me wearing weird clothing items all the time though?

(Okay, it was a very mixed-up Halloween costume.)

Anyway, this weekend my little bloggy here just surpassed 1000 views! I know this may seem like a pretty lame milestone, but to a newbie like me, its vurrrrrrry exciting. I just wanted to thank all of my readers — one time and repeat offenders — for checking out the weird things I have to say and tasty things I like to eat. It means the world, and I can’t wait to continue sharing all sorts of fun goodies with you :)

As for the surprise I had mentioned earlier (and my dear cube-mate/friend Kara is going to kill me for this…), I got a new camera!

I was disappointed with the quality of my point-and-shoot pics, and due to a…er, cat-related incident, the PAS was on its last legs anyway. I’ll still be using my camera phone and PAS from time to time when I can’t use the big guy, but once I get my compact flash card reader in the mail, look for some fun and much better quality photos!

As for the camera…its a Canon Rebel EOS DSLR. I bought it used because I’m in no way a photog pro, so I figured started with something used and a little cheaper would be a good way to try my hand at photography. I can’t wait to experiment…and if anyone has any amateur photog tips (especially food), feel free to send em my way!

Since I’m so excited about the new camera, I have sort of taken a break on taking pictures because they just don’t look as neat unless they’re from the DSLR :) Stay tuned!

On another note, there is a serious problem at hand: I have taken a break from oatmeal! I love me some oatmeal, but I ran out and haven’t been able to get to the grocery store in awhile…so instead, I’ve been noshing on Kashi GoLean Crunch (my favorite cereal ever) with some unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze. Good stuff!Refrigerated Almond Breeze Vanilla Unsweetened

I usually prefer the unsweetened stuff (lower cal, no sugar!) but accidentally bought the sweetened kind this time around. Maybe I’ll be able to skip the stevia in my smoothies at least?

Will have to make a stop at the store this week and pick up some more oatmeal for my desk drawer though…my mornings just don’t seem the same without my oats!

Anyway, enough rambling for now. Again, thank you everyone for your comments, page views and overall support — so excited to have passed the 1000 mark!

February 21, 2011 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Cause and effect

If you leave a glass of water on the nightstand unattended, the cat will drink from the glass of water.

If you roast anything in your shitty oven that needs a cleaning badly, the smoke alarm (which now has batteries) will go off.

If you do attempt to run the self-clean cycle on said oven, the smoke alarm will also go off.

Ahhh, life’s little lessons…

I grabbed dinner tonight from a tiny (and I mean tiny – we’re talking room for 4 stools kind of tiny) taco hole-in-the-wall joint with a few friends before heading to Sam’s reading in the S Halsted art district-y area. They were GOOD. The cook/hostess/waitress didn’t even speak enough English to tell us our bill’s total (a point did just fine though!), and the steak tacos were di-vine. Oh, and did I mention they cost about a buck each?

I got home around 10:30, and considered just flopping into bed, but I threw together a quick lunch for tomorrow instead. I made some quinoa in my rice cooker (win!) with veggie broth, baked a sliced up TJ’s sundried tomato chicken sausage, mixed them together with two chopped heirloom tomatoes, a handful of baby spinach, a Dorot cube each of basil and garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt. It smelled delicious, so I’m hoping it tastes just as good tomorrow!

After making a quickie salad, I had some leftover fennel and leek that were too small of pieces to save, but too much to throw out, so I tossed them in the still-hot oven with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and roasted them. This is when the smoke alarm went off…grr! I would have kept them in longer, but it was late and my roommates were going to bed, so a screaming smoke alarm was not an option at this point. I threw them on top of the quinoa mix, but I have a feeling they weren’t roasted long enough to soften and sweeten up. We’ll see tomorrow, but I certainly want to try it again.

And without further ado, some pictures!

my chocolate oatmeal this morning :)

It may not look like much, but it sure was good!

eggplant and celery stew

Did you know that just about everywhere else in the world, eggplants are called aubergines?

can ya see the creaminess?

veggie time

Isn’t that pepper pretty?

I had some TJ's poppyseed dressing for dipping

and what's this?

is it peanut butter?

Nope, that’s snickerdoodle dessert hummus!

a beautiful pomegranate I seeded and brought to work

one of the Chicago food trucks, Flirty Cupcakes, came to our office


I got the McDreamy, a chocolate cupcake, with cream cheese frosting and a chocolate/cream cheese filling. Tasty! A little too sweet for me though.


That concludes the pictures for now…it’s this girl’s bedtime!

January 27, 2011 at 12:25 am Leave a comment

Boats of Oats

I have to giggle sometimes, because if you’re a regular (or even occasional) reader of heath and fitness blogs, you’ll see that us crazies are crazy about oats. Especially with those dedicated ladies who regularly photograph their meals, oats for breakfast seem to be the golden standard. They’re not fooling around either; Angela over at Oh She Glows is famous for her vegan overnight oats, while Naomi at One Fit Foodie and the Fitnessista make the most amazing combination of stove-cooked oats. I am not a morning person, so as much as I like the “real” kind, it’s gotta be instant for me.

I am seriously obsessed with Better Oats “Oat Revolution” line of instant Oatmeal. I first saw it in a blog or magazine about the best packaged foods (probably Women’s Health) and had to try it because…well, the shape of the box was neat. For reals.

This stuff is so insanely good though – I actually get sad when I run out and have to eat my Kashi backup stash instead! And I love Kashi!

My favorite is the Cinnamon & Spice flavor (my cube-mate always comments about how good it smells), but they have soooo many flavors that I’m dying to try out more of them. My grocery store usually only carries a few of the standard flavors (and they’re so incredibly cheap — usually about $2!!), but after drooling over their website for an inappropriate period of time, I need to try out their RAW Cinnamon Plum Spiced, their Blueberry Muffin and most of all — their Naturals Dark Chocolate. No idea where I can track this stuff down (Amazon has it but the shipping is nutso), so I hope I run into it somewhere.

I was wondering where this wonderful and seemingly out-of-the-blue product came from, and interestingly, it looks like it’s a Malt-O-Meal brand. Who knew!

There is also a similar-looking brand I haven’t tried yet called Three Sisters that I would also really like to find & try out. The picture of their Dark Chocolate flavor is making me a little weak in the knees. Both Better Oats and Three Sisters have this neat environmentally-friendly packaging that reduces waste, and the packets of oatmeal have a measuring line on them, eliminating the guesswork in adding the water. Genius!

be still, mine heart

January 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment

Hi, I’m Laura!

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