Monthly Archives: October 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole for breakfast? Yes it really is ok! (Day 4)


Sweet Potato Casserole for breakfast. Yes, that’s right (just wait till you see what I had for dessert last night). That is what my sunshine and I devoured gracefully ate yesterday morning. I got a late start to making breakfast so we were pretty hungry once it was finally ready. Let me just say though- It was totally worth the wait! Sweet potatoes are my favorite. Of course you know this already if you have merely browsed the rest of my blog. I’ll eat sweet potatoes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. In my book they’re the yummiest 🙂

Lucky you, you can have it too. Just follow the recipe below and enjoy you some scrumptious healthy sweet potato casserole for breakfast and at just under 300 calories!

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Casserole:
Recipe here from Oh She Glows with a few changes marked below by an asterisk


  • 1/2 cup regular oats
  • 2 cups almond milk (I used half almond half coconut just because that’s what I had on hand)*
  • 1 small sweet potato peeled and chopped
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (these expand so they’re kind of vital for the texture of the casserole)
  • 1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/8th tsp nutmeg + 1/4 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup* (reduced from 2 tbsp on original recipe)

(for crunchy topping**)

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans*
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter*
  • 1 tbsp quinoa flour*
  • 1/8 cup coconut palm sugar*

**Basically I halved the recipe for the crunchy topping but still dispersed it over the four servings to cut down on calories and sugar. The coconut butter, quinoa flour, and coconut palm sugar make it fairly healthier as well instead of the original ingredients so I would try to stick to the new ones if possible.

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 350. Boil sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes then drain and set aside.

Step 2:
Bring oats, milk and chia seeds to a boil, then reduce to medium high heat and simmer for 7 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Step 3:
Add cooked sweet potatoes and banana into oat mix and mash until desired texture is achieved (I mashed the banana well but left chunks of sweet potato). Add in vanilla, seasonings, and maple syrup. Taste and add more seasonings/vanilla if needed. Reduce to low and cook for a couple more minutes.

Step 4:
Mix the ingredients for the topping together in a bowl until well combined.

Step 5:
Pour casserole mixture into an oven safe dish and disperse topping mixture evenly over top. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes then broil on LOW for 2-5 minutes.

Step 6:
Cut casserole into 4 and as always, Enjoy!

Here’s what I ate all day:

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Casserole

Chickpea-Brown Rice Veggie Burger (patty only, and left out egg in the recipe)
Large handful vive la France salad mix
1/4 avacado
1/2 small red bell pepper
juice from half a lime

1 oz Rumiano Sharp Cheddar cheese

1/8 cup raisins
1/3 cup Mesa Sunrise cereal flakes

2 cups arugula
1 cup sauteed squash and zucchini
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/3 avacado
1/3 cup black beans (low salt)
2-3 oz  ground grass fed beef

1/2 cup Alden’s vanilla ice cream
2 strawberries
5 raspberries
half a small banana
2 squares of Equal Exchange organic chocolate (23 calories each square)

YES I also indulged in a sugary dessert, I was careful to measure out what I ate though and was able to keep it at right about 285 calories. Here’s a picture 🙂

Jillian’s 30 Day Shred level 1 (this was pretty easy so I think I’m going to try level 2 today)


Day 3! + Yummy Easy and Healthy Overnight Oats Recipe


Overnight Oats **recipe below**

Almond Chicken Soup (recipe link on day 1)
medium pear*

Strawberry Almond Butter smoothie (recipe link on day 2)

Lentil Chili (recipe link on day 1, minus the longhorn beef)
1/2 avacado*
1 slice Rumiano pepper jack cheese

Work out:
Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred level 1

*rather than constantly writing organic on every meal I figured I should note that everything I eat and cook with is organic or sustainably grown/raised and I will note when something is not. I truly believe going organic on top of eating healthy is what has aided me in my weight loss. Chemicals cause our bodies to be unbalanced and sometimes removing them from our lives might be the last little push it takes. That of course isn’t to say eating conventional won’t work for you – we’re all different! 🙂

Stay tuned tomorrow for a weigh in update!


Overnight Oats:

I had these for the first time earlier this week. They are super easy and yummy. It might be weird at first for some to eat “raw” cold oatmeal, but I found it refreshing and different. It’s a little chewy, but I prefer my oatmeal that way anyway! My favorite part is that you get to wake up to oatmeal that is ready to eat! No prep, no mess. Super convenient especially when you have kids!

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup homemade coconut milk (or any other milk of your choice)
1 tbsp whole milk (you can leave this out if you want)
1 small banana, chopped
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/8 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
drizzle of honey

Put all ingredients in a jar and give it a stir, then place in refrigerator overnight.

Enjoy in the morning!

Super Delicious Almond Milk Recipe + Fun Before & After Pics


As I’ve mentioned before, there are several instances where I have to improvise on a recipe because I don’t have enough of a specific ingredient (or also just because I feel like it). I accidentally discovered this “almond” milk recipe one day because I didn’t have enough almonds. Technically it’s actually a nut milk recipe, but either way it still tastes like almond milk, just an extra delicious version.

So why is this almond milk recipe so special you ask? Because it is made with cashews and is sooo creamy and thick. I’m not sure if I’m the only one but one thing I miss when drinking typical almond milk is the creaminess of cows milk- with this milk you won’t miss it, I promise! I recently tried the original recipe without adding the cashews and it was then that I realized what a difference they made. Thus I was prompted to post this recipe to share the creamy goodness.
Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
4 cups filtered water
nut milk bag (I use this one sold at Whole Foods or you can use a fine mesh strainer)

optional for an extra special treat:
1 tsp PURE vanilla extract
1 tbsp grade B maple syrup or raw honey

Step 1:
Soak nuts in water for at least 8 hours or overnight in the fridge. I always do it overnight that way in the morning it just takes 5 minutes or less to have your milk ready. You can combine them into one jar, I just had them soaking separately for a different use.

Step 2:
Drain nuts and add to blender with 4 cups of filtered water. If you are adding the optional ingredients, add them now as well. Blend for about a minute.

Step 3:
Pour mixture into nut milk bag over your choice of jar/container (preferable glass) and squeeze the bag to “milk” the almonds (or if using a strainer press with a spoon) until you are left with just almond meal like this (look out for a post tomorrow on what you can do with it):

Step 4:
Enjoy your delicious creamy almond milk! Cover and store whatever you don’t immediately devour in the fridge- it’ll keep good for about 3-5 days.

Oh and as promised, here are the before and after pics. I found the before pics last night on hubby’s computer and couldn’t resist sharing the progress. It has really motivated me to keep going to lose those last 19 pounds.

Day 2 – Coconut Curry Lentil Salad


I am feeling great! If you are joining me, here’s all you need for day 2. And if you are just around for the show, I hope you are enjoying my journey!

3/4 cup Mesa Sunrise gluten free cereal
1 cup Mill King whole milk
1 small organic banana
2 organic figs

1/2 cup Lentil Salad *recipe below*
2 big handfuls Organic Girl vive la France salad mix
1 big handful sprouts (I actually forgot what kind as I bought them at the farmer’s market last week but I think they were sunflower sprouts)
half red pepper cut into sticks
half a zucchini cut into sticks
1 slice Rumiano grass fed pepper jack cheese (sold at Wheatsville but you can get other varieties in block form at Whole Foods)

half a Lundberg organic unsalted brown rice cake
1 heaping teaspoon organic almond butter (bought in bulk so ingredients are just almonds)
slices of organic banana, about half a small one
drizzle of raw honey

Coconut-Lime Soup (halved recipe, left out noodles and fish sauce, and used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar)
Salad consisting of large handful of vive la France mix, 1/3 avocado and juice from 1/2 a lime

Strawberry Almond Butter Smoothie (used coconut milk, split in two glasses and saved one for tomorrow)

Work Out:

20 minute walk with sunshine including about 5 minutes of walking lunges

AND Jillian’s 30 Day Shred Level 1 (I was so excited to find the full length work out on youtube! Beware: this workout always makes me super sore the first couple of days)

Lentil Salad recipe:
derived from this Curried Lentil Dip recipe at Food 52

2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/2 large onion, chopped into small bits
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
pink Himalayan salt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 cup dried green lentils (rinsed)
1/2 can of coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and black pepper
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Cook onions, garlic and a couple pinches of salt in pan with coconut oil. Add ginger and cook until onion starts to become slightly transparent.

Add lentils, coconut milk, chicken broth, and about 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes until lentils are tender.

Heat olive oil in skillet and add the cumin, black pepper, curry powder, red pepper flakes and cinnamon. Stir constantly till it turns slightly dark in color.

Pour oil mix into lentils and give it a quick stir.

Add salt to taste and top with fresh chopped cilantro.

Enjoy as a soup, or as I did with veggie sticks and/or over leafy greens.

The first day I made it I had it with carrot sticks, yum 🙂

Who wants to lose 19lbs?


So I have 19 lbs left to be at my personal and final goal weight. I had been stuck for a while but recently I lost 1 lb and now I want to finish the last 19. It just seems so close! My hope is to lose it within about 8 weeks (my 26th birthday) or at least by the end of the year. I decided to take some before pictures (below) and will take pictures once a week as well and post them. In addition I am going to post what I am eating, with links to the recipes, and what exercise I am doing. So feel free join me if you desire! Just remember, in order for you to follow me and be able to eat what I do I will be posting everything one day behind. Let’s see if we can lose these last few pounds together!

I started yesterday and took these photos:

Start weight:
175 (19 pounds from goal of 156)

I ate*:

3/4 cup Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise organic & gluten free cereal
1 cup Mill King low-temp pasteurized non-homogenized whole milk
1 small organic banana

Almond Chicken Soup (I halved the recipe and subbed Organic Girl vive la France mix for the collard greens)

half a Lundberg organic unsalted brown rice cake
small handful of Newman’s Own organic unsweetened raisins (no oil)

Lentil Chili  (I halved the recipe, used 2 parts green lentils and 1 part red lentils, added 1/4lb Longhorn** grass fed beef, used 2 roma tomatoes instead of the can of diced tomatoes, and added half of a zucchini and 1 whole carrot both chopped into tiny chunks so my sunshine would eat them too)
1/3 cup Lundberg organic brown basmati rice

**did you know that Longhorn beef is so super lean it has less fat, calories and cholesterol than chicken!

1 Jovial organic Cocoa Einkorn cookie (I’ve only found at Wheatsville)

*Please note: all the links provided are just to show you the products I am eating. I buy most of my stuff from Whole Foods so it should all be available there. Usually if you buy in bulk and get free shipping you CAN get a good deal with Amazon too.

Work out:
10 minute walk with my Sunshine
25 minutes on the treadmill (5-7 minute increments of running mixed with 1 minute increments of walking)
3 sets of 15 each of the chest press
3 sets of 15 each of middle back workout

If you can tell I’m not going crazy with dieting or working out, just trying to add a bit of working out and eating foods with little or no added oil, low sodium, and very small portions of meat. I’m also trying to stray away from gluten when possible in hopes it will help get me to my goal too. I hope to squeeze in more work out time in the days to come and add more fruits/veggies as well because I could have used more of both yesterday!

If you have any questions or are going to join me please let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you 🙂