Almond Butter Granola + WIAW #30

 Good morning!

Soooo the countdown is on…  9 days to go!!  I’m hoping our little girl decides to arrive on the earlier side since 38+ weeks pregnant feels like a long enough time to me.   I know everyone says to enjoy my last few days of peace and quiet (which I am) but I still really just want to meet her. :)  Thankfully I have my weekly doctor’s appointment this morning so we’ll see what they say!

And in the meantime, let’s talk about food…

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Here’s this weeks ‘What I Ate Wednesday Last Saturday‘:

Breakfast 

Peach greek yogurt + sliced banana topped with a fresh batch of super easy/healthy home-made Almond Butter Granola.  I really need to start making granola on a regular basis!  It takes just minutes to prepare and it’s so much healthier than the store-bought granola.  I also had a cup of 1/2 decaf, 1/2 hazelnut coffee with coconut milk.

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Almond Butter Granola 

Ingredients

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup creamy almond butter

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons chia seeds

a few pinches of sea salt

Optional toppings: craisins, coconut flakes, almond slivers, chopped walnuts, etc.

Directions

1. – Preheat oven to 300 degrees and lightly spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.

2. – Add almond butter and honey to a small bowl and microwave until creamy (about 30 seconds).

3. – In a large bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, chia seeds, vanilla extract, sea salt and almond butter/honey mixture.  Stir until everything is evenly coated.

4. – Spread mixture on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.

5. – Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Add the optional toppings to the mix and enjoy!  (I added craisins and coconut flakes to this batch of granola)

See…  super easy, right? :)

Lunch

A sandwich with home-made chicken salad (btw I never buy prepared chicken salad since it’s basically loaded with fatty mayo), cucumber slices (for the ‘crunch’ factor) and a slice of cheese.  I also had fruit salad and water.

Afternoon Snack 

Too many triscuits to count….

Dinner + Dessert 

 Mike was away so I just picked up a salad with grilled salmon at a nearby cafe.  The salad was pretty simple and included spinach, craisins, goat cheese + cucumbers with a light raspberry dressing on top.  And the salmon had an herb seasoning on it.  Yummm!

Since I can’t end the day without something chocolate-y, I had a tasty peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie (I forgot to take a pic’ but it looked similar to this cookie…)

and a chocolate frozen greek yogurt bar.

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Do you make granola?  What do you include with yours?

What’s on the menu for today?

On a separate note, does anyone know how to get rid of shin splints?!  PLEASE SHARE :)

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As always, thanks Jenn for hosting this weekly WIAW party!

Hawaiian Burgers + WIAW #29

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

I’m typing this up on Tuesday night when I really should be reading for Book Club…  I still have another 200+ pages to finish by Thursday!  So let’s just jump right into this weeks ‘What I Ate Wednesday Sunday’ post. :)

Pre-Breakfast Snack – 6:45 am

larabar

Mike and I had plans to go on an early 3 mile power-walk (in which I had killer shin splints, wtf?), so I ate a larabar before we took off.

Breakfast – 9ish am

A bowl of mixed berry greek yogurt, raspberries, blueberries + GoLean crisp cereal.  Plus, Dunkins hazelnut coffee with unsweetened almond milk.

Lunch – Noon

Lunch was whatever I could quickly throw into a cooler for the beach…   including freshly cut-up pineapple (addicted!) and a peanut butter, banana sandwich.

Afternoon Snack – 4ish pm

My favvvv snack plate: cheese, pretzel crackers, grapes + wine! Yep, I enjoyed 1/2 glass of chardonnay and it was delicious!

Dinner – 7:30 pm

Hawaiian Burger

Mike prepared an amazing dinner consisting of steamed green beans and Hawaiian burgers.  I believe I ripped the recipe out of an old ‘Better Homes & Gardens’ magazine but I can’t recall?  And Mike just tweaked it a bit.

Hawaiian Burgers

Ingredients for 4 servings 

1 lb lean ground, grass-fed beef
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped pineapple (canned or fresh)
a few pieces of diced deli ham
a few dashes of sea salt + ground pepper
4 slices of cheese (we used cheddar)
4 whole wheat sandwich thins (or burger buns)
Optional toppings: lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup, mustard, etc.

Directions

Combine beef, blue cheese, onions, pineapple, ham, salt + pepper together in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Shape the burgers into 4 patties, cook over medium heat on the grill + add the sliced cheese right before they’re done.  Enjoy the burgers on a sandwich thin or bun with whatever toppings you’d like!

You guys, these burgers were SOOO flavorful – you have to try ’em! :)

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What do you usually pack to eat @ the beach?

What’s your favorite type of burger + toppings?

 

WIAW #28… Meatless Monday Edition

Happy Wednesday!  

Once again I’m linking up with Jenn and everyone for this weekly WIAW post.

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This week I’m showing you my foods + drinks from Monday, which is also ‘Meatless Monday’ in the Doyle household.  Do you guys remember when Oprah talked about incorporating meatless days into our week and asked everyone to join her for ‘Meatless Monday’s’?  (Speaking of Oprah, I really miss her show!!)  Well ever since then (maybe 5 years ago?), I’ve tried to stick with it.  Ideally I’d like to include more meatless days into my week which will in turn increase my veggie intake at dinner time + also lead to healthier meals.  It’s a win, win situation!  

So here’s ‘What I Ate Wednesday on Meatless Monday’… 

Breakfast – 6 am

breakfast

 A bowl of strawberry greek yogurt, sliced kiwi, strawberries + granola with iced coffee, water + a prenatal vitamin. 

Morning snack – 9:30 am

Lunch – 12 pm

lunch

Oh, lunch…  I’m never in the mood to pick-up lunch items at the grocery store so a lot of the time I rely on breakfast foods to get me through the day.  And trust me, I’m not complaining ;)  Lunch consisted of 2 van’s multigrain waffles, all-natural peanut butter + lots of strawberries. 

Afternoon snacks – 4:15ish pm

pineapple

Pre-workout snack above (fresh pinapple) and post-workout snack below (trail-mix)…

Dinner & Dessert – 7:30 pm

I know, it looks like a basic salad but for some reason it still tasted delicious.  I’m guessing the goat cheese was the reason I liked it so much? :)  In the mix: lettuce, spinach, chopped tomatoes, carrots, 2 hard-boiled eggs, canned corn, crumbled goat cheese with a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  Plus, lemon water on the side. 

Dessert = 2 of these little bags….   Yummm!

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Do you include ‘meatless’ days into your week? 

What’s on your menu for today?

Tropical Pineapple Banana Smoothie (WIAW #27)

Happy WIAW!

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With the weather in Boston becoming hot, hot, hot, my smoothie addiction is becoming out of control!  I’ve been enjoying a smoothie a day so it was no surprise when all I wanted for dinner the other night was yet another cold, refreshing smoothie.  Not only is a smoothie the perfect snack or meal any time of the day but there’s also en endless amount of ways to make a smoothie…  you’ve got the super healthy green smoothie, the fruit-filled smoothie, the tropical coconut water smoothie, the creamy greek yogurt smoothie, the protein-packed smoothie and on and on.  So many amazing options! 

But before we keep talking smoothies let’s start with my foods + drinks from earlier in the day…  

Here’s ‘What I Ate Wednesday Last Sunday’:

Breakfast – 7 am

My morning started with a bowl full of vanilla greek yogurt, blueberries, sliced banana, almond slivers + grape-nuts cereal.

Morning Snack – 10 am

A Peanut Butter Bear Naked energy bar – so good!

Lunch – 12 pm

A turkey, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese wrap with cherries and Cape Cod potato chips on the side.  Oh, and a glass of ice water…  this pregnancy has me chugging water 24/7.

Afternoon Snacks – 4ish pm

I packed a container of strawberries + blueberries for a ‘lil snack at the beach…

and then came home and stuffed my face with Oreos, ughhh.  But it’s OK, everything in moderation, right? ;)

Dinner – 8 pm

Apparently eating too many Oreos left me feeling kinda sick and not super hungry for dinner…   but I knew I needed something to hold me over through the night (plus, I figured the baby could use some more nutrients) so I quickly whipped up a delicious, protein-filled smoothie for dinner!

Tropical Pineapple Banana Smoothie

1 cup coconut water
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 banana
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon all-natural peanut butter
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

Blend & enjoy!

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What’d you have for breakfast today?  

Do you crave smoothies during the hot summer months?

Blueberry Paleo Pancakes (WIAW #26)

 Goooood morning!  

You guys ready for another WIAW post?  And ready for an awesome, 4-ingredient paleo pancake recipe?

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Here’s a look into ‘What I Ate Wednesday Last Sunday’:

Breakfast (6:45 am)

blueberry paleo pancakes

Blueberry Paleo Pancakes! 

I’ve been making these pancakes for years since they take only minutes to prepare and they’re perfect for a guilt-free Sunday breakfast.  Plus, they contain only 4 ingredients – and that’s including the blueberries! 

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana
1 egg (cage-free)
1 scoop almond butter
1/2 cup organic blueberries

Directions:

1) Mash a banana in a medium bowl, add an egg and almond butter and stir until well combined.*  Pour the blueberries into the mix. 

2) Spray a frying pan with non-stick spray. Spoon the batter onto the pan and cook over medium heat.  Flip when bubbles appear in the middle of the pancakes.  

3) Serve with honey, maple syrup or almond butter and enjoy!  (I topped my pancakes with organic honey & fresh strawberries).

*I’m sure you’ll want to add flour or something to thicken the batter but trust me, you don’t need it. ;)

Morning Snack (10ish am)

larabar

Mike and I attended a birthing class in the morning so I packed a water bottle and a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar to hold me over.

Lunch (12:30 pm)

lunch

We had about 45 minutes between the birthing class and the hospital tour so we stopped at a little cafe for lunch.  I went with an all-natural chicken breast, lettuce, tomato & cheddar cheese on whole-wheat bread panini.  I also had a little bag of chips and pickle with the meal.

Afternoon Snack (5ish pm)

banana

A banana before my work-out (btw I’ve definitely ‘popped’… )

Dinner (7 pm)

yogurt bowl

 I was still hot from working-out and craving something cold for dinner so I went with my beloved yogurt bowl.  In the mix: vanilla greek yogurt, chia seeds, strawberries, GoLean cereal & a big scoop of peanut butter (<– for the extra protein = stay full longer = happy, pregnant Julie :))

Thanks Jenn for hosting the WIAW  link-up!

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Do you love yogurt bowls/parfaits?  What do you add to yours?

What’s on the menu for today?

 

What I’ve Been Eating Lately {WIAW #25}

Happy Wednesday, friends!!!

This week I decided to switch up my WIAW post and instead of showing a day full of foods, I’ll show you guys some of what I’ve been eating over the past few days!  I’m mainly changing it up because I was too lazy to take pictures of my meals through-out an entire day….   For real, my lunches lately are just too boring to photograph.  But I also want to share the foods + drinks that get me excited enough to pull out my beautiful, fancy iPhone camera and snap a picture! :)

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So here’s ‘What I Ate Wednesday I’ve Been Eating + Drinking Lately’:

Green Smoothies…. 

My Green Smoothies vary daily…  Sometimes I’ll use coconut water as the base while other days I use almond milk.  I also switch up the source of protein by including either greek yogurt, almond butter and/or protein powder.   Today’s Green Smoothie included:

2 handfuls spinach
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 banana
1 cup frozen pineapple 
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 scoop whey protein powder

Yogurt Bowls…. 

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Fresh Fruit… 

Paying only $2.99 for a big ‘ol pineapple was the best decision I’ve made in ages!!  I’m LOVING freshly-cut pineapple.

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Iced-Coffee….

I’ve been making the same, delicious iced-coffee for the past few months.  It’s just 1/2 Dunkins’ Hazelnut + 1/2 decaf (only because I’m pregnant) + a sprinkle of cinnamon + unsweetened almond milk. 

And Water…   

Over the past 33 weeks of my pregnancy, I’ve been craving water like crazy!  I feel like it’s even gotten worse over the past week?  I usually just carry my Lifefactory water bottle around with me 24/7 but sometimes when I’m home I’ll add frozen fruit to my water.  Yummmm! :)

**PS I’ve also been eating a lot of chocolate and low-fat ice cream bars but apparently didn’t take any pic’s…   just picture this happening on a nightly basis:

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What have you been eating + drinking lately?

Anyone else crave fresh fruit in the summer?  What’s your favorite?

What I Ate Wednesday #24

Gooooood morning!

Well, it’s Wednesday which means a) we’re half-way through the work week (hell yeah!), b) I have my bi-weekly doctor’s appointment this afternoon (love hearing the baby’s heartbeat) and c) it’s time for another WIAW post!  I’m hoping you guys still like seeing this weekly post – I know that I love to stalk casually check-out what other bloggers eat so hopefully you do as well? :)

As always, thanks Jenn for hosting this fun link-up!

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Here’s a look at What I Ate Wednesday Last Saturday:

Breakfast

Baby Doyle likes to start her morning workout bright & early so breakfast began at 5:45am…   on a Saturday.   But thankfully it was a delicious Strawberry Banana Smoothie made with 1 frozen banana, 1 cup of fresh strawberries, a vanilla greek yogurt, a scoop of almond butter + 1 cup unsweetened almond milk.

Around 7, I had my usual home-made iced-coffee: 1/2 Dunkins’ Hazelnut, 1/2 decaf, a few sprinkles of cinnamon + unsweetened almond milk.

Morning Snack

Fruit, fruit, fruit.

Lunch

A big ‘ol salad with mixed lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, avocado, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, grilled chicken + a light ranch dressing.  (Btw I don’t actually eat my lunch at the table all fancy like this….  I  snapped the pic’ then headed to the sunroom to eat while plopped in front of the TV).

Late-Afternoon Appetizer

It’s hard to tell in this iPhone picture, but OMG this appetizer was soooo good!  The sliders included shrimp, bacon, lettuce, tomato + pesto aioli on a toasted bun. 

Dinner

 Dinner was grilled marinated steak tips, asparagus, potatoes with ‘Cucumber & Dill’ flavored cottage cheese and a glass of water with frozen strawberries.  

Dessert

A tasty but very little fudge ice-cream bar…  Seriously, it’s tiny but somehow it has 8 grams of protein(!!) and more importantly it cures my crazy sweet tooth. :)

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Do you guys like to see what other other people eat & drink?

What’s on the menu for today?? 

National Running Day & WIAW #23

Happy National Runner’s Day!!!

Although I won’t be able to partake in today’s running festivities {due to the whole ‘falling while pregnant incident‘ a few weeks ago}, I’ll make sure to get out and power-walk this afternoon and pretend I’m on a glorious, heart-pounding, intense, long run!  Damnnnn I miss running…  

For all of of you who can run today, I hope you have an awesome time!!

Run

#RunningDay

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Not only is it National Runner’s Day but it’s also What I Ate Wednesday.  Here’s a look into what I ate yesterday….. 

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Breakfast

You’ve seen this breakfast many many times on my WIAW posts since it’s one of my favorites!  Yesterday I had vanilla greek yogurt, strawberries, GoLean Crisp cereal + a scoop of almond butter.  And I followed it up with a glass of home-made iced coffee. 

Morning Snack

Grapes + strawberries

Lunch

A salad with mixed lettuce, spinach, shaved carrots, chickpeas, cucumbers, red peppers, crumbled feta cheese, grilled chicken + light ranch dressing.

Not too long after I finished lunch, my sweet tooth kicked in.  So I had a piece of my baby shower cake….  and yes, it was kinda weird eating the piece with my face on it! ;)

Late Afternoon ‘Snack’

Dinner

really intended on trying a new recipe from my ever-growing assortment on Pinterest, but by the time I got home from my power-walk, I was just too exhausted to prepare much for dinner.  This has actually been happening to me a lot during this pregnancy, ugh.  So instead I quickly whipped up mustard planko chicken, steamed broccoli w/ a wedge of Laughing Cow’s light swiss cheese + sweet potato fries.  Not the most exciting dinner but hey, it still tasted great! 

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Are you going to celebrate National Runner’s Day? :)

What’s the best thing you ate or will eat today?

Peanut Butter Banana Fudgesicles!

Good morning!  

Well it’s Wednesday which means it’s time to talk FOOD.  Here’s this weeks ‘What I Ate Wednesday Monday’:

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Breakfast: I woke up starvingggg so I made a big bowl of GoLean cereal, grape-nuts cereal and blueberries with a cup of coffee on the side.   I followed it up with a few slices of Entenmann’s Raspberry Danish Twist…   Ahhh so good!  

Lunch: A tuna melt on whole wheat bread + a granny smith apple.

Afternoon snack:  Multiple bowls of Boom Chicka Pop…  I couldn’t stop eating it {thankfully it’s really low in calories so eating half the bag isn’t too bad} :) 

Dinner:  A cobb salad with mixed lettuce, tomatoes, shredded carrots, corn, hard boiled egg, feta cheese, grilled chicken and low-fat ranch dressing.  I also ate a bunch of Wheat Thins while making dinner {not pictured}.

Dessert:  2 home-made Peanut Butter Banana Fudgsicles!  

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Let’s talk about that ‘dessert’ mentioned above….

How have I never thought of turning a smoothie into a popsicle or fudgesicle?!  

Through-out my pregnancy I’ve been craving sweets at night and I either have a healthy{ish} popsicle or multiple pieces of chocolates {and then promise myself I’m done eating crap and will eat better the next day}.  It finally occurred to me that I can easily make my own fudgesicles by using all healthy ingredients I already have in my kitchen.  Plus, by adding protein powder + peanut butter I can make the pops more filling and prevent any late night hunger pains.

peanut butter banana fudgesicle

Ingredients*

2 medium, ripe bananas

1 1/2 cups almond milk 

1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey 

2 scoops protein powder (optional)

Directions

Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth & creamy.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 5-6 hours.  To remove the fudgesicle from the mold, run warm water over the outside for about 15 seconds then gently twist.  Enjoy!

*Btw I’m pretty sure you can turn just about any smoothie recipe into a popsicle or fudgesicle so feel free to experiment with the ingredients!

Ta-Daaaaa!

I love that I now have a super easy, ‘go-to’ dessert I can eat without feeling guilty!! :)  

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Do you always end the night with something sweet?  

What’s your ‘go-to’ dessert?

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**Don’t forget to head over to Peas and Crayons to see what everyone else ate today!**

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No More Running & WIAW #21

I was so excited to write a post last night and discuss my workouts lately and what it’s like to be fit & active at 29 weeks pregnant.  I was going to tell you guys about my much-needed prenatal yoga class last Saturday morning, my workouts from the Pilates Summer Series Challenge and share my recent walk/jogs…

Buuuut then I fell while ‘running’ last night.  I wasn’t going very fast but it was still a painful fall and I landed right onto my knee and elbow.  I don’t think I fell on my stomach but I called my doctor and she had me check-in to the labor/delivery section of the hospital just to be on the safe side.

So the nurses hooked me up to a monitor and kept me there overnight (in my running clothes) to make sure the baby was alright.

THANKFULLY, baby Doyle is doing great and I feel fine!! :):):) The only down-side (besides being in a hospital for 24 hours and not being allowed to eat dinner until 11pm last night!) is that I can’t/don’t want to run until after the baby is born in August.  So for now on I’ll stick with the following workouts: power-walking, cross-training (elliptical, stairmaster, bike), prenatal yoga, pilates and low-impact circuit workouts.  

Hopefully I can make it 10+ weeks of no running without going crazy! ;)

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Alright, let’s move on to this week’s What I Ate Wednesday Monday!

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Breakfast

 Every morning I struggle with the decision of a green smoothie or a yogurt bowl… Both are just so friggen good.  On Monday, I went with the yogurt bowl which included strawberry greek yogurt, a scoop of peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries and granola with an iced hazelnut coffee on the side.  Plus, the usual glass of water and prenatal vitamin.

Morning Snack

An apple + almond butter

Lunch

 My FAVORITE Panera Bread salad…  the Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken salad (with apple chips on top).  

Dinner

Marinated grilled chicken, corn on the cob and Mediterranean Chickpea Salad (<– you guys have to try this recipe! It’s such a flavorful, delicious, summer side dish!)

Dessert

My evening ended with a fudge ENLIGHTENED ice-cream bar.  Somehow this bar has only 70 calories yet it still contains 8 grams of protein!?  They’re the perfect cure for a sweet tooth and will probably save me from OD’ing on unhealthy desserts during this pregnancy!

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Any tips on how to stay sane without running? :)

What’s the best thing you ate today?

**Don’t forget to check out all the other WIAW posts over @ peas and crayons!