Brussels Sprouts & Orange Quinoa

Hello! I actually have a bona fide recipe for you today. And it’s a good one! I’m submitting it to be featured in the new update of the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, so wish me luck.

This is a great dish to start making as Brussels sprouts and oranges come into season. But if I’m truly honest, I enjoy this combo year round because I can’t get enough. It’s great to make in big batches for lunch during the school/work week and puts a unique spin on the grain & bean combo that us vegheads love.

Recipe for TIU

Brussels Sprouts & Orange Quinoa
Makes 3-4 servings and keeps well for a few days.

  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 2 cups roasted Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, diced
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Quarter and roast Brussels sprouts in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, or until crispy.
  2. Meanwhile, cook quinoa on stovetop. (I have a rice maker that makes perfectly fluffy quinoa on the white rice setting, best investment ever!)
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and voila. Yumminess at your fingertips.

3 servings is right around 400 calories of plant-based goodness. Let me know if you try it!

What I want to be when I grow up

For the life of me I cannot understand how it is Sunday at 7pm. I swear I was just writing this post about my crazy schedule and BAM here I am a week later doing pretty much the same thing.

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I promised I would recap my workouts and by workouts I mean I took 5 of the last 8 days off ;)

  • Sunday – off
  • Monday – Tone It Up Stair Circuit & 3 rounds of back to school workout
  • Tuesday – off
  • Wednesday – mile walk with the pups
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – HIIT the Beach from Beach Babe DVD 1
  • Saturday – 2 mile hike with the pups, Tone It Up Stair Circuit, Inner & Outer Thighs and stacking wood.
  • Today – mile walk with the pups

Sometimes shit happens. And in this case shit was visiting with family, going to class, working 10 hour days at the hospital AND working 32 hours on top of that. Yes, I believe that qualifies as shit.

Oh and snuggling. I did lots of snuggling this week.

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Good news is that I’m already 2 weeks through the roughest part. Bad news is that I just realized I’m going 7.5 weeks without a single day off, not 6.5 like I originally thought. I’m trying to enjoy the craziness this semester. Instead of “putting my life on hold” while I’m busy with school I want to continue to live it and be happy because Nursing School is 2 years of my life! That’s just too much life to put on hold.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to be when I grow up (which I’m not sure will ever really happen!). Of course I want to be a nurse…Hell, I’m not spending all my money and energy on this whole school thing for nothing…

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No I did not get bangs again…..Recycled selfie

If there’s one question I hear a million times a week it’s “what kind of nursing do you want to do?” Patients, instructors, nurses I’m shadowing with and especially nurses that are my patients (love them!) are all curious as to my future plans. My big joke is that I’ll take any nursing job that pays once school is over.

And while that is partly true, I do have a specific career goal in mind…one that is actually very possible for me!

I want to be a diabetic educator. Moreover, I want to work closely with patients on how to manage their diabetes both through medication and lifestyle choices. I want to teach cooking classes to diabetic patients who are unsure what foods to eat. I want to lead fitness classes for patients who want to start exercising for health. I want to work one-on-one with patients to really change their lives for the better. I want to be a health coach of sorts for diabetics and non-diabetics alike (I’ve already started with my Aunt and I’m really enjoying it!).

So that’s my plan. Right now I’m just working on my RN. I plan to test for my personal trainer certification in December. And then I plan to start on my Master’s within the next couple of years and get a concentration in Diabetic Education. I’m not sure what kind of certification I want for the nutrition bit, but that’s something I’m really looking forward to. In the end I have a whole lot more schooling to do but I know I’ll enjoy every bit so I can’t wait!

Will I be able to start in this field right out of school? Who knows. If I can’t I know that I really enjoy MedSurg and would love to do that for a couple of years while I keep collecting certifications and degrees. However, there is a program here that I’m very excited about that would actually be the perfect opportunity. Only time will tell.

Before After June 2014

If you’ve been reading long enough you know my story and know that my passions are food and fitness so I’m sure that this comes as no surprise to anyone. I’m excited to continue my journey and happy to have you along for the ride!

Anyhoo that’s enough randomness for a Sunday night. Tell me…what do you want to be when you grow up? It’s never to late to start living the life you really want!

How to make yummier oatmeal

As the weather gets cooler and fall approaches, I’ve been craving hot oatmeal. Yes I can hear you laughing because summer ain’t even near over for a lot of you. But I happen to live in beautiful Colorado where even summer mornings are crisp and cool. So much so that it’s often difficult to drink a smoothie because it’s too chilly!

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banana oatmeal topped with peanut butter, granola and fresh, sliced strawberries

I typically don’t love hot oatmeal. I prefer overnight oats or a cold muesli-type dish but lately I’ve been having hot oatmeal for breakfast more often than not. And not just boring plain oats that you have to choke down, but some really amazing and satisfying combos.

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banana oatmeal topped with frozen blueberries, peanut butter, granola and pumpkin seeds

In the spirit of the fact that I have been on my oatmeal game, I thought I’d share with you my tips for making yummier oatmeal. After all, oats are a great source of fiber, protein (yes protein!), and iron and studies show they can do everything from lower your cholesterol to help control blood sugar in diabetics and reduce the risk of heart disease. Plus they are pretty much the cheapest food you can buy (by volume).

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banana oatmeal topped with raisins, cinnamon, almond butter and shredded carrots

Tips for really good oatmeal

Sweeten with banana – this is a yummy trick I picked up from Anne at Fannetastic Food. She even has a super easy microwavable banana oatmeal recipe on her site for those mornings when you’re short on time. (I do love to stand over a stove and stir my oats though.) In this case the more ripe your banana, the better. I typically do not like really ripe bananas – give ‘em to me green – but they are perfect for oatmeal.

Don’t let it get too thick – I take my oats off the stove when they still have a soupy consistency. Oatmeal thickens as it cools so if you wait too long you’ll have a hard time choking them down. I pull them off the stove just as the liquid starts to bubble and the oats still seem a little runny. By the time I top them and take a picture for instagram ;) they are perfect. Of course, this is all personal preference.

Vary your toppings/add-ins – For the life of me I cannot understand people who eat plain oatmeal. Throw some fun stuff on that bowl! Berries, granola, nuts/seeds, nut butter, dried fruit, fresh fruit like apples, and even veggies are great toppings for oats. Just check out Angela’s Savory Mexican Oatmeal, a recipe I’ve been enjoying for a few years now.

And always include some hearty fats – Man cannot live on carbs alone. Though I try, I really try. Always include a hearty fat like peanut butter or hemp seeds to up the protein and satiety factors.

Use frozen berries – As a topping, not as a stir-in. This is a new trick I just discovered. All I had were frozen blueberries so I just topped my oats with those and WOW! I loved the combination of hot and ice cold and how they slowly melted as I ate. I’ve made oats with frozen blueberries about 10 times now and just tried frozen strawberries too, yum.

When all else fails, use oatmeal as just another vehicle for chocolate – ’nuff said

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 banana oatmeal topped with chunky almond butter, frozen strawberry pieces and dark chocolate chips