Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is a great weekend treat! I often make it the night before, and bake it in the morning. It is great to bring to brunches or during the holidays. 

Strawberry Baked Oatmeal


  • 2 cups (175 grams) old fashioned rolled oats (I used gluten free oats)
  • 1/3 cup (70 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (55 grams) walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup (125 grams) sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup (58 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups (473 ml) reduced-fat (2%) milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled, 1/2-inch slice

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Generously spray the inside of a 10-1/2 by 7 inch baking dish (or 8-inch by 8-inch square baking dish) with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder,  cinnamon, salt, half the walnuts, half the strawberries and half the chocolate. Add to prepared baking dish. Arrange the remaining strawberries, walnuts and chocolate on top of the oats. Then, scatter the banana slices.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter and vanilla extract. Then, pour over oats and fruit. Gently shimmy and shake the baking dish to help the milk mixture go throughout the oats.
  4. Bake oatmeal for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the milk mixture has set.
  5. For an extra tasty top, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of extra brown sugar on top then place back in the oven under the broiler and broil for 20-30 seconds.

Baked Blueberry Coconut Oatmeal


2 cups rolled oats (I used gluten free oats)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups skim milk (I used almond milk)
1 large egg
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 square baking dish and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla. The coconut oil might get a little lumpy, but that is ok. It will melt when baking.
4. Arrange two-thirds of the blueberries on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour the oat mixture evenly over the berries. Pour the milk mixture over the oats. Gently shake the baking dish to make sure the milk covers the oats evenly. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries on top of the oats.
5. Bake for 40 minutes, until the top is golden and oatmeal is set. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.

      Memorial Day Murph

      What is a HERO WOD?

      CrossFit Hero WODs are designed to be some of the most intense workouts that you could experience. They are intended to be performed with intense effort, in honor of our fallen Heroes. CrossFit recommends that you don’t think to your self, I can’t do that or it looks too hard. Instead focus on what you can do, scale where needed, and think about the Hero that has given his/her all for our freedom. Honor these Heroes with your best effort.

      On Memorial Day, CrossFit Solstice completed Memorial Day Murph. Below is a description of the workout. We all worked hard and definitely gave our best effort. It was one of my favorite workouts so far. The last mile felt very similar to triathlon training :) Here is a video honoring Lt. Michael P. Murphy.

      Lt. Michael P. Murphy

      Still smiling after the workout

      Always dressed for the occasion 

      Tuesday, May 21, 2013

      Gluten Free at Citizens Bank Park!

      Go Phillies!

      I made it to my first Phillies game this year. Who can go to a baseball game without the typical snacks that go along with it? When you have food allergies, or are just trying to eat healthy, I think it is important to do some research before you go out somewhere. I heard Citizens Bank Park had a lot of healthy options, so I looked it up. They were voted the #1 ballpark in vegetarian options. They also have a ton of gluten free snacks, meals and drinks. Check out all their options here, and remember do your research BEFORE going out. Post places that had healthy choices that surprised you.

      I have not had a hot dog in years, but had to give it a try! The bun was really good.

      I tried a new gluten free beer

      Homemade KIND Bars

      Holistic Kindness

      KIND bars are one of my favorite snacks. They are all natural whole nut and fruit bars made with ingredients you can see and pronounce. If you check out their website they claim they are founded on the principle of holistic kindness. I liked the sound of this, so I researched a little more and found their mission statement:

      Holistic Kindness:
        For us “being KIND,” means to “Be KIND to your body, your taste buds, and the world.”®  KIND to Your Body and to your taste buds is manifested through the use of all natural wholesome ingredients you can see and pronounce® like whole nuts and real fruit.  The KIND social mission is embodied in the KIND Movement, which inspires unexpected KINDINGS – ie, unexpected acts of kindness.  Here too, the act of KINDING someone else makes both the recipient of the kindness, and the person doing the KINDING, just a little happier.

      I have a new word in my vocabulary KINDING. I truly believe being kind to others makes us happier! Here is my recipe for homemade KIND bars:

      Clean Eating Nutty Coconut Granola Bars
      (Makes 12 bars)


      • 1 cup walnut pieces
      • 1 cup slivered almonds
      • 1 cup chopped pecans
      • 1 cups dried cranberries, fruit juice sweetened
      • 1 cup traditional oats (I used gluten free oats)
      • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 3/4 cup dried coconut
      • 1 cup organic brown rice syrup
      • 1/4 cup honey
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


      1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the walnuts, peanuts, cranberries, oats, coconut and cinnamon. Stir well to combine.
      2. In a small to medium sauce pan, combine the brown rice syrup, honey and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally.
      3. While the sweetener is still hot, pour it into the mixing bowl and stir everything together.
      4. Working quickly, transfer the mixture into an oiled baking dish (Mine was 9 x 13).
      5. Using a piece of parchment paper that is large enough to cover the entire surface area, press down the mixture down using your flat hand(s) to compress it tightly. If you don’t pack it down tight enough, these will not stick together when you cut them.
      6. Place the baking dish in the freezer overnight and cut into bars in the morning.
      Storage: Once these have been cut, it’s best to wrap them individually in parchment or plastic wrap and store in the freezer. If they warm to room temperature, they start to fall apart.

      Wednesday, May 15, 2013

      Back to School

      Institute for Integrative Nutrition  

      Nothing makes me happier then when someone approaches me and says they tried a recipe on my blog! Recently a lot of my friends and family have asked me to help them get healthier and have asked for nutrition advice. I am always happy to share what works for me, but I know that everyone is different! I am also not an expert in this area, and have a lot to learn. This, paired with my love of learning, led me on a search for a health coach program. I did a lot of research and finally decided on the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. It is the world's largest and most reputable nutrition school. This is not what sold me, however. Their mission statement did. Here it is:

      Our mission is to play a crucial role in improving health and happiness, and through that process, create a ripple effect that transforms the world.
      As we work towards that mission, we hold ourselves to the following core values. These values reflect what is most important to Integrative Nutrition.
      Be a source of positive change.
      Do what you love and love what you do.
      Set an example of self-development and growth.
      Live each day with the freedom to choose what’s right for you.
      Support each other in the global shift to better health.
      Embrace learning and new ways to do things. Create balance in all areas of life.
      Simplify everything.

      I thought that was really powerful and connected to it, so here we go! I officially started this week. Wish me luck!

      Tuesday, May 14, 2013


      Every journey begins with that first step!

      A group of my friends and family participated in a NAMIWalk in Delaware. NAMIWalks is celebrating their 11th Anniversary this year. These walks are the largest and most successful mental health awareness and fundraising events in America! Through NAMIWalks' public, active display of support for people affected by mental illness, they are changing how Americans view people with a mental illness. This is leading to ensuring that help and hope are available for those in need. Find a NAMIWalks in your area!

      We had a group of 35 people who walked under a Bring Change 2 Mind Team. We were one of the top fundraising teams for the day; we raised $2,771. It was a beautiful day with family and friends!

      Friday, May 3, 2013

      No One's Fault!

      Learn the Facts

      Imagine if you were blamed for having cancer, 
      if you were called weak for Multiple Sclerosis,
      or if you were told your diabetes was all in your head. 

      The message below is from Bring Change 2 Mind's website.

      One of the best ways you can help someone with mental illness is by understanding what it is — and what it isn't. After all, myths about mental illnesses contribute to stigma, which in turn prevents those who are living with one from seeking help.

      The fact is, a mental illness is a disorder of the brain — your body's most important organ — and 1 in 6 adults lives with a brain-related illness including depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and schizophrenia.

      Like most diseases of the body, mental illness has many causes — from genetics to other biological, environmental and social/cultural factors. And just as with most diseases, mental illnesses are no one's fault. The unusual behaviors associated with some illnesses are symptoms of the disease — not the cause.

      But most importantly, mental illnesses are treatable through medication and psycho-social therapies — allowing those who live with them the opportunity to lead full and productive lives.

      Thursday, May 2, 2013

      Change a Mind About Mental Illness

      Change a Mind about Mental Illness....
      and you can change a life.

      Check out Bring Change 2 Mind's anti-stigma Public Service Announcement. They are currently producing a new PSA in support of Mental Health Awareness month.  In this video Jessie Close, Glenn Close's sister, shares that the stigma surrounding mental health can be just as painful as the disease itself. Imagine the difference we could make if we replaced that stigma with positive energy and support for those struggling with a mental illness. 

      Wednesday, May 1, 2013

      Stand Up Against the Stigma of Mental Illness

      Take the Bring Change 2 Mind Pledge

      May is Mental Health Awareness month. What can you do this month to stand up against the stigma of mental illness? Take this pledge from Bring Change 2 Mind, that will only take you two minutes to complete. The last two bullets were very powerful for me:
      • If someone I know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, I will take it seriously and make every effort to ensure they get help.
      • I will not perpetuate or tolerate stigma of any kind and will commit myself to changing the way society views people living with mental illness.
      Comment on this post or my Facebook post if you took the pledge!

      Dad: A girl's first love

      Keep your words positive and notice a change in your life!