Overnight Oats


Breakfast is such an underrated meal. It should be cherished and loved and nurtured. How many times have you just snagged a banana or a granola bar on your way out the door? Or better yet, how many time have you skipped breakfast altogether?


Once I discovered just how important breakfast was, I began to make it a priority. However, I quickly learned that sugary cereal and packets of oatmeal gave me a sugar crash and left me hungry two hours later.  


Overnight oats became my savior. They are so customizable you can flavor them however you’d like. And on the days you’re running super late, your breakfast is literally ready to eat! Depending on your taste preferences and schedule you can spruce up a bowl of ONO with fruit, nuts, nut butter, seeds, milks, yogurts, chocolate, literally anything!


Basic Recipe
To a jar or glass with a top add 1/2 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup liquid* and 1 teaspoon chia seeds or flax (this is optional). Attach lid, give a quick shake and allow to set in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you can transfer to a bowl and heat in the microwave for two minutes or you can eat them straight from the jar! Customize your oats with your desired toppings and viola!
*If you aren’t going to microwave your oats, reduce the liquid to 1/2 cup.


Add-ins
In each bowl of oats I try to have at least one fruit, nut or seed and extra fiber. Depending on your taste preferences, the fruit may be sweet enough, if not you can add a small amount of sweetener.


Fruit
-banana, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peach, apple, dried cranberries or raisins
Make sure to get dried fruit without any added sugar.


Nuts & Seeds
-pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and various nut butters such a peanut butter or almond butter
Verify your nut butter doesn’t contain any excess oils or sweetener.


Fiber
-chia seeds or ground flax seeds
Your body process freshly ground flax better than whole flax seeds, so grind up your own flax seeds.


Sweetener
-pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia, brown rice syrup
If you’re accustomed to processed, sugar-y packets of oatmeal, you’ll need A LOT of sweetener to mimic that flavor. Work your way down, slowly cutting back on the amount of sweetener you need until you enjoy your oats without sweetener.



Top Tips
>  If you use chia seeds or flax, make sure you add it to the mixture the night before.
> Use a pint sized mason jar to store your oats overnight.
>  Make a double batch of oats without flavoring or toppings and then you can split up the batch and make two different flavors for two days in a row.
> Reserve the nuts to use a a topping. If you add them the night before, they’ll be soggy.
> Keep in mind, if you add items to the oats that contain a lot of water (like frozen berries) you many need to decrease your liquid.
> If your oats aren’t liquid enough the next day, add a splash of milk before you microwave them.
> Crush your nuts with your hands for soft nuts (pecans & walnuts) or a mallet/rolling pin for harder nuts (almonds)


Recipes
PB+Banana
To a jar add 1/2 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cups almond milk and 1 teaspoon chia seeds. Attach the lid, give it a quick shake and allow to set in the fridge overnight. In the morning, transfer to a bowl and heat in the microwave for two minutes. Top with natural peanut butter and a sliced banana.




Almond Joy
To a jar add 1/2 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cups coconut milk and 1 teaspoon chia seeds. Attach the lid, give it a quick shake and allow to set in the fridge overnight. In the morning, transfer to a bowl and heat in the microwave for two minutes. Stir 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and 1 1/2 tablespoons of cacao powder. Top with unsweetened, dedicated coconut flakes and crushed almonds.


Peaches+Cream
To a jar add 1/2 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cups coconut milk and 1 teaspoon chia seeds. Attach the lid, give it a quick shake and allow to set in the fridge overnight. In the morning, transfer to a bowl and heat in the microwave for two minutes. Stir 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon maple syrup into your oats. Top with crushed pecans, a sliced peach and a drizzle of coconut milk.


I was out of almonds so I used pecans, but it was still good!
Chocolate+Cherry+Almond
To a jar add 1/2 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cups almond milk and 1 teaspoon ground flax. Attach the lid, give it a quick shake and allow to set in the fridge overnight. In the morning, transfer to a bowl and heat in the microwave for two minutes. Stir 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of cacao powder into your oats. Top with crushed almonds and sliced cherries.


Combos to Try!
Apples and Cinnamon: apple, cinnamon
Cinnamon Roll: Cinnamon, pecans, vanilla protein powder
Pineapple Upside Down Cake: pineapple, sprinkle of coconut sugar
Carrot Cake: grated carrots, nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins and pecans


Experiment with your favorite flavors. Try adding various protein powder flavors, frozen and fresh fruit or even dark chocolate chips. And.... if you're feeling cray, try a savory bowl with veg!


Lots of Love,
Anne

10 Things You Should Be Doing Everyday


Often we find ourselves caught up in the rush of everyday life--taking the kids to soccer practice, scrolling through social media, going to work--and we forget to live purposefully. It’s time to become cognizant of the things we do and why we do them. Here are my top ten, vital habits that easily incorporate into any routine. Live a happier, healthier and more productive life that enables you to accomplish your goals and live out your dreams!


Fresh Air & Sunlight
It would be great if we could all take a 23 hour walk each day and bask in the sun and get real tan and become children of the earth. Of course, we totally can’t do that. However, it’s still important to get fresh air and sunlight whenever possible. Open a window while you’re getting ready, enjoy your morning coffee on the porch or take a short stroll on your lunch break.





Exercise
Even just a 20 minute walk will release endorphins and boost your mood. You’ll feel less tired, happier, sleep better, and your body won’t be as sore and creaky. Wake up half an hour earlier and squeeze in a speedy yoga sesh. Try unwinding after work with a casual walk around the neighborhood with your love. If you're more of a gym bunny that's cool too! (Check out my post here on beating your gym phobia!) It's truly amazing how many positive effects a little bit of physical activity can have on your mind, mood, and body.




“To Do” List Item
You know that “To Do” list you have that’s 56 items long? Well no more! Aim to accomplish one, manageable task each day. The keyword here is manageable. If you have a task that’ll take five hours, but you don’t have five hours, break it into small pieces and do one each day. It is soooo cathartic to check off that thing you've been meaning to do for six months.





A Selfless Act
Be a nice person today and everyday! Hold the door for the person behind you, give your co-worker a compliment, or let someone go in front of you while in traffic or in the grocery store line. Simple acts of kindness take nothing from you, but may mean the world to someone else. My fav act of kindness it to buy the drink of the person behind me in the Starbucks drive thru.





A Selfish Act
What makes you happy? Try to do one thing each day that genuinely puts a smile on your face.Perhaps you need five minutes to scroll through social media. Or maybe you'd like to give yourself a mani. I love bake a cheeky little treat or sit on the couch and veg to Harry Potter and the Scorerer's Stone for the 665th time. Don't feel bad about having a few minutes (or more) to yourself. Remember you need to take care of you before you can take care of anyone else!





Eat Well
Take care of yourself by eating right. Nourish your body and your mind with whole, unprocessed food. Cooking is such a special way to show love and appreciation--even for yourself. Set aside a few minutes every day to whip up something delicious for yourself and the people you love. And make sure to drink water!






Read
I read at least 70 books a year. And yet I work 50+ hours a week, attend school part time, maintain this blog (yay!), care for my family, and manage to see my friends occasionally. You may wonder how I have time to read at all! I have two secret tricks. Listen to audiobooks and read everyday. My commute is around an hour and half each day. During this time I listen to audiobooks in the car. That seven and a half hours a week, which is a whole book! (Check out my post on how to get books for free!) Also I make sure to physically read one chapter each day. I often read in bed to relax my body before sleep, but you could also read in the morning or on your lunch break. Reading is nourishment for the mind and the soul. I truly believe if you don't like to read it's not because your don't enjoy it, but rather because you haven't found the right book! Experiment with various genres and styles maybe autobiographies, graphic novels or travel guides. I'm a sucker for a good cozy mystery and I also love craft, DIY, and cooking books.





A Quick Clean Up
It doesn't matter if your home is filled with luxury goods from Crate and Barrel or second-hand knock offs from the thrift shop. Treat your home and belongings with love and care. Train yourself to put things away when you are done with them. This sounds so simple, but how many of us actually do it?! When you take your shoes off, immediately put them away. If you spill something on the floor, sweep it up. If you learn to keep your area clean, you’ll spend less time cleaning later. Do a quick once-over before bed. Wipe your counters, load the dishes, briefly run the vacuum, and ensure you set yourself up to prosper the next day.





Meditate & Breathe
With our busy lives, it can be hard to find a minute to breathe. Make it a priority to set aside five minutes for meditation. Set a timer and focus on deep breathing until the timer goes off. When your thought stray, gently refocus on your breath. I do this before bed and I feel so much calmer, my body and mind feel quieter and I rest easier.





Practice & Show Gratitude
This is the most important habit you can start. Have an “attitude of gratitude”! Take a minute to reflect on the wonderful things you have in your life. Maybe you are thankful for several things today, or just one thing in particular. Regardless of the current problems you are facing, there is always something you can be find to be grateful for.


Along with this, make sure to appreciate all of the wonderful people in your life. And let them know you love them! You don’t need a huge display of affection, either. Surprise your S.O. with flowers, call your sister, or even just shoot a quick “Thinking of you today. Hope you’re well!” text. I love sending a cute card to my friends or making an extra batch of banana bread for my neighbors. Don’t forget about your furry creatures! They’d love an extra cuddle too.

Add these into your daily routine and eventually, they'll become habitual.
P.S. Don't forget to floss too, children!

Lots of Love,
Anne