Chocolate Chai Oatmeal

This oatmeal is loaded with spicy flavor! All those masala chai spices mixed with cocoa creates such a unique, flavorful porridge.

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Because the cocoa and chai spices are so intense, you can use banana without tasting it. For those of you who are allergic to bananas (or are just stubborn), you could also use pumpkin puree with some sweetener instead. Continue reading

Getting Fit #10: I ran a 5K!

You’ve probably noticed that I stopped posting the Getting Fit series. Around a month and a half ago, I went out for a run along the East River, hoping to cure some terrible stomach pains. I was finally running 3.5-4 miles pretty consistently, and I was somewhat enjoying myself, too. I noticed a strange pain in my left hip, building and building with each step. About two miles into it, I had to stop; the pain was killer.

I was two miles from home, with no money for a cab or MetroCard for the subway. The pain in my hip was so strong that I had to limp. My stomach pain was still going strong. Feeling hopeless, I held back tears the entire walk home, being passed by all the effortless runners as I limped along. I stopped running that night.

Unfortunately, I had already signed up for a 5K. As The Color Run approached, I considered getting back out there, but I just didn’t have the heart. I huge part of me was just too tired (whoever told me the second year of teaching was easier than the first was LYING), but another part of me just feared getting out there and feeling the pain again, and having to then accept that the ONLY CURE I have found for my stomach was lost.

I didn’t train. I told Allison that she would just have to run it alone while I walked in the back, like a loser. However, when I woke up that morning, and put on all that gear, I had a change of heart. I would just try to run, and I would see how it went.

After putting on all my Color Run gear, I sent an affectionate text to my mom (at 5:51 am her time, mwahaha).


Allison and I made our long journey to Flatbush for the race. We were pretty pumped. :)


We started near the beginning, in the second or third wave of runners. Having a checkpoint at every kilometer was a lifesaver. Knowing that if I just ran a little farther, I would be doused in color and one kilometer closer to the end, saved me. I told myself shortly after we started that I wanted to make it to the third kilometer (pink!) before stopping, but when I got there, I just couldn’t stop. The determination was there. My hip wasn’t bothering me yet (it is now, but whatever). AND I WANTED MORE COLORS. NOW.


Thanks to Allison’s encouragement, I made it. All five kilometers. Without stopping once. Although many expletives were used. ;)


The festival at the end was the perfect finale to the event.


And then I hobbled home and did laundry. :) Lots of it.

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Herbed Pumpkin & Leek Oatmeal

Now that I’m obsessed with herbs (I even have a tolerance of cilantro now), I have been quite eager to try sage lately. It’s an herb I’m not too familiar with, the exception being that it’s used in sausage.

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I noticed that it is commonly paired with fall and winter flavors, such as squash or Thanksgiving stuffing. Thus, I was eager to try this recipe. Although many of my herb posts lately have been “sweet” in nature, this one is decidedly savory, thanks to the inclusion of leeks. Continue reading


I know I don’t normally do posts like this, but this is a big deal. One year ago (yesterday), I woke up a vegetarian, and I went to bed an actual herbivore. After tinkering with the idea for multiple years, I attended a Meetup for NYC vegetarians and vegans, and after having brunch with some fellow vegans, I suddenly felt the ambition to make it official. Continue reading

Choco-Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Parfait

I made this recipe weeks ago, but it took me forever to share it because I didn’t like the pictures. Once I edited them, I realized they weren’t that bad, but still nothing great.

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Ever since making my Brownie Baked Oatmeal Parfait, I have wanted to do something similar. I’m a huge fan of chocolate pudding made from avocados, so instead of using yogurt (as I did in the aforementioned parfait), I decided to layer it with some clean, vegan chocolate pudding!  Continue reading

Mocha Brownie Batter Oatmeal with Almond Butter

I am speechless.

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As much as I love my Fudgy Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal, I am always trying to come up with variations. “What if I could make this even better?” I always ask myself.

AND I DID. Continue reading

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Parfait

For my readers who have been around since the beginning: can you tell I’m not as into apples as I used to be?

I used to love them so much. They were the first “health food” I hooked myself on when I started weaning myself off processed foods. I would honestly eat two or three apples a day to keep myself from eating crap like Doritos or ice cream. When I started buying organic food, apples and bananas were pretty much the only produce I could afford. When I fell in love with peanut butter, I would eat sliced apple with peanut butter every afternoon when I came home from my last class of the day during my junior and senior year in college.

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You can see that obsession in my early recipes. So. Many. Apples. I’m not sure when it happened, but during my year in Newark, the love affair ended. I started having stomach issues (mainly bloating) after eating apples, and I found bananas and oranges to be less abrasive. The apple recipes faded away.  Continue reading

Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet Kira!

TOA: What drew me to Kira’s oatmeal posts on Instagram was how creative she was. She would take my recipes and add a personal touch that I always found appealing. I guess you could say she and I would make a great team!

Hello fellow oatmeal lovers,

I was over the moon when Lauren asked me to be the Oatmeal Enthusiast for October. Not only because I had been dreaming about being an oatmeal enthusiast, for any month, for months, but because I was secretly hoping it would be for October as I turn 18 this month. I was actually talking to my mother about it a week or two before Lauren asked, and when I told her it actually happened she was elated. Best 18th birthday present EVER!! (Cue painfully big smile, weird happy noises, and ecstatic bouncing up and down/irish dancing).

I hyperventilated on the spot, re-reading her message a bajillion times before I could fully understand it. No joke.

Now, let me introduce myself. My name is Kira, I’m seventeen, but not for much longer. I’m a proud Brit, currently doing my second year of A-levels in media, general studies and most important of all, film studies. I dream about being a part of the world of film production either as a screenwriter or director.

Just over a year ago I made a life changing decision to completely change up my diet and overall lifestyle. I started exercising more regularly and dived in at the deep end when it came to food. I quit cold turkey and cut out everything I was 100% sure was pure ca-ca. Bumping up my clean-eating regime with fruits and veggies and leaving the fast food behind me. Thinking it was going to be just that easy. I lost 25 pounds in just a few months.

Now I’m not going to lie, I have had my struggles with food and exercise. For months I fell into a dangerously additive downward spiral of restrictive dieting and over-excising. I won’t go into any detail but I will quickly bring this post back to a positive mood by saying I am steadily making my peace with food, not restricting and giving myself enough rest days a week to keep me balanced. Even starting an online nutrition course to properly educate myself. I no longer desire to be stick thin, but lean, strong and powerful. I wholly enjoy my ‘diet’. My, do I hate that word. On the clean lifestyle I follow now I feel fantastic, and have made amazing progress with my physical abilities i.e strength and endurance. I have fallen back in love with foods like bananas, a beloved stable on this blog, as well as discovered new ones like pomegranates, avocados, zucchinis, beetroot. I even eat brussel sprouts now. To the shock and awe of my family.

I still treat myself regularly though.

On to oatmeal. My mum actually winces whenever I call it that. “It’s porridge. You’re not American.” I pefer ‘oatmeal’ though. It sounds so much more appealing. The first time I tried it, I hated it. I loathed it even. Though looking back it was all down to the fact that I had no idea what I was doing when I first made it. But to 2012 me, oatmeal was disgusting, it was gloopy, tasteless, grey mush. I had to add FIVE TBSP’s of sugar and even then I only had two more spoonfuls before chucking it in the bin and making a bowl of cereal.

I left it a year before I tried it again. This was when I was just starting out trying to eat healthier. It still sucked. Thinking about it now I’m kind of ashamed. I had cooked it in the microwave, and it was an overcooked, stodgy mess. Even worse this time, I added Splenda. No offense to anyone who uses it. But artificial sweeteners…it makes me cringe to see people use them. When there are such better alternatives both for health AND taste; honey, maple syrup, stevia, FRUIT!


Fast forward a few months and I realised that its better straight from the hob (The stove for all you Americans). And with milk. Unsweetened almond milk being my liquid of choice. And most of all, laddened down with lots of fruits, jam/nut butters, nuts, chocolate chips etc, etc. Midway through this period of oatmeal adventureous..ness..ness (That’s not a word is it?), I came across one of the best discoveries I have made. Lauren…and her blog. I was overwhelmed with just how many different combinations she had created, and because of her I found other blogs (Oatgasm and the Cinnamon siliqouy) which gave me even more to try out and enjoy. Oatmeal has so many benefits, and because I can make it with gluten-free oats it doesn’t give me a tummy ache afterwards either, I suffer from IBS, irritated significantly by gluten, so this is a big selling point for me.

Now. Even more months after that I still follow them and others, checking everyday for new posts, and have even started up my own blog where I post my own creations. Writing this, I thank my lucky stars that I decided to choose a healthy lifestyle, and more over that I found Lauren and ‘The Oatmeal Artist’ because I have no idea where I would be now. Not enjoying a new, exciting, delicious AND nutritious breakfast every morning that’s for sure. And I do eat it every morning. Without fail. My day doesn’t start till I’ve had my oats. Which brings me to the end of the ‘get to know me’ segment of this post. (Sorry it was so long!)

If you’re still reading after that lot… Well done. I mean it. Now how about I get down to it and show you the main attraction of this post? My breakfasts for the week.

These were my oatmeal dishes from the 14th-21st of Septemeber. Hope they were worth it :P


Molten Mexican Hot Chocolate Baked Oatmeal

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Lauren and I had the same idea this week. A baked variation of Mexican hot chocolate oatmeal. I just added a chocolate centre. I found that this calmed some of the heat and made it extra indulgent. I had some yogurt on the side so it was like having a posh dessert for breakfast. Continue reading

Top 15 Recipes for Autumn Lovers (Revisited)

Last year this month, I posted about the Top Recipes for Autumn Lovers, AKA oatmeal that uses ingredients like apples, pumpkin, sweet potato, and other fall produce.

Since I made so many autumn-themed recipes last year throughout the fall and winter months, I figured this would be a great time to update the list!

Autumn Muesli

It’s all in the name. What could be more “fall” than dried apples, raisins, and pepitas?

Continue reading

Plum Pineapple Rosemary Breakfast Cobbler

Let me tell you the history of Lauren and rosemary.

Plum Pineapple Rosemary Breakfast Cobbler

Herbs are not used in traditional Midwestern cuisine. Most dishes consist of copious amounts of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken and a solid pinch of salt. I didn’t have any concept of fresh herbs until my mom started growing her own chives and putting them on roasted sliced potatoes.  Continue reading