Yay! Oatmeal! You love oatmeal! I love oatmeal! Let’s roast some strawberries and be friends.
But first, let’s check in with Crystal.
This is the sixth segment of my Getting Fit series. This series features my friend Crystal, a rockstar figure skater and fellow oatmeal lover. You can her blog, Confessions of Crystal, and check out her Instagram,@crystalchilcott.
TOA: Hello! How’s the concussion?
Crystal: It’s better now, but I’m at home in Pennsylvania and haven’t skated or worked out. It’s driving me crazy! How did the last two weeks go?
TOA: Great! I finally reached my goal of running 3 miles (twice!), and oddly enough, it was at my fastest pace yet! (~10 min/mile)
Crystal: That is wonderful! Has your energy level improved?
TOA: Not particularly. I’ve noticed I have more energy Saturday through Monday, but the rest of the week, I’m hopeless. I’m moving around my running schedule around to fit my “high energy” days and doing the bulk of it on weekends and early in the week (Mondays and Tuesdays). Last weekend, I went on a hike with a friend instead of my usual jog to switch things up!
Crystal: That’s great! Changing things up can help maintain your motivation and desire to run. Did you try interval running?
TOA: I did! This past Sunday, I didn’t feel like running at all, so I gave the intervals a shot. Every time I felt like walking, I started sprinting instead. Surprisingly, it worked! That night, I ran three miles again, and my whole body was exhausted afterwards. It was such a great workout.
Crystal: That’s great! That’s something you can always consider if you’re tired or not motivated. How do your strength exercises feel?
TOA: I’ll be honest: the last time I did three miles, I skipped them. My whole body was limp. But on this past Wednesday night, I only ran 1.5 miles (it was sweltering hot), so I did them. They are my least favorite part of the routine haha.
As I reflect on the last few months, I am so proud of how far I have come. Do I love exercising? Nope. Still hate it. Have I skipped a routine along the way? Definitely. Did I once go an entire week without running? Sure did. HOWEVER…have I given up? NO. The past several weeks, I have run at least twice (usually three times) every week. And I’m up to THREE MILES, and that’s with my super exhausted body right now. I can’t wait to see what I accomplish once summer vacation starts and I’m no longer a walking zombie.
Such a celebration demands some fancy porridge. I’ve been meaning to top my oatmeal with roasted strawberries for ages, but I finally tried it. It’s actually absurdly easy–just time-consuming.
Oh, and great news: I made this jar of almond butter last more than three days (because that happened once…). It’s been a solid two weeks and I haven’t finished yet. Yay?
What you'll need:
- 5 strawberries
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk of choice, or water
- 1/4 cup quick cook steel-cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract OR almond extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (omit if using almond extract)
- 1-2 tbsp of almond butter
- pinch of salt
- sliced or slivered almonds for topping
How to make it:
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an oven-safe ramekin with nonstick cooking spray.
- Hull and quarter strawberries.
- Toss with maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Place in oven for about 20-25 minutes, until warm and juicy but still holding its shape. Set aside.
- Bring milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/4 c water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add extract of choice, optional cinnamon, and salt. Stir.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, swirl in almond butter. I like to not mix it in completely because I like finding globs of it when I'm eating. 🙂
- Transfer to a bowl. Top with sliced/slivered almonds and roasted strawberries. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).