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Chocolate Brownie Oatmeal

Monday, September 19, 2011

Somehow this tastes even better in the fall!

1/3 cup of large flake oatmeal
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix thoroughly and microwave 2 minutes

Stir in 2 envelopes of Splenda and half an ounce (about 7 halves) walnuts.

Serve with low fat milk.

This is SOOOOO chocolately and indulgent -- and by my calculations, it's also just 300 calories with lots of good nutrients going on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIKO1908 9/25/2011 10:59PM

    this is my favorite oatmeal...sub honey though...

cocoa is SO good for you!!! :)

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_LINDA 9/21/2011 11:17AM

    Sounds decadent. I was wanting to try steel cut oats, but the package directions say you can't use a microwave :( That is all I use. My stove is covered and used as a counter top since I have so little space..But I always eat my oatmeal with just a touch of margarine and if I am at Mom's, a smidgen of brown sugar. I would never use an artificial sweetener..

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TBANMAN 9/20/2011 12:34AM

    The only thing that would make it better would be to have ACTUAL brownies in it.

Not better for you - just better. ;)

Thanks for the idea - will try my own version with instant oatmeal this week.


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DBCLARINET 9/19/2011 8:01PM

    Mmmm, I've made oatmeal with vanilla protein powder and topped it with blueberries. Add-ins like that make breakfast downright decadent!

Once at a restaurant I had a hot cereal (not oatmeal, but something similar and I can't remember what it was) made with almond milk, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Again, delicious!

Never had the nerve to try it with cocoa though... I might be inspired!

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TRYINGHARD1948 9/19/2011 6:40PM

    Oh, that sounds so wickedly delicious.

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FRACTALMYTH 9/19/2011 5:53PM

    Yummo :D I don't have (or want to use) a microwave - I just pour a bit more boiling water on and wait for 10 minutes for it to all absorb... works just as well :D

I used to just have my muesli or oats with boiling water and a cup of tea with lite milk for breakfast - but I have lately increased my ST / exercise minutes, and I found I was feeling ravenous and snacking constantly all day... someone suggested I try a chocolate milk as a post (early morning) workout drink, so I added a glass of low fat milk with 1 tspn cocoa and 1 tspn whey protein... it works! Since adding that to my breakfast I have greatly increased my resistance to snack-temptations! Apparently nutritional studies have proven that chocolate milk is the perfect post-workout food.. just thought I'd share that! :D

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MIRAGE727 9/19/2011 3:37PM

    The whole thing is 300 calories? Is that one serving? Thanks for sharing.

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VALERIEMAHA 9/19/2011 1:43PM

    Tasty, tasty! No Splenda for me and don't own a 'nuker, but vely, vely easy to adapt. How do I love thee, oatmeal...let me count the ways!!!

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PUDLECRAZY 9/19/2011 12:17PM

    That sounds delish!

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PHEBESS 9/19/2011 10:50AM

    YUM! Totally my kind of oatmeal!!!!! (I do the same thing with yogurt, adding the cocoa powder, sweetener, and 7 walnut halves - brownie yogurt!)

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IMAGINE_IT 9/19/2011 10:04AM

    emoticon Exactly what i do..when and if i have that craving for chocolate..stir a little cocoa powder into my oatmeal! It instantly quiets that chocolate 'monster' inside of me!

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NANCY- 9/19/2011 9:00AM

    I make the steel cut oatmeal... but never thought about putting cocoa into it. Thanks for the inspiration.

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KALIGIRL 9/19/2011 8:59AM

    Sounds divine!

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Some Early Fall Domesticity

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Not a domestic diva . . . never have been. Weekends are for getting to the gym, reading, relaxing, and quite often overflow work from the office.

But yesterday, I did manage to get the routine laundry and grocery shopping done. And took care of a little wardrobe re-organizing too: the summer sandals have now been moved out and replaced with fall shoes/short boots. (Last weekend I had substituted some more fall-appropriate items for the summery pastels/florals: not too woolly yet, but shifting into the brown/rust/olive green range. I'd also successfully laundered some silk shirts in cold water on the handwash cycle . . . . big cost savings and when hung out to dry, they do smell so much better than when they've been dry-cleanedl!)

This week in soup: an Italian-inflected chicken vegetable brown rice, with celery, carrot, wax beans, diced tomatoes, yellow zucchini, garden peas, Roma beans, oregano, basil and rosemary. Had a test bowlful after the gym . . . mmmmm, gonna enjoy this all week.

And I finally got around to making a small pan of apple crisp for dinner, using tart MacIntosh apples (so fiddly to peel: but Charlie loves the peel) with brown sugar, large flake oats, butter and plenty of cinnamon! Served hot, with a little vanilla icecream!

The house smells good when apple crisp is baking in the oven. (First course: a huge salad with low fat feta and lean chicken, to compensate for the higher calorie dessert . . . ). And yes, it was worth the calories in that delicious crunchy crisp, every one of them!

Off to the gym again this morning, and then I hope to the golf course later in the day when it's a little warmer out there. The leaves are just beginning to turn colour on the course, and there are wild asters and goldenrod in full bloom. DH got a hole-in-one Friday night: his second, the previous one having occurred well over 30 years ago now: so that was definitely a red-letter round for him!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 9/19/2011 5:56PM

    Oh Wow that soup sounds GOOOD... got a recipe?

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KALIGIRL 9/19/2011 8:48AM

    Sounds like the perfect ending or start to an old or new week - love the end of summer, start of fall!
emoticon emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 9/19/2011 3:34AM

    I love the smell of fresh baking and soup making. Yum, have a tasty and enjoyable week,

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TEENY_BIKINI 9/18/2011 11:09PM

    Wow. I could smell this blog. Nothing like the smells and taste of Fall on the horizon. Enjoy...


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PHEBESS 9/18/2011 8:14PM

    Yum, your dinner sounds wonderful! Enjoy the fall!

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NANCY- 9/18/2011 7:01PM

    Good thing I had dinner before i read your blog. emoticon
The aromas wafting through your home must be heavenly.
Healthy food can be enticing.

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IMAGINE_IT 9/18/2011 3:37PM

    emoticon WOW you are organized!!! emoticon job Ellen emoticon
And you already know that you made me hungry for your delicious Soup and Apple crisp emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/18/2011 3:37:40 PM

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PUDLECRAZY 9/18/2011 3:00PM

    MMMmmm, a happy and aromatic weekend for you! Isn't apple crisp a treat? I do not bother peeling the apples; I just wash them and let the peel add a little tartness.

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GROEDER 9/18/2011 9:34AM

    Sounds like you are having a great weekend!!!! I hope you enjoy today at the golf course.
Congrats to DH on the hole-in-one!!!!!!

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I have eaten the plums . . .

Friday, September 16, 2011

Breakfast this morning was a Greek omelette and two exquisite blue plums. Which called to mind one of my favourite Willilam Carlos Williams poems:

This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

When I see a poplar shimmering in the sunlight, do I enjoy it more because I remember the Monet paintings?

When I eat a sweet and juicy plum, do I enjoy it more because I remember this succulent poem?

Uh, maybe that's too precious: but at least the poem has no calories at all!! And may help me be feel more satisfied with the calories I've eaten!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 9/19/2011 5:58PM

    Ahhhhh :D I suppose it will come as no surprise that I had recited the entire poem between the time I clicked on the title to this blog and the time it loaded? Our plum blossom has been falling in drifts of sweetly scented petal 'snow'. Now the baby plums are appearing, and soon the birds and insects will feast. If we are lucky, there will be a satsuma or two for us lowly humans...

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TRYINGHARD1948 9/17/2011 12:39AM

    I'm sure such reflections add to our experience of life. I love William Carlos Williams too.

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IMAGINE_IT 9/16/2011 3:25PM

    What a great poem! emoticon I love plums...especially the 'small purple egg plums' we used to pick right off the trees back in Germany....i can't hardly ever get them here in this area where i live! emoticon Ellen for the poem and the memory of sweet tasting plums...back in the day..when everything seemed so simple..and near perfect! emoticon

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DONNACFIT 9/16/2011 2:48PM

    Yeah for plums!! Loved your blog and poem :) We've pretty well finished a small case of plums here (just the 2 of us!) and now are on to a case of peaches..love love love the fall fruit..
..and the fall beauty emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/16/2011 2:50:47 PM

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CARRAND 9/16/2011 2:11PM

    I love that poem. Thanks for sharing.

I always wondered, though, if the plums were a metaphor for something else. Was Mr. Williams messing around with some sweet young thing, and trying to apologize?

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DBCLARINET 9/16/2011 1:03PM

    Thanks for sharing that poem! It made my day for some reason.

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VALERIEMAHA 9/16/2011 8:38AM

    I LOVE THAT POEM, Ellen! And...It's EXACTLY how I feel when I take the last of some delicious fruit lurking in the frig!

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PHEBESS 9/16/2011 8:36AM

    On the other hand, your plums with the poem are feeding your mind as well as your body - an important aspect of overall health, right? Staving off Alzheimer's and all that. So continue to feed your mind, and your soul. (White hyacinths do that.)

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SALSIFY 9/16/2011 8:15AM

    I like that poem too...

I also like Matthew Macfadyen's voice - so I listen to this version:



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KALIGIRL 9/16/2011 8:12AM

    "so sweet and so cold" and so enjoyed!

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NANCY- 9/16/2011 8:02AM

    Ah the sweet treasures that nature brings us. I'm glad you were able to savor the the plums.It is amazing the flavors that are available to us when we consume our food mindfully.

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Red Cabbage Slaw with Chickpeas

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm experimenting today with a slightly different salad from my usual spinach/arugula/mesclun with crunchy bright veggies and lean protein.

Last night I shredded up half a red cabbage, added a stalk of chopped celery and a cup of grated carrot, stirred in a can of chickpeas (drained, rinsed) with half a cup of Greek yogourt, some caraway seed, paprika and sea salt.

It's packed into a container with a couple of slices of low fat chicken.

Should be a nice change, and there are enough leftovers for tomorrow as well.

(Plus, of course, chopped fruit: peach, kiwi, a few cherries, a tiny clementine and some frozen mixed berries).

Breakfast was a microwave omelette (half eggwhite, half Omega + egg with low fat salsa, arugula and Greek seasoning) and a small fresh pear.

Dinner will be "this week in soup" Asian chicken pho.

Cocktail event will involve a virgin Caesar for me . . . and I'll be staving off munchy temptation in advance with some fat free sugar free yogourt before I go.

Charlie will get a walk (cardio for both of us) when I get home!!

OK, day: bring it on!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 9/16/2011 5:59PM


Thank you for this poem on this day. One of my favorite poets!


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FRACTALMYTH 9/15/2011 4:49PM

    mmmmmmm *note to self* must buy cabbage!

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DDOORN 9/15/2011 3:06PM

    DW has a great recipe for red cabbage & apples...love chickpeas though...bet that's a keeper!


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KALIGIRL 9/15/2011 8:43AM

    Food sounds 'heavenly' - love red cabbage!

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PUDLECRAZY 9/15/2011 6:22AM

    That sounds yummy!

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TRYINGHARD1948 9/14/2011 4:47PM

    A wonderfully tasty and healthy day, enjoy.

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IMAGINE_IT 9/14/2011 2:12PM

    Please let us know how the Red Cabbage salad tastes..i have been adding shredded cabbage to my daily salad...for an extra crunch..and i like it a lot!
One of the things i need to learn is to 'experiment' more....i tend to stay with the same ol' same ol' way too long!
Your menu for this week sounds delicious!! emoticon Enjoy! emoticon

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_LINDA 9/14/2011 1:17PM

    Sounds awesome! You sure add a lot of ingredients in a salad! I like them that way too, the more the merrier, and the crunchier the better! Enjoy!!

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NANCY- 9/14/2011 8:43AM

    You are doing awesome. You show us all how to shine.
Keep Sparking!!!!

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PHEBESS 9/14/2011 7:36AM

    I'm so impressed with your planning! And this morning, as I was driving to work, I realized we're in the third week of school and I'm still not Beck-ing yet! Gotta get myself in gear!

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GROEDER 9/14/2011 7:28AM

    That sounds like a great menu and a healthy plan. Way to go!!!
I got hungry, just reading about your selections. LOL

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Burning Calories

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When I'm motoring at level 8 on the elliptical cross trainer, at my current weight of 137-138 pounds, it takes me a full minute of sweaty effort to burn just 14-15 calories.

That means:

One minute of all-out exercise is what it takes to use up the calories in four sweet cherries.

It's just over two minutes to burn 1 serving of fat free sugar free yogourt.

Four minutes to dispatch a serving of low calorie hot chocolate. Or two slices of low fat chicken.

Just over five minutes to equal the calories in a medium apple.

A moderate 10 piece serving of potato chips, say 200 calories? That would be over thirteen minutes of continuous hard work! But would I stop at 200 calories worth, once I'd started?? As if. Not remotely likely.

If nothing else, time at the gym is time when I'm not eating. But even better, watching the calorie burn on the cross trainer at the gym helps me think all day long about not putting food mindlessly into my mouth.

To stick with what I've pre-tracked.

Because: I just can't ever exercise enough to begin to burn off the quantity of calories in the type and volume of foods I'd (still) like to eat.

And if I eat "those" foods (potato chips, full fat ice cream, chicken pot pie with double crust and gravy, full fat cheesy macaroni, french fries, all of that) there's no hope of getting the nutrients I need within the calorie range I'm able to permit myself: the protein, carbs, good fats, minerals, vitamins my body really craves. And really needs for optimum health.

Hunger is not an emergency. Hunger is a great indicator that I'm really going to enjoy my next meal! When I'm hungry, I don't stand in front of the fridge asking myself what I "feel" like eating. Because the hungrier I am, the better my pre-planned carrots and tomatoes and spinach and radishes actually taste!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 9/14/2011 1:20PM

    It sounds like you have it all worked out scientifically. I only burn 267 calories for an hour's worth of sweating it on the elliptical, pretty measly and it does make you think about how any of those treats are really worth the effort or not.

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NEWKAREN43 9/13/2011 11:15PM

    So...I figure at my weight, which is 80 pounds over yours, (yikes) I burn 16 calories per minute...and I'm trying to reconcile the fact that 45 minutes on the elliptical I burn 700+ calories and that's not making a difference in my weight. I'm stuck, I've been stuck for months...+2, -3, +4, -2, -2, +5, -3...and I do ST a couple of times per week...I SO desperately want to lose another 30 pounds off my ~220 pound frame (I'm 6' tall so...I can carry a lot, and lose a lot before anyone even can tell)...but I am stuck. This is the first I've said that since I posted a blog about being stuck some months ago...oh, I need to break this plateau so badly...I know it will happen but I also know that it's just a little discouraging sometimes to be stuck and not know what to do...So...I appreciate your reminder and perspective...

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KALIGIRL 9/13/2011 9:04AM

    Hunger as an indicator...
Love it!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 9/13/2011 1:37AM

    Great to check back in and find your blog, Ellen. On my to do list: Phone the gym and get the schedule for yoga classes. Your enthusiasm for going to the gym inspires me! PLus I gained a couple of pounds from my vacation. Had a wonderful time and glad to be back!

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NANCY- 9/12/2011 10:34AM

    Fuel our Body.
That's what athletes do. What do we need to sustain us.
I love the question "what do I feel like eating?"... if I "feel" like eating, it is not hunger . Most likely I am only thirsty and drink water or make a cup of herbal tea.
This is a wonderful blog ... lots of "food for thought". There is nothing like re-framing our thoughts.

Thank you so much for sharing your pho with me. It was delicious and brought a smile to my face.

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DBCLARINET 9/12/2011 7:16AM

    You know, now that you mention it, it's been a while since I stood in the kitchen and wondered what I "felt like" eating. That only happens if I'm eating when I'm not actually hungry.

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TRYINGHARD1948 9/12/2011 3:15AM

    And how many hours do I have to exercise for if my son-in-law makes a cheesecake and it would be most ungracious to refuse a small slice, or even a medium slice. Hmmm, I'm sweating just thinking about it.

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TBANMAN 9/11/2011 11:55PM

    A great reminder of just how much things "cost."

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DDOORN 9/11/2011 9:36PM

    What a great re-framing of hunger as a "friend" not "foe!"


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PUDLECRAZY 9/11/2011 8:11PM

    Amen! And that pho is a great example of just how good things can taste and not fall into the high calorie/empty calorie category.

Enjoy the gym!

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NEWKAREN43 9/11/2011 8:08PM

    As I sit here, totally soaking, sweaty from my last 25 minutes on the elliptical trainer, THIS is exactly what I needed to read! Thank you for the blog...and the perspective! Karen

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MOBYCARP 9/11/2011 7:52PM


My goal is 175. At one point, I gained weight to 205 while getting stronger and more fit, other than the fat I was adding.

Joined SparkPeople, and the weight is coming off so fast it's almost spooky. I'm eating a lot fewer calories, but possibly more protein. emoticon

You can't out-train a crappy diet.

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TRAVELGRRL 9/11/2011 6:56PM

    I needed to hear this! Thanks for the reminder!

Hunger is NOT an emergency. If I don't know what I want to eat, then I'm not really hungry.

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/11/2011 6:32PM

    I'm with you... knowing what I'm NOT burning or how long it takes to burn even a single cookie is great motivation. After races? They offer fresh fruit as well as the baked stuff, thank goodness! And thanks for stopping by my race blog!

emoticon emoticon

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