Healthy Breakfast Idea: Overnight Oats

Breakfast for the Person Who Doesn’t Have Time for Breakfast

Do you ever hit the snooze button one (or ten) too many times in the morning? Do you rush to get ready every morning and find yourself skipping breakfast or just grabbing a granola bar on your way out? I know I do. That’s why I’m sharing with you this perfect easy breakfast idea for when you want a healthy, nutritious breakfast that you can eat in a pinch.

Overnight oats may not be the most revolutionary idea ever. In fact, you’ve probably already heard of it. But, I feel like overnight oats are one of those things that people never end up actually making and I wanted to highlight how amazing they are. Seriously, overnight oats has changed my breakfast game. It’s delicious, filling, and I can eat it while getting ready or bring it with me on the go.

Like the name suggests, you “cook” the oats overnight. All you have to do is soak some oats in milk and leave it in the fridge overnight. You can also add some honey or maple syrup in the oatmeal to give it some sweetness. I would suggest using some sort of glass container like a mason jar or a Pyrex container, but any sealed container will do. After soaking the oats overnight, you’ll see that the oats will have soaked up most of the milk and will have the texture of oatmeal.

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6/7 hours later; I used jumbo rolled oats and coconut milk

Usually, I like to have my oats ready for me to eat in the morning, so I top my oats off with some berries or a banana the night before. However, on this particular day, the only fruits that I had on hand were apples and I don’t like to leave them to brown overnight, so I chopped up an apple and added it to the oatmeal the morning of. If you know you’re going to have an early start, you probably want to add your fruits the night before.

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To add a bit of a crunch and some more sweetness to your oats, I like to add some granola to top it all of. Of course, if I’m in a big rush, I’ll skip the granola and just eat it as is. For a healthier option, a handful of nuts would be just as good!

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And that’s it! A delicious and nutritious quick breakfast that requires no (or almost no) preparation whatsoever in the morning. Hopefully this quick post was informative and helped you in some way or another. Thanks for reading!

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Healthy One Pot Meal: Easy 20-Minute Vegan Quinoa Bowl Recipe

A Meal Not Worth Skipping

I certainly never thought that I would be posting recipes when I first created my blog (and it was less than a month ago too), but here’s a simple and quick last-minute lunch/dinner idea. I’m no professional chef, nor am I an experienced cook, but I thought that I could be of help to anyone who has a tight schedule and is trying to eat healthier. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably always busy and may often be tempted to skip meals or order takeout. As a university student, I’ve been there too. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, perfect for the health-conscious, and can easily be modified to accommodate whatever ingredients you have on hand. Did I also mention that it’s very filling and absolutely delicious?

I’m trying to keep this post short and sweet, so I’ll stop there and get on with the recipe.

Ingredients: (makes enough for 1 person)

I usually just eyeball the measurements, so these are just approximations.

  • 1/2 cup quinoa grains (2 parts water for every 1 part quinoa)
  • 2 cups of baby spinach leaves (modify as you see fit)
  • 2/3 cup diced mushrooms
  • olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • walnuts for garnish (or substitute almonds, pine nuts, whatever you fancy)

Steps:

  1.  Add one cup of water to your pot, along with the quinoa and some salt. Bring to boil. Make sure not to stir the quinoa as it will cook unevenly if you do so.quinoa1Cover the quinoa and let it simmer for around 10 minutes or until the grains have soaked up the majority of the water.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, dice up the mushrooms. quinoa2
  3. Drain the remaining water that the quinoa has not soaked up. Transfer the quinoa into a bowl. quinoa3.JPGIt should not be mushy, but have a fluffy texture. If you want to add some cheese, sprinkle it on top the quinoa now. The heat of the quinoa will melt it.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil in the same pot and add in the spinach and diced mushrooms. Season with pepper as needed. quinoa4.JPG Stir around to cook until all the spinach has wilted.
  5. Add the spinach and mushrooms on top of the quinoa. quinoa5
  6. Garnish with crushed walnuts (or any kind of nuts you fancy) and you’re done!quinoa6

Hope you enjoyed this quick and easy 20-minute recipe and that it helps you out! Stay tuned for my next post coming to you soon!

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La Crème de la Crème: February

Things I’ve Been Loving During the Month of Love

February is over and it is officially one month closer to spring break! I cannot wait for the warmer weather and the freshly bloomed flowers; but before I look too far ahead, I’m going to do a quick recap of everything that I’ve loved this past month. My plans may change, but as of now, I am planning to do a recap of my favourites every month. I will be including one makeup/skincare/haircare product, one food item, one activity, one item of clothing, and a random one that can be from any category! I will not be talking about anything that I’ve mentioned in my other posts in this month’s recap (including makeup, clothes, food, drinks, etc.), so rest assured that I still love my Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette and my yogurt parfaits.

1. Blogging

I created my blog and started blogging this past month, so of course this had to be in my top 5! I have loved (and am still loving) being able take a break from my studies to do something more creative and more meaningful than binge-watching TV or browsing through social media in my down time. It’s also so rewarding to see that there are a few people who take the time to read my posts! This blog is going to be a permanent record of parts of my daily life that I’m not only sharing, but that I’m also keeping as a journal of some sort to look back on in the future.

2. Multi Grain Cheerios

This is kind of an embarrassing one, but I’ve been addicted to Multi Grain Cheerios. Not as a breakfast cereal, but as a snack (I’m an adult btw). I love snacking through the day, especially when I’m working, so instead of munching my way through a bag of chips or a couple chocolate bars, I like to eat Cheerios instead. They’re a fairly healthy option and so I don’t feel as guilty when I refill my bowl for the third time halfway through the day. I also like how they’re slightly sweet because they satisfy my sweet tooth just enough to prevent me from snacking on more sugary and unhealthy foods. There’s really not much more to say other than I’m hooked.

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3. Rose Essential Oil

I’ve talked about my love for Bio-Oil on my blog in the past (link here), but I have yet to talk about my other favourite facial oil, which is rose essential oil. The one I use is the Bosphorus Gül Esans Yaği , which is from a Turkish brand. I received it as a gift so I don’t know where you can buy it other than online, but any kind of rose oil will do. I use this oil interchangeably with my Bio-Oil to treat acne and I sometimes mix a drop of it into my foundation on days where my skin is not looking too good. I don’t know if this is a good idea since rose oil has apparently some of the strongest anti-bacterial properties and can also be used as an antiseptic, but it should be fine (take my advice with a grain of salt) as long as you don’t get it near your eyes.

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4. Hot Chocolate

Specifically hot chocolate with whipped cream. This is my guilty pleasure drink of choice when I need to cut back on the coffee (and caffeine in general) before going to bed. I love making my own hot chocolate with the Alpro coconut milk (vegan) and the Sweet Freedom Orange Spice Choc Shot. I wouldn’t recommend this milk alternative as it does contain carrageenan (although it is delicious), but I highly recommend the choc shot! This chocolate sauce is made from fruits and it is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO with no chemical processing, added preservatives, added additives, or palm oil. It is also free from 14 major food allergens and only contains 14 calories per teaspoon! Depending on my mood (and my level of self-control), I’ll top it all off with some whipped cream for an extra little treat.

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5. New Look Black Coated High Waisted Skinny Jeans

Upgrade your traditional black skinny jeans to the more sophisticated, and in my opinion more versatile, coated jeans. I have tried many faux leather and leather leggings/pants, but these coated jeans are so much more flattering on my legs and give a very similar, if not the same, effect. I love to pair these jeans with an oversized denim jacket for a slightly grungy, casual look, a trench coat and a blouse for a more chic look, or a mix of both.  Stay tuned for either a #ootd post featuring these jeans or a post on different ways to style these jeans on my blog coming soon!

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There we have it, my crème de la crème items of the month of love! Thank you for reading and stay tuned for my next post coming to you soon!

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Treat yo self: A Guide to the Perfect Lazy Day

A Cozy Sunday In

As a university student, my day-to-day life is usually quite hectic, even on the weekends. So, when I get a day off, I like to treat myself to a cozy day in. While I do enjoy going out for a few drinks with friends, sometimes, I just like to spend some time by myself to de-stress and relax. Basically, I live as a hermit for a day. Here’s my guide to making the most out of an uneventful day.

1. Sleep in… but not too much

This may seem obvious (and you probably do this anyways), but sleeping in is the best way to start a lazy day. However, while sleeping until the early hours of the afternoon may feel great at the time, you will pay the price the next day (and possibly the next week) when it feels even more impossible to get up at your usual time. So, what I like to do is try and only sleep in an hour or two more than I usually would. That being said, I’ve always struggled with my sleep schedule, so it’s a lot easier said then done. On most days, I sleep at around 2am (it’s bad, I know) and wake up at 8am (maybe 8:30) for school. While I try to wake up between 9-10am on a lazy day, 90% of the time I end up waking up closer to 11 or 12. But I’m working on it, I swear. And you should too.

2. A delicious brunch, minus the effort & time

Don’t get me wrong, I love pancakes and waffles as much as the next girl. On a lazy day however, I don’t like to spend the time and effort to cook a big, hearty brunch. Since I like to maintain a relatively healthy diet (for the most part), my brunch of choice centers around the perfect yogurt parfait (get it? perfect, parfait). First, I scoop in some low fat plain greek yogurt. Then, I dress it up with whatever toppings I want. Usually this includes a sliced up banana, some berries, and some granola to top it all off. If I’m having an especially sweet tooth that day, I’ll mix in some honey into my yogurt to give it some more flavour. You can also add whipped cream, some brown sugar, or experiment with different fruits.

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Low fat Greek yogurt with bananas, raspberries, and granola

With my yogurt parfait, I’ll usually have a coffee or a smoothie, and a few slices of toast with butter and jam to really fill me up.

p.s. I know that yogurt parfaits are traditionally layered, but who has the time on a lazy day? Do as you please to modify your parfait and scoop in another layer of yogurt and toppings if you so desire.

3. Pamper yo self

Moisturise, stay hydrated, do your nails, put on a face mask. While I would love to throw “take a long bath” into the mix, I live in a dorm and unfortunately don’t have the luxury to do that. But if you do, go ahead and include that into your routine! Here are some of the products that I reach for on a lazy day.

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Now most of these products speak for themselves; the hand cream, the lip balm, the face mask, the moisturiser, and the water bottle. But let me explain the other ones. I always like to have a clean face before I put on a mask, so I use these face wipes from Costco to quickly cleanse my skin. Out of all the face wipe type products I’ve used, these ones are by far my favourite. They don’t irritate my eyes, they remove all of my makeup, and they don’t have an overpowering smell. Next, the dry shampoo. If I don’t feel like washing my hair, dry shampoo is my best friend. I hate the feeling of oily, greasy hair, so I use dry shampoo to freshen it up a bit. The Batiste dry shampoo in the natural and light: bare scent has never failed me and is by far my favourite scent. Don’t worry if you have dark hair, I have dark roots and I have no issues whatsoever with white casts. The Petroleum Jelly and socks are next. If you have cracked heels or just any dry skin on your feet in general, this duo will change your life. I like to slather on a thick layer of Vaseline on my feet, pull on my cozy long socks, and read a book, listen to music, or watch TV. This really helps with the dry, cracked skin on your heels and you’ll see instant results when you take the socks off. Last but certainly not least, Bio-oil. I’ve mentioned in my last post that I have acne-prone skin. I’ve struggled with acne since my early teens and I use prescription Benzoyl Peroxide Gel to target any breakouts I may have, which dries out my skin. Although my skin is mostly clear these days, I do have a lot of acne scarring, especially on my temples. Bio-oil has significantly faded these scars and helped with my dry patches so I now incorporate it into my pamper (and daily) routine. I just mix it into my moisturiser or use it to target specific areas on my face where I have scarring or dry patches.

4. The outfit

You may be wondering why this is even on the list. I mean, can’t you just lounge around in your pjs all day or throw on the baggiest clothes you own? If you live in a dorm like me, where there’s a shared kitchen and you can’t avoid all human interaction, you’d still want to look a little cute and less of a mess. Hence, the perfect cozy day outfit.

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I’m wearing my favourite jogger-style sweatpants from Nike (similar here) and the softest sweater I own, which I got at Nordstrom Rack from the brand Harlowe and Graham. I absolutely love how monochromatic this outfit is and how incredibly comfortable it is. Better than pjs and baggy clothes am I right?

5. A cheeky little cheat meal

I’ve always had the biggest sweet tooth. Even though I try to eat healthy meals, I just can’t seem to cut out (or cut down for that matter) all the sugar that I consume. I believe that even on lazy days, you should try to eat healthy whole meals instead of microwaved meals or delivery pizza. However, I do think that you should treat yourself to one cheat meal, whether it be burger and fries or a slice of cake. I satisfied my sweet tooth with a bowl (or mug in this case) of Ben and Jerry’s Sofa so Good ice cream -my absolute favourite at the moment.

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After all, what better way to de-stress than with a bit of ice cream?

So there you go, my idea of a perfect cozy day in. How will you be spending your next cozy day in?

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