At the beginning of a new year, I ponder just how many people resolve to lose weight. Start exercising! Exercise more! Eat less! Eat healthier!
After college, I lost weight consumed by mug fulls of beer at the local bar and for two glorious years, I did not resolve to lose one pound. I loved running, rarely missed a day at the gym, and packed healthy meals for work each day. The pounds slipped off and stayed off.
The problem arose when I left the comfort and schedule of my office job. Suddenly, food surrounded me all the time, every cookie promising to comfort my stress and worries. Ten pounds later, the stress remained alongside the jeans I could no longer fit into.
So I imagine I joined the majority of Americans this year in vowing to readjust my diet and exercise routines. However, I must also be realistic - in my chosen career path, food will always be readily available and stress will always be plentiful. My indulgences are wine and dessert and I adamantly refuse to give these up.
Since I am already approaching shedding of these stubborn pounds with a resistant attitude, I know I am going to have to make adjustments elsewhere.
Breakfast offers a perfect starting point. I have never been able to entirely skip the first meal of the day - I am fairly active and in resuming my exercise routine, my body will will require more than a bland, grey bowl of oatmeal. Otherwise, I will be eating cookie dough by the afternoon.
Enter this homemade muesli: a filling breakfast bowl, packed with protein, healthy fats, and just a hint of sweetness. The oats and dried cranberries soak in the apple cider overnight, so it is a snap to combine the ingredients in the morning, even before your first sip of coffee.
This balanced breakfast keeps my hunger at bay well into the afternoon, meaning I am fueled for my activities and my diet is on a healthy track for the remainder of the day.
makes 1 serving
This protein-pack breakfast is a perfect beginning to your day. You can adjust the components and amounts to perfectly suit your tastes. I find it helpful to toast a week's worth of almonds at one time, at 350°F for 10 minutes, and store them in an airtight container. Be sure to save the remainder of your apple for a healthy afternoon snack.
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Quaker Quick Oats
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
3 ounces greek-strained yogurt, such as Fage 0%
1/4 fuji apple, grated
2 tablespoons whole almonds, toasted
Handfull of blackberries
The night before: Stir together oats, apple cider, and dried cranberries in a small container. Refrigerate overnight.
For serving: Place prepared oats in an individual serving bowl. Top with yogurt, grated apple, toasted almonds, and blackberries.