Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Must-Read Article for any Clean Eater

My friend, Laura, forwarded me the following article entitled This Common Food Ingredient Can Really Mess Up Your Metabolism written by Dr. Mercola. This article solidifies one of the main Clean Eating stances... limit your sugar intake, because it will do nothing positive for your health.

Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Thanks, Laura!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New: Oatmeal at Caribou Coffee

Wednesdays are my busiest day of the week. On a normal day, I work until 3:45 PM and then try to squeeze in a workout and dinner before choir practice at 5:30 PM. Somedays, like today, I am unable to leave work on time and end up sticking around the office until 4:15 PM (or later). On days like today, I am faced with the perplexing conundrum: drive 20 minutes home from the office to only be there for 30 minutes, which is enough time to make myself some oatmeal for supper and get in a 10 minute yoga session, then turn around and leave for choir practice. What's a girl to do?

Many days I end up going to Starbuck's to pick up a bowl of their oatmeal (and sometimes a nonfat latte) and sit down to read a book or the paper. However, I really would prefer to go to Caribou, because they have free wi-fi and I could spend my time blogging and catching up on personal email, facebook, twitter, etc. So, as you can imagine, when Caribou announced that they were going to follow suit and start offering oatmeal, I was SUPER excited.

Right now I am enjoying my own custom oatmeal creation: classic oats made with skim milk topped with a dash of cinnamon.

Usually in a situation like this, I would prefer to research the oatmeal ingredients and options offered online and then make my trek to Caribou for a taste test; however, today I was freestyling. Unfortunately, because oatmeal is such a new offering, the Caribou employees didn't know much about the available options, so I was left making ingredient/cleanliness assumptions.

There are 2 oatmeal blends: oatmeal and 7-grain oatmeal blend. The flavors available are Classic, Maple Brown Sugar Crunch, Very Berry, Apple Cinnamon and Cranberry Orange. You also have a 3 milk options: skim, 2% and soy. I chose the Classic Oatmeal version because all of the other topping options sounded like they would be full of sugar and after perusing Caribou's nutritional information online, my assumption was correct. The following is the nutritional information and ingredients for the Classic Oatmeal that I tried. I wish that I would have known that they add soy protein to the oats when they make them because I would have asked for my oats without it.

Overall, I really liked the flavor of the oatmeal, it was cooked to perfection and served at the right temperature; Starbucks' oatmeal tends to be too hot. I also liked that the Caribou oatmeal tasted fresh made, the Starbucks oatmeal tastes like it is made ahead of time and simply kept hot all day in a slow cooker/steamer. However, I could have done without the sweet vanilla flavor of the soy protein, I found it to be a bit overpowering; however, if I was enjoying the oatmeal on its own, it helps to make it a more complete clean eating meal including both complex carbs and protein, which I like.

For the sake of comparison, the following is the Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal nutrition info and ingredients from their website. From the weight of the serving size, I assume that this is for the dry mix only. Unfortunately, I am not sure if Starbucks makes their oatmeal with milk or water, I will have to ask next time that I stop in. If it is made with milk, this would increase the calories, fat, carbs and protein dependent upon the milk choice.

I would also like to try Jamba Juice's Plain 100% steel cut oats (without the brown sugar crumble). Has anyone tried it? If so, what did you think? The following is the nutritional information and ingredients.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's a...

... BOY!

You read that right, we are expecting a baby boy in May! We are very excited and cannot wait for his arrival.

I am still feeling great and have a ton of energy. My midwife says that I am gaining an average amount of weight (14lbs at 21 weeks) and should keep up the prenatal yoga to prepare for delivery, but should also up my cardio to get my heart pumping more often. At my last appointment, I was measuring about a week and half ahead, which could mean that we are having a big baby... This doesn't surprise me as Allan was a 10lb baby (4 weeks late) and I was a 9lb baby (2 weeks late) - I can handle it.

We are deep into nesting mode around here. Mister (baby) Peters' (name to be revealed next week along with his ultrasound pictures) room is painted a nice pastel green, his crib sheet set is purchased, and his crib, bookcase and dresser are waiting in his room to be assembled. Pretty soon, the room that used to be Allan's office will look like a nursery.

Thanks for all of your support and encouragement throughout the events that my family has been through in the last year. You mean the world to me!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prenatal Yoga

I cannot believe how long it has been since my last post. I apologize for my absence; however, one of my New Year's resolutions is to be more active on my blog on at least a weekly basis.

My holiday sabbatical was extremely eventful and for the most part very enjoyable. Allan and I...

  • Were guests at 4 Christmas celebrations and spent a lot of time with all sides of both of our families.
  • Attended several Holiday church services, I even sang Breath of Heaven on Christmas Eve during the lighting of the candles at our evening candlelit service.
  • Started our nesting journey as we await the birth of our little gift, including painting the baby's room and the entire basement (family room, office, exercise room, and stairway) along with purchasing a bunch of furniture, some of which is still in boxes awaiting assembly.
  • Mourned the unexpected passing of my dad's brother, Larry, who was tragically taken from us in a car accident.
  • Went to the 20-week ultrasound and found out the sex of our baby! If you are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you already know if we are having a boy or girl... if not, can you GUESS? I will reveal the answer later on this week!
  • Celebrated the arrival of 2010 by going to bed at 10:30 PM, I'm pregnant for goodness sakes and could not keep myself awake to ring in the New Year.
During our nesting, my treadmill has tragically been banished to the far corner of the basement and then had miscellaneous items pilled up in front of it, making it completely unaccessible until further notice... So, my primary form of exercise has been Prenatal Yoga. I have both the Gaim Prenatal Yoga and Yoga Journal Yoga for your Pregnancy DVDs; however, my recent favorite has been Yoga for your Pregnancy. I really enjoy the flow and cues along with the variety of exercises and options.

In the next couple weeks, I plan to start Prenatal Yoga classes at Blooma, a local studio that specializes in Prenatal and Postnatal care.

In addition, we signed up for Hypnobirthing classes at Blooma that start in March. Blooma also offers Lamaze birthing classes; however, we decided to go with the Hypnobirthing classes based on the fact that Hypnobirthing mothers tend to have "shorter labors and significantly lower induction, epidural, and Cesarean rates"... and since we would like a natural birth, this will be a good tool to have when the contractions start and I hop in the water birthing tub! ;-) Have you had an experience with Hypnobirthing that you would like to share?