Not Your Average Oatmeal

I can hardly call this concoction a “recipe,” but it is so easy and quick to make and tastes absolutely delicious that I had to share it nonetheless! I’ve been eating this for breakfast every morning all week and it truly gives me the energy I need to focus be productive. Speaking of focus, healthy food really¬†does affect our brains and concentration. On mornings when I have a breakfast like this I feel so energized, not only physically but also mentally.

I wanted to make sure to be including oatmeal in my diet is because I’ve been reading how it’s great for breastfeeding moms¬†and increasing milk supply. I don’t have a supply problem (my daughter is in the 97th percentile! ha!)¬†but growth spurts seem to come on so quickly that I want to be proactive and be able to keep up with her needs. Although some sources say that there’s no scientific evidence to support that oatmeal boots milk supply, I figure it can’t hurt and it’s healthy anyway!

So here the steps for the yummiest oatmeal I’ve ever had:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  • drizzle maple syrup

Instructions

  • Mix oats and water and cook according to instructions (I just microwaved mine for 2 minutes)
  • Add walnuts, yogurt, and maple syrup
  • Stir and enjoy!

Oatmeal

I should say that you absolutely do not have to be a breastfeeding mom to enjoy this yummy meal! Even my two-year son old loved it this morning; in fact, I had to make a second bowl because he ate my entire serving!

Hosting Easter with Little Kids

I don’t want to let too much time pass without writing down exactly how we pulled off hosting Easter for 17 guests … with our two year old and our six month old! At first thought, hosting holidays and caring for two young kids seems daunting and impossible; yet, the alternative – traveling to someone else’s house, packing toys, bringing diapers, working around nap times (or worse, forfeiting the nap and ending up with cranky kids) – has challenges of its own.

So here we were, deciding to host Easter for 17 people.

Without further ado, here are my tips if you find yourself hosting a holiday get-together and you have young children, after recently having come off of a successful Easter Sunday.

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1. IT’S ALL ABOUT A POTLUCK¬†

Listen, getting your house ready, cleaned, organized, and possibly even decorated is no small task. Making sure you’re stocked with enough paper goods, coffee, and serving utensils takes work and planning. Then on top of that you’re expected to cook? No. People¬†want to help.¬†Luckily, and luckily is a¬†huge understatement, I am blessed to have amazing family and friends¬†who all said, “what can I bring?” the moment I invited them.¬†Don’t feel like you have to do everything.

I was absolutely tempted (for about a quarter of a second) to be the one to truly “do it all,” but the reality is that doing it all would not have allowed me to enjoy the day. So not worth it. So delegate certain dishes to certain people. And hey, if you¬†enjoy the cooking and meal preparation, delegate the other stuff. Maybe one aunt brings the drinks. Another friend brings the paper plates and napkins. And so on and so forth. For the sake of all hosts working hard on holidays, please don’t feel that twinge of guilt for not doing nor wanting to do it all. What are friends and family for after all?! ūüėČ

2. BUY SOMETHING PRE-MADE

For our Easter, I knew I wanted to serve ham. And the store down the street makes a darn good ham. All we had to do was heat it up and carve it, and it was such a hit! If you know what you want to serve is better from the store than if you were to make it yourself,¬†and¬†buying would save you a boatload of time and effort, then buy it! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with¬†taking a few shortcuts to save your sanity. Plus if you know that what you’re buying is a crowd pleaser, you’ve got yourself a win-win!

3. THE FINAL CLEANING

Something that has been working amazingly well in our household is the final cleaning before the festivities begin. You see, our Australian Cattle Dog Dasher sheds A LOT. Combine the shedding with the tornado-like tendencies of our toddler and the house gets pretty messy pretty quickly. How I’ve combatted this is by doing the following:

  • Afternoon before event (during kids’ nap): Pick up! This includes putting away toys, mail, laundry, etc.
  • Night before event (when kids are asleep): Wipe down! This includes all {sticky} surfaces including (but not limited to) counters, tables, chairs, coffee tables, and kitchen sink.
  • Morning before event (get husband/partner/family member to take kids and dog for a nice long walk): Before you clean ANYTHING, bask in the peace of a quiet, empty house … ahhhhh ūüôā … Ok, now is when I do my final vacuuming. It’s also an opportunity, while everyone is out, to get myself organized (mentally as well as physically) for the day ahead.

4. WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, VISIT MORE & CLEAN LESS

You’re going to be cleaning one way or another so you may as well visit while your guests are there! Sure you might be tired by saving the cleaning for when everyone leaves but holidays really are about the friends and family and connections that we share together. Don’t miss out on that because you have to wash a dish or wipe down a surface. Play a lawn game, go for a walk, and relax in the company of good friends and family.

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This is four generations! How amazing and blessed!

Soba Noodle Stir Fry

Ahhh it’s Friday, which means it’s FOOD FRIDAY here on Rather Be Sweating! Remember, every Friday I’ll be blogging about a meal, snack, or edible creation that I’ve whipped up this past week. The goal with these recipes is that they provide you with yummy, filling, satisfying food but are easy to make and give you a boost of energy.

What I love about this meal is that you can substitute the veggies and protein that I suggest for others that you might prefer. For example, you could use beef and asparagus rather than chicken and broccoli. Also, I’m a big fan of recipes that don’t require exact measuring so feel free to add in more carrots and less chicken, or extra garlic or low-sodium soy sauce … you get the idea ūüėČ

One final note: for busy moms out there who might be feeling discouraged around meal time, this meal took me exactly 34 minutes to make from start to finish. And that INCLUDES me stopping to take the pictures below and fix my toddler a snack of peanut butter and crackers. Make the whole package of noodles too, that will at least give you a couple meals the next day (or seconds if you have ginormous appetites like we do in my family)!

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2-ish tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cups carrots
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 package Soba Noodles
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic

Instructions

Chop broccoli, onion, and carrots. Set aside.

broccoli carrots&onions

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and then add vegetable oil. (I like using vegetable oil because the meat won’t stick to the pan and it can take a high heat so the kitchen doesn’t get smoky). Trim and cube the chicken thighs and start to sautee. After a few minutes add in the veggies with the drizzle of olive oil.

Put on a pot of water to boil for the soba noodles. Keep tossing the veggie/chicken mix and after about 5 minutes, add in the chicken stock, turn heat to medium, and cover.

chicken veggie mix covered

When the water is boiling, add the soba noodles and cook based on the package’s instructions. Although these noodles look like spaghetti, they take about half as long to cook so be ready for them to be finished quickly.

Soba Noodles Package

While the noodles are cooking and the veggie chicken mix is finishing up, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, and crushed garlic. Drain the noodles really well and then pour the soy sauce mixture over the noodles. Stir well to coat the noodles then add in the veggies and chicken. Stir again and serve! Like most pasta-type meals, this is delicious leftover as well.

soba noodle stir fry

Enjoy!

Avocado Toast

This snack/breakfast/lunch has been my go-to meal this week. It’s so quick and easy (a must) but it fills me up and keeps me going through playing with my toddler, nursing my baby, and squeezing in a workout (a definite must). What’s more, it’s HEALTHY! I’m not going to lie, I’m a total sucker for junk food. I can’t pass up a bag of potato chips if that’s what’s in the cupboard. But by keeping these avocados on hand with the sprouted grain bread, I am set up for a yummy, satisfying meal. So here it is:

  • Two slices sprouted grain bread, toasted (I used¬†Ezekial Bread)
  • Butter (because everything’s better with butter)
  • Half an avocado
  • Salt & Pepper

One tip I suggest when buying avocados is to try to buy a variety of ripe-ness. So I bought 6 avocados at the grocery store this week all ranging from very ripe to hard as rock. That way I can eat the ripe one right away and by the time I make my way through, the one that started super un-ripe will then be perfect.

Toast the bread, melt the butter, spread the avocado, sprinkle the spices and voila!

AvocadoToast