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My favorite oats on-the-go

Hey friends! I hope you all had a great start to your week and/or had a relaxing day off if yesterday was a holiday for you. It happened to be a holiday for me and I was psyched! I got back from visiting my twin sister in Connecticut late on Sunday night so after a day full of travel, I was happy to have a day to ease back into things on Monday.
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Kimmie and I at dinner over the weekend
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Beautiful Mom and beautiful Deb

Speaking of the weekend…my Mom and I had a memorable few days with my sister, her puppies, and her fiancé at their home in Connecticut.To say we were sad to leave is a definite understatement; family time is truly the best time. Anyway, we weren’t planning on staying for as long as we did, but because of the storm warnings we had heard in advance, we actually left our house in Maine at midnight on Wednesday night and drove through the night to beat the storm, arriving around 5:00 a.m. in CT.  (Yes we are a bit crazy, but we beat the storm.) We got a great greeting from the puppies, too, so it was worth it!
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It was important for us to be there because her wedding is now less than 100 days away!  Wedding preparations were our mission this weekend, and wedding prep we did. Veil and garter shopping/buying, seating plans, invitation prep, wedding band hunting… you name it, we discussed or accomplished it. It was an extremely productive few days. I love this beautiful bride-to-be.

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I have to admit, our fun-filled weekend made it a bit challenging to stay on track food-wise.  Just to update you, I’m still mostly following the “clean-eating” plan I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. I say ‘mostly’ because I’ve occasionally had some dairy and gluten (and chocolate and champagne…oops), and this weekend was no exception. In all honesty, though, as strict as I felt this plan was at first, it has gotten easier and easier with time. Now I simply feel that I’ve adapted to this way of eating and I just really enjoy it and the way I feel, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to deprive myself from my old favorites once in a while. (Favorites such as pink bubbly and cookie dough Oreos).

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While in Connecticut, the three of us squeezed in a couple of at-home workouts together which was great, but food-wise, when you’re near New Haven, CT and have the opportunity to eat their pizza (literally voted #1 in the USA) how could you not eat it? My gluten-free and dairy-free guidelines were pushed to the wayside that day, which I was perfectly happy with because it was truly worth it to me! 

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My plate x 2 (at least)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with staying on track food-wise when they’re traveling, so I felt like this would be a good topic to address. This weekend was the first time since starting the clean-eating plan that I would be traveling, so it was a true test, that’s for sure. However, I tried to strategize my meals as much as I could.  For example, something that always seems to help me stay on track food-wise when I’m on the road is keeping my breakfasts and lunches consistent with what I’m used to eating.  We did this in Connecticut, too, by starting the day with protein shakes and fruit for breakfast, and having big salads for lunch. It filled us up but didn’t slow us down, something so crucial when you’re busy!

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This is something that helps me during the school week, too. My class schedule this semester is pretty much all over the place, since Mondays and Wednesdays I’m gone from roughly 8:30 am-10:00 p.m., and Tuesdays/Thursdays I have night class and I don’t return home until around 9:00 p.m on those nights, either. Needless to say, starting my days off with a wholesome breakfast and packing ‘real’ snacks and hearty lunches  is integral to fueling me through the days. That being said, overnight oats have become my staple lunch at least 3 days a week. I love them because I can prepare them the night before and just grab-and-go the next morning. They’re wholesome, protein-packed, versatile, and just so-darn-delicious. Here’s my go-to recipe :

Cinnamon-Almond Overnight Oats
Ingredients:

-Small to mid-sized container (I use a glass jar)
-1/2 cup gluten free old-fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
-1/2 cup of Almond Milk (original or vanilla Almond Breeze) Use enough to immerse the oats. Add 1-1.5 tbsp. water if oats are not immersed in liquid fully.
-1/2 TBSP chia seeds (optional)
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
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Toppings
(Feel free to mix it up with different fruits, nut butters, and nuts; these are just suggestions!)

1/4 cup blueberries
1 TBSP almond butter
1/2 TBSP silvered almonds

Directions:
Add oats, almond milk, water, chia seeds (for added protein), and cinnamon to your jar or container, stir well, and store in fridge overnight. Add desired toppings the next day before eating. Store in cold space before consuming.
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The next morning when you take your oat jar out, you’ll see that your oats have soaked up a majority of the liquid and they are now a thicker consistency. If they seem too dry, stir in a little more almond milk or water, that will help. Trust, me, they may not look pretty but they are delicious,  full of protein, and will keep you satisfied for hours.

Most days I top my overnight oats with almond butter and blueberries, but on other days I’ll choose apples, raisins, and walnuts. The possibilities are endless.  Plus, I can easily tote these in my school bag without worrying they’ll be crushed (unlike a sandwich or something of that nature), or I can leave them in my car to keep them cold. All I do is bring a spoon along with me, and I’m golden. I’ll be enjoying these today for breakfast or lunch, I can’t decide yet!
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Are you a fan of overnight oats?
Do you struggle with staying on track with your eating habits when you’re on-the-go?