Push yourself!! [and savory oats]

I’m so glad it’s not Monday…

Yesterday was just not my day. I was tired, b*tchy and just felt uncomfortable all day. I don’t know what it is about me, but weekends and things that are not in my “routine” trip me up so much. I’m really good about mindful eating and making good choices all week, but the weekend can sometimes be my demise. The important thing to remember is that every day is a fresh start, and a chance to change things for the better. I’m not one to just throw in the towel- no, I pick myself up, dust myself off, and get right back on course. So, yeah, I’m back.


The alarm went off at 4:30 am this morning, as it does every Tuesday, so that I could quickly get myself out of the house and to the gym to teach spin class. My class isn’t until 5:30, but I like to get to the gym by 5:00 (luckily it’s a 5 min drive) so that I can warm-up a bit on my own. I typically hit the rowing machine for an intense little rowing session, which is what I did this morning. I was happy to see that my class was packed this morning! You never know who will show up at 5:30- some weeks it’s packed, and then others, only a few people show up. But this morning was rockin’.

I hate to say anything negative about my spin classes- but have to point out an issue that bothers me when I’m leading a class. I hate when people don’t push themselves to work harder. As an instructor, I feel that it is my duty to challenge and motivate my group. I often say (or yell) things like “push harder!” “challenge yourself!” I also like to constantly remind people that they got out of bed that early for a reason- and it wasn’t to half-ass their workout. When I see someone who is bouncing all over the saddle because they have no tension or barely breaking a sweat, it bums me out. Now, I never ever single people out or call them out in a class- I just make a general statement to the room to work harder or correct something (like reminding the group where they should be at with their tension, correct form, etc).

Push yourself outside of your comfort zone once in a while. You’ll be amazed at what your body is capable of!


Rewind to last night. Since I was tired, b*tchy and hormonal, I really didn’t feel like putting much effort into making dinner. I needed something that was simple, fast and required minimal effort.

Savory oats to the rescue!

After seeing them all of the blogosphere lately, I broke down and bought a rice cooker this weekend. Honestly, it was only $30 at Target, and I had a gift card to cover the whole thing. I don’t cook rice very much, but I love so many different types of grains that I thought it would be worth a shot. Plus, I like the timer feature so that I can set it to start cooking when I want (I’m thinking that this would be really good for Sunday mornings when I teach spin class so that I can have oatmeal waiting for me!).

I made savory oats once two months ago, and remembered that they were insanely delicious and easy to make. I decided to test out my rice cooker, since I’ve been reading on Kath’s blog about how much they bulk up when cooked this way. I based my recipe on one from Angela at Oh She Glows, with a few modifications.

This took all of twenty minutes to put together:

Spinach + mushroom Savory oats (serves 2)

adapted from Angela Liddon

1 c multigrain oats

2 c water

1 c unsweetened almond milk

2 T nutritional yeast

3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

3 large white mushrooms, chopped

1/3 c frozen spinach

1 T Vegan bacon bits

1 T Earth Balance buttery spread

a few dashes of tumeric and onion powder

1/3 salt-free vegetable bullion cube

dash of cayenne pepper

salt + pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients into a rice cooker and cook for 15 minutes, stirring a few times in between. If you don’t have a rice cooker, combine all ingredients in a medium-size pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring often.

It was suggested to me to top this off with an egg. This kept the recipe from being Vegan of course, but man- look at that beautiful egg…

Other toppings included avocado, salsa and crumbled tortilla chips.

And of course, because I’m predictable and was feeling lazy (and also because it’s SO good), a side of baked kale:

I could (and do) eat kale every day and be happy. And just in case you’re wondering, this is how I make it:

Baked Kale

a few big handfuls of kale, chopped

cooking spray (I use Trader Joes canola oil spray)

seasonings of your choice (I usually use Simply Organics garlic+salt+parsley combo)

Heat oven to 400. Spray a large cookie sheet with a little bit of cooking spray and spread the kale evenly onto the tray. Spray kale with a little canola oil spray and sprinkle on seasoning. Bake on the lowest rack in the oven for 8-10 minutes, tossing the kale once mid-way through.


This dinner was so filling- and so good for you! And the fact that it was ready in twenty minutes and required very little preparation made it even better.

Have a great Tuesday!

Are there any dinners that you can throw together quickly that are healthy and delicious? Please share!


22 Comments on “Push yourself!! [and savory oats]”

  1. Sometimes just the fact you made it into the spin class is pushing yourself. I know there are days when I rock out like no one’s business and then there are other days the fact that I made it out of bed is a miracle.

    That is a beautiful egg 🙂 One of these days I will make savory oats.

    Honestly if I want a quick meal I typically whip up an egg white omelet with a side of cooked broccoli…deliciously easy!

  2. Tiffany says:

    Very very interesting oats. I’m confused yet intrigued at the same time since I’ve never had oats outside of the breakfast realm.

    And maybe you can help me our or give me some advice: I want to try spinning, I really really do. But my knee is in such horrible condition I’m a bit afraid to try it out (like hurts after walking for two or three miles bad condition) if I were to try spin would I be able to do some kind of class or keep it on a lower gear or something? Hopefully that makes sense.

    I was a complete beezy yesterday, always am on Mondays, they just arent my thing!

    • Lauren says:

      Try a class!! The best thing about spin is that you work at your own level. My husband has horrible knee issues and cycling is really great for him. You’re not pounding your feet on the ground like you would with running, so the low-impact can be good for those with knee problems. YOU control your tension and pace- and you can build as you get stronger and more experience! If you want to take a class, get there a little earlier and talk to the instructor. If they’re good, they should be very willing to help and give you lots of good tips and show you the ropes!

  3. Ugh. Yesterday was not my day either. It was just disaster and bad attitude left and right.

    Today is another day though! Savory oats are delish. I love avocado on top. Mmm…

  4. Corrie Anne says:

    Yum! That looks so awesome. I like the reminder to people that they didn’t get up early for no reason. I ALWAYS TELL MYSELF THAT in the mornings. Even in the afternoon. I’m like – what – do you want to waste your time? Work. I hate wasting time so that usually gets me moving!

    • Lauren says:

      The people at the gym at that hour in the morning are typically the hardcore ones. The types who don’t waste any time (which is why they are there that early!). I love it!

  5. Jenny says:

    Those oats make me hungry for…oats. I’ll eat just about anything with a dippy egg on top, though.

  6. I need to bite the bullet and buy a rice cooker too! I am always in such a rush to eat breakfast that quick cereal is my best option. It would be nice to set it and have it ready for me.
    If I am feeling lazy for dinner, I make omelets and pancakes. Theres something about breakfast for dinner thats so comforting!

    • Lauren says:

      I love breakfast for dinner, but my weirdo husband is not into it. He thinks that breakfast should be eaten in the morning and dinner at night. I would make breakfast for dinner every night of the week if I was only cooking for me!

  7. Haley says:

    I agree to a certain degree about pushing yourself. When I teach my cardio kickboxing classes, I always tell my students to challenge themselves and push hard, but also to honor their bodies. So many people go balls-to-the-wall and then injure themselves, which sets them back weeks, if not months.

    Also, now that I’m pregnant, I have a whole new view on fitness. Sure, it’s important to push yourself, but it’s also important to recognize that there are a lot of other things happening in the lives of our students [they may be in their first trimester, trying not to miscarry… or they may be just coming back from an injury]. I think it’s most important as an instructor to motivate everyone, regardless of what level they’re at. I think they appreciate that.

    • Lauren says:

      I totally agree. What bothers me is when I see people with absolutely no tension going wildly out of control, because that’s just bad form. Everyone works at different levels and what is difficult for some might be very challenging for others – I totally get that.
      I say LOTS of very cheesy motivating things during class. Sometimes i think “Did I just say that?” I constantly tell them how awesome they are. 🙂

  8. I agree with the push-it-harder attitude! MOST of my people in my class do NOT push themselves hard enough, but a lot of them do. SO I try to mix it up with congratulating those who are pushing outside their comfort zones, and those who need to mix it up and go harder. It’s fun to see the changes in their attitudes and how they feel and look!

  9. Lee says:

    I like to put laughing cow cheese in oats to make the savory. Try it, it’s good!

    I felt very off yesterday too. I was tired and cranky all day. Sleeping for 9.5 hours last night helped tremendously though!

    • Lauren says:

      Ooohh… that does sound good. I love mixing Laughing Cow cheese into things (when I actually remember that it exists and buy some)- especially scrambled eggs!

  10. Margarita says:

    Don’t beat yourself up too much. I used to love spin class, but I haven’t gone in two months. I just feel like it’s not what my body wants right now. Then because I stopped going for so long, I am too chicken to go back. I do everything else, running, yoga, dancing, and hiking, then some stationary biking for about 10 minutes like thrice a week. Someday, I hope I will get back into it, especially when summer gets closer and I need training to be able to do some great biking adventures outside again.

    • Lauren says:

      Go back! But, it’s always good to mix up your routine! I don’t like getting “stuck” in a workout rut for too long and try to switch up as much as I can every few weeks.

  11. omg. I’ve been wanting to try savory oats for awhile…this looks really good! And about spin…it scares me. I use to push myself to the max on that shizzle which busted my shins…which means I was pedaling wrong…shiver…spin still scares me.

  12. Leanna says:

    Savory oats! I’ve always wanted to try this but have been apprehensive. Do you need to put the yeast?

  13. […] Spinach and Mushroom Savory Oats @ Oatmeal Before Spinning […]

I love hearing your feedback! Feel free to leave a comment. :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s