Monday In Meals (WIAW 8.9.17)


Oh, hi. I’ve got my Monday in meals today for What I Ate Wednesday!


I woke up tired and starving. Last week’s workouts really amped up my appetite over the last few days! It’s really been a while since I felt that true bottomless pit feeling in my stomach that can come from running.

I had my usual small bowl of oatmeal with coffee before my run and then my favorite post-run cold bowl of oatmeal (with blueberries, strawberries, sea salt, cinnamon and peanut butter) after my run. Taking pictures of either bowl of oatmeal just didn’t happen. I meant for it to happen, and then it didn’t.

I’m trying to get back in the habit of working from Panera a few mornings a week so I pushed myself out the door after a conference call.

panera coffee


After a couple of hours at Panera, I came home and made a big plant-based power bowl.

This power bowl contained roasted broccoli and red onions with chick peas, avocado plus leftover Trader Joe’s brown rice medley and spiralized carrots.

It was so good and really hit the spot.

plant based power bowl


We went to a greek restaurant for dinner and started with some sort of hummus  platter. We chose three types of hummus although I think one of them wasn’t a hummus at all. I am not even sure, I just know I really liked all three dips that arrived on the hummus platter.

hummus platter

Greek salad for me because I’m obsessed with feta cheese these days.

greek salad

And then a stop at Red Mango. Those dark chocolate chips when combined with the Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola gets me every time. 🙂

red mango

Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating via Sprint 2 The Table today for What I Ate Wednesday!

[bctt tweet=”Monday in Meals! #WIAW #Monday #powerbowl #oatmeal #redmango #greeksalad #hummus #recenteats” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

How has your appetite been lately? Not so hungry, regular,  bottomless pit at times? Do you find it to be directly linked to your workout routine?

Favorite type of hummus?

What’s on today’s workout agenda? I will be running a 7 mile fartlek run!


My Meatless Diet


A close friend of mine recently told me that although she has been a carnivore all of her life, she is starting to consider a meatless diet and wanted my thoughts on the subject.

Of course I took the time to talk to her in full detail and of course I decided that our conversation made for a great blog post.

my meatless diet

Why did you give up meat and poultry again? I forget. And did you do it cold turkey?

I didn’t mean to become a meatless eater. I came down with a stomach virus in January 2012 and it hit me hard. I couldn’t return to normal eating at first and actually, never did.

During the recovery time, I was eating lots of oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and vegetarian type foods. It was a subconscious switch away from eating my usual lunch and dinner plates which were always so focused on chicken, turkey or steak.

I quickly noticed though that I felt great without eating those animal proteins so I decided to run with it (ha, no pun intended) and never looked back.

So I guess you can say yes, I gave up meat and poultry rather cold turkey but that was not my intention. It just sort of happened.

Are you a vegetarian?

I am not a true vegetarian because I will eat sushi on occasion and order fish (shrimp or ahi tuna) in restaurants if nothing else is available on the menu for me to eat. Does that make me a pescatarian? I suppose but I can go MONTHS without touching fish.

I am not a vegan but eggs and dairy don’t play a major role in my diet either. I go through major phases of wanting pizza or greek salads but can go for weeks at a time focusing on plant-based foods instead.

However, I will never give up my favorite desserts so dairy will always be in my diet!

But where do you get your protein?

Protein isn’t hard to find in a meatless diet, I swear! Dinner is probably the main meal where you may notice your chicken or steak missing from your plate but replacing it with meatless sources of protein can be done.

meatless sources of protein

I do not eat tofu or tempeh often at all. I used to buy meatless meatballs and chickenless products but stopped at some point because they were so processed. I think I miss the meatless meatballs from Trader Joe’s though so maybe I will pick them up again to have in the house.

Are you full and satisfied from your diet?

My answer is yes… and no.

For the most part, yes I am satisfied and happy but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that there are times when I still feel hungry yet my stomach is physically full.

Like, I still need something but I don’t know what that something is and reaching for more vegetables is not going to help me, it will only make my stomach feel worse at this point.

Protein (and fat) is what satisfies the appetite and although I may “meet” my daily protein requirement, there are times when a serving of chick peas are not going to satisfy the same way a serving of chicken would. I don’t mean about flavor, I mean that level of satisfaction inside that says, I’m full.

I have weeks of feeling unsatisfied and weeks on end where I am fine. I go through phases on this.

Do you have cravings? How do you handle them?

I have yet to crave chicken or turkey which is weird considering I lived on both for over 30 years of my life.

There have been times when I have craved a hamburger or steak to the point where I can’t stop picturing them in my head but I have learned that these meat cravings occur when I need more protein so I typically satisfy the protein need with eggs or fish and the craving  instantly disappears.

Did you notice any health benefits when switching to a meatless diet?

Yes! The decrease in animal protein combined with an increase in plant-based foods produced some amazing effects:

*More energy for running/increase in pace and endurance immediately

*Quicker muscle recovery

*Improved menstrual cramps <- Plant-based foods work wonders for me in this area. Now, if I consume too many eggs/dairy products, I feel the effects during my time of the month.

*Lighter periods

*Seasonal allergies gone!

*Food allergies almost all gone (remember I had oral allergy syndrome)

*Eczema in the winter on my eyelids gone!

*Shingles nerve pain which lingered for years gone!

Honestly, the health benefits and positive side effects of giving up meat and poultry are the main reason I see myself sticking with this meatless lifestyle. Overall, I just feel terrific. The fact that my seasonal allergies are gone, that I no longer need to take a daily allergy pill, is seriously enough for me to eat this way for the rest of my life!

Do you have trouble dining out with others and/or finding something to eat in restaurants?

I do not have trouble 99.9% of the time. I always seem able to find something on a menu. At worst, I just request salads  without the chicken or put together a bunch of side dishes to create a meal.

How do you handle cooking for others who still eat chicken and meat?

I am totally fine with still preparing chicken dishes and making steak whenever my son wants it. I try to coordinate cuisine flavors between what I am eating with what I am making him to cut down on kitchen time but it doesn’t always happen. It’s fine though, my dinners require very little prep.

My favorites:

Build Your Own Plant Based Power Bowl <- one of my most popular posts and pins

Meatless Stir-Fry Bowls

Italian Style Power Bowl

[bctt tweet=”My Meatless Diet #meatlessmonday #vegetarian #meatless #powerbowl #fitfluential @healthyskoop #plantbased”]


What type of diet do you typically follow?

Do you ever crave the foods you no longer eat?

Best thing you ate over the weekend?



Build Your Own Plant Based Power Bowl



Sometimes I wish I could offer you a glimpse into my meal planning but I can’t…because I don’t meal plan.

I can’t decide Sunday morning what I want for dinner on Tuesday and the thought of preparing foods and having to eat them just because I planned it is really not appealing to me.

Of course I need some form of organization though in order to whip up a meal and have it done in a flash.

Did you know I have very little patience for food to be cooked, especially when I am hungry?

My idea of organization is stocking the house with the staples and being able to combine them quickly based upon what I feel like eating.

Enter the plant-based power bowl.


It sounds vegetarian fancy but all it means is gather your veggies, pick a plant-based protein, choose a complex carb and flavor it up depending upon mood.

power bowl

Roasted sweet potatoes, spinach, roasted brussels sprouts and chickpeas mashed with avocado.

It’s possible that being a vegetarian has made my process of preparing meals easier.

It’s nice to have those nights where there’s no need to defrost steaks and chicken in advance and no need to worry about cook time or contamination.

I still cook carnivore for my son just not every night and no, he doesn’t enjoy power bowls unless I leave out the vegetables which takes most of the power out of the power bowl.

Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, today is Meatless Monday so why not give a plant based power bowl a try?

Not only will you savor it but you will adore the ease of preparation and nutrient dense variety it adds to your meal plan!

build your own plant based power bowl

Power bowls are awesome because you can use whatever you have on hand and switch up the ingredients all of the time to keep things interesting, flavorful and healthy all at once.

Fresh or frozen veggies of your choosing, a complex carbohydrate based on your mood along with seasonings to match your cravings.

power bowl

Sometimes I like things a little bit plain, relying on the flavors of the roasted vegetables and avocado to satisfy my taste buds.

Sometimes I want hummus, reminiscent of my favorite Maoz salad bowl which surprise, is really just a plant-based power bowl!

maoz salad

Maoz plant-based power bowl of spinach, kale, roasted broccoli/cauliflower, beets, carrots, chick peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, barley and hummus <—we can make this at home!

Sometimes I want Asian flare so I create more of a stir-fry.

stir fry

Chick peas, brown rice medley and stir-fried vegetables cooked with Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce plus avocado.

Sometimes I feel like a spicy barbeque sauce.

 sweet potato fries with chick peas and vegetables

Sweet potato fries, steam-fresh vegetables, chick peas and avocado with Trader Joe’s Carolina Gold barbeque sauce.

Speaking of barbeque sauce, my favorite bbq ranch chicken salad (without the chicken) from The Cheesecake Factory is technically a power bowl too.

bbq ranch salad

Lettuce, black beans, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, avocado and my favorite – onion strings.

I make it at home often although my onion rings are in short supply since Trader Joe’s stopped carrying them.

copycat cheesecake factory salad

At all times, you can find the following ingredients in my house in order to create these plant based power bowls:

  • Organic beans and lentils
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Frozen Brown Rice Medleys
  • Vegetables (fresh and frozen)
  • Avocado
  • Condiments: Spices, Hummus, Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce & BBQ Sauces

If it would make you feel better to prepare some stuff in advance, here’s what you can do:

*Roast up a bunch of your sweet potatoes (or regular potatoes) and vegetables.

They will store well in the refrigerator and can be reheated or eaten cold (I love cold roasted vegetables!)

*Prepare a few servings of quinoa, lentils, rice (and other grains) on the weekend to use throughout the week.

I actually love to buy the frozen pouches of brown rice from Trader Joe’s. They have a few varieties and also sell quinoa in the same section.

frozen rice medleys

You can also make extra servings of your plant based power bowls and use the leftovers for lunch!

There are really so many options, please let me know if you give them a try and/or if you have any questions.

I am linking up today with Tina and Deborah’s Meatless Monday fun so please be sure to check out all of the other meatless recipe ideas!

[bctt tweet=”How to build a plant based power bowl #meatlessmonday #plantbased #powerbowl #vegetarian”]


Do you prefer to plan your meals for the week, wing it or just plan out one or two nights worth of dinners?

Which condiments do you use the most to flavor your food?

Best thing you ate all weekend?











Recent Eats & Baked Oatmeal Apple Sticks




Good morning. Actually, it’s a great morning –> the Islanders shut out the Rangers!

I am just sitting here about to enjoy my usual pre-run breakfast.


Sometimes I add blueberries and I always add peanut butter.

My son is on an oatmeal kick too.


I give him the LOVE GROWN Super Oats (Nuts & Seeds variety) because he isn’t allergic to nuts like I am (remember, I have oral allergy syndrome. I am not anaphylactic but I do have reactions to walnuts and almonds so I am trying really hard to honor that and avoid them).

He loves his morning bowl of oatmeal especially when I mix in the LOVE GROWN Cocoa Goodness Oat Clusters.

I think the Cocoa Goodness tastes just like Cocoa Pebbles which was my favorite as a kid.

Lately I have been on top of my Skoop A-Game by adding some (the Sweet Greens variety) to my post run oats in a jar.

oatmeal in a jar

I am still working with frozen berries which is what makes the oatmeal/yogurt mixture look so pretty pink even though I have lots of fresh strawberries in the house. I have gotten so used to the frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries and cherries) that I think I may actually like them.

I normally eat lunch at home during the week but on days where I can’t, I tote it along with me.


Chick pea/avocado mash with roasted sweet potatoes, sugar snap peas and roasted brussels sprouts over spinach.

Since I bought the new-to-me Rudi’s Organic Spelt English Muffins the other day, lunch at home this week has looked like this…

english muffin lunch

Chick pea/avocado mash on one half and peanut butter on the other. It’s the perfect savory sweet combo for me and comes complete with side salad of plum tomatoes, spinach and roasted brussels sprouts.

I really like something sweet at lunch. I normally save the peanut butter half for last, sort of like dessert.

I am currently obsessed with roasted brussels sprouts by the way and I think it’s a great obsession to have.

brussels sprouts

Always spritzed with coconut oil cooking spray, sometimes sprinkled with pepper, sometimes with just pure maple syrup, sometimes with maple syrup and Dijon mustard, sometimes with pepper and Dijon mustard and sometimes with honey mustard.

Dinner is usually easy because I can throw together a Power Bowl in a flash.

power bowl

Lentils cooked with tri-color quinoa, roasted cauliflower, broccoli and I think asparagus with sweet potato wedges and avocado.

Remember the other day when I made those baked oatmeal apple sticks?

baked oatmeal apple sticks

It’s a super simple snack and you can make it two ways – either using favorite nut butter or PB2.

I can’t even say which way I like it better. I made it using Mighty Maple peanut butter one time and PB2 another and both came out really good. You hardly taste the peanut butter in either version, you just know you are eating something really special.

The apples get soft, the baked oatmeal topping gets a bit crispy.

baked oatmeal apple sticks

Each bite is like a slice of apple pie but it’s healthy and comes together in ten minutes.

Do it.


Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!


Favorite nighttime snack/dessert lately?

Do you like something sweet at lunch time?

Which brand and/or type of oatmeal do you cook at home?



WIAW – I Really Like Oatmeal And Ezekiel Bread


Can we briefly discuss planks? I am no expert when it come strength training and core work but I have been working on it. In fact, I have been holding that plank position longer and longer each time. I think I am getting good at it. Or so I thought.

Anyone else feel like their upper back/shoulders may ache/hurt just a bit later in the day or the day after? Maybe I just need a massage.  It’s been a while.

It wouldn’t surprise me if I have been doing the plank with incorrect form. I am not perfect. I know, I know, it sometimes seems as though as I am, but alas, I am not. I mean, I run more days in a row than I probably should and I like to eat the same things over and over again even though they tell me it’s not the best idea for the body and digestion and who knows why else.

I can’t get enough oatmeal these days. I am well aware that it appears as though I  am always on an oatmeal kick but lately, I take kick to a new level.

Aside from dinner time, I have to fight not making oatmeal my choice for breakfast, lunch and dessert. I have compromised with myself and allowed for oatmeal to happen at two meals – breakfast and dessert. Two out of three ain’t bad…please tell me I am not dating myself with this song reference…


I was on that two-ingredient pancake for a while but now it is all about oatmeal, before and after I run.

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You know you want to have breakfast over at my house. I mean, who wouldn’t want a Hello Kitty mug of French toast coffee and an ice cream bowl of oatmeal with greek yogurt, fresh berries and peanut butter?

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The strawberries were on sale this week so the plan is to buy two containers at a time every other day. And mandarin oranges. The little boy likes his berries and oranges and you know what? I kind of like those cuties too.

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Post-run oatmeal happened in a just about empty greek yogurt container yesterday with more strawberries, fresh pineapple (yes, I cut it up myself) and peanut butter. Nothing is complete without peanut butter.

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Lately I have been buying the Trader Joe’s tubs of plain greek yogurt. I like it, it’s good, not as good as my favorite Stonyfield but price-wise, it works on a regular basis.

I will be trying out Brown Cow’s new line of greek yogurt shortly. Stay tuned.

While I am stuck on oatmeal, the little boy is stuck on eggs with cinnamon raisin Ezekiel Bread.

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You like how I slip the fruit on his plate, don’t you.

See that cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread? Toasting that up for him in the morning is the only thing that has been stopping me from oatmeal at lunch…I love this bread.

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Lunch as of late has been a big salad loaded with roasted vegetables and avocado plus a slice (or two) of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread topped off with sliced plum tomatoes and  melted mozzarella cheese.

And sometimes, I break up the grilled cheese and throw it into the salad. Just call it cheesy croutons.

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If I have yet to convince you that you need Ezekiel Bread in your life, click here to read Food Babe’s recent post about the healthiest bread on the market. A wonderful, in-depth article all about the hidden ingredients in popular breads and why you should avoid them.

Just in case you don’t know Food Babe, she is the woman responsible for taking on Kraft regarding their questionable ingredients (which are banned in other countries)  in the blue box of macaroni and cheese.

On a random food note, I have been back to Peach Salsa:

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On top of salads, potatoes, eggs…you get the idea. And sometimes, when I am feeling super crazy, I add barbeque sauce to the same dish already topped with the peach salsa. Don’t question it, just try it.

Now, if this were a bowl, I would be able to tell you that I have been loving Plant-Based Power Bowls on repeat for dinner like nobodies business.

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Instead I will just say I keep eating Plant-Based Power Plates.

I made another quinoa/lentil one-pot mix; combined with sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables and avocado. It really doesn’t get easier or better…or more powerful.

The sauce you see is Carolina Gold Barbeque, no peach salsa included.

You should know that the avocado atop this power plate was simply divine. A perfectly ripe avocado is so delicious that I kick myself for being a picky stubborn child who assumed she hated avocado just because she didn’t like the word avocado. I have a lot of avocado to make up for in my adult life.

Since breakfast has basically been making an appearance at dessert time, rather than show you the same picture, I have decided to share a few links to the desserts I have on my list to bake:

These five chip cookies which need no further explanation as to why I want to make them.

Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Ganache and Sprinkles because I keep forgetting I own a donut pan.

And, even though I never understood why people love soup, this milk chocolate soup with cake croutons has the potential to make me a believer.

Make sure you check out what everyone else is eating for What I Ate Wednesday!


Plank position – talk to me about it

What have you been eating on repeat this week?

Soup – love it or hate it?








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