one day, I will be a morning person

Hi friends, it's been a while since my last post.  Life's been really busy, juggling work and school, and a world going on around me that doesn't stop.   My days are full of lists: must do's, should do's.  I'm not a fan of the 'should's'.  I try to keep those to a minimum, but they still creep on my lists.   I'm guessing this all sounds familiar?  We are ALL busy living life.  And I learned a long time ago that balance is not a destination; it's a lifestyle. Being on a schedule and having less time to 'play' means being really efficient and organized.  As busy as I might be, it's a huge priority for me to create the time and space to eat well, exercise and have some down time.   I've been having a lot of opportunities to practice this lately.

As you've probably (cleverly) gleaned from the title of this post, I'm not much of a morning person (which my Mom can attest to). Basically I like to wake up at the last possible second: whether it's to get out the door to a fitness class, to go to work, or even to meet a friend for brunch, I truthfully don't really enjoy getting out of bed. I'm not depressed and I'm not lacking in motivation; it's just really comfy and cozy and one of my most favourite places to be. Most especially, when it's still dark outside. I am always so envious when I hear friends talk about sitting and eating breakfast and reading the paper and doing all these lovely cozy things to start their day, and I immediately tell myself: "Tomorrow, I'm going to wake up an hour early!" and then watch myself hit the snooze button 14 times before getting out of bed. As I sit and eat my breakfast at my desk at work, I think to myself: one day, I will be a morning person. For now, I accept that I'm not, and that what works best for this gal, is getting organized and packing up at night.  

These days I'm packing breakfast and lunch, as well as some dinners. It's mason jar mania. I'm packing school books, workout gear, a change of clothes, shower toiletries, a bunch of supplements, and oh ya, must not forget: my sanity.  Honestly, it's an awesome day if I've made it out the door without forgetting something. Last week I forgot my pants. Ya. True story. It's pretty much a revolving door of packing and unpacking, day in and day out. Truthfully, some days, particularly a few times last week, I loathe the packing and unpacking. On other days, packing reminds me how grateful I am for a body that's able to exercise, for delicious and nourishing food to eat, a job that I am happy to go to every day, and the opportunity to go to school to learn about things I'm really excited about.  

Anyhow, I digress. The intention for this blog post was actually to share a quick and easy recipe for stewed spiced apple 'instant oatmeal' :) I hope that having a recipe like this on hand helps when you've slept in or you're feeling like you're too busy to eat well, and like it'd just be easier to grab a baked good on the run.  

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen a ton of recipes posted about different renditions of oatmeal and grains for breakfast, which makes me think that now that we're in to fall, we're all collectively looking for something warm (and convenient!) for breakfast.  This ‘instant’ oatmeal recipe is inspired by the lovely Kristin Price, friend and fellow IHN classmate.  It's apple season at the local farmer's markets (hooray for Honey Crisps!) and they make for a great fruit option, now that the berry season has come to an end.

So, the night before (#obvi), start by making your stewed spiced apples:

start by rough chopping some apples:  I usually do about 5 at a time, depending on the size. Granny smiths are most popular for stewing, but I don’t think it really matters.  Skin on or off is fine; I’m sure you learned as a kid, the skin’s got the good stuff in it ;) If skin is on, place skin side down in a pot, drizzle some maple syrup (optional and nice with the more tart apples), and add cinnamon, nutmeg, one clove, and a couple of cardamom pods.  Add water to the pot, just enough that the bottom of the pot is covered. Cook on low heat and as apples begin to soften, just mash them with a wooden spoon. The time it takes will vary based on the type of apple you use. If you’re having to cook for longer, you’ll likely need to keep adding water as you go.

Next up, your oat groats! You can prepare these in the morning, or even the night before if you want. I use raw steel cut oats because they are unprocessed. You could also use raw buckwheat groats if you'd prefer.

Combine 1 cup of raw steel cut oats with three cups of water, bring to a rolling boil, take off heat, and cover with a lid and let stand for 5-10 minutes.  Grab a mason jar (again, #obvi), scoop some of your oats in the bottom, and top with your favourite oatmeal toppings.  I use shredded unsweetened coconut, chopped pecans and hazelnuts and chia seeds.  Any other chopped nuts or goji berries or dried cranberries would also be delicious!  Then, add a scoop or two of your stewed spiced apples.  Put a lid on it (the jar, I mean) and off you go! When you get to work, add some hot water to the jar to reheat, and enjoy. Convenience can be nourishing, too.  

you're worthy of it,