protein-packed overnight oats

I’ve mentioned several times that I have ritualistic eating habits. Cereal every morning (lately I’ve been back on my Raisin Bran Crunch kick, though when I was in Rochester I made muesli almost exclusively). Lunch is always Greek yogurt and a PB&J. I get excited for both every day, and it has made for easy planning and cheap grocery bills for the last 5 years.

But lately I’ve been feeling a little bit… meh. I’m still working out just as much as I always have, but I just feel off. I tried doing this cleanse a few weeks ago, but it didn’t really help. Okay, maybe because I caved on the last day and made cookies. Oops.

Then I did the Beachbody 3 Day Refresh because my sister Morgan is a coach. I actually think this is an awesome cleanse if you’re really looking to jump start a diet or new exercise routine. It’s a little pricey, but worth it if you need a push in the right direction. We did it in the 3 days leading up to Thanksgiving and I felt really good afterwards.

After that,  I decided I need to mix things up and try to branch out of my meal routines.

First step: revitalize my breakfast. It’s not like I’m not eating Reeses Puffs for breakfast, but I like the idea of controlling all the ingredients. Sure, RBC has whole grains. But it probably has a bunch of added sugar.

Overnight oats are such a great concept. You can make a big batch at the beginning of the week, and then just heat up a serving each morning. You can also completely change up the recipe, but I found a few general rules in my research:

  1. The ratio of liquid to oats should be 2:1.
  2. Add salt! You don’t need a ton, they can still be sweet. My recipe calls for 1/2 tsp.
  3. Any mix-ins should be added later.

Power-Packed Overnight Oats

1 cup rolled oats

2 cups almond milk

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Designer Whey)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 heaping tablespoon ground flaxseed (optional)

Lightly toast the oats in a skillet. You can totally skip this step if you want, I just thought it might add some nutty flavor.

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Whisk together almond milk (or other type of milk) with vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, and protein powder. Stir in the oats and flaxseed, and store in the refrigerator in a covered container overnight.

The oats will absorb the majority of the liquid, but they’ll still be pretty soupy. This is good because you can stick them in the microwave and not worry about ending up with the texture of cement.

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Stir in whatever you want! I added sliced banana. You could use nuts, other fruit, peanut butter, anything!

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I’m so excited about this. I’ve always resorted to cereal because it’s quick and easy, but this is equally as simple AND significantly cheaper than buying cereal. Plus, now that it’s getting colder out, it’s nice to have a hot breakfast.

I have a feeling breaking up with my PB&J is going to be much harder.

NOTE: I tried making oatmeal the old-fashioned way (on the stove) yesterday morning with protein powder and the texture was really weird and grainy. So if you want to include the protein powder, I really recommend the overnight soaking technique. PS I still ate it.

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