Sunbutter Banana & Chia Seed Oatmeal


This month I have decided to focus my thoughts and recipes mainly on calcium and vitamin D for the athlete. This is probably the topic I talk about with young athletes most frequently. I know calcium and vitamin D probably do not seem like a big deal when new to your sport or injury-free, but it can really be a big deal if you are cutting it out of your diet completely! Not getting enough calcium can lead to low bone mineral density, and not only osteoporosis later in life, but stress fractures now if the athlete is overtraining and not resting and eating adequately.

When I meet with athletes, the hardest meal to pack nutrition into always seems to be breakfast. So, for that reason I started looking at what I eat for breakfast and what clients eat for breakfast most frequently and then see if I could make these breakfast choices more valuable to an athlete’s nutrition and training plan. Today’s recipe is an oatmeal recipe. I am an oatmeal fan because you can easily pack a lot into it. This oatmeal can be made the morning of or prepped the night before and then heated up in the microwave while getting ready for work or school in the morning. I love it because it’s hearty, it’s super satisfying and it packs in protein, quality carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats in just one little bowl. For those athletes who have morning practices, it can also be stored in a small airtight container in a lunchbox with a cooler and heated up in the microwave after practice. I have really been enjoying this for breakfast these last couple of months and hope you enjoy it as well. I use a sunflower butter typically but, of course, you can use any nut or seed butter that you prefer. Here you go - the recipe for my Sunbutter Banana & Chia Seed Oatmeal…

Happy Fueling!




Makes 1 bowl


  • 1/4 cup dry rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed or chia seeds

  • 1 teaspoon Sunbutter (or nut or seed butter of choice) + about 1 teaspoon more drizzled over the oatmeal*

  • 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 1/2 medium banana)

  • The other half of the banana, sliced over cooked oatmeal

  • Dash of cinnamon, to sprinkle over the top after cooked.

    I like this Sunbutter and this Sunbutter because they are super simple and doesn’t have added sugar and lots of other added ingredients (not sponsored at all. I’ve just discovered these to be my preferences after lots of trial and error of different products).


  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a cereal bowl or travel container and stir together.

  2. Microwave 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.

  3. Stir in the mashed banana until well incorporated.*

  4. Microwave another 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  5. Stir together and top with sliced banana, extra bit of nut or seed butter and sprinkle of cinnamon.

  6. Enjoy!

  • If taking to the office or school, you can go ahead and add the mashed banana in with step one. I think it just mixes in better if you add it once the oatmeal has cooked some.


294 cal; 10.75 g protein; 6.38 g fat; 48.5 g carb; 6.6 g fiber; 22.75 g sugar; 1.38 mg iron; 205 mg calcium; 0.53 mg zinc; 250 mg vitamin A; 50 IU vitamin D; 27 mg magnesium; 22 mg phosphorus, 326 mg potassium; 1 mg sodium; 20 ug folate

Five Ingredient Breakfast Sandwich

I discovered the breakfast sandwich by chance.  It wasn't at McDonalds or another fast food place.  It was something my mom would make on slow Saturday mornings for herself to sit and enjoy.  I remember one morning at our place on the lake in Hot Springs, Arkansas, waking up and walking into the den to find mom taking her first bite of that eggy cheesy sandwich.  It looked like she was loving it and so, of course, I was curious.  I asked for a bite and was hooked!  After that, slow Saturday mornings (which typically meant the ones at the lake because all other Saturday mornings I was up at the rink at 5:45 AM skating) meant egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches.  It wasn't anything over the top, simply 2 slices of whole wheat bread, egg and American cheese, but to me it was just a touch away from gourmet.  

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Today, I still love a good breakfast sandwich, but I like to play around with ways to mix and match ingredients & flavors and, of course, find ways to make it simple and workable for busy schedules.  The other weekend after a good Saturday morning run and nothing on the calendar in the near future I decided to bring out the breakfast sandwich for a little Saturday morning brunch.  I've tried different recipes in the past but this one is my favorite so far.  I have made this particular recipe for Kyle and my dad, and both gave it a thumbs up.  

The thing about this sandwich is that while yes, it does take more time to make as opposed to pouring yourself a bowl of cereal or topping some yogurt with fruit, it's still relatively quick and simple.  If you really want to simplify, you can make the goat cheese - tomato spread the day before to have ready to go or you could even make these guys a night or two before, wrap them tightly and then freeze them to be quickly heated up the next morning before heading out the door!

So, whether you're looking for a slow savory Saturday morning breakfast or a quick and simple bite to grab and go, I think I've got you covered with this small but mighty 5 ingredient breakfast sandwich.

Happy Fueling!




Makes 1 sandwiches (but makes enough goat cheese spread for 2 sandwiches)


  • 1 whole wheat English muffin

  • 1 tablespoon goat cheese

  • About 4 sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, lightly blotted to remove some of the excess oil, and diced

  • 1/2 small avocado

  • 2 eggs


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1. Toast one English muffin in a toaster.

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2. In a small bowl crack two eggs and whisk together, adding a pinch of salt.

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3. In a small mixing bowl, add the diced tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of goat cheese.

4. Mash and mix together with a fork until the two ingredients are well incorporated.

5. Set aside.

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6. Heat a small non-stick pan on medium-low heat.

7. Add your 2 scrambled eggs to the pan, letting them get firm on the bottom, but turning the pan frequently to let the liquid uncooked egg spill over to the outside of the pan and cook.

8. Push the sides of the eggs down as you go to keep the eggs in a thin circle shape at the bottom of your pan (this should only take a few minutes).

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9. Once there is barely any liquid left on top, fold over one side of the circle so that the outer side is touching the center line - like in the picture above.

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10. Now fold over the other side so the outside of the opposite side touches the center as well - see picture above.

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11. Now fold over the other sides to create a small square pocket.

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12. Now flip the square pocket over with a spatula and cook for one more minute so that any uncooked egg gets cooked. I usually flip it and then put a lid on top to trap steam in and cook it quickly without drying it out.

13. Now that it's cooked, turn off the burner and remove skillet from the heat.

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14. Spoon your avocado out into a small bowl ....

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15. .... and roughly mash with a fork. I like mine to have some small avocado bites in there!

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16. Begin to assemble your sandwich by spreading 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese - tomato mixture on the top half of your English muffin.

17. Place the egg pocket on the bottom half of the English muffin.

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18. Dollop 1 tablespoon of mashed avocado onto the top of the egg and spread out gently with your spoon, knife or whatever utensil you are using.

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19. Add the top to your English muffin, goat cheese spread - side down and press gently.

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20. Voila! The perfect Egg Sandwich!

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21. Slice if you'd like or dive in and enjoy!


Egg:  protein, lutein, vitamin D, choline, vitamin B12

Avocado:  monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, potassium, fiber

Sun dried tomato: vitamin C, vitamin K, niacin, iron, magnesium, potassium

Whole grain English muffin:  fiber, protein, carbohydrate, 

Goat cheese: protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus

No Bake Cherry SunButter Squares

Last week I was scrolling through the recipes on my blog looking for this particular recipe and realized that over the past 3 years of making these I never posted the recipe!

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These squares are one of my favorites for breakfast or snack or paired with lunch or dinner.  I love them when I need a quick bite after a morning workout and, when time allows, I also love to sit and savor them with a cup of hot coffee, or currently, a glass of cold iced coffee.

They are also no-bake, which means no ovens, stoves or other heat-producing appliance needed!  This is double perfect for my current situation, a resident of Dallas, Texas, where temps continue to hang out over 100 degrees (hence my suggestion of ice coffee).

So, this weekend in attempts of staying out of the Texas heat as much as possible, I spent (a very short amount of) time throwing together a batch or two of these scrumptious squares.  They are so simple and their flavors are a mix of savory, sweet and a touch of tart (I buy organic SunButter or the Sunflower Seed spread from Trader Joe's that I just recently discovered.  Both have no sugar added).  I can't wait to enjoy these this week and I hope you love them too!


These squares can also make a great addition to the young athlete's sports nutrition plan.  They are simple to make and easy to eat.  They pack a good amount of nutrition into one little square, which means that they can help fuel the busy athlete having trouble getting enough nutrition due to his/her jam-packed schedule and increased nutrition needs.  From my visits with high school sports teams and one-on-one sessions with teen athletes I also know that it is quite common for the young athlete to skip breakfast entirely, choosing more sleep over morning nutrition, which can set them up for sluggish practices and games later in the day.  The great news here is that these bars are BEST when right out of the freezer, which makes them perfect to grab and eat while running out the door, on the bus, in the car, etc.

These squares provide energy, protein, healthy fats, zinc, magnesium, fiber, and iron in just a few small squares.  And, it's easy to change up the mix-ins to match taste preferences.  I use Sun Butter and cherries and make them nut-free; however, you can use any nut or seed butter you prefer and change the mix-ins up each time you make them.

So, here you go - the recipe for my No Bake Cherry Sun Butter Bars.

Happy Fueling!




Makes 9 squares

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  • 1 cups rolled oats (quick cooking)

  • 1/2 cup Sun Butter

  • 2 Tbsp dry milk powder

  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped

  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp honey



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1. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

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2. Mix ingredients together with a rubber spatula until well-incorporated (can also use a fork).

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3. Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

4. Spread oat - Sun Butter mix out evenly along bottom of dish, making sure to get to all sides and corners.


5. Cover dish and place in the freezer. Allow to rest in the freezer for at least 3 hours. I leave mine in the freezer overnight.

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6. When ready, bring dish out of the freezer and lift up the bars with the parchment paper, placing parchment paper and bars on a flat surface.

7. Run a sharp knife through hot water and then blot carefully to remove excess water. Making the knife really hot will make it easier to slice through the cold bars.

8. Slice evenly into 8 individual bars.

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9. Serve bars immediately or wrap, individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer so that squares are ready to go as you need them!

NOTE:  I'm also experimenting with doubling this recipe but placing in the same 9x13 baking dish to make bigger bars.  I think they will be just as good.  Will keep you posted!



Sun Butter:  protein, fat, iron

Dried Cherries:  iron, fiber

Dry Milk Powder:  protein, calcium

Honey:  carbohydrate

Rolled Oats:  protein, fiber, zinc, magnesium, iron


Cinnamon Apple Tarts

If you haven't already realized or, if you are new to my blog, I'm all about delicious but simple and stress-free recipes and meals.  I eat most foods but, in this space, you'll find a bit healthier recipes.  I'm out to prove that healthier meals can be delicious, that they don't equal deprivation AND that they don't have to be complicated.  And, seeing as my background is in mainly wellness, exercise and sports nutrition (both adult and pediatric), my recipes are all created with this theme in mind.  I have a few principles that I follow when thinking up dinners,  principles that work whether I am cooking for one, cooking for the family, or cooking for an entire house of guests.  I won't go into detail about them today but I can tell you that following these is what allows me to create balance and keep flavor at our table each week.  These principles are getting summed up in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy today's recipe, these Cinnamon Apple Tarts, that are just sweet enough, light enough and simple enough to make the menu of many celebratory and more time-consuming meals. 

A little story behind their creation...

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These apple cinnamony treats came about when Kyle and I were having my Bible Study leader and her husband over for dinner.  I have been in her Bible Study for probably about 5 years to the point that she is like family.  She even flew up to Memphis to attend my mom's funeral, a woman she had never met.  I got to know her husband through being at their house every other week for Bible Study and through our church.  After I met Kyle, they welcomed him into their lives, joining us for dinners and brunches and lending words of wisdom when we needed it.  Her husband actually ended up being one of the ministers that married us.  So, with all of this to say, these were some very special dinner guests.  That night I, with Kyle as my sous chef :) , made some of my favorite dishes - a Roasted Beef Tenderloin with a Rosemary Chocolate and Wine Sauce (thank you, Ellie Krieger!!  This dish is delicious and one of my favorites for special occasions and entertaining!), roasted root veggies, spinach and brown butter gnocchi and a mixed greens salad.  This might sound complicated but it fits perfectly with those "Three Principles for Simplified Dinners".

For these tarts - the key to preparing them is pulling the pastry dough out of the freezer before dinner begins because they need about 40ish minutes to thaw.  You can either have your apples already sliced or do a quick slice after dinner before throwing them in the oven.  On this particular occasion, I had the pastry thawing and then, as everyone was taking their last bites of dinner, I tucked away into the kitchen, assembled the tarts (using apples I had sliced before dinner) and then baked them in the oven for about 15 minutes while I joined the rest of the conversation.  When they were done I broiled them for just a minute and then plated them and served each with a ramekin of cold and creamy Blue Bell vanilla bean ice cream (everything is better with Blue Bell in this house).  They were simple and light, the perfect ending to a satisfying and filling meal.

So, here you go - my recipe for Cinnamon Apple Tarts.  I hope they bring your future dinners many happy endings :)

Happy Fueling!




Makes 18 tarts 


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  • 6 rectangles of a puff pastry sheet, thawed for about 45 minutes

  • 1 red apple (like golden delicious)

  • 1/2 green apple (like granny smith)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • pinch of regular sugar

  • 4 teaspoons honey



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and dust a baking sheet with flour.

2. Using 6 of the long rectangular sheets of puff pastry, cut each into 3 smaller squares (should end up with 18 squares).

3. Slice each apple in half. Then, place cut side of each apple half on cutting board cut into another half lengthwise, along the length of the core. Keeping apple in that same position, begin slicing from the side you just cut, inwards. Repeat with each section of apple so that you have 32 red apple slices and 16 green apple slices.

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4. Layer the top of each pastry square with 3 apple slices - 2 red and 1 green.

5. Drizzle apple slices with half of the honey and sprinkle with cinnamon (I really just eyeball the honey I drizzle on each tart. Don't stress about being super precise - just have fun drizzling a little over each tart, saving enough to drizzle each again in a little bit!)

6. Place the pastry squares on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes.

7. At 8 minutes, remove the tarts, drizzle with remainder of the honey and bake for about 5 - 8 minutes more.

8. After baking, remove tarts from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Sprinkle each tart with a little granulated sugar and place under the broiler for about 30 to 60 seconds until the tops are browned and caramelized.. Make sure to watch them so they don't burn!

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9. Remove finished tarts from the oven and let sit a moment while you scoop out ice cream, pour your coffee, or put together whatever you choose to serve them with :)

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10. Serve and enjoy!


Store any uneaten tarts in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.  When ready to eat again, remove from fridge and place on foil or baking sheet.  Reheat in a preheated 350 F oven for about 10 minutes.

Breakfast anyone?  While not the best pre or post - exercise breakfast, these make a great accompaniment if hosting a big weekend brunch or they serve as perfect leisurely weekend homemade pastry.

Sun Butter Banana Overnight Oats



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Hi friends!  Hope your 2018 is off to a wonderful start.  This month, I have kicked things off by experimenting with new breakfast possibilities.  As I mentioned in a previous IG post, I have always been a breakfast eater but sometimes, when pressed for time, it's not always the most substantial breakfast I could have.  So this month I have been making it more of a priority to get a substantial (yet still quick and simple) breakfast - one that really tides me over until lunch.  After the first week of these more substantial breakfasts, just as I suspected, I have been much more productive during those morning hours (which is great, because mornings are my favorite).  Not only that, but I am not ravenous for lunch so can make the best choices that I know will fill me up and give me energy through the rest of my workday  (v.s. feeling lethargic and worn out at 2 p.m.).  It even makes those afternoon workouts better!

You may be asking, "What do you mean by 'substantial'"?  Well, by "substantial" I mean a breakfast that contains at least10 - 20 grams of protein, some quality carbohydrate, whether that comes from fruit, yogurt or whole grains, and / or some healthy fat.  My breakfasts this last week consisted of scrambled eggs and fruit, high protein yogurts with my current favorite Purely Elizabeth blueberry granola and some fruit, and several overnight oat varieties, including this new discovery, my SunButter Banana Overnight Oats.  I know, I know, overnight oats are old news.  I'm well aware.  However, as popular as they have been, I'm just now jumping on board.  I've played with different flavors, including a blueberry variety and a cherry one that is packed with flavor, not to mention the nutritious benefits!  I'll certainly give you details on these other satisfying varieties but today it is all about this Sun Butter Banana variety that has earned a spot for itself on my "breakfast go-to" list.

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This bowl is full of quality carbohydrates from the milk, oats and banana, packed with protein from the oats, milk and SunButter, full of fiber from the banana and oats, and offers some healthy fats from the SunButter.  This one-bowl-breakfast keeps me full and energized until lunch and all I have to do in the mornings is take it out of the refrigerator and stir all of the layers together.  Perfection!

So, here you go - my recipe for this SunButter Banana Overnight Oats.  I hope it simplifies and fuels your morning and, for those non-breakfast eaters out there, gets you on the breakfast eating bandwagon. 

Happy Fueling!





  • 1/2 cup rolled oats*

  • 1/4 cup 1% milk

  • 1 small (6" - 7" long) banana, cut into two halves.

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons 1% milk

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter (I used SunButter here) or other seed or nut butter

* I recommend the regular rolled oats.  Steel cut may not soften enough over night and still be tough in the morning and the quick cooking oats may get too mushy.


In a small bowl or on a cutting board, mash 1 of the banana halves.

  1. To a medium size container or mason jar add 1/4 cup dry oats.

  2. Add the 1/4 cup milk.

  3. Add the mashed half of the banana.

  4. Add 1 tbsp seed, peanut or nut butter, spreading as evenly over the mashed banana layer as you can.

  5. Sprinkle cinnamon over the seed/peanut/nut butter layer.

  6. Top cinnamon with 3 more tablespoons of dry rolled oats.

  7. Add 2 tablespoons of milk.

  8. Seal the jar / container with its lid.

  9. Place in the refrigerator over night.

  10. In the morning, top the oats with sliced bananas from the remaining half of banana.

  11. Serve and enjoy!



Oats:  fiber, iron, vitamin D, thiamin, phosphorus, magnesium, protein

Milk:  protein, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, phosphorus

SunButter:  mono & polyunsaturated fats, fiber, iron, niacin, protein, vitamin E, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese

Bananas:  potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese

Cinnamon:  manganese and a little calcium



380 calories;  12 g protein;  58 g carb;  13 g total fat (2 g sat, 7 g mono, 3 g poly);  8 g fiber;  19 g sugar (0 g added);  5 mg cholesterol;  155 mg calcium;  743 mg potassium;  103 mg Na;  3 mg iron;  145 mg magnesium;  3 mg zing;  381 mg phosphorus;  1 ug vitamin D;  

Warm Apple Cinnamon Waffles + a Few Facts on Fiber

Recently I have been working on a couple of articles - one illustrating ways to increase protein at breakfast and one illustrating appetizing breakfast, lunch and dinner options with fiber.  While I have not yet finished the posts (stay tuned), I have come up with a super simple, warm and delicious way to start my day.  What I liked about this discovery was that not only did it provide me with a new quick and simple recipe but it also tied in with some common questions I get from clients, allowing me to provide a teaching point or two along with my recipe.   

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So, before I share this recipe with you I want to talk a smidge on the topic that inspired today's recipe and that is the topic of FIBER.  I know, super thrilling.  Don't worry, the recipe is much more exciting :) Fiber - how much do we need and why do we need it?  Well, if you're a female between 18 and 50, you want 25 grams a day.  If you're a male between 18 and 50 you want 38 grams a day.  Men over 50 want 30 grams a day and women over 50 want 21 grams a day.  Fiber does all kinds of great things for us like promote a healthy gastrointestinal system, help lower our cholesterol, keep our blood sugars steady, and help us feel full.  Fiber can be SOLUBLE or INSOLUBLE and I have explained the differences below.  While some foods are higher in one type of fiber than the other, both forms are usually present to some degree.  As a general guideline, I wouldn't overthink it - just make sure you get a variety of these fiber-filled foods each day.

Soluble fiber attracts and absorbs water during digestion, which helps slow digestion and, therefore, keeps you fuller longer and keeps blood sugars steady (slower digestion means slower release of glucose into the blood stream).  This is also the fiber that has been found to help lower our blood cholesterol because it can bind to LDL, which is then removed from the body with the fiber. Soluble Fiber is found in foods such as: oat bran, oatmeal, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, apples, pears and blueberries. It is also found in psyllium, which is a popular fiber supplement.

Insoluble Fiber adds bulk and helps move everything through your stomach and intestines.  It also helps create a feeling of fullness, which can aid in weight management.  Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as: wheat bran, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.

Now that I've dazzled you with the sciencey stuff, I want to share with you the yummy breakfast creation that came from this.  I was trying to think of a recipe that I, and hopefully others, could get excited about and one that would also be a good source of a fiber.  That is where this Cinnamon Apple SunButter Waffle came about.  I played around in the kitchen trying to think of ways to mix textures as well as flavors and I was so pleasantly surprised after taking my first bite of this waffle.  You don't have to bake it at the end if you don't have time, but if you do have the time, I highly recommend it.  The first time I tested this I did not bake the assembled waffle in the oven and it was good, but baking it at the end is way better!  Throwing it in the oven at the end softens and sweetens the apples while getting the waffle a little bit crispier on the outside.  You basically get warm cinnamon apples on a waffle.  But not just a plain waffle - a crispy on the outside waffle spread with warm creamy Sun Butter (or peanut butter, almond butter, etc.).  All of this topped with crunchy granola, tart dried cranberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon makes it anything but ordinary. I can't wait to make another.  Mmmmmmmm. Hope you have the time to give this one a try! 

Happy Fueling!


Warm Apple Cinnamon Waffle

Serves 1


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  • 1 whole grain waffle ( I used Kashi brand)

  • 2 tablespoons SunButter (or your favorite nut or seed butter)

  • 3 fresh apple slices (thinly sliced)

  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon granola


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Toast waffle in the toaster to desired doneness.

  3. Once waffle is toasted, place on a baking sheet and spread the SunButter over the top.

  4. Layer apple slices flat across the Sun Butter.

  5. Sprinkle the cranberries, cinnamon and granola over the apples and Sun Butter.

  6. Place baking sheet in the preheated oven, baking waffle for 10 to 15 minutes.

  7. Remove waffle from oven, serve and enjoy!



waffle... fiber, protein, iron

sun butter... protein, fat (majority poly and monounsaturated fat), magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin E, vitamin B6

apples... fiber, vitamin C

cinnamon... manganese, calcium

KIND granola.... protein, fiber, iron


NUTRITION FACTS, per serving:

Calories 340  |  Protein 9.5 g  |  Carbs 63 g  |  Fat  21.1 g total (5.3 g sat)  |  Sodium 158 mg  |  Fiber 10 g  |  Calcium 100 mg 

Crustless Sage & Sausage Quiche

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This recipe was inspired by dad's most recent visit to Dallas.  First visit after the wedding.  It was so fun and sweet to have him here.  The weekend was filled with lots of laughs, good food, and a few home improvements :)

I always like to cook one good meal when dad comes into town.  Growing up and into college and grad school, one thing mom, dad, and I always enjoyed was cooking together.   We would cook and chat and laugh while we chopped, tossed, grilled, baked and sautéed, creating different dishes ranging from "dad burgers" to grilled beef tenderloin to the very experimental crab manicotti.  Whatever the outcome, good, bad, or ugly, it was at least a learning curve in the kitchen and fun memory to keep with us.  So, when I moved to Texas we always seemed to gravitate towards cooking one meal in, and, because I was in an apartment with a tiny kitchen for most of that time, that one chosen meal was often breakfast.  Fast-forwarding to the present - these days it's only dad, but we still keep up this tradition, now pulling Kyle into that familiar space of cooking, creating, laughing, and troubleshooting. A space where mistakes are just creative twists to a brand new recipe. A space where new memories and new flavors are formed.

On this particular dad visit I wanted to cook at least one meal in and I knew how much dad LOVES a good breakfast (and same goes for Kyle, so it was kind of a win all around here).  I flipped through ideas, searching for good breakfast recipe, which became easier to discover as Dad excitedly volunteered to bring his favorite breakfast sausage that he had stored in the refrigerator at home.  I love the idea of easy egg dishes and I wanted to try some new flavors and go beyond the typical scrambled eggs.  I remembered seeing a crustless quiche in a magazine not too long ago, and so thought I would give that concept a try.  You could get the quiche consistency without spending the time making the crust.  And seeing as we would be making breakfast in-between house projects, less work sounded fantastic to me.  So, I mixed and matched different ingredients in my mind - thinking about what I like, what my dad and Kyle like, what has worked (& not worked) for me in the past and the result was this Crustless Sage & Sausage Quiche (& I threw in some mushrooms, spinach & onion because a dietitian's gotta have her veggies :) ).   Now, I know the sausage isn't my typical healthier dish, but life is really all about balance, right?  And, of course, you can substitute with lean ground turkey breast if desired.  

So here you go, the recipe for my Crustless Sage & Sausage Quiche.

Happy Fueling!


Crustless Sage & Sausage Quiche


  • 6 whole eggs

  • 1 1/2 cup 1% milk

  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. dried ground cloves (or you could use ground nutmeg instead)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

  • 1/4 pound ground sausage (or substitute lean ground turkey breast if desired)

  • 1 cup diced onion (small dices so you don't bite into big chunks of onion in your quiche)

  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

  • 1 cup torn fresh spinach

  • 1 cup sliced button or baby bella mushrooms


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahreinheit.

  2. Grease a 9 inch pie dish with butter or canola oil.

  3. Combine eggs, thyme, sage, milk, salt, pepper, and ground cloves in a large mixing bowl and whisk ingredients together until the eggs are broken up completely and mixture is smooth.

  4. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and cook the sausage for about 10 to 15 minutes, breaking it up periodically, until crumbled and no longer pink.

  5. Pour cooked sausage onto a plate lined with a paper towel and let the sausage sit and drain.

  6. Heat that same skillet back to medium heat and add the onions and mushrooms, cooking about 15 minutes until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are soft.

  7. Add the drained sausage back to the skillet with the cooked onion & mushrooms and mix all ingredients together

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8. Spread the vegetable - sausage mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pie dish.

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9. Top sausage veggie mixture with the 1 cup spinach

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10. Top spinach with 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese

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11. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top.

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12. Top with the remaining shredded Gruyere cheese.

13. Cook in the preheated oven for about 35 - 40 minutes, remove and cover with foil and cook for about 10 minutes more (to prevent the top from getting too brown).

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12. Let rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


13. Serve with your favorite breakfast foods and enjoy!

This also makes great leftovers for breakfast, lunch OR dinner.

NOTE: There is some water at the bottom of the pie dish after baking. It doesn't affect the flavor or anything but if you don't like this you could probably cook your spinach and drain it before adding to to the quiche (spinach contains so much water!).


Eggs - protein | vitamin B12 | vitamin D | lutein | zeaxanthin | choline

Spinach - fiber | vitamin A | vitamin C | folate | vitamin K

Mushrooms - fiber | riboflavin | niacin | copper

Onions - fiber | vitamin C | part of a group called alliums, that may reduce the risk of some cancers

Cheese - calcium | protein | be careful b/c also high in saturated fat (and sodium)

Up and At 'Em Egg Cups

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School, work and fall sports are officially in full swing and so is the desire to continue those fitness and nutrition efforts you began during the spring and summer months.  Between getting up, getting ready for work, getting ready for school, packing the soccer / swim / skating / cross country / gym / (your chosen activity here) bag and getting yourself to the office or the kids to practice, to school, or all of the above, a good breakfast can often get lost in the shuffle.  A quick bowl of cereal is, of course, an easy go-to but sometimes, even with all the varieties out there, that can get old.  Plus, so many cereals are high in sugar and low in protein, fiber and other nutrients, leaving you or your athlete starving two hours later.

As a young figure skater and cross country runner growing up, I remember that, between my 4:30 a.m. alarm clock, my 5:30 a.m. ice time, and my 7:50 a.m. school bell, there was hardly ever enough time for a good breakfast.  Now, years later, between my early morning alarm, getting in some writing, emails, recipe development or program brainstorming, going on my morning run, and quickly putting myself together to get to the office, I still find many mornings to be one crazy whirlwind.  For this reason I set out to create a quick & easy breakfast option that would energize and satisfy me after my morning run as I headed off to work.

My recipe for you this week is my Up & At 'Em Egg Cups.  With their bursting roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, spinach and sprinkle of feta and Parmesan cheese, you will look forward to breakfast each morning!  Not only are these little cups delicious, but the eggs offer protein, choline, lutein, and a little vitamin D, the roasted tomatoes offer a punch of lycopene (even more than raw tomatoes!) and vitamin C, the spinach tops it off with a little folate, iron (better absorbed by the vitamin C in the tomatoes), and vitamin K, and the onions offer additional vitamin C.   Add a slice of toast, diced fruit, a yogurt or glass of milk, and you have a winning breakfast that, with its mix of protein, complex carbs and antioxidants, will replenish you after a morning workout and refuel you for the busy day ahead.

So here you go... my Up & At 'Em Egg Cups.  Enjoy!

Up & At 'Em Egg Cups

Makes 8 eggs cups;  Serving Size = 2 cups


  • 5 whole eggs

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coarse sea salt

  • Ground pepper, to taste

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped white onion (about 1/2 of a large onion)

  • 1 packed cup fresh spinach, torn or chopped

  • 1 tablespoon feta cheese

  • 4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat the broiler on HIGH and line a medium-sized baking sheet with tin foil.

2. Crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl, add 1/8 teaspoon of salt, a dash of pepper and beat all ingredients together with a wire whisk. Set aside.

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3. In a medium bowl, using a heat-resistant rubber spatula, stir together the tomatoes with 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon of salt and then spread onto the foil-lined baking sheet.

4. Place the baking sheet with the tomatoes in the preheated oven and broil for 7 - 10 minutes until tomatoes are bursting and start to char, stirring with the spatula half-way through.

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5. While the tomatoes roast, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook about 10 - 15 minutes until caramelized, stirring occasionally with spatula.

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6. Once the tomatoes are done cooking (while onions are still cooking), grease an 8-cup muffin tin and set oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. After the onions have cooked for about 10 minutes and are beginning to caramelize, add the roasted tomatoes, spinach and feta to the skillet, stirring to combine all ingredients. Continue to cook about 3 minutes more, removing from the heat when spinach is wilted and feta is well incorporated.

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8. Divide the onion - spinach mixture evenly into each muffin cup (about 2 tablespoons of the onion - spinach mixture per muffin cup).

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9. Divide the egg mixture evenly among each muffin cup (about 3 - 4 tablespoons of the egg mixture per muffin cup).

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10. Using a small spoon or dull dinner knife, stir the ingredients in each egg cup to incorporate the onion-spinach mixture and the egg together well.

11. Top each cup's egg mixture with 1/2 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese.

12. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 - 25 minutes until the egg cups puff and begin to brown on top.

13. Let the egg cups cool about 5 minutes after removing from oven. Then run a knife around the edges of each cup to loosen anything sticking to the tin and remove with a small fork or spoon.

14. Eat immediately or allow to cool on a plate, wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for a quick breakfast - on - the - go or mid-morning snack!

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Make It Again!  The best thing to do is find a one-hour weeknight or weekend time slot that you can devote to making a big batch of these.  Then wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil and store them in the refrigerator or the freezer to quickly heat up and enjoy before running out the door in the morning or bring it along to heat and quickly eat at the office!  (Reheat refrigerated cups about 45 seconds and reheat frozen cups about 1 min, 30 seconds)

NUTRITION INFO (per 2 cups):

Calories 175;  Protein 10g;  Carbohydrate 8g;  Total Fat 12g (sat 3g, mono 5.75g, poly 1.75g);  Sugar 4g;  Added Sugar 0g;  Sodium 310mg;  Cholesterol 210 mg;  Potassium 300 mg;  Calcium 105 mg