young athlete

Citrus Shrimp & Avocado Toast


So, it appears I have a recipe theme of “shrimp meals” going on this month as my last post was this super simple and delicious Grilled Pesto Garden Salad with Warm Balsamic Shrimp. Today I’m continuing on with the theme and sharing my Citrus Shrimp & Avocado Toast Recipe. I have had this one in my recipe binder for years now and it has a regular presence in our home. I don’t know how it has not made it's way to the blog until today! Needless to say, I’m really excited to share this one with you guys.

As you probably already know by now, I’m a big fan of simple meals with simple but tasty quality ingredients. I always ask myself, “How can I bring out the flavors of simple ingredients and pair them together for a memorable meal with family and friends?” I, personally, think this recipe is one that answers this question perfectly. It takes the classic avocado toast but adds a few more ingredients, including a little bit of protein, to help make it a more complete meal and a good option for you and your busy athletes!

The tomatoes can cook on the stove or you can broil them in the oven while you cook the shrimp and toast your bread (I typically broil them so it frees me up to work on the other components of the dish). Once that is complete, you just have to start building your toast! This dish has alllll the wonderful flavors going on with the layer of creamy savory avocado, juicy sweet and salty tomatoes, a pop of sweet yellow corn and those warm citrusy chili shrimp. I seriously do love this dish and it’s so easy for those hot southern summer nights when you want something cool but satisfying for dinner. Whatever your schedule may be, I hope you can enjoy this dish with me this summer!

Happy Fueling!



Makes 2 toasts



For the Shrimp:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (you will have shrimp leftover for meals later that week. I typically do 3 or 4 shrimp per piece of toast)

For the Toast:

  • 2 slices of whole-wheat bread

  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 2 medium avocados)

  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 dry pints of cherry tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons frozen & thawed corn (or you can use fresh cooked)

  • OPTIONAL - 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, served on the side and sprinkled over toast


  1. To make the shrimp marinade, combine the ingredients for the shrimp in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.

  2. Add the shrimp to a plastic sealable bag and then pour in the marinade.

  3. Place plastic bag in the refrigerator and allow the shrimp to marinate for around an hour (you could also put in the fridge in the morning and have it ready to go in the evening for dinner)

  4. Set the oven to broil and line a small baking sheet with foil.

  5. Add lime juice to the mashed avocado to flavor it and prevent it from browning while you prepare the rest of the dish.

  6. In a medium bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes with the 1 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

  7. Add the tomatoes to the baking sheet and allow to broil in the oven about 6 to 8 minutes.

  8. While the tomatoes cook, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.

  9. Add the marinated shrimp to the skillet and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are white throughout.

  10. Remove the cooked tomatoes from the broiler and set aside.

  11. Begin to toast your bread and remove the shrimp from the heat when done cooking.

  12. Place your slices of toast on separate plates or a serving platter and assemble by adding to each slice:

    1. Mashed avocado

    2. Broiled tomatoes

    3. Sweet yellow corn (about 1 tablespoon per toast)

    4. 3 to 4 orange lime citrus shrimp

  13. Sprinkle slices with feta, if desired, and enjoy!


The shrimp and whole grain bread provide PROTEIN

The roasted tomatoes are full of VITAMIN C and LYCOPENE. The vitamin C can help the body absorb any iron found in this dish (like in the whole grain bread or any in the shrimp)

The creamy avocado provides POTASSIUM, LUTEIN, and MONOUNSATURATED FATS. Beneficial for bone health, muscle contractions, good vision, brain health and helping fight inflammation!


Use any extra ingredients as toppings on salads, mix-ins for eggs, or make another round of this delicious toast!

Jazzed Up Mac & Cheese Cups


Hello! How is everyone’s week going? Mine has been quite packed, but the good kind of packed that keeps you on your toes and keeps you thinking. So much going on in January in the world of Wellness and I’m also staying pretty busy with sports nutrition items as well.

Today, however, oh my gosh, I’m excited to finally get to share with you one of my newer recipes, these jazzed up mac and cheese cups.. This is one of my favorite recipes yet. It’s so savory and cheesy and easy to eat. It’s basically mac & cheese with a few surprise ingredients in a cup! And a bonus - made with milk and cheese, each cup packs in some calcium, which we know everyone needs, especially the young growing athlete. I actually created these about a year ago, but it took me a few times to get the recipe just the way I wanted it and then I, of course, had to have friends and family give them a try and earn their stamp of approval. You can prep these ahead and then store them in the fridge until you are ready to bake which, if you know my recipes, you know I love. They also store and reheat nicely, which is great because the recipe makes 12. I store them in a big airtight container or wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. They can be an easy option to take to school or work or enjoy as a late night dinner or post-practice snack. What makes them jazzed up? Well, I substitute some of the pasta for roasted cauliflower and add in sun dried tomatoes, which gives it a whole new level of deliciousness. And, honestly, you may not even realize it’s cauliflower in there if you are not paying attention. I seriously love these and I hope you do to! So, here you go, the recipe for my Jazzed Up Mac & Cheese Cups.

Happy Fueling!



Makes 12 cups


  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup macaroni noodles (will use 1 1/2 cups cooked)

  • Cooking Spray

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter

  • 1 teaspoon flour

  • 1 1/4 cup 1% milk

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon creamy Dijon mustard

  • 1 whole egg, whisked

  • 1/2 cup rehydrated (according to package directions) and chopped sun dried tomatoes


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped cauliflower with the olive oil and salt.


Spread cauliflower on lined baking sheet.

Roast cauliflower in preheated oven for 15 minutes, stir the cauliflower, and roast for 15 minutes more.

While the cauliflower cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil and, once boiling, add the macaroni, cooking about 7 to 8 minutes until tender. When done, drain the cooked macaroni into a large colander and set aside.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.

Now, increase the heat of the oven to 425 degrees F.


Prep a 12-muffin tin (or two 6-muffin tins) by spraying lightly with cooking spray and then, using about 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese, sprinkle on the bottom of each muffin tin.


Heat the same large pot you used to cook the noodles in to medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of flour. Whisk for about 3 to 4 minutes, allowing the flour to cook and start to brown.

Add the milk, whisking slowly as you pour it in, and continue to cook, whisking occasionally, until the milk begins to warm almost coming to a simmer.

Add the cheese to the warm milk and whisk in until the cheese melts into the milk and the mix is smooth.

Take pot off the heat and add the Dijon and egg and stir to incorporate all ingredients together.

Add 1 1/2 cup of the cooked macaroni, the sun dried tomatoes, and the cauliflower to the pot and fold it into the cheese sauce.

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Spoon mac and cheese mixture into each muffin tin (about 1/4 cup mix per tin).

Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove cooked mac and cheese cups from the oven, sprinkle tops of each with remaining 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided equally between every cup.

Turn oven to a broil and broil on low for about 1 to 2 minutes until the tops start to brown and crisp a little.

Remove cups from the oven.

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Allow to cool about 10 minutes so that the cups will keep their shape when you take them out of your tins. After they cool a little, I run a knife around the edges of each muffin tin to help get each mac and cheese cup out smoothly.

Serve immediately or store to enjoy later in the week!

Serve It Again!

As I mentioned earlier. Wrap each individually in foil or plastic wrap to pull out and take with you as a part of lunch. Or reheat them as an easy side with dinner another night of the week. OR grab one after an afternoon or evening practice as an easy source of protein, quality carbohydrate and calcium!


Just one of these scrumptious cups contains 210 mg of calcium!

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.  

Sliced Sammie.JPG

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

Mushroom, Thyme & Goat Cheese Pizza

If you've been following along, you know that I have been working on, and loving I might add, this new pizza recipe.  The idea started from a magazine clipping I found in my old binder of recipes collected throughout college and grad school.  However, I've added and edited and played around with so many ingredients since then that I can't actually remember what the original recipe was, other than the fact that it used thyme and goat cheese.  Today I'm sharing with you the recipe results of many tests and tastes.  While this recipe is how I like it best, you can make a variety of little ingredient changes and I bet it will still be wonderful!  In fact, I alternate between two varieties and I want to share that quickly with you before diving into the recipe..


Goat Cheese Thyme Pizza.JPG

One way I make this, and actually the first way I ever tried it, is on Whole Foods fresh pizza dough that I roll out and use for my crust (I hear Trader Joe's has a fresh whole wheat pizza dough too that is really good).  This version makes a thicker fluffier crust that yields a delicious pizza where the toppings kind of bake into the bread.  Ahh, so, good!  Not only is this option delicious but it can also be an easy way to get more calories and carbohydrates in your young growing athlete that has daily games and practices, depleted energy stores, and increased energy and nutrition needs. This option does take a little more time because you have to flour a surface and roll out the dough, but if time allows, I think it's absolutely worth it!  And, because it has a thicker crust, you or your athlete can throw on more favorite toppings!




My second variety is made on the Trader Joe's already-made whole wheat pizza crust that you find in the bread aisle.  I mostly like this version because of how quick and simple it is.  Wednesday night I cooked this variety for some girlfriends.  I got home around 6:00 p.m. and only had to focus on prepping the toppings.  Once the girls were over, I assembled the pizza and popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes and it was done.  I don't know about you, but that's my perfect idea of entertaining on a weeknight - a dish that everyone will enjoy and that allows you to be present with your company, not have to put all of your attention on cooking.  This is the variety that I'm going to share with you today!


I always hear people say, "oh pizza is bad".  Oiy, feels like a punch to the stomach.  While, yes, some pizzas provide less fueling and health - promoting ingredients than others and when eaten too often, in too big of quantities over a long period of time can promote weight gain and other health concerns, I cannot say that pizza is "bad" and here is just one of my examples why.  This pizza uses a whole wheat crust from Trader Joe's (or something similar), easy to make homemade blistered & crushed tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions, soft crumbly goat cheese and fresh thyme.  And, while this is one of my favorite flavor combos, it is just one example,.  You can put any variety of your favorite veggies, cheeses and herbs and spices on here or throw in some chicken or lean ground beef if you want.  A perfectly fueling & filling option if you ask me!

So, here you go, my Mushroom, Thyme and Goat Cheese Pizza..

Happy Fueling!



Mushroom, Thyme & Goat Cheese Pizza


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  • 1 Trader Joe's whole-wheat pizza crust

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil + 2 teaspoons olive oil + 1/2 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil (last 2 tsp optional)

  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes

  • 6 - 8 ounces of mushrooms (your choice - I love picking a variety!), chop larger ones but smaller ones can be left whole

  • 1/2 of a medium white or red onion, sliced into half moons

  • 4 to 6 ounces of crumbled goat cheese

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh thyme

  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


1.  Preheat the broiler on high.

2.  Line a medium-size rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

3.  To a medium-size skillet, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and heat on medium-low heat.

4.  Add mushrooms to the heated skillet and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until softened.

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5. While the mushrooms cook, in a medium-size bowl toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Spread the tomatoes out on half your lined baking sheet.

6. In the same medium-size bowl toss the onion slices with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Spread the onions out on the other half of the lined baking sheet next to the tomatoes.

7. Place the baking sheet in the oven and let cook under the broiler for about 10 minutes, until onions and tomatoes begin to charr and the tomatoes burst. Mix with a heat-proof utensil about half-way through.

8. Once mushrooms are done cooking, turn off the burner and set aside.

9. Once tomatoes and onions are done cooking, remove from the oven and turn off the broiler. Gently crush the tomatoes with a fork (being careful not to squirt yourself with tomato juice!) and set aside.

10. Change the oven setting to Bake at 400 degrees F.


11. Place pizza crust on a pizza stone or a large baking sheet and brush with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.

12. Then spread the tomato - onion mixture in a thin even layer, leaving a little room on the edges.


13. Top pizza crust with mushrooms, crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme. This picture was from a trial where I added the mushrooms raw. You can do this if pressed for time, but I thought the mushrooms had a better texture and were more thoroughly cooked when sauteed before adding to the uncooked pizza crust.

14. Place prepped pizza in the 400 degree oven and cook for about 20 minutes until the crust is crispy and the cheese has melted.


15. Remove from the oven and slice into 4 to 6 triangular slices (or however many you want!)

OPTIONAL - you can whisk together the lemon juice and last 2 teaspoons of olive oil and drizzle over the pizza before slicing and serving. It adds a little pop of flavor!


16. I always like pairing my pizza with a different salad. Sometimes I keep it simple with spinach and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sometimes I throw together lots of mix-ins and a fun dressing. Anything works!

17. Serve and enjoy!

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

SunButter Bar Ingredients.JPG


  • 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


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 

Banana Sun Butter Oat Bites

SunButter Oat Bites.JPG

These little snacks were such a fun discovery.  It was one of those mornings where I wasn't planning on any recipe development but as I was getting ingredients out for breakfast this idea popped into my mind.  I could envision the final product in my head as I quickly pulled the ingredients together, cut up the banana, spooned out dollops of SunButter and opened my box of Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal that was already waiting to be poured.  This is so super simple I can't even really call it a recipe.  All you need are bananas, a nut butter, seed butter or peanut butter and a crunchy cereal (I think these Quaker Oatmeal Squares work just perfectly) and you've got yourself a snack for morning, noon or night.

And, not only are these easy and delicious, but they also pack a nutritious little punch, providing fruit, healthy fat and a whole grain in each bite - not to mention a little potassium, fiber, magnesium, iron, and protein.

I've already made these again since discovering.  They are delicious for adults, but could also be super cute for a kid's snack or party.  These are simple in prep, simple in ingredients and something you could make with your kids or throw together for a easy post exercise snack.  I hope you (and your family) enjoy!

Happy Fueling!



Makes about 8 - 10 bites


  • 1 medium banana

  • About 8 - 10 teaspoons of nut butter, seed butter or peanut butter

  • 8 - 10 Quaker Oatmeal Squares (Hint of Brown Sugar variety)


  1. Slice banana into 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick slices (for about 8 - 10 bites).

  2. Top each bite with about 1 teaspoon nut / seed / peanut butter.

  3. Top with 1 Oatmeal Square.

  4. Take a bite and enjoy!