Already excited? MoreThanHeels readers use the discount code “HEALTHY15″ for 15% your MyOatmeal.com order!
Oatmeal has been a staple for me ever since embarking on a fitness journey nearly one year ago. My trainer has me on a breakfast of oats and egg whites every morning. Let me repeat that- EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. Repetition gets old my friends, this is especially true with food. You can only put cinnamon and stevia in your oats for so long before you’d just assume chew your own arm off.
Enter MyOatmeal.com. My dear friend Zlata introduced me to this genius concept- a small local Arizona business that literally customizes your oatmeal. I was intrigued! I ordered up a couple bags and I was hooked. MyOatmeal boats 22 billion different possible combinations- you choose your type of oats, flavorings, add-ins such as nuts, fruits or seeds, and then how you’d like it sweetened (if at all). I was so excited when they agreed to let me write a review, and even get a little sneak peek into the operations at MyOatmeal.com headquarters.
MyOatmeal is run by a newly engaged couple (congrats!) Anthony and Kathy in Tempe, Arizona. While they are gaining momentum and popularity quickly, you wont find their products in stores. Anthony is happy serving his niche market well, and sticking to his exclusively online distribution model.
So how does this all work?
You have your choice of quick rolled instant oats, 5 grain rolled oats and flax, steel cut whole oats, signature smash blend, gluten free quick oats, and organic gluten free thick rolled oats. You might be asking yourself- hey, aren’t all oats gluten free? Yes, but the oats they label as such are certified gluten free, and are manufactured in a gluten free facility. Each order is created and packaged by hand based on a recipe calculated by a complex algorithm that is generated when you customize your blend. Watching your diet closely? That same algorithm calculates your calories and macronutrients instantly on the screen, and leaves you with a full nutrition facts label printed on each bag.
Their flavors are sourced from a company that also creates flavors for ice cream, so you can imagine the extent of incredible combinations you can come up with. This is where you can really have some fun and get creative! Next, you can add nuts, seeds, or fruits (or all of the above!) and make the blend your own. Choose your sweeteners, which is something Anthony says should not be skipped- the flavors rely on sweetener to taste right. The choices are brown cane sugar, brown cane sugar granules, white cane sugar, monk fruit or Splenda. Monk fruit and Splenda are both calorie free and sugar free options. You can also opt to sweeten it yourself at home. Next, give it a name and you’re all set. A few days later, your customized bag of oatmeal will be on it’s way to your doorstep.
Another option you have is to customize something called PB Lean- dehydrated peanut butter powder that has 85% less calories from fat. It can be added to shakes, baked goods, yogurt or reconstituted with water and used like regular peanut butter. All of the flavor options from the oatmeal can be used to flavor the PB Lean as well.
So how was it?
Here is a little run down of the flavors I have ordered:
- White chocolate + cheesecake with cherries: A+
My favorite flavor I have tried. Definitely sweet, and the white chocolate flavor is on point and most noticeable. The cheesecake flavor is a little masked, but it’s no worse off. The dried cherries are sweet and a little tart and are a perfect addition!
- Creme brulee + dulce de leche with pecans: B
For this blend I used the ‘Signature Smash Blend’ oats which needs to be cooked a little longer, so when I microwaved them the flavor was a little lost. Problem solved by soaking the oats in boiling water before microwaving to cut down the cooking time. I think next time I will do dulce de leche OR creme brulee separate so I can really distinguish the flavors!
- Cake batter with chia seeds: A
Loved this flavor, and it was a great base to add random mix ins like fresh fruit or berries when I had them on hand. This is another flavor I will be sure to reorder. The chia seeds absorb moisture, so I would usually add a few more tablespoons of almond milk to compensate.
- Coconut Cream Pie with macadamia nuts, coconut flakes, mangos and pineapples: C
This blend taught me to not go overboard with adding too many things! Less can be more. It was too much going on- totally my fault!
- Caramel + cinnamon bun: A
A great blend and its my favorite to use in protein pancakes, waffles and baking!
- PB Lean- Chocolate Hazelnut + Sugar Cookie: A+
This was AMAZING. I’m actually craving it right now as I’m typing. The only thing I’d do differently is possibly add ‘Peanut butter’ flavor to whatever future blend I make, so it has a more distinct peanutty flavor. I think the lack of peanut oil (hence: low fat) takes away some of it. However, with the great macro count and fun flavors, I could see this easily replacing traditional peanut butter in my diet!
Overall, I don’t think I’ll buying regular oatmeal from the grocery store again. I’m a MyOatmeal devotee! While it’s a little more spendy than your plain grocery oats, the quality and customer service is more than enough to compensate. Plus, variety is the spice of life- and 22 billion varieties makes life pretty spicy
When you’re ready to order, MoreThanHeels readers get 15% off! Use coupon code HEALTHY15, and be sure to like MyOatmeal on Facebook to get the newest updates on seasonal flavors, specials and events!
FCC Disclosure: I was not paid for this review, but MyOatmeal did provide samples. I have also purchased their product personally.
It’s said that only 8% of Americans stick to their resolutions each year. Those are some pretty lousy odds, if you ask me! So what are those magical 8%’ers doing that everyone else isn’t? Here are some tried and true ways to make a change in behavior that sticks.
1. Don’t make a resolution, make a GOAL. Resolutions tend to be pretty vague- I want to call my parents more often, I want to lose weight, I want to stop procrastinating. Goals are specific- I want to call my parents every Sunday, I want to lose 1o pounds, I want to finish all my assignments no less than 24 hours prior to the deadline. Make your resolutions specific and measurable!
2. Make it public. Tweet about it, blog about it, tell your friends. This makes it REAL and adds a layer of accountability. Having a partner to check in with can make this even more effective. Accountability buddies keep you on track, and help a friend out in their goals as well.
3. Give yourself a deadline. A deadline doesn’t mean “2014″. If you want to learn French, make a goal and give it a deadline- like “Learn 10 useful French phrases by March 1st”. Add this deadline to your calendar or planner. It also helps to break these goals down even smaller- so maybe at the end of each month, make sure you’ve learned at least 2 of those 10 French phrases. Or maybe that’s 2 pounds of those 10 you want to lose. Breaking down goals into smaller goals makes it feel a lot more achievable. 10 pounds can seem tricky, 2 pounds feels a heck of a lot easier.
4. Reward yourself. When you lose those two pounds, reward yourself with something (preferably not food, obvi). Maybe it’s a new pair of workout pants. If you learn your two French phrases this month, maybe treat yourself to a massage. Rewarding yourself for good behavior is a great reinforcement of your new habits. Consider a big reward at the end of the end of the year if you meet your annual goal- trip to France to practice your new skills, maybe?
5. Don’t get discouraged. If you miss a milestone or a goal, don’t get derailed. It’s easy to want to throw in the towel if you get off track. Use it as an opportunity to see what it was that caused you to slip up and reflect on it. What can you do differently when that challenge presents itself again? Regroup and start fresh and definitely don’t beat yourself up.
6. Celebrate your success. We are often our own worst critics- so start being your own biggest cheerleader instead. Recognize your successes and be proud of them! Share that with others- you never know who you could be inspiring!
So what are your goals for 2014? Post in the comments!!
Although I’ve been lucky to skate through 30 with just minimal signs of my age, I am noticing things beginning to creep up. A lifetime of oily skin has left me with noticeable pores, marks from old breakouts and uneven pigmentation. Thankfully, significant wrinkles aren’t something that have plagued me quite yet, so I haven’t been looking to take drastic action. Wearing face makeup every day is a hassle, and I was hoping to find something that let me wear less, or none at all.
Any time we start looking at cosmetic solutions, the trade off for dramatic results is generally cost and downtime. Neither of which were a luxury I could afford, so Clear and Brilliant treatments really appealed to me.
So what are they?
Clear + Brilliant treatments are a step above a chemical peel, and a step below heavier resurfacing lasers like Fraxel. Instead of 1-3 treatments that leave you out of commission for a few days, it’s a series of six that let you go back to your normal activities pretty much right away. It’s great start to laser resurfacing, or awesome maintenance if you’ve had a larger treatment previously.
So what is it like?
I opted to go for a full set of six treatments to get the best result. They were spaced two weeks apart and performed at my dermatologist’s office (Van Dyke Laser & Skin). One of the medical assistants gave me the rundown of the process, asked me if I had any questions, I signed some consent forms and had the doctor gave me the thumbs up and we got started.
First, the MA cleansed my skin and applied a topical numbing cream which sat on for about 30 minutes. The feeling of having a numb face definitely took some getting used to, but I was grateful to keep the discomfort to a minimum.
The treatment itself was done by one of the estheticians in the office, and took about 30 minutes. She put a cold fan on my face where she was treating to further help any discomfort. I wouldn’t call it painful at all- more annoying than anything, but some parts were more sensitive than others. Overall, it was completely tolerable. I would describe the sensation as feeling “prickly”. The esthetician asked me questions and kept the conversation going to keep me distracted, which also helped. When it was done, she slathered me in a soothing cream and some sunscreen. Keeping your skin protected is always important, but it is EXTRA critical after having peels, laser or any treatment done.
After the treatment it felt like I had a sunburn and ice packs helped this sensation calm down pretty quickly. I was able to ice for as long as I needed. Within about 15 minutes, most of the hot sensation was subsided. I looked red and a little swollen, but not like a weirdo. I just looked like I got too much sun.
The next day my skin had a strange rough texture, almost like sandpaper. It was tender, and it felt better to use cool water when I cleansed or showered. I was advised to use gentle products for the first 24 hours, so I used Dermalogica’s UltraCalming Cleanser, Calm After the Storm serum and Safety Blanket moisturizer by MyBody skincare. I found this combination to be perfect during my skin’s healing period. You can also use really plain and gentle items from the drugstore, like Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer.
Thankfully I was able to put on makeup right away, so there was no time off from work or normal activities. Makeup went on slightly differently, but still looked fine.
After about three days I noticed that the sandpaper texture was going away on my face, but took a little longer to go away on my neck and chest. Neither were uncomfortable at all, though. By the time two weeks rolled around and I was ready for my next treatment, everything was back to normal.
So how were the results?
Great! With treatments like this, you have to have your expectations in the right place. It’s not going to give you as dramatic, practically overnight results as some of the stronger, ablative lasers. I experienced all the things I was hoping for- smaller pores, a more even skin tone, and fewer brown spots. I am very happy with my results, and plan to get another treatment every few months to help maintain them. Plus, I am wearing less face makeup than ever before and that was my ultimate goal! The photo below is after my first treatment and after my last. Unfortunately the lighting is different, but I think you can still see quite a bit of the improvement.
If you want to get Clear + Brilliant treatments yourself, you can go to their website and find a provider in your area. If you’re in Arizona, I totally recommend Van Dyke Laser & Skin. They do a fantastic job and make you feel very well taken care of!
This is a great way to cook fish that is easy, fast, DELICIOUS and has super quick clean up.
Just add a thawed fish filet of your choice (I use tilapia) to a foil sheet big enough to wrap loosely around the fish. Add veggies and seasonings. I used onions, green onions, lemons, Mrs Dash and white wine. You could also try peppers, zucchini, etc! Close the pouch but make sure it doesn’t touch the fish or veggies. You want to make a sort of “tent” for the juices to steam the fish. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove carefully because the pouches and the steam inside will be HOT! Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!
One of my personal favorites. Stitchtagram lets you make a collage style photo pillow. Wouldn’t these make a great wedding gift? The site also does clutches and coin purses.
Casetagram allows you to make an iPhone case with either a collage of your instagram photos, or one single image. Possibilities for this are endless… a beautiful sunset, your kids, you and your significant other. Personalizing your phone case is a great way to show off something dear to you.
This is one I use very often, and am very happy with it! Instead of going through the trouble of printing a photo, buying a stamp and heading to a post office, why not just let an app do it all for you? It’s beyond easy. Import a photo of your choice in postagram, tell it what else to say and who to send it to, and it’s off- postage paid and all for just $1.
Etsy seller CircleAndSpades will create a tile necklace from your instagram photos. Taking the old locket necklace and giving it a twist
Coastermatic lets you protect your coffee table and show off your vacation pictures all at once. You could even choose photos within a certain color family to keep your decor in mind!
WearShare creates a water resistant bracelet with your choice of images plus a scannable QR code. These are so fun, I’m sure they’d especially be a blast for a teenager. You could also use these for VIP events, gatherings, company parties- so many different ways you could use these to give a personal touch.
While it would get a little spendy to tile the ENTIRE kitchen in instagram images, doing a few strategically placed throughout your tile project would look nothing short of amazing. ImageSnap offers them in a number of different projects, even as small as 2″x2″. You could also use 4″ size as coasters!
Any other out-of-the-box ideas on using instagram photos?? Let us know in the comments!
Coffee is easily one of my trickiest vices. If I had my way, I’d start every day with a hot cup of coffee laden with the sweetest, tastiest creamer imaginable. Sugar free? No thanks. Low fat? Heck no! I like it rich and naughty.
This isn’t great for the waistline. A cup like that can run 200 calories plus and full of fat and sugar. Not the healthiest way to begin your morning. I had switched to plain half and half in flavored coffee, which was an okay substitute- higher in fat, but low in carbs and no sugar. Recently though, I had a great idea. Protein coffee!
Simply take about a half scoop of your favorite protein powder (I use Cellucor Whey protein powder in cinnamon swirl- yum!) and mix with a few tablespoons of warm water. I put it in my Magic Bullet to blend until smooth, and to give it a frothy texture. Add the mixture to a cup of hot coffee and voila! You have delicious, protein rich coffee. If you use the same protein as me, the coffee has 65 calories, 1 carb, no sugar and12.5 grams of protein. Not bad at all!
I also experimented with both unsweetened almond milk and coconut milk. Out of the two, the almond milk was slightly lower in calories and carbs, and actually tasted a little richer. Both were tasty, but you can really get away with just adding warm water. Try it out!
Eggs are like little pills of protein- a staple of those looking to lose weight or build muscle (or both!) The problem is, eventually you can get sick of them. Real sick. So I do my best to try and doll them up any way I can. Deviled eggs are a comfort food for me, so I wanted to come up with a way to make them less fattening and dense in calories.
Of course, whenever possible try to get local farmers market eggs! The taste, environmental impact and cruelty factor is worth the extra dollar or two per dozen.
Low Calorie/Low Fat Deviled Eggs
3 hard boiled eggs
2 tbsp light Cottage Cheese
1 tsp light Mayonaise
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional- I also add a few generous dashes of Garlic Garni, not super easy to come by but available online and DELICIOUS
Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Discard 3 of the egg yolk halves and put the remaining three in a small cup or mixing dish. Add mayo, mustard and seasonings. Mix well and spoon into egg halves. Optional- sprinkle with Paprika for color!
Macros- Calories: 193 Protein: 25g Carbs: 3.6g Fat: 3g
Sometimes it’s easy to fall into a rut with the clothes we wear to the office. I love that some of the key trends this season can easily be translated into career chic! I picked five of my favorite spring trends and found pieces to match from Spiegel.com and how they can keep you looking current at work without breaking the bank.
1) Black and White- Seen on countless runways, the bold contrast of black and white is hot! Pick graphic prints, and tie in floral to make the look even more fresh for spring. Pair with a pop of color, or go black and white head to toe! Try the Priscila Skirt, $79
2) Peplums- An homage to the late 80′s, I was convinced these tops that flare slightly below the waste would just look terrible on me until I actually put one on- they are amazingly flattering for just about ANY body type! They make your waist look slimmer and hide a belly or larger hips. Pair them with straight or skinny pants or a pencil skirt. Try the Hannah Top, $64
3) Hankerchief Hemlines- This flowy, asymmetrical hem gives feminine detail to a tunic or dress. To keep it more conservative for work, opt for leggings or opaque tights. Wedge heels and bare legs make this an adorable weekend choice too! Try the Ashley Tunic, $99.
4. Colored pants- Wide leg or skinny- play with colored pants to make a bold statement! Coral is my favorite at the moment, but teal, robin’s egg blue and even yellow are awesome choices. Pair with a nude pump or an equally bold, contrasting colored shoe. Try the Emily Pant, $89
5) The Sheer Button Down- Arguably one of my favorites this year, the sheer button down top super versatile. You can tuck it in, belt it, pair it with leggings- just about anything. The flowy, sheer fabric will stay cool through the summer months- just remember to wear a form fitting cami underneath. I love how the Brooklyn Shirt, $49 plays with a unique shirt tail hemline in the back!
This is a sponsored post, however all trends and pieces were picked by me!
Breakfast can be tricky when you’re trying to watch your carbs, or cooking for someone who needs to be gluten free. I tried two recipes, both were successful (one more tasty than the other) and both are good for different needs.
The first recipe is great for someone who is seriously watching their carbohydrate intake, as they are literally ZERO CARB WAFFLES (!!!). Now I’ll give a disclaimer- these are beautiful to look at, they have a very strange texture. If you compare it directly to a traditional flour waffle, you’ll probably be disappointed.
Zero Carb Waffles
1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Isolate (I use Jay Robb Whey Protein as it is zero carb, sweetened with Stevia and tastes great)
1 Large Egg
1 Large Egg white
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp water
Few dashes cinnamon (optional)
1 packet Stevia (optional)
Mix all ingredients. Add to waffle iron that has been coated with non-stick spray. Cook 2-3 minutes or until golden. Remove, and add toppings of your choice. If you want to keep with the zero carb theme, try Walton Farms Zero Calorie Pancake Syrup.
The second recipe was by far the taste and texture winner. These are not carb free, but are definitely lower carb and higher protein. They are gluten free though, so if that is a dietary concern these are a good choice. This recipe yielded some extremely moist, flavorful and delicious waffles. I’ll be making these again for sure- they stand up to even a traditional waffle recipe. You’ll notice they got gobbled up before I could get a good picture!
Low Carb Waffles / Protein Waffles
1 Large Egg
1 Scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 large banana
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used vanilla)
1/4 cup oat flour
A few sprinkles of cinnamon
A pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients into a batter, using a fork to mash banana. Add to waffle iron that has been coated with non-stick spray. Cook 2-3 minutes or until golden. Remove, and add toppings of your choice.