First, let me start with muchos muchos gracias to all of you for lulling my popcorn-addiction fears. I’ll likely let the overconsumption run its natural course until some scientific finding advises otherwise.

I kicked off Tuesday morning—a.k.a. the first day of fall!—with my favorite autumn drank—chai tea, with a little creamer & honey.

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I developed an innocent addiction to Starbucks’ vanilla chai lattes during college, so I do my best to re-create it sans the creepy powder they use. Not saying I don’t enjoy Starbucks’ version in all its artificial glory, on occasion 🙂

I intended for the chai to be my coffee replacement, but I ended up succumbing to my caffeine cravings and having a cup. I’m still bitter about the whole burnt tongue thing, so I’m not giving coffee art any spotlight until I’ve gotten over its seductive trickery.

For breakfast, I was on a mission to get creative with my oat bran for Ms. PB’s Best Of Oats week. And, I must say, my visionary breakfast brilliance came out in full force. If you are hungry, on a diet or currently dissatisfied with your lunch, I suggest you stop reading now. If not, I present to you…

Boston Creme Oat Bran

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I can’t remember the last time I had a doughnut. Oh, wait… But, in all seriousness, I rarely eat doughnuts. Partially because I don’t want to die of a heart-attack at my ripe young age, and partially because they simply aren’t my favorite dessert. I do, however, have a resilient love for Boston creme doughnuts. I can pass up the fried dough, but I’m a sucker for creme fillings. (Do I even have to say it? Okay, TWSS.)

So there lies my inspiration for this decadent DPAAB (dessert parading around as breakfast, if you missed inception of that acronym). She’s beautiful, isn’t she?

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I brewed my oat bran on the stove with: 1/3 cup oat bran, 1 cup water, salt, 1/2 banana sliced thinly, vanilla extract and truvia. Then, I topped it with several dollops of cheesecake pudding and drizzled a packet of Dark Chocolate Dreams.

The cheesecake pudding was pre-made and organic (thereby healthier, right? ;)), and I had a sample packet of PB&Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams. I’d never tried either product prior to this breakfast, but their presence in this particular creation was clutch, for lack of a better word.

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I’m quite sure cereal for breakfast is never going to cut it after experiencing this.

I fall-ified Monday’s dinner by making a roasted veggie salad for lunch.

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In the mix: spring greens, sun-dried tomatoes, oil-cured olives, grilled shrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, grilled onions, celery, corn and grilled chicken. Dressed, as usual, in balsamic + honey and celery salt.

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My ode to summer salad was good, but I really prefer cooked veggies in salads. Halfway through, I remembered that I have an ungodly amount of hummus to get through.

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Those added dollops were the perfect complement to the roasted veggies & balsamic dressing. I always forget how amazing the hummus + salad combo is.

Since there was SO much hummus to be had, I busted out my favorite pretzels, Snyder’s Organic Oat Bran.

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I was never a “pretzel person” ‘til I tried these. I usually eat them straight up, but my go-to dips, as of late, are cream cheese and hummus. Neither ever disappoints.

For dinner, I made a mediterranean salad that Tina featured last week. I halved the original recipe since it serves 10—but I used the full amount of artichokes and onions since I had a lot on hand.  I also used red potatoes instead of gold yukons.IMG_0767 

I can confirm Tina’s praises of ease and deliciousness. This was amazing! It was such a different take on a potato salad. I think the key was the roasted potatoes and sautéed veggies—which tasted incredible once chilled and marinated in the EVOO & balsamic.

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Last night’s perfect bite: sauteed pepper, onion, roasted red potato, artichoke and kalamata olive. I can’t pretend I didn’t strategically get all those goods onto the fork, but ‘twas a magical bite, indeed.

As usual, I made a notable effort to eat fruit for dessert.

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I do love dinosaur plums. But, one of the perks drawbacks of decadent breakfasts: their taste lingers. A.k.a., I had puddin’ on the brain.

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Since it was cheesecake pudding, I had to top it with grahams for an as-close-to-the-real-thing experience.

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I may have just discovered my second favorite dessert to cheesecake. As in, I sort of want to crumble an entire box of graham crackers into that pudding container and have my way with it. I won’t, scout’s honor.

Before I go, I wanted to let you all know how my one-week foray into yoga went. If my limerick and expressed enthusiasm didn’t give it away, I LOVED YOGA!

I only ended up going five out of the planned seven days because of unfortunate fullness and quite fortunate Rosh Hashanah celebrations. But I actually think that was a good thing because the soreness was getting pretty intense. During my last class on Sunday, I got the Brooklyn Yogi again—who was equally as hilarious and obnoxiously Brooklyn-y. But the class was the most intense and rewarding of all the ones I went to it.

Having not done yoga for two days now, I’m craving it. I think one of the reasons I like yoga so much is because it’s so different from any other form of exercise I’ve ever tried out. I think that I, like most people, view exercise from a results-based perspective. We exercise to improve or maintain our health, appearance, fitness level, etc. The results-oriented aspect of yoga was so different than running or any other cardio exercise I’ve tried. I was drawn to yoga for the way it made me feel as I was going through the motions, not for the results that were to come. I’ve never felt so present or engaged during exercise before, and I loved that. What are the benefits you reap from your exercise method of choice?

From a physical standpoint, even after one week, I feel stronger and more stretched-out than I’ve ever felt before. As a prior yoga-skeptic, I’m thoroughly impressed.

I haven’t yet figured out where I’ll go with yoga from here. A monthly pass to the studio is really expensive—more than double what it costs for a membership at a premium NYC gym. So I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a membership to a gym that has yoga classes. I’m not sure if I’d enjoy standard yoga as much as Bikram because I really liked the heat component. Any thoughts on getting a gym membership versus sticking strictly to yoga?

Happy hump day 😉

-Sarah

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