Usually I use my lunch break later in the day at work to run, then go home and shower. Tonight I have a hot date with Chrissy and Callie, so I woke up early to get in my workout. This morning was interval training, to improve my speed. On the schedule was 8 x 400 meters at a 5k pace. There's a track across the street from my house at an elementary school...well its a big loop that happens to be the same distance as a track, and goes around a baseball field and some playgrounds, so that's what I used. Alternate running 400 meters (once around the track) at a 5k pace with jogging 400 meters - and do that 8 times over. These workouts are tough, but I always feel great when I finish them. Hearing the kids playing before school was also fun!
For breakfast I had the usual, oatmeal, but this morning I added something different - pumpkin butter! I love everything pumpkin, and the stores are finally starting to carry all of the pumpkin ingredients for fall.
I made the oatmeal, added a scoop of pumpkin butter, and a small handful of chopped walnuts. Then I stirred it all together, and topped with a hefty portion of cinnamon:
This tasted more like dessert than a heart-healthy breakfast meal! This is definitely going to become a fall staple. Enjoy with a frosty glass of skim milk and you're in heaven!
Aside from being one of my favorite and most delicious ways to start the day, oatmeal is SO good for you! Its loaded with fiber, has been proven to help lower cholesterol, etc, etc. And this morning I read another cool stat in a Women's Health article about improving your immune system with food:
There's a killer living in all of us. Known as a macrophage and produced deep in your bone marrow, it's a white blood cell that roams the body, picking fights with bacteria, viruses, or any other intruders. But it only works if you help it. These killer cells are activated by beta-glucans, a component of fiber foods. The best source? Oats, says David Grotto, R.D., director of nutrition education at the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Care in Evanston, Illinois. So eat your oatmeal. The steel-cut oats, like McCann's Irish Oatmeal, have double the amount found in the rolled, quick-cooking kind.
I switch between McCann's Irish Oatmeal and the grocery store's organic Irish oats, depending on what is available, but I can say from experience that these taste way better and are more satisfying than the quick-cooking oats or instant oatmeal. Give this a try and let me know what you think!