March 1, 2011

1 Year Blog Bday + Confessions

One year ago today, I decided to start writing a food/exercise blog.

I jokingly titled it "A Handful of Oats" because I had started a bit of a fun, innocent habit of eating handfuls of cereal for snacking. So the title fit well, I s'pose.

an old favorite: plain yogurt, microwaved berries, rolled oats

I mainly wrote for my mom 'cause I had started cooking up my own meals and wanted to share the recipes. I also had hoped that complete strangers would see my blog and would be inspired to eat wholesome foods: vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein.

tortilla pizza with cheddar, turkey, broccoli, serrano chili, tomato

I wanted to show that it was very possible to eat in a healthy way on a daily basis, avoiding highly processed foods containing crazy amounts of sugar, salt and fat. I hoped to inspire someone. Any single person on this earth! And I wanted to serve God as I did so.

my old 6:00am views

It's been a rocky journey. Started off in an amazing way, I was always so happy and content, always felt good inside after saying no to junk food at work (temptation stuck with me, though, don't be fooled, it wasn't easy peas!) and I got an exercise high every afternoon, I LOVED it!

Green Lake runs in 2010

Books and TV started to change my life, I couldn't believe how much I didn't know about food and how essential it was to pick the good stuff and avoid the bad. I was fascinated by every chapter, half-hour program, and food blog I saw. It was incredible!

this book is incredible

Tina from Carrots N' Cake was the first food/fitness blog I stumbled upon, and the main inspiration for my first post on March 1, 2010

"I am new at this. I am writing a blog, since when do I do this? Here's the reason why: I stumbled upon a great blog a few months ago a [] and thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Whole wheat this - veggies all over that - small portions, a recipe here and there... an exercise log thrown in... it was wonderful. I never thought "hey, make one yourself!" I simply thought it was a cool idea and was immediately inspired. After realizing that hundreds of these awe-inspiring blogs exist, and after feeling like my career is going no where (can you say 3 years as a daycare teacher?) I think I need a new hobby. So, today I brought my camera with me everywhere, made sure the lighting was just right on my food, and decided to say hello to blogging. And... GO! "

I had lots of fun with this blog as it started. I found joy in telling people at work that I had a food blog, and "that's why I'm taking a picture of my lunch" and soon my co-workers started asking about recipes and I even saw them eating more fruits and veggies!

turkey on whole wheat, greens, tomato, almond butter raisin on celery

I had never felt so good inside and out and even my hubby started eating handfuls of raw veggies before each meal and swears that it's the reason he was able to run a 3 hr 5 min marathon and survive the crazy training plan. Bliss, my friends. T'was bliss.

running is our favorite!

Then God blessed me with a new job, which came with a huge change of: schedule. My days were no longer 5am wakeup, work 'till 2:30, run 'till 3:45, eat dinner 'round 4:30, nightly fruit/yogurt blend 'round 7. I had the same eat/sleep/exercise routine for almost 3 years and it was a hard transition to start 5am workouts, 8-5 work days, 6pm dinners and... well... 8-9pm desserts. I slept with some form of sugar (fruit) and carb (rolled oats) in my belly on an almost nightly basis. Your body doesn't do a whole lot of good when it's full of food as you lie your head down to sleep, so, naturally, things happened. I gained weight. And it felt like poo.

I'm now coming up on 6 months at my new job, with this new schedule finally "under control" (or at least I'm a bit used to it) I find myself bummed out, not excited about blogging or about eating. Why? Because I feel like I'm lying to the world, telling you all "I eat only this much every day and night, with no handfuls of oats, no handfuls of sunflower seeds, no 9,000 almonds or raisins, no slices of homemade bread right after dinner, no second or third or fourth handfuls of oats..." - when that's not the case. I started over-eating almost nightly and I didn't feel like telling the world, I just wanted to hide it. I was waiting to do my blog at 9pm every night, right after the unnecessary "dessert" that slept with me through the night, I found myself exhausted, sleepy, and full. I even feel like my relationship with God got rocky, because I'm always grumpy and moody, and I would snack in the kitchen instead of do what I love most: paint, journal, read the Bible, be with hubby. I began falling down a vicious cycle, and it felt dark and empty. It's been draining, to put it simply.

This year, I want to change. I want this blog to be more focused on my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and all that He has done in my life, including the work He does on a daily basis. I want to be honest, I want to be real and I hope to stay focused when it comes to nighttime eating. I am going to get back on track, fill my evenings with wholesome delicious meals without unnecessary binging. God gave me (us) this body to take care of it, not to be careless and throw it all away. So, blog 2011, year two, let's continue to eat amazing food and tell others about Jesus' perfect Love that He offers to His children, and hey - save the almonds + muesli for breakfast, nah?

March 2010/March 2011

today was this fellow: 5 miles - 48:25
push ups, stretch, warm up/cool down

joy, man!


3-4 miles at high school track after work, drive home.

or treadmill post-work, 3-5 miles jogging

2010 breakfast!

low-fat cow's milk, muesli, cinnamon, almonds, raisins, banana


ay... I don't know where to stop on toppings, I guess :)
steel cut oats, rice milk, cinnamon, raisins, almonds, carob, wheat germ, chia seeds, blueberries, almond butter, banana

microwave, oh my gooosshh!

2010 lunches:


I know, hardly any changes, but now I eat dinner (heaviest meal) at lunchtime, and the lighter meal at dinner time!

today's lunch:

pinto bean/zucchini enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce (tomatoes, jalapeno, salsa)


enchilada mess, avocado, mexican rice + lime
(in 2010 I ate a sandwich. every day. for lunch. almond butter + jam, then veggies took their course and dominated my life inside of bread!)

2 quinoa carrot cookies, once home.

2010 dinner:

eggplant lasagna (with cheese) appeared quite often back then!


cocoa coconut chili + homemade bread, toasted

I added half a small summer squash for extra veg.

2011 dinner-for-next-day prep:

yes. yes. yes.

tofu, ginger, onion, curry, chili powder, lime.

water, tomato, peas, sweet potato



tofu chicken stir-fry (still my husband's absolute favorite dish, but now I use only tofu and he goes nuts he likes it so much!)

2010 dessert:

raw almonds, half or 1 full godiva square (usually more almonds were consumed than were pictured, and usually I had already eaten the chocolate and the almonds before I took the picture, so I would re-create it... teehee..)


almond milk, frozen blueberries, raw pistachios, raw almonds, raisins, coconut chia square :)

It has been a good year, Mr. blog. & I'm excited for what this blog year is going to hold. I also hope to have more time to read all of your amazing and inspiring blogs. I really love reading about other folks' eats + workouts + "meeting" such beautiful people, but I haven't made time to dive into them recently and I ought to! That would be goal #2 :)

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:14


  1. Let me just say that I very much adore this blog and you :) I get such inspiration from your posts, not just your eats but your devotion to Christ. Sometimes I feel the same as you. I overeat at night occasionally, and I do feel a bit like a fraud. But Jesus loves us girl and we have Him to turn too regardless. So glad to have found your blog and so glad that you are devoting yourself even more to Christ!

  2. Happy blogiversary! I think its amazing to watch how your food has transformed. You've always taken incredible photos!

  3. I'm so glad you started this blog and that I found it! I really enjoy reading what you have to share! :)

  4. I love this comparison of then and now! That's so cool :) I mean, you had healthy habits back then too, but its still cool to see what's changed and what hasn't!

    Toppings are my favorite part of oats, so you can never have too many toppings!!! :)

  5. Can I just say that I was so relieved by this post?? Seriously! After starting some new medication, it has caused me to gain some weight. I'm not sure if that's in combination with it causing an increased appetite and thus, mindless eating, or if it's strictly the medication, but I was so relieved not feel alone! We are living this healthy lifestyle, but life happens, huh? We all go through fluctuations and we all have to practice self control. Being healthy takes effort. I think your vulnerability is very inspirational for people who DON'T live healthfully, because it shows them that even healthy women can gain a few pounds every now and then. They can be reassured to know and be encouraged that they are not complete failures and self control-less individuals for giving in to dessert, when they didn't need can happen to anyone :)

    Anyways, just wanted to say thanks for being vulnerable. I think many times bloggers post what they eat, but never mention the repercussions of having a "I just want a big bowl of ice cream" kind of night! Then readers assume that they never overeat, slip up, make a mistake, or etc. So thank you for being real and honest. :)

    Love your blog, by the way. What makes it over the top is your focus, Christ-centered perspective. It's the icing on the cake!

  6. Thank you for opening up to us Nicole! Seeing how many of us are blessed by you, I'm sure JC is even MORE blessed b/c of that. :D It's so great to know people out there willing to live extraordinarily and radically for Him without compromising. It's also great to know that we truly ALL DO FALL SHORT OF HIS GLORY! And all we can receive is just...His GRACE. <33 Oh, and happy 1 year!!! teehhheee