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How To Secretly Make Breakfast Seem Bigger

by Courtney on February 2, 2012

Slowly but surely, I think I’m on the mend. I mean, sure, it’s “just a cold,” but sometimes I swear they just knock the life right outta me! I have lots to cover here, so let’s get to it…

After I finished posting yesterday morning, I did exactly what I said I was going to do, and I took a nice 1-1/2 hour nap. It was definitely needed and I woke up feeling slightly better (aka, my faucet of a nose had temporarily stopped) but still just BLAH.

It was lunch time when I woke up, and I was hungry, so I made myself a simple bowl of soup.


Unfortunately, it wasn’t homemade, but I was thankful for the fact that we had something. I like to keep cans on hand in case of emergencies, and Jay really enjoys them too, so we almost always have a few in the pantry.


The soup looked a little boring when I poured it out, so I decided to add in a few big handfuls of torn spinach leaves. Hey, at least it was something fresh, right?


I had my soup along with about a serving of Wheat Thins, which I actually ended up crumbling right into the soup. This only made me really wish that I had Ritz crackers on hand; growing up, that was pretty much the only way I ate soup…and most of the time, there were wayyyy more crackers in there than I needed. Winking smile


Before heading off to go back to work, I made myself some Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea.


I bought this last week on a whim, and I’m so glad I did. I’m not usually a big green tea drinker, but with just a little squirt of honey, this stuff is great. Hmm…maybe it was intuition that I bought it?


After my short shift at work, which also included another awesome group session, I was back home in my cozies and ready for dinner.


Jay took care of preparing the Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders while I was gone, so by the time I got back, I just had to throw ‘em in the oven and make our sides.


I cooked up a big batch of quinoa (which Jay actually ate…and LIKED!) and sautéed some fresh zucchini, baby carrots, and grape tomatoes in a little olive oil, Garlic Gold, and dried basil.


It was a pretty big meal and rather filling, but as a side note…has anyone ever noticed any sensitivities to eating quinoa (i.e., bloating, gassy, etc.)? This meal left me feeling like an enormous balloon, and I honestly have no idea why. I’m lost.


I made sure to get to bed at a decent hour last night, and I also didn’t have an early work shift, so I was able to clock about nine hours of sleep. It was great. Of course, it’s still slow goin’, but as soon as I was up and moving, I headed straight to the kitchen to finish up the breakfast I started prepping last night…

Voluminous Oats
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So here’s how I make ‘em (thanks to Chelsey for introducing this to me months ago)…

The Night Before:

In a small sauce pot, combine:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 tsp chia seeds
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, or any other spices you might want

Bring to a boil, and as soon as it starts to bubble, turn off the heat, stir, and cover. Leave overnight.

The Next Morning:

Stir your oats mixture (it will be thick). Add 1/3 cup almond milk (or any milk) and any of the following optional add-ins:

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or almond, also a favorite)
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 – 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp dried fruit
  • As much fresh fruit as you want!

Stir oats mixture again, turn heat on high, bring to a boil. Once bubbling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer, about 5 minutes. Top with any desired toppings and go to town!


For today’s batch, I used vanilla extract, 1/2 a mashed banana, and loads of fresh strawberries and blueberries, as well as a sprinkling of Love Grown Foods granola.


Thanks to all of the fresh berries, this bowl had to be one of the largest yet. Gotta love that extra volume!

Now I’m waiting to see whether or not I want to try and squeeze in an easy workout. We’ll see how that goes…but in the meantime, a few quick things:

  1. I will be announcing the winner of the Sparkly Soul Headband Giveaway this afternoon, so you still have time to get your entries in!
  2. Check out today’s DailyBuzz Healthy Living Top 9 – one of my favorite workout playlists is featured!

Have a great Thursday, folks! Smile

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud! February 2, 2012 at 9:36 am

I feel like oats is one of the more filling breakfasts I have and I always feel like it is so much bigger, love it!


2 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life February 2, 2012 at 9:40 am

I find that fruits and huge salads always leave my stomach hurting and feeling bloated. I think sometimes our bodies just have a hard time digesting certain foods. That’s a huge reason why sometimes I don’t eat as much fresh produce as I should, it makes me feel sick! I love your oatmeal idea! Voluminous foods always leave me feeling full. Chia seeds always make my oats have more volume and a sprinkle of xantham gum does the same for my smoothies!
Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life recently posted..It’s February?!


3 Khushboo February 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

Hope you’re feeling better! I love that method, especially eating it cold- save even more time in the morning!
Khushboo recently posted..Food porn


4 Michelle Caputo February 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

I absolutely LOVE quinoa. I find that it’s one of the foods that DOESN’T make my stomach hurt. I recently switched to all gluten free grains which has helped a lot of my discomfort pains go away! I don’t have celiacs but do have a sensitivity towards gluten! I also recently stopped eating vinegar with my salads and felt great! I’m thinking the glucose and fructose in it makes me severly uncomfortable! Triggers IBS (sorry TMI!) It’s all about process of elimination for me! HA! I hope you feel better….Love your oats!


5 Brandi @ Faith Fitness and Laughter February 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hey Michelle! I recently did this too, and could immediately tell a huge difference. I don’t have Celiacs, nor am I gluten intolerant, but I felt bloated all of the time! I wanted to see if by doing this it would make a difference, and it has. :)
Brandi @ Faith Fitness and Laughter recently posted..10 hours of sleep? Check!


6 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat February 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

Berries are so expensive at my store right now – they look delicious!
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7 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles February 2, 2012 at 9:55 am

I neeeeeed a huge breakfast to make me feel complete! I love the tricks to make it seem bigger- I need to get my hands on some berries to add some volume and deliciousness to my breakfasts!


8 Tina @ Best Body Fitness February 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

I do something similar by cooking my oats with a lot of liquid on low for a longer time. I let the oats soak it ALL up, then add more almond milk at the end to give it even more volume. Works so well! Pinned this for ya!
Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..The Best Exercise To A Strong, Tight Core (and 22 Ways To Do It)


9 Danielle @ Dish'n'dash February 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

It’s funny that you have that experience with quinoa because for me it is the opposite; it is one of the few foods that can relieve bloating and gassiness for me.

Quinoa can also be a replacement for oats in overnight oats and possibly for voluminous oats. Makes for a high protein breakfast!


10 Chelcie @ Chelcie's Food Files February 2, 2012 at 10:02 am

I love using that oatmeal trick!! And I definitely feel the bloating side affects after I eat quinoa! But I love it so much I eat it anyways lol
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11 Melissa February 2, 2012 at 10:03 am

I guess I haven’t eaten enough quinoa to feel the effects, but I will definitely steer clear! It seems like everything makes me bloated–definitely don’t want to invite that feeling!

I’m not a chia seed fan. Would the oats work without them?
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12 Courtney February 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

It would work, but you probably wouldn’t get as much volume. The chia seeds actually soak in a lot of the water overnight, causing them to plump up and give you a larger bowl of oats. Either way, it’s worth a try!


13 Care @HealthierGirl February 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

Hmm… quinoa doesn’t typically leave me bloated or uncomfortable but I have found that once in a while if I up my fiber intake or change the type of fiber I eat that it can definitely have an impact. All sorta seems to depend upon what I’ve been eating recently and what my body is “used” to. Not sure how scientific that is though.
Care @HealthierGirl recently posted..I Messed Up


14 Cat @Breakfast to Bed February 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

This is my favorite method to make oats!! I love using chocolate almond milk!! I’m kinda addicted!
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15 Rachel February 2, 2012 at 10:16 am

Great tips! I’m a volume eater too – so I always appreciate tips that make me feel like I’m eating more (but healthily…). Thanks!
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16 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers February 2, 2012 at 10:21 am

I love overnight oatmeal! It’s the best! I like to pput it in a masonjar with greek yogurt and berries and of course peanut butter and granola! Yum, it’s my favorite!!


17 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope February 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

Your dinner looks delicious! I love the homemade chicken tenders and the veggies look great! :) Thanks for the overnight oat tip! I’m going to try making my oats like that sometime this weekend! :)
Hope @ With A Side Of Hope recently posted..Happy Groundhog Day!…


18 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen February 2, 2012 at 10:39 am

chia seeds are so great for amping up the volume of breakfasts as long as you don’t get them stuck in your teeth!
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..Spicy collard greens & rice


19 Nicole February 2, 2012 at 10:40 am

I have recently been eating more quinoa and have noticed the bloating too?! I am not sure what is up with that! haha, thought it would be a good alternative to other wheat based products because I do have a sensitivity to wheat but was surprised to feel bloated with this too!! I am thinking the body just can’t digest some days the way it should!? Not very medically sound but I am just just thinking that some foods can bother us more on some days than others?!


20 Corinne February 2, 2012 at 10:41 am

Just this morning I was thinking I’m really sick o f microwave oats at work, I hope Simone posts an easy recipe for overnight oats. Thanks!
How do you get Jay to eat quinoa?? My fiancé thinks it’s weird but i love it! Argh
Corinne recently posted..Chicken Tortilla Soup


21 Courtney February 2, 2012 at 11:36 am

I made him try a bite of this quinoa bowl from the other night…
He was SUPER hesitant, but declared that it was “alright.” Good enough for me! That means he eats it ;)


22 Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 2, 2012 at 10:49 am

Those baked chicken tenders look fantastic!!!
Liz @ Tip Top Shape recently posted..Chewy Lemon Cookies


23 Patty February 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

This recipe sounds great. Does it matter what type of oats you use?


24 Courtney February 2, 2012 at 11:33 am

I’ve used it with regular rolled oats and with Coach’s Oats, and both have worked great.


25 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake February 2, 2012 at 10:53 am

I’m all for making breakfast as big as possible! The process seems a tad more time-consuming than I’m used to, but maybe I can try it out on the weekend!
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..January Goals Revisited


26 Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine February 2, 2012 at 10:55 am

Courtney, have you ever had Coconut Milk (Silk)? I had it today for the first time in my oats and I am HOOKED!
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27 Courtney February 2, 2012 at 11:32 am

No, I haven’t tried it yet! I see it all the time though…perhaps I’ll have to give it a go once this carton of almond milk runs out?


28 Casey @ oatsandnanners February 2, 2012 at 11:15 am

OKAY finally! It’s not so much a “sensitivity” with quinoa but… let’s just say it keeps me extremely regular the next day. It’s so weird!! I’m glad somebody else feels it too hahah
Casey @ oatsandnanners recently posted..Grilled Sandwiches & Groceries


29 Lindsey February 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

I will have to try this method! I use Chia seeds in my overnight oats but had never used them on stove top oats till the weekend, they add so much volume, I loved it!
Lindsey recently posted..Oh February…


30 Courtney February 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

Those oats sound great! One question though, do you leave the oats out all night or put them in the fridge?

A lot of those really fibrous foods often make my stomach hurt really badly. Super bloaty and uncomfortable. The doc said it’s because they are harder to digest, causing a lot of discomfort. No real solution unfortunately :(
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31 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health February 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

I basically eat oats every single morning, so this sounds like a great thing for me to try!! Thank you for posting :D. I hope you feel better asap!
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32 Lena @Fit on the Rocks February 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

Those healthier chicken tenders look so yummy! I’m not a vegetarian, but I’ve been hooked on Gardein “chicken” tenders. They’re soooooo good, or maybe I just have very accomodating taste buds haha.
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33 Brandi @ Faith Fitness and Laughter February 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

SO glad that you are feeling somewhat better :) I hate being sick!

I love Quinoa, but have never noticed it to make me swell up…hmmm, maybe it’s the fiber?
I have a question about the oats… When you say, “leave overnight”… do you mean on the stove? or in the refrigerator?? I know, it’s a nerdy question, I just wanted to be sure. :)

I love naps….I got 10 hours of sleep last night and I feel amazing this morning!
Brandi @ Faith Fitness and Laughter recently posted..10 hours of sleep? Check!


34 Courtney February 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I just leave ‘em right on top of the stove! Nice and easy :)


35 Katherine February 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I would have to agree with some of the other comments. Quinoa is one of the grains that does not bother my stomach. Too many veggie will, so I am guessing it was all of you veggie intake for the day between the soup and sauteed veggies.


36 Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife February 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I am usually too full from oatmeal actually…I can never finish the bowl! But I do like oats!

And I love quinoa–never had ‘gas’ from it though?? It does have a lot of fiber and protein, so maybe your stomach/GI was not so used to it on that day? Just a though.


37 Justeen @ Blissful Baking February 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I sometimes have that same problem with quinoa! I experienced bloating the past couple of nights after eating quinoa for dinner, but I have no idea why this happens!
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38 kimszym February 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I had quinoa for the first time two weeks ago and within 30 mins. I had really bad stomach pain. It was so bad I had to go to bed. The next morning I was fine. I googled it and it seems to happen to some people. I also can’t eat sugar alcohols or inulin.


39 Karleen February 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I get a bloated feeling with quinoa and other rices too….I try to stay away from them. I also noticed that you had some sauteed veggies that included zucchini and carrots. Those are some pretty gassy sometimes too although they are good for you:)


40 Cassidy March 29, 2012 at 8:42 am

I just tried quinoa for the first time 2 days ago and I felt sick after I ate it too. Great idea with the oatmeal! I will have to try it.


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