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Better Oats is the Best Darn Microwave Oatmeal: 4 Easy Microwave Oatmeal Recipes

The best part of waking up is oatmeal in my daughter’s bowl. The morning is the most routine part of her day and she sticks by it with military precision. This is her own doing. She rises at 8, requests a bowl of oatmeal, and then gets dressed. Every single day. Her penchant for oatmeal used to be a sticking point for us; I had to boil the water and prep the oatmeal from scratch. This wasn’t feasible every morning.

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Have you looked at microwave oatmeals? Honestly, they’re gross — at least to me! For something so pure and natural, most of those boxes read like a chemistry experiment. So we reserved oatmeal for the mornings I had time to make the real thing. Until I discovered Better Oats Raw Pure & Simple Oatmeal. I swear this isn’t sponsored; my endorsement is as organic as the oats themselves! I found it on the shelf at my Kroger one day, and at $1.99 per eight-count box, I couldn’t afford not to stock up. Now it’s a staple on the grocery list and for six months my daughter has had a bowl of this oatmeal every single morning.

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Each pouch is filled with raw, pure oats and a blend of quinoa, flax, and barley. We buy the “Bare” — just plain Jane oatmeal. It takes two minutes to prepare: Oats in the bowl, water, microwave for 1:45, and serve. We’ve found that using a little less water than recommended and cooking for less time gives a thicker oatmeal, which my kiddo prefers.

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What she actually ends up eating is anything but plain Jane. She has a standard recipe that we abide by: butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit, fresh fruit.
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Simple Homemade Rhubarb Iced Tea is as Refreshing as a Summer Breeze

Rhubarb Iced Tea mint

Raise your hand if you’re not looking for something refreshing to drink right now? Cruising in to the hottest weeks of summer, “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate” should be the motto of every one of us. Yes, even a couch potato dehydrates in these hot temps, and if you’re actually prone to moving your body and regular bouts of exercise, then a water glass should always be raised to your mouth.

But water’s boring and bland and blah, blah blah. I feel ‘ya. Iced tea is my go-to drink in the summer. Yes, it counts as water. However, the caffeine can be counterproductive as it’s a diuretic.

This Rhubarb Iced Tea is as easy as a summer breeze, hydrates as well as any plain ‘ole glass of water, and is naturally caffeine free. You’re saying ahhhhhh! before the first sip, right?
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Food Blogger Spotlight: Amy from Fit Fun and Fantastic

Amy from Fun Fit Fantastic Living a fantastically inspired life of food, fitness, and fun? That’s the tagline for Amy Clevenger’s blog, Fit Fun and Fantastic.  The site is so bright and cheery, I wasn’t surprised to learn it actually started as an Instagram account before it blossomed into a legit foodie blog.

More from Amy including her recipe for Pumpkin “Ice Cream featuring a non-dairy alternative for sensitive bellies -

Why did you start your  food blog? I actually started my Instagram account first (@fantasticallyfit) as a way to share recipes and hold myself accountable. Then, after a few months, and at the request of some of my followers, I started FitFunandFantastic.com!

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? My eating approach is focused on intuitive eating. I listen to my body. If I am hungry I eat and if I want candy I have it. That being said I try to primarily eat wholesome ingredients that are unprocessed and rich in nutrients. I also believe that eating healthy does not mean you have to live in the kitchen! Most of my recipes take less than 10 minutes to prep.

Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? I definitely was not always this interested in healthy eating. My main sources of food before I taught myself how to cook were: cereal, pizza, and fast food. Until about 3 years ago the only thing I knew how to cook was a box of mac n’ cheese!


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A Spoonful of Honey Helps Cure Sleepless Nights from Coughing

Growing up, I remember singing Mary Poppins’ song, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” While I didn’t understand the song, I knew that it was catchy. And while I still cringe at the thought of taking cough syrup, especially because of the high fructose corn syrup that can be found in most bottles, it seems sweet relief is on its way. According to a new study, as reported by FoxNews, a spoonful of honey could help kids and parents both cope with nighttime coughs.

The new study, published in Pediatrics, shows researchers from Israel took 300 kids, ages 1 to 5, and had them try 1 of 4 nighttime cough treatments. Parents would give their children 2 teaspoons of honey or one of three placebos 30 minutes before bed. The following week, on a 7-point scale, parents rated how their children slept. The study, led by Dr. Herman Avner Cohen of Tel Aviv University, found children who were given honey slept better and reduced their coughing more than those who took the placebo. Parents also reaped the benefits by sleeping through the night!
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An Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Baking Accident with a Lower Calorie Surprise

Full disclosure: I’m a terrible baker. My husband warns people not to eat anything I bake.

That said, I get the itch to bake periodically and it always has to be scratched. Quiet, uneventful Sunday afternoons get the better of me and my well-stocked pantry. Once I’ve made up my mind, the oven’s on and the flour’s flying.

This past Sunday, I was already in cooking mode, with Chef Devin’s turkey meatballs and homemade marinara simmering on the stove (see the Biggest Loser Family cookbook). When I pulled the oats out of the cabinet to combine with the turkey, I immediately thought “cookies!”. I also had mini chocolate chips left over from a birthday party the previous weekend. A couple of tiny cookies would be the perfect end to our dinner and weekend.

I started reading through the ingredients listed on the oatmeal container and pulling each out of the cupboard and refrigerator. It called for butter. I froze. No butter. Then I remembered the healthier baking swaps article we did last year, and recalled Marisa Churchill’s suggestion for replacing butter with cream cheese. An entire brick of neufchâtel cheese sat in my fridge. Ball dodged.

Then it called for granulated sugar. Completely out. So I Googled “honey replacement for sugar” and found several suggestions for a 1:1 swap. Completely doable.
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