Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The 20-Minute Workout: Tabata

Re-posted from Equinox.

Short on time? Try this 20-minute Tabata workout created by Amanda Russell.

The Pro: Amanda Russell - MBA, CPT, Schwinn Cycling, Equinox cycling instructor
The Clubs: NYC, LA
The Workout: This high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio and strength workout is based on Tabata protocol, created by Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. The gist: Four minutes of near max exertion effort which consists of 8 rounds of 20 seconds maximal effort + 10 seconds rest. As legend (and science) has it, those four minutes are worth the equivalent of an hour of steady-state cardio. 
Do the routine below once, resting for one minute between each round: 
Round 1: Jumping Lunges (8 sets of 20 second intense effort + 10 seconds rest)

Round 2: Knee Push-Ups (8 sets of 20 second intense effort + 10 seconds rest)

Round 3: Mountain Climbers (8 sets of 20 second intense effort + 10 seconds rest)

Round 4: Scissor Crunches (8 sets of 20 second intense effort + 10 seconds rest)


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grow Lettuce in a Colander

I've never had much of a green thumb, but when four out of my five orchids re-bloomed (and the ivy is still alive), I decided maybe my thumb wasn't so brown after all. But apartment living in the middle of LA means my options are pretty limited to indoor plants. So, when I found this posting on how to grow lettuce in a colander, I decided I would make it my next foray in gardening.

container gardening picture of container gardening vegetable. Lettuce in a collander.
Photo © Kerry Michaels

Original Post: Lettuce is the Perfect Container Gardening Vegetable

Step 1: I bought a packet of mixed lettuce seeds, a metal colander (I found one at Good Will for less than $2), potting soil, and fertilizer. 

Step 2: The original post recommends plastic window screening to line the colander (keeps soil in and lets the water out), which is an excellent idea, but I skipped it and so far, it's been okay. I added the soil to the very top of the colander, sprinkled the seeds, pushed them into the soil, watered thoroughly, and placed on my kitchen table right next to the window. 

Step 3: Water daily. 
And Voila! 
Day 5

Photo by Claudine 
Check back to see the progress! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Olympic Inspired Fitness

The Summer Olympics are fast approaching. 
The USA Gymnastics Olympic Trials is currently happening in San Jose, California. 
To celebrate, check out some of my favorite Olympic Inspired Fitness posts. 

Photo: Courtesy of P&G

Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Quinoa, Ground Turkey & Chickpeas

This recipe was inspired by my supervisor when I forgot my lunch last week. She shared her homemade lunch with me - quinoa, turkey, and garbanzo beans. While she makes hers slightly different, I liked it so much, I came up with my own version. It's hearty, filling, but not heavy. Try it alone or with some sauteed whole wheat naan. Yummy! 


1 cup Quinoa
chicken broth (optional)
1-2 yellow onions, chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, chopped
olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 can lite coconut milk
1 can garbanzo beans
frozen green peas
shredded carrots
curry powder
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Note: I added the majority of the spices at the end and did it according to taste. 


1. Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package instructions. I cooked 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water, 1 tbsp.butter and a pinch of salt, but you can replace the water with chicken broth for added flavor. Set aside. 
2. Add onions and garlic to a large skillet or Dutch Oven and saute in 1 tbsp olive oil until onions are soft and fragrant. 
3. Add ground turkey and a dash of the curry powder, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper.  Cook on medium high until turkey is no longer pink. 
4. Add quinoa and coconut milk to the turkey and onion mixture. 
5. Add the garbanzo beans (you can keep or discard the juice), frozen peas, and shredded carrots. 
6. Add spices to taste, and let simmer until desired consistency. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fit Chicks: The Tummy Tuck

I bookmarked it, I pinned it, and two weeks ago, I finally did it: The Tummy Tuck Workout. And trust me, it will kick your butt... er...abs.

Compliments of Fit Chicks, this is such an awesome workout.


  • Complete each exercise in each station back-to-back, rest 2 minutes, and proceed to the next station.
  • If you're advanced, repeat each station once before moving to the next. 
  • If you cannot complete each station without resting in between the movements, try this: For Station 1, perform 45 seconds of spider man planks, rest for 15 seconds, perform the plank hold for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, perform 45 seconds of plank to push up, rest 15 seconds. You'll basically be doing 1-minute intervals instead (45 seconds ON: 15 seconds OFF / 30 seconds ON: 30 seconds OFF). 
  • Keep at it. It will get easier, and your abs will love you and you'll love your abs. 
  • For further details on timing and exercise instructions (please make sure you're doing all of these movements correctly), check out Fit Chicks: The Tummy Tuck Workout page. 

Station 1

Spider Man Planks: 45 seconds
Plank: 30 seconds
Plank to Push up: 45 seconds
Plank: 30 seconds
Plank Leg Lift: 45 seconds
Plank: 30 seconds
Mountain Climbers: 45 seconds
Plank: 30 seconds
Rest for 2 minutes. Proceed to next station.

Station 2

Bicycle Crunch: 45 seconds
Side Plank (right side): 30 seconds
Side Crunch (left side): 45 seconds
Side Plank (left side): 30 seconds
Side Crunch (right side): 45 seconds
Side Plank (right side): 30 seconds
Mason Twists: 45 seconds
Side Plank (left side): 30 seconds
Rest for 2 minutes. Proceed to next station.

Station 3

Leg Raises - 15 reps
Reverse Crunch - 15 reps
Super Mans - 15 reps
Reach Unders - 15 reps per side
Rest for 1 minutes and repeat.


Sunlit Pose

Friday, May 4, 2012

Makeup Tip: How to Clean Makeup Brushes

I don't necessarily mind cleaning makeup brushes. It is essential after all - dirty brushes breed bacteria and cause breakouts, but it's one of those annoying little tasks.
The day I had "clean brushes" on my to-do list, I happened to find this gem of a tip in Self Magazine. I absolutely love it. It's easy and my brushes are cleaner than ever!


To Clean & Disinfect Makeup Brushes:

1 cup of water
1/2 tsp of tea tree oil
and a dollop of baby shampoo.

Swirl your brush in the mixture, rinse, re-shape and let dry.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Green Monster Spinach Smoothie

It's getting a little hard not to notice the Green Smoothie trend.
My sister made one over Christmas, but my mother was apprehensive. "It's green!" she exclaimed, even though she is probably one of the biggest health nuts I know (she refuses to use cell phones, much less buy one). Though that bar may have been passed down to my sister (green-smoothie-drinker-marathon-runner-extraordinaire-you know, that sort of thing).
Regardless - thanks to Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats and Pinterest (again), I unexpectedly found myself on top the green smoothie bandwagon when I fell in love with this "Green Monster Spinach Smoothie." It may be green, but it certainty doesn't taste it!

Notes: For a sweeter smoothie, try using vanilla soy milk. 

Photo by Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats

Green Monster Spinach Smoothie

Serves 1
1 frozen sliced banana
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (or other kind of milk)
4 cups baby spinach (or more, or less)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cute Boys with Cats

¡arrrggh! (by eduardoequis)

As a cat lover, and someone who needs a man who loves (and tolerates) cats as much as I do, I'm head over heels with this Cute Boys with Cats website

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lulu's Sweet Secrets: Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

One of my favorite things about Pinterest is finding some absolutely beautiful and incredibly enticing recipes.

This Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake, recipe and photo thanks to Lulu's Sweet Secrets, happens to be one.

I am completely in awe. Fantastic for an Easter dessert.

Check out more of her amazing photos on her blog.

Photo: Lulu's Sweet Secrets

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake 
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups fresh Blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Coat two 8-by-1 1/2-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment. Spray parchment; set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together 1/4 cup sugar, the milk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl; set aside.
Put egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until foamy. Raise speed to medium-high. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
Add half of the flour mixture to the milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Fold in remaining flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the egg white mixture. Add blueberries. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out cakes onto rack. Remove parchment; reinvert. Let cool completely. Makes one disc. You will need 2 discs to make 4 layers.

Blueberry Jam

2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar

In a sauce pan over medium heat boil the blueberries in water and sugar. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon about 20 minutes or until jam consistency. Turn into a bowl and let cool before using.

Lemon Cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1 cup of cream or 1 can table cream 
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Pour the condensed milk into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat
Add the egg yolks  and lemon zest and keep stirring the mixture until it starts to show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with a spoon. As you scrape the bottom of pan with the spoon, the mixture should be thick enough to show you the bottom the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again.
Pour the mixture in a bowl and leave aside to cool. When the mixture is at room temperature, add the table cream and mix until combine. Place it in the fridge until decoration.

Chantilly Cream

2 cups heavycream, cold
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Chill a mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for 10 minutes before beginning. Beat heavy cream in the chilled bowl until it begins to foam and thicken up. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream barely mounds. Do not overwhip.

Cut each cake in half horizontally. Set untrimmed bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with half recipe lemon cream. Repeat with trimmed halve for second, spread the jam. Place the third layer and spread with lemon cream. Top with untrimmed top layer. Covered with whipped cream.

Hannah Greenberg

Hannah Greenberg

Monday, February 6, 2012

Re-post: 4 Tips to Use Journaling for Healing

Originally posted on Mind Body Green
In the process of healing from disease, we usually attend most keenly to the physical body, urging it with therapies, drugs, and other interventions to return to wholeness. But it’s important to attend as well to our mental, emotional, and spiritual selves with just as much focus and care.  

Serious illness of any kind is terrifying. The mental repercussions of contracting a serious disease or suffering a debilitating accident can render the individual utterly helpless and depressed. And then, deprived of inner fortitude, the patient succumbs to the malady without defense. 

But we do not have to sacrifice ourselves so completely. We can create a relationship with healing through journaling. Here are a few suggestions for such a process. 
1. Set a regular schedule for journaling and stick to it. Remember that the times when you don’t feel like journaling are likely to be the times when you most need to do it, and you end up with the most powerful entries.
2. Journal in your own handwriting if at all possible. There’s something cathartic about handwriting that you can’t get through the keyboard. Do not worry if the writing’s messy or misspelled. Use the pen to emphasize your emotions and reactions, huge or teeny, dark or light, flowing or choppy, or whatever. And don’t ignore your urges to make little sketches or paste in objects or graphics at whim.
3. Talk to your disease, to your body, to your healing process. Go ahead and write out the dialog. What does your disease say? How do your heart and soul respond? Taking on the persona of your illness is scary but revealing, and ultimately curative.
4. Be sure to go back and re-read your entries now and then. While journaling is in itself rewarding, the crowning glory of the process is in seeing where you were back then, and how you are different now.
By establishing a dialog with your inner being, you establish a true and powerful control over your process of healing. You create a relationship between your deepest desires and your physical body. You begin to understand the totality of your being, inside and out. You are able to gain a new perspective, one that reconciles all aspects of your awareness. Through journaling, you begin to comprehend who you are and how you got here.

We tend to succumb to illness without defenses, but this is not necessary. We can set about countering the negative consequences of illness by meeting it head-on, demanding dialog and cooperation. We can work with it in our journals to grow and evolve, purge and renew, understand and find peace.

About Mari McCarthy 
Mari L. McCarthy - The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Journaling for the Self of It. Mari offers counseling and encouragement as well as hundreds of prompts through her many online journaling resources as well as private consultations. Please visit One of Mari's many publications is Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life, which is available here. She also leads a 27 Day Journaling Challenge designed to bring you to yourself in new and inspiring ways.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Exercise of the Week: Lateral Lunge

 Forget the adductor machine!

This exercise works the butt, hips, legs, and both the inner and outer thighs.

Tip: Stick your butt out so you're able to sit into the movement.


Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips (a). Take a big step to the side with your left leg, then push your hips back, bend your left knee, and lower your body until your left knee is bent 90 degrees (b). This should take two seconds. Push back to start. That's one rep. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There are No Accidents!

Photo by Matthew Siegfried

"Appreciate everything and everyone. Look upon every experience you've ever had, and everyone who's ever played any role in your life, as having been sent to you for your benefit. In this universe, which was created by a divine, organizing intelligence, there are simply no accidents."

--Wayne Dyer

Re posted from Mind Body Green

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pumpkin and Shiitake Risotto with Crispy Sage

Photo by Claudine

Women's Health Magazine published this recipe in preparation for Halloween.
I was eager to try the Dry-Fried Tofu and Pumpkin Curry but didn't think too much about the Pumpkin and Shiitake Risotto with Crispy Sage recipe on the next page.
I decided, I was buying ingredients anyway, so why not?!
I was completely and utterly blown away - absolutely delicious!

Note: If you can, try buying shiitake mushrooms at a local Asian market like Mitsuwa. Not only do they tend to be less expensive, but they'll be much fresher.

Pumpkin and Shiitake Risotto with Crispy Sage

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil
8 sage leaves, plus 2 tsp minced fresh sage
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
3/4 cup plus 4 tsp shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. Heat broth in a saucepan until boiling, then keep at a simmer on the stove top.

2. Heat olive oil in a saute pan until hot but not smoking. Add sage leaves and fry until crispy, 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.

3. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the sage oil to a 3-or 4-quart saucepan and discard the rest of the oil. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until translucent but not browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until rice is glistening and coated with oil, 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and wine; cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue to add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring, until liquid is evaporated after each addition and until rice swells but is still al dente, 17 to 18 minutes.

4. Add pumpkin puree, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring, until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide risotto among 4 bowls and garnish each with 2 fried sage leaves and 1 teaspoon cheese.

Makes 4 Servings.
Per serving: 240 cal, 7 g fat (2 g sat), 34 g carbs,
680 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 9 g protein

Exercise and the Brain - Shape Magazine

4 Ways Working Out Changes the Human Brain for the Better
By:  Charlotte Andersen
Re-posted from Shape Magazine.

Getting your sweat on does more than just tone the outside of your body —it also causes a series of chemical reactions that help with everything from your mood to your memory. Learning what is happening in your brain can help you use it to your advantage.

A smarter brain. When you exercise you are stressing your body's systems. This mild stress starts a chain reaction to repair the damage by causing your brain to generate new neurons, especially in the hippocampus—the area in charge of learning and memory. These denser neural connections lead to a measurable increase in brain power.

A younger brain. Our brains begin to lose neurons starting at about age 30, and aerobic exercise is one of the few methods proven to not only stop this loss but build new neural connections, making your brain operate like one much younger. And this is beneficial regardless of age, as research shows that exercise helped improve cognitive function in the elderly.

A happier brain. One of the biggest stories from the past year is about how exercise is just as effective for relieving mild depression and anxiety as medication. And for more severe cases, using exercise in conjunction with anti-depressants produces better results than the meds alone.

A stronger brain. Endorphins, those magic chemicals revered for causing everything from the "runner's high" to an extra push at the end of a triathlon, work by inhibiting your brain's response to pain and stress signals, ergo making exercise less painful and more fun. They also help your brain become more resistant to stress and pain in the future.

So how is it that with all of these great benefits only 15 percent of Americans report exercising regularly? Blame one last trick of our brains: our inherent dislike of delayed gratification. It takes 30 minutes for the endorphins to kick in and as one researcher put it, "While exercise is attractive in theory, it can often be rather painful in actuality, and the discomfort of exercise is more immediately felt than its benefits."

But knowing this can help you conquer the instinct. Figuring out how to work through the initial pain reaps benefits far beyond looking good on the beach next summer.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Holstee Manifesto

Pumpkin Waffles

From Rodale - another quick yet delicious recipe for a healthy on-the-go breakfast.

Photo: John Kernick
5 egg whites
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat soy milk
1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Coat a nonstick waffle iron with cooking spray. Preheat according to the manufacturer's directions.
2. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat on high until stiff peaks form.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the soy milk, pumpkin, honey, oil, and vanilla just until blended. Gently fold in the egg whites until just combined.
4. Spoon 1/2 cup of batter on the bottom grids, covering two-thirds of the grids. Close the iron and bake according to the manufacturer's directions.
5. Using a rubber spatula, carefully remove the waffle from the iron. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Sweet (Low-Fat) Treat

Chocolate Chocolate Brownie Cups

Recipe from Devin Alexander's THE MOST DECADENT DIET EVER!
Copyright © 2008 by Devin Alexander published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House Inc.

½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg whites
2 cups sugar in the raw
½ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet), divided
Butter-flavored cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly mist 2 12-cup non-stick mini-muffin tins with spray.
In a large mixing bowl, using a sturdy whisk or spatula, mix the applesauce, vanilla, egg whites and sugar until they are well combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir the mixture until it is just combined and no lumps remain. Working in batches, fill each cup until it is just barely full. Sprinkle about one fourth of the chips evenly over the brownies in each of the tins. Bake them for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (a few crumbs are okay).
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow them to cool 5 minutes. Using a butter knife, gently lift the brownies from the muffin tins (if they are sticking, gentle run the knife around the edge of each cup). Allow them to cool another 10 minutes. Repeat with the second half of the batter and the remaining chips.

Because they are so low in fat, stick them in the freezer once they cool. They'll stay fresh and they're great right out of the freezer.

Makes 48 brownie cups; 24 servings.
Each serving (2 brownies) has: 109 calories, 2 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 139 mg sodium
Traditional brownie cups (2 brownies) have: 260 calories, 3 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 165 mg sodium

"You Are NEVER too Pregnant to do Handstands on P-Bars!"

Thanks CrossFit Gymnastics for a great title and photo!

CrossFit Gymnastics

Take Every Other Step

Photo Courtesy of Rob Hammer

Next time you're running the stairs or just climbing them up to your apartment, take every other step.

You'll burn more calories - up to 90 extra an hour - than if you climb the stairs one by one, according to a new study at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

"You use bigger muscle groups when you skip a step," lead author Jinger Gottschall, Ph.D., says. "Since these muscles require more energy to be active, you'll end up burning more calories."

- Published in Fitness Magazine February 2011

Train Like a Ballerina

Photo by Stacey Mark

Inspired by Black Swan or just want to sculpt a ballerina's body?
Look no further than Ballet Beautiful. Mary Helen Bowers trained Natalie Portman for her performance in The Black Swan; and she can train you!
For more ballet-inspired workouts, visit: Barre: This Week's Grobby.

Never be sorry, for what made you smile!

Never be sorry,  - for what made you smile.

Gymnast Alyona Aikina

You Only Need 3 Things to Get Fit

Re-posted from SmashFit.

Your fitness is only as complicated as your make it, but it boils down to a few key ingredients. There are only a few things you absolutely need to get started, and these are the top 3.

1. You need to want it. Badly.
You need to be able to see that what you give up (wrong foods, bad habits) will pay you back 10-fold and more in how great you'll look and feel.

2. You need determination.
Things won't always be easy or work out the way you want them to. It's the nature of the beast. So you have to be prepared to try it again, and another way, and again, until it works out.

3. You need patience.
It takes time to reshape the body, re-train muscles, shed layers that have been there for years, and get the body adjusted to new movement and nutrition. But do the right things long enough and your body will have no option but to respond.

Once you have these, then building your body will just be a matter of time... and patience.

A big thanks to: Heather Frey

Founder of, Fitness X-pert for the TV show Miami Moms on NBC Miami Nonstop, CPT, Writer, Artist, Fitness Model, National Figure Competitor

The Ballerina Project

I absolutely love these images.
Dane Shitagi effortlessly combines the beauty of dance with the beauty of the city.

How Happiness Affects Weight Loss

Heard of fake it till you make it?
Turns out, having a positive outlook before losing weight increases your chances of actually getting fit.
1. Choose your words wisely.
2. Be mindful when exercising.
3. Fake it until you feel it. 

Cherry Tomatoes

Taken by: Claudine at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oatmeal Banana Flax Muffins


I'm always on the lookout for quick, healthy, and above all, easy breakfast ideas; mostly because I'd rather spend those extra minutes in bed. These oatmeal, banana, flax muffins, courtesy of Peanut Butter Fingers and Shape Magazine fit the bill perfectly. I make them ahead of time, freeze, and pop in the microwave in the morning. Add a hard boiled egg, a piece of fruit, or top with peanut butter and you're set. 

¾ c. whole wheat flour
½ c. old fashioned oats
¼ c. firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg white
2 ½ tbsp. canola oil
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 small banana, mashed
½ c. milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with six paper muffin cups. Combine whole wheat flour, oats, brown sugar, flax seeds, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together egg white, oil, vanilla, banana, and milk. Gradually mix flour mixture into egg mixture until batter is combined. Divide the batter into the six muffin cups. Bake for 15-18 minutes.