Fresh start breakfast pledge


I’m lucky to have a job that allows me to work from home regularly. Since I spend the day sitting at a desk, this is my opportunity to make good choices to fit in exercise and take care of myself.

If I don’t get exercise on the days I work from home, I end the day feeling sluggish and older than I should. It’s so important to work in an extra flight of stairs and it’s a good think I have to descend the stairs to go to the kitchen but that’s not enough.

I’ve been really good about using the extra time I have from not commuting to the office to fit in my exercise. I get up at my usual hour and make sure the kids are eating breakfast and then I head out the door for a run. I love it once I’m out – even when it’s really cold out (I live in Canada).

Where it all falls apart is at breakfast. I’ll go for my run, do some yoga or other exercises when I get home, have a quick shower and grab a coffee and plop down in front of my computer and start working.

I will completely forget about breakfast until my stomach is impossible to ignore – around 10:30. And when I’m that hungry, I don’t make good decisions. I’ll grab a bagel and top it with vegan butter and call it a breakfast.

Oatmeal with homemade blueberry sauce, vanilla soy milk and walnuts.

So this is my pledge to myself – to make myself a nice, warm bowl of oatmeal. It takes 5 minutes and it makes all the difference. I have all kinds of fruit, nuts and other toppings to keep it interesting and it sets me up to feel good all day – and continue to make good decisions.

On the days I go into the office, I have overnight oats and that’s great. I have no choice since I made it the night before and that’s what I have in my bag. I need to start making good decisions even when I haven’t planned ahead.

What’s your fresh start pledge?

Banana walnut oatmeal


In the rush of the holidays, it’s easy to forget to eat a healthy breakfast. Starting off the day right sets us up to make healthy decisions throughout the day. I’ve found that if I don’t make a good breakfast, I’ll end up grabbing something easy around 11 a.m. and it’s all downhill from there. For me, the trick is to have ideas for a healthy breakfast that’s easy and delicious. Here’s a good solution that works for kids and grown-ups alike.


I make my oatmeal extra creamy by replacing half the water with vegan milk (we use sweetened soy milk or almond milk) and either mashing or chopping a very ripe banana to it for each serving. Follow the directions on the package according to how much oatmeal you’re making. When it is finished cooking (it takes about five minutes), top with walnuts.

Happy holidays, everyone!


Banana oatmeal with almond milk and brown sugar

snowy walk to school
Walking to school this morning.

Woke up this morning to Winter – what a shock! It always comes as a shock the first time I look out the window to see everything coated in white and hear the sound of the neighbours’ shovels scraping against their driveways as they clear the snow. So when I asked the kids what they wanted for breakfast and my son said oatmeal, yup – that sounded just right.

Oatmeal is great for school days because it only takes a few minutes to throw together and they always finish their breakfast quickly when I make it. This morning, I added a very ripe banana, almond milk, brown sugar and a splash of vanilla to the oatmeal and water.

banana oatmeal with almond milk and brown sugar
“How did you get the walnut to stay on the top of the oatmeal?” my son asked. “Mommy magic.”

I had barely sat down to my breakfast when the kids were done theirs. So I sent them outside to shovel the driveway. When they came in, I had to feed them again! PB and J with hot apple cider. There’s nothing like playing in the snow to get the metabolism running!

Kids playing in the snow
Very little shovelling was accomplished by the kids.

I guess they’re too young to be expected to shovel the driveway. My daughter has been waiting for the first snow for months. So I threw on my winter gear and got it done. By the time they had their second breakfast and their winter clothes back on, we had to make a beeline for the school with very little time for detours. That didn’t stop them from running through their “secret passages” and sliding down hills.

snowy walk to school
Walking to school this morning.

What a beautiful morning. The sun sparkled on the freshly fallen snow – my daughter couldn’t help but sing Christmas carols. The school ground was a cacophony of excitement. The two snow piles the snowplow made clearing the courtyard were covered in kids like ants on an ant hill. I feel blessed to have been able to enjoy early morning with the kids after the first snowfall of the season.