A typical week for me will usually look something like this –
– Monday to Thursday I work 8:30 – 5pm in my day job. Tuesdays and Thursday mornings I leave home at 6:45am to go to a yoga class before work, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays I go to a gym class after work.
– Fridays I have “off work”, set aside for freelance photography and online business work. Though because of the nature of this, I often find that to fit clients in, it often spills over to the weekend, and to meet deadlines, I work a lot of evenings.
On top of this, I try to have one night a week where I go out – to an event, or to catch up with friends or family. I also try to take at least one full day off a week (usually a Saturday or Sunday) where I will go for a hike, potter around the house – usually watering, re-arranging or repotting my plants (I’m a little obsessed – I have nearly 100 green beauties in my house at the moment!), catching up on housework (does this really still count as having a day off!? ;) reading a book, and spending time with B and Maggie.
While I feel like this is somewhat hectic, I know from talking to others that this isn’t an exception these days – it’s the norm. While you all might not be hustling away in your “spare” time trying to make your side business fly, families and children and friends and hectic work lives and other commitments means that a lot of us are living these crazy lives where we are constantly on the go, and never have enough hours in the day.
For me personally, no matter how busy I am, I always try to put my health first. To me, this means always finding time for movement (a yoga class, my interval training classes, a hike, or even just a shorter walk around the neighbourhood if it gets to the end of the day and I haven’t left the couch (which – in case you’re wondering, isn’t as lazy as it sounds – my couch is my desk!); getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night (again, not always possible – I’ve always been a terrible sleeper and go through phases where I’ll wake in the middle of the night and be wide awake, hence only getting a few hours sleep – but around 8 hours is the goal); and eating well most of the time – there’s always times when this just doesn’t happen, but for the most part I try to eat relatively well – that is lots of whole foods, and minimise any processed foods.
So that this doesn’t take up too much of my time, I have a lot of “hacks” to help out – such as meal planning and prepping food in advance.
For the past few months, my breakfasts have been these simple oat, yoghurt + chia breakfast pots which I make in advance at the start of the week. I love them for many reasons, but mostly because they’re delicious, adaptable and will keep me full through to lunch time. I’ve listed a few variations on how you can adapt these to make them your own, as well as the recipe for my usual go-to version.
I’ve also included my cheats version of coconut yoghurt. After many failed attempts to make creamy coconut yoghurt at home, I often fall back on this option. It’s obviously not dairy free, so if you don’t eat dairy, then use proper coconut yoghurt to serve.
For those of you experiencing cooler weather at the moment, I also have a winter version of make-ahead breakfast pots.
And if you end up trying these for yourself I’d love to hear what variations you went with :)
– MAKE IT YOUR OWN –
- For a grain-free version, switch out the oats for more chia seeds – about half the amount of chia seeds to oats (eg for the version in the recipe, replace the 3/4 cup oats with roughly 1/3 cup chia seeds). Note that as chia seeds soak up more liquid than oats, you might need to add a little more liquid.
- If berries aren’t in season for you at the moment, simply use frozen berries instead. To make sure they are defrosted by the time you eat the puddings, stir through at the same time as the yoghurt.
- Sub dairy-free milk and yoghurt to easily make this recipe dairy-free
- Stir through fruit puree or fruit jam instead of sweetener to naturally sweeten these
- Swap the rolled oats for other whole grains such as rolled quinoa flakes, or cooked whole grains such as brown rice
- ¾ cup oats
- ⅓ cup chia seeds
- ½ vanilla pod (or ½ tsp vanilla extract)
- ½ - 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2¼ cups liquid (I use ½ water, half milk)
- Sweeter of choice - I use a small amount of stevia or 2 tsp raw honey.
- ⅔ cup thick greek yoghurt
- Toppings: fresh berries, sliced banana, stewed fruits, chopped nuts, seeds, shredded coconut
- 1 part coconut cream
- 3 parts greek yoghurt
- Vanilla to taste (either fresh of vanilla extract)
- Sweetener to taste
- Add the dry ingredients to a large jar and stir or shake to combine. Add the liquids and stir well. Note that there might seem like there's too much liquid at this point, but the chia seeds and oats will soak up a lot of the liquid. Leave in the fridge 3 - 4 hours (or preferably overnight) until it has thickened. At this point, if it seems a little too thick add a little extra liquid to thin it out a little. Then stir through the yoghurt until just combined.
- To make the coconut yoghurt, combine all ingredients in a jar and mix well.
- To serve, portion into four jars or bowls, and top with a scoop of the coconut yoghurt and toppings of choice.
- These will last in the fridge in sealed containers 5 - 6 days.