Sunshine Vegan Oatmeal Bowl

I don’t know about you, but starting my day with a healthy and fun meal definitely puts me in a better mood!

Lately, I have been loving making oatmeal for breakfast. There are so many different combinations to try.

I decided I wanted to put frozen mango on top of my oatmeal this morning. I absolutely love frozen mango. That may sound weird and you may be wondering, why not just eat regular mango? But don’t knock it until you try it. It is so good! I also love to eat it as a dessert. If you are craving something sweet, put a handful of frozen mango in a bowl or cup and microwave it for about 15 seconds. It is the perfect healthy and sweet dessert!

Anyway…. I made my oatmeal and put it all together in a random bowl. Once I finished making it, I realized I had put it in a yellow bowl. All of the yellow reminded me of the sun and sunshine, hence the name “Sunshine Vegan Oatmeal Bowl!” It is so fun and makes you feel so happy!

Sunshine Vegan Oatmeal Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats (I used Quaker 1-minute Quick Cook Oats)
  • 1 teaspoon almond butter
  • A handful of frozen mango (my favorite frozen mango is from Trader Joe’s)
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • Optional – Sprinkle some super seeds on top (I used Grain Forward Sprouted Grains and Super Seeds). You can use any super seed such as chia seeds, flax seeds, or hemp seeds.

Make sure to tag @simplyemilyruth and use the hashtag #simplyemilyruth if you make this bowl and post it on Instagram! I would love to see your creations!

I hope this oatmeal bowl brightens your day!


What’s Next?

What do I do next? Do I try to move somewhere else? Where do I move? Can I find a job given the current circumstances? 

These thoughts have filled my mind lately. 

I want to start this off by saying how thankful I am to be where I am today. Most days I have been able to keep a positive mindset because I am with my supportive family and we are all safe and healthy, and I am able to enjoy the outdoors and exercise. 

I realize that I am in a great place and many people are facing much tougher times than me, but this period of life is confusing and scary for us all. 

I try to constantly remind myself of the positives of the last few months. I remember walking in one of my favorite neighborhoods in Eugene, Oregon, and seeing families playing outside together. I walked past a son and his father multiple times (on different days) and they were playing a different sport together each time. I was so happy to see that.

In some ways, I think the past few months have been good for people and the world. I think it has provided an opportunity for us all to slow down a little and remember what’s important in life. I have definitely focused on improving myself in many ways, and I think I have. 

But, I will say, I am ready to move on. This time of reflection and self improvement was much needed. I needed a break after two stressful and busy jobs. 

I had my break, and now I am ready to start a new chapter of my life. It is weird being in my early 20’s and feeling as though my life has been put on pause.

I’m starting to think a little too much about the next chapter of my life because I am eager to start it, and it’s becoming more difficult to stay positive. 

To say I’ve been confused this past year is an understatement. Confused about where to live, what I want to do, etc. 

I do feel like I need to leave Medford in the near future. I love Southern Oregon, but it’s not a place I want to live at this age. 

The question right now is where do I go and how do I go somewhere new with everything going on? I’m seriously considering visiting a friend in Hawaii and possibly moving there for a while. One of the things holding me back is Hawaii’s 14 day quarantine rule. I completely understand the thought behind quarantining everyone who goes to Hawaii…. But for someone like me, who loves to exercise and run, it is nearly impossible to sit inside a small apartment for two weeks straight without being able to go outside. All I would want to do is go for a run. Obviously there are worst things than not being able to leave an apartment for two weeks, but it’s hard to justify doing that when I am able to spend as much time as I want outdoors here. I also want to keep other people safe and healthy.

But who knows how long it will be before the quarantine rule is lifted and all of this calms down. I can’t sit around waiting for things to open up, but I also want to be safe not only for myself, but more importantly for others. I don’t want to put anyone else at risk.

It’s a difficult and confusing time, and for me, it’s definitely getting harder. 

I didn’t want to put this out there to complain or be negative. I just wanted to share how I am feeling in case others are feeling the same way. We are not alone during this. The world is going through this together and although the future is uncertain, the best we can do is be positive and help each other.

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy and are doing well. Hopefully all of this will be over soon. I would say I hope things go back to normal soon, but I believe there is going to be a new normal, and maybe that is a good thing. 

I want to end this by encouraging you to create a new goal for yourself. Setting goals has helped me keep a positive mindset and has kept me busy. I have increased my skills and knowledge the past few months by challenging myself. 

Here are two goals I made for myself:

  1. Get better at doing handstands. 
  2. Learn more about blogging and entrepreneurship.

Comment below with a new challenge or goal you make for yourself. You can inspire others by sharing your goals. Let’s all try to make the best of the current situation.

I don’t know what my next step is, but right now I am just happy to be safe and healthy and with family.

I wish you all the best during these uncertain times.


Healthier Banana Bread

How much banana bread do you think has been made in the past few months??

I am constantly seeing pictures of banana bread on social media. 

I was hesitant to make banana bread at first, but I decided to play around with some recipes and make healthier banana bread and it is so yummy! 

I’ve been loving baking and cooking more.

A great way to make someone smile is to bake or cook something for them. Making some delicious banana bread for a friend or family member could be the perfect way to put a smile on someone’s face. I think we all could use a smile right now!

Healthier Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions:

Step one: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step two: Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the bowl. Whisk together until well combined.

Step three: In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Step four: Add the dry ingredients the the wet ingredients and mix together until just combined.

Step five (optional): Fold in a half cup of chocolate chips.

Step six: Line a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch pan with parchment paper and grease the inside to prevent sticking (I like to spray my pan with a cooking spray).

Step seven: Pour batter into pan and bake for 50-55 minutes (test bread with a toothpick or knife – if it comes out clean it is done). Allow bread to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy!


I’m Back!

I’m back! 

The last few months have been a whirlwind. 

I came home from Florida at the beginning of January and by the end of January I was back in Eugene working for the University of Oregon Athletic Department. I jumped right back into work and was insanely busy. 

I was working at the athletic department the day that March Madness was cancelled, which led to many more sports cancellations. The day of the cancellations happened to be Oregon’s Pro Day as well. I had been looking forward to Pro Day because it was an incredible opportunity for me to be a part of a major event as well as be around future NFL athletes and NFL scouts. I was able to ask questions to better understand what athletes did to prepare for the event and what the next steps for the athletes were as they headed into the NFL Draft. I also learned about the media side of things and observed how the NFL Network and ESPN worked with live streaming and interviews. 

As you can tell, I was very interested in the event, but unfortunately almost everyone else in the building didn’t want to be there because everyone was upset about the cancellations and people were concerned about keeping their jobs going forward. 

That being said, when you work in the sports industry, it’s pretty difficult to keep working all of the time when all sports are cancelled. I didn’t expect Pro Day to be my last event at the University of Oregon, but I made a decision a week later to head home and spend this period of uncertainty with my family. 

Now, like many, I am once again looking for a new job. After working crazy hours in Florida and crazy hours in Eugene, I was pretty tired and run down. To be honest, I needed this break… I just didn’t expect the break to be like this. This period of uncertainty and isolation has been difficult for sure, but I am so thankful to be where I am today. I am thankful to be able to go outside and spend time with my family. 

When this all began, I would walk around one of my favorite neighborhoods in Eugene and I saw so many families spending quality time together outside. It is so nice to see families spending more time together. 

Although it can be hard to stay positive right now, I do believe there are positive things that have come out of all of this and I encourage you to do your best to keep thinking about the positives. 

Some days are tougher than the rest. I am starting to get restless and eager to get back to work. Finding a new job right now is tough, especially if I want to continue to work in the sports industry, but I am so blessed to be in the position I am: safe at home with my family.

I’ve been debating starting up this blog again, and to be honest, I really don’t know why. I enjoy writing and I have been focusing more on my lifestyle with all of the free time on my hands, so I decided to give it a go again. Hopefully I’ll be adding some new content (like healthy and fun recipes), so I hope you continue to follow along. 

I wish you all the best during these uncertain times and I hope you are all staying safe and healthy.