Runnin’ on Empty

March 14, 2008

Our Fridge


We need a trip to the store!! Our fridge is usually pretty clean and organized, but I have never seen it this empty! Basically all that’s in there is a beer, sourdough starter, olive oil, a bit of cheese, old carrots and celery!! Plus some milk and condiments on the door.

So I asked the husband what he wanted to do for dinner – more pantry staples? He suggested picking up some fresh ingredients at a grocery store he walks by on his way to the lightrail, and I suggested he surprise me with the choices and recipe! I can’t wait to see what he picks.


Cycling was so fun this morning. I swear I have more energy now that I’m starting to thaw out. It’s like I don’t have to spend the first 10 minutes of class recovering from the freezing trip outside to get to the gym – now I can use those 10 minutes to work hard! Music was fun today too :)

I had a piece of sourdough with almond butter before I left –


Ocean Oats

I tried Jenna’s salt pinch this morning and I think I was a little too excited because I added too much! The oats were still edible and good, but they were quite salty – almost like a bit of sea water got in them! I’m going to do it again tomorrow with about half of what I used today (which was probably nearing 1/4 a tsp of kosher salt!) because I have heard that salt is wonderful in oats before – the right amount, that is!

Thankfully the sweet bananas balanced them out. I kept my flax and banana on top for a change today. I see many of you other food bloggers’ breakfasts with banana on top and I always think that it looks so good! Well, I have to say, nothing compares to whipped/marshmallow banana oats. The bananas were in the way of my oats the whole time! I added a chopped medjooli date to the mix too –


Con Cafe –


Breakfast today was about 500 kcal, 10 grams fiber and 17 grams protein.


Previous post:

Next post:

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bree March 14, 2008 at 7:28 am

I used to eat my banana on top of my oatmeal, until I tried your whipped/marshmallow technique. I will never go back!
Have a great Friday!


2 Lindsey March 14, 2008 at 7:29 am

What is everyone’s top two favorite vegetarian meal salad combos (of course with what dressing flavor/brand you recommend with it)?

I said vegetarian not because I am a vegetarian, but because I am so sick of eating the same cobb or chicken salads and would love some vegetarian ideas/combos that still have protein and can be a meals :) Happy Friday!


3 Becky A. March 14, 2008 at 7:35 am

I second Bre’s comment! Its much better mixed it, and it gets sweeter!

When I saw the title “Ocean Oats” I thought to myself “No, she did not put seafood in her oatmeal!” I’m glad to see it was just a little salty, rather than seafoody!

Have a great day!


4 mel March 14, 2008 at 7:39 am

I like to whip 3/4 my banana in the oatmeal and put the other 1/4 on top!! best of both worlds!!


5 Katie March 14, 2008 at 7:45 am

Hahaha! Oh my gosh! I’ve never seen a fridge that empty in my life. Hope you can get to the store soon. TGIF! :)


6 arimcg March 14, 2008 at 7:49 am

My fridge looks like that too…sad. I kind of like it though because it means lots of new groceries, and i love grocery shopping.


7 GreenTea March 14, 2008 at 7:50 am

Lindsey –
I LOOOOOOVE salads with TONS of baby mixed greens then add apples, pecans, strawberries, mandarin oranges and blue cheese!! It goes great with a balsalmic dressing or just a little S&P and lemon and lime juices!

I also love homemade taco salads!! Lots of veggies like a good spinach, romaine, and iceburg mix with onion (SORRY KATH!!), 3 color peppers, jalapenos, mushrooms, avocado, corn, then some beans and loads of salsa.

BUT If you’re not a vegetarian then try different meats instead of just chicken or cobb. Try a lean steak sometime. I find I NEVER need dressing at all if I add a little steak and some cheese or some tuna.


8 Romina March 14, 2008 at 7:53 am

Aww your poor fridge. It looks so lonely!


9 Melissa March 14, 2008 at 7:57 am

Haha Kath,

My fridge looks the same way, because it broke on Wednesday night and we had to throw everything out. Right after I had just restocked of course!


10 rhodeygirl March 14, 2008 at 8:00 am

I think I have the same fridge, AND the same kitchen table as you guys… weirrrddddd!

Out of curiosity, how did you originally come up with the idea for peanut butter in oatmeal? my friends have never heard of it before, and always look at me strangely when I tell them about my breakfast?


11 Tina March 14, 2008 at 8:03 am

Your fridge looks like our fridge! I’m the one stopping for groceries on the way home tonight– I think we are having Thai Lime Chicken! :)


12 Becky A. March 14, 2008 at 8:19 am

I figured out my NET calories, but I have a question….Am I supposed to eat my NET or should the calories I eat minus the calories I burn = my NET? I just want to make sure I have it right! Thanks!


13 Alex March 14, 2008 at 8:23 am

Becky A.,

The calories you eat minus the calories you burn should equal your net. That’s why it’s called a net – because it’s the difference between the two.

Good luck!


14 Kath March 14, 2008 at 8:27 am

Beans!!! I love beans and lentils in salads. And avocado and tuna and sometimes even spaghetti squash and butternut cubes (it goes surprisingly well with lettuce!). If you click “Salads” in my tag cloud you will find all kinds of different meals with salads.

Seafood oatmeal…..hmmm!! Actually I bet smoked salmon would make a good savory oatmeal, but I think I’ll still with bananas :)

GreenTea ,
How dare you recommend onions as an ingredient on this blog!!! Kidding 😉

rhodeygirl ,
Table’s from Pier One. Fridge came with the house, but I think it’s GE? I’d LOVE to have a fridge on top/freezer on bottom someday…

I’d seen PB in oatmeal before – maybe it’s a regional thing??

Becky A,
NET is explained further in the FAQ. And Alex has it right above too.
Total kcal intake = NET + Exercise.
Or rearranged, Total Kcal – Exercise = NET



15 Cara March 14, 2008 at 8:50 am

My fridge looked like that the other day. When you run out of some of the most basic things I get lost on what to make.

I agree about banana’s getting in the way unless whipped in. good thing you gave me the idea for the whipped banana’s!


16 Christina March 14, 2008 at 9:09 am

how is spinning, I have always wanted to try a class but never have, is it worth it?


17 Anna in AR March 14, 2008 at 9:24 am

To Kath or anyone else with a suggestion,

I have a can of pumpkin opened (for the pumpkin yogurt mixture…I’m a fan!) and am having trouble using it all. I would like to try some savory dishes with pumpkin added in…does anyone have any recipes or suggestions?


18 Sarah C March 14, 2008 at 9:37 am

rachel ray made pumpkin pasta once:,,FOOD_9936_77075,00.html

it was good. when i was looking for the link, i found she made a lot more savory pumpkin dishes


19 Eliza March 14, 2008 at 9:39 am

I’ve heard a lot of conflicting advice about “splurge” meals. One source recommends having one once a week to shock or rev up your metabolism which gets too comfortable. I eat healthfully (and like it), but I’d like to lose about 8 pounds. I’ve been keeping track of calories with some success, although the weight isn’t coming off as fast as I’d like it to (or as fast as my calorie calculator at mydailyplate says I should be). Would one meal a week that puts me over my daily NET be helpful in weight loss?


20 Tina O. March 14, 2008 at 9:46 am

I have that same fridge, too and I HATE it! I cannot wait to get a freezer on the bottom type. We are remodeling the basement and my husband insists on putting a full kitchen down there-I had originally resisted, but then I realized I can send the crappy fridge down there and get a new one upstairs! Yeah!!


21 KarenR March 14, 2008 at 9:48 am

I salt all my grains when I cook them, but for oatmeal, I just wave the salt shaker over the pot for 2-3 shakes – it’s not much salt at all, but really enhances the flavor.

I have exactly the same fridge, but mine could use a good purge and scrub! I wish it looked like yours!

Anna, you could make a little pumpkin soup. I love those resealable stock boxes for just these times. (I make everything into soup in the winter!) Just heat up the pumpkin with enough stock to thin to the texture you like and spice away! Float some parmesan Goldfish on top and I’ll come over for lunch!


22 Betsy March 14, 2008 at 9:50 am

wow!! that is one empty fridge and such odd contents!! but mine will probably look like that sunday afternoon, right before i go to the supermarket.

the phrase TGIF always reminds me of friday night tv growing up…full house, step by step, family matters…anyone else??


23 Caitlin March 14, 2008 at 9:59 am

Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, Perfect Strangers…! Weird, my roommate and I were just reminiscing about TGIF last night :)


24 rhodeygirl March 14, 2008 at 10:00 am

me too Betsy!!! I used to LOVE TGIF nights..


25 Megan March 14, 2008 at 10:09 am

Hey! I recently discovered your blog and i LOVE it! I’ve been working my way through the archives and trying to read it all.
I just copied down your oatmeal pancake recipe and I’m def going to try it soon!
Thanks and keep up the good work!


26 Stacy March 14, 2008 at 10:10 am

For those of you reminiscing about TGIF on ABC. Perfect Strangers Season 1 & 2 just came out on DVD…and it’s still funny. I’ve been watching it while I run on the treadmill and it makes the time go by quickly.


27 GreenTea March 14, 2008 at 10:36 am

Christina –

I’m sure you were asking Kath, but I instruct spinning (as do a lot of the girls I work with). I love to teach AND take the classes.

They are fun, make the time go by quickly, burn lots of calories quickly, and are ALL different.

So if you try one, but don’t like it look for a different instructor or class. :)


28 Diana March 14, 2008 at 10:53 am

Wow. You (and the husband) are great household managers if you can make your fridge look like that by the end of the week without tossing things in the trash. We’ve usually got leftovers of everything except beer! Although I agree with arimcg that sometimes there’s nothing better than a “clean slate.”


29 Kath March 14, 2008 at 10:54 am

Christina ,
I love spinning – when I had my foot surgery it was the only way I could get a workout comparable to running in terms of sweat and exhaustion at the end of class. You should definitely try it – the bikes are not your usual stat bikes so you can really “run” on them. I agree with GreenTea that the classes are very different depending on the instructor (so much so that I refuse to go to Tues/Wed. classes at my Y because I hated the instructor’s style) so if you don’t like your first one, give some more a try.

Anna in AR,
I’m embarassed to not have tried any savory pumpkin dishes yet!! I need to do that soon :) I did a search at and found a bunch of yummy sounding ideas. Not sure if this will post them or not:

Eliza ,
In my opinion, for me, splurge meals do more harm than good both physically and mentally. I’m not talking about a dessert or a few drinks, I’m talking about going all out at a buffet or party where you just eat and eat. It cancels out all of your hard work for the week (especially if you’re trying to lose weight) and I think does more harm than good to your attitude towards healthy eating. I seriously doubt “shocking your body” with junk food will do any good. HOWEVER, some people do find a splurge meal (and I say meal because I think day might be a little overboard) to be really helpful to them mentally during weight loss. So with that said, you’ve got to do what works for you. Don’t add a splurge meal because some trainer told you too, add it if you think it will help you achieve a healthy balanced mindset. Hope that makes sense.

Welcome to KERF!



30 BethT March 14, 2008 at 10:58 am

Cousin Larry, don’t be ridiculous….


Just had to weigh in with my TGIF memories. Kath, perhaps you need to add the Perfect Strangers theme song to your iPod…

Standing TALLL! On the wings of my dreeeeams….


31 Leng March 14, 2008 at 10:59 am

You have the cleanest fridge!

Salty oats? eck!
I normally add salt to my oats, but I do only about 1/8 of a tsp. I don’t know why I do it. I guess because salt brings out the flavors in foods…?
They still look REALLY yummy! I love oatmeal–the PERFECT breakfast or snack.


32 rhodeygirl March 14, 2008 at 11:06 am

Kath! My fridge has the freezer on the bottom, so I guess it’s not the same.. but it’s funny that that’s the kind you want because I have been wanting a side by side fridge/freezer. Unfortunately, I am stuck with the fridge my condo came with for now! guess the grass is greener on the other side!

Same table though.. Pier 1 is dangerous for me hahaha

Happy Friday to all yay!


33 Nicole (the other one) March 14, 2008 at 11:18 am

To rhodeygirl: I have a side by side and HATE it. The freezer isn’t wide enough. Everything has to be squeezed in sideways. My husband’s birthday ice cream cake didn’t fair too well!

I’m holding out for the freezer on the bottom with the double door fridge on top 😉


34 VeggieGirl March 14, 2008 at 11:26 am

Haha, my fridge looks like that by the end of the week, EVERY week :0)

Oh no! Sorry that your oats were salty – ick! But hey, at least you added the chopped medjool date (fresh medjool dates are the BEST, aren’t they?? I love them!) and banana; even if the banana DID get in the way ;0)

TGIF, indeed!!


35 Courtney March 14, 2008 at 11:39 am

I always salt my oats. It really brings out the flavor and pulls the whole bowl together. I just give a pinch of kosher salt (it’s softer than table salt) in the beginning with the liquid and oats – and now banana, thanks to Kath!

Also, great idea about the pumpkin soup. I have some in the fridge that I should really use up soon.

We used to watch TGIF, too.


36 Tara March 14, 2008 at 11:42 am

Do you have any organization/cleaning routine??? (I am writing this in response to comments on the cleanliness of your fridge). I know this is not food-related, I am just curious. I tried the flylady system (, but if I missed cleaning a certain area, I wouldn’t get back to it for another month. Any tips?


37 Tara March 14, 2008 at 11:43 am

Oh and I should note, I got off the flylady system when I saw one of her video posts and after several years of the creater doing the system, her room still didn’t look that clean (I hate to bash on that, it was just my observation).


38 DaisyMAY March 14, 2008 at 11:47 am

green tea i have been thinking about getting certified to teach spin. i know there are six hour classes and then you are certified. how hard is it to find a job in teaching though?


39 Carrie H March 14, 2008 at 12:00 pm

I just thought some of you might be interested in this story I found on about “junk food dieters.”
I ‘m sure that some of you avid magazine readers have already seen it … But you can find it here:


40 Kelly T March 14, 2008 at 12:08 pm

yeah, im not a big fan of splurge days. I mean, they happen every once in a while, but thats enough. You shouldnt plan them out. That just makes you live for those days, suffer through the rest, and not learn anything. eating healthy shouldnt be a punishment.

i always wondered if spin teachers are super human. i mean, what if you do 6 classes in a day? you have to spin them all. and still be able to talk.

I always have trouble eating everything in my fridge. Im always left with ramdom stuff that doesnt go together and then I have to shop according to whats left so i can use it.


41 Kelly T March 14, 2008 at 12:10 pm

i used to love step by step until i found out cody was a wife beater and then i was scared to watch the show. I was young.


42 grace March 14, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Kath, I also never add salt, but I think my taste buds overly sensitive to salt. I can even taste it in some baked goods. I might try just a dash to see if it’s good.

On the splurge meal discussion, I agree with Kath that it is not an excuse to eat and eat. When I hear professionals recommending that, I think they mean have a meal where you eat what you are craving, but still watch the portions. It helps with not binging and diet fatigue. You should still listen to your body and stop when you are satisfied.


43 NCCarter March 14, 2008 at 12:23 pm

I think I’m having a PMS-related splurge day. It all started fine….oatmeal and coffee, followed by Spinning. Then came lunch. Took my daughter to Chickfila and passed on my usuall grilled chicken salad for nuggets and fries. Oops! They were good, but I am so not full. Ate 2 thin mints when got home. Alas, I am STILL HUNGRY. I’m not beating myself up over it….just wish I could feel like I’ve eaten as much as I have. Maybe I’ll have a piece of fruit to see if the fiber helps fill me up.


44 Kiala March 14, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Has anyone ever noticed…ok…this is going to sound AWFUL but every spinning teacher I’ve ever had has been a little, well, rounded if you catch my meaning. I just wonder if they’re PRETENDING to crank up the resistance so that they can do all that annoying talking.


45 NCCarter March 14, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Ha ha – Kiala, I’ve noticed that about a number of instructors, not just Spinning. There is no way I could truly crank the resistance and actually instruct. But, maybe they’re just that much more fit than me.

On a somewhat related note, there is one instructor at my gym who is just a powerhouse. She teaches sculpting classes and is so, so fit. She looks great. So strong. Anyway, she always seems really cool…has great workout clothes, cute hair, and plays the BEST music. I had to laugh (to myself) when I ran into her at the park the other day with her kids and watched her get into their minivan when they left. No offense meant to minivan moms….I’m sure if I started driving one I would actually love it and never go back to my midsize SUV. I just thought it was funny that I’ve had this image of this woman as very cool and edgy, and she’s really living a very regular life outside of the gym.


46 rhodeygirl March 14, 2008 at 12:58 pm


I like to think that I have a really clean house (although I will admit that the last time my bf was in town HE cleaned my fridge), and I use the “10 minute” method.

Every day at some point, whether before work at 7 or at night, I spend exactly 10 minutes cleaning as much as I can as fast as I can. I look nuts, but it really works.. One day it might be the toilet and shower, another day I might just dust my TV stand and straighten up my coffee table magazines, etc. Then on the weekends about 20-30 minutes each day (usually for washing the floors, vacuuming the whole place at once, etc), and voila`… the house manages to be really clean all the time!

I am really busy all week and I travel to Philly every other weekend to see my bf so doing just a little bit each day reallllly helps!

Try it!


47 GreenTea March 14, 2008 at 1:00 pm


I did not find it to be hard to find a job instructing spinning(and I’m from a small small town), especially since there is a high demand for gyms and personal health right now. However, it may be best to call gyms around you to see if they are looking for or are willing to take on another instructor before you become certified.

I think it’s beneficial being certified even if I don’t instruct because I learned proper technique, etc. and now get more from my workouts.

Regarding the heavier spin instructors…I SEE THIS TOO! I think the gym I work at now is the only one in which NONE of the group fitness instructors look like they could benefit from some more exercise and fewer trips to McDonald’s!


48 Caitlin March 14, 2008 at 1:10 pm

The spin instructors at my gym are in FANTASTIC shape. My current spin instructor has not an OUNCE of fat on his body. They are all regular cyclists (like – outdoors, not just spin class) so that probably has something to do with it.


49 Gemma March 14, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Hey everyone,

Going along with the positive vibe on the blog today, I was wondering….

What is your favorite personal attribute?
The one thing about yourself you love the most?

Name your fav. PHYSICAL attribute (e.g., pinky toe) AND your fav. non-physical attribute (e.g., dry sense of humor)

NOW GO! :)


50 Gemma March 14, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Opps forgot to add my own

1) My small perky boobs!

2) My sarcastic sense of homor


51 Greta March 14, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Here is another baked oatmeal recipe from Cooking Light. I had it a a friend’s house and loved it. She used blueberries instead of raisins however.


52 Paula March 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm

1) Physical: My tummy! I’m always so jealous of girls with great legs and bootys, but I’m really glad that my tummy is flat and firm and I don’t have to do anything to it. Again, my butt and thighs are a COMPLETELY different story! :-) LoL, the other day Lindsay ( – I hope I spelled your name right!) and I decided to trade body parts! She’s giving me her great legs and such and I’m giving over my tummy! Hahah.

2) Personal: Hmmm… my storytelling ability! Hahah!


53 Kath March 14, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Tara ,
My routine is “clean it when it looks dirty” :) Every few days I do a new chore. Vacuum, dust, bathrooms. Those are the big ones. Things like clean mirrors and spare rooms less often. And we clean the kitchen constantly. I agree that the “do it in little bits” method works wonders. Rather than plopping down on the couch if you have 10 minutes to spare before you have to go somewhere, do a quick chore and when you come home you’ll be much happier to walk in the door with it done.

Carrie H,
Thanks for sharing that story. I think that’s one of my goals – to help people realize that real food is so much better than “diet food” in so many ways.

Gemma ,
Fun survey!

Physical: My calf muscles. They have always been large and defined.

Personal: My quirkiness.

Greta ,
Your link didn’t work, but I just searched for baked oatmeal and found lots. I’m going to try that this week!



54 Ally March 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm

TGIF! I am so happy it’s finally the weekend. I still have a lot to do cleaning wise but i’m heading out to Trader Joe’s for some good deals!

I love shopping for food!

About cycle classes, I like the exercise but I can’t really deal with the atmosphere. The YMCA where I go has a few people that are really into it and actually yell and cheer themselves on. I used to go to cycle classes daily but these people sadly turned me off of the class.

Your empty fridge is a pretty shocking sight to me. It’s something I wish I could do! Sadly, a lot of our ingredients go to waste.


55 Jill March 15, 2008 at 1:29 am

Once you figure out salt on oats, you never go back. It’s the best. Ever.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: