Apr 10

Mango-Coconut TVP Oatmeal + WIAW

Can there be too much of a good thing?


I’m not sure I could tire of dark chocolate.

How about Nutella?  Can you imagine having 5.5 tons of it?  Thieves in Bad Hersfeld, Germany have made away with a trailer loaded up with just that much of the hazelnut-chocolate-y crack spread.  According to this report, that’s about $20,700 of Nutella.

nutella stolen

Seriously.  What would you do with all that nutella?  What are they going to do with it?!  More importantly… will this cause a shortage? ;)


On to healthier, less-alaming things.  It’s WIAW time!  This is probably the last day of normal (for me) eats pre-competition.  Cheat days are gone and I’m back to being super-strict.  How do people do this for 16+ weeks?!


Check out my 7 low-sodium, protein-filled meals below, and then click here to head over to Jenn Peas and Crayons to get to see how more normal people are eating!


Meal 1:

This morning I woke up SORE.  After getting my workout mojo back, I’ve been hitting the gym hard.  After my morning cocktail (apple cider vinegar, water, Glutamine, and Fitmixer AminosI talked myself  into an include treadmill walk.  I promised myself I’d only go for 20 mins to work out the soreness.  Well, once I got started I realized I was feeling MUCH better and did 40 mins!

That’s not to say that I didn’t spend the entire walk thinking about breakfast.  I was dreaming up something tropical and full of flavor.  Mango-Coconut TVP Oats.  I added coconut and butter extracts, then imagined I was on an island.

Mango-Coconut TVP Oatmeal

I can’t remember who suggested it, but adding a little baking powder to the original recipe made these nearly double in size.  I’m a volume eater, so I was in heaven.  Recipe at the bottom.


Meal 2:

This was so awkwardly timed.  I had posing practice so I didn’t wan to do that on a full tummy, but I was doing a leg day after which I refuse to do on an empty tummy.  So I scarfed this down between the two.  I’d recommend a little more time for digestion before 4 sets of 25 ass-to-the-grass barbell squats.

Shredded chicken with raspberries and pepitas.  And black pepper.  It’s good.  Really.

Chicken and raspberry salad

Meal 3:

I’ve seen Sarena do this for so long, I finally had to try it.  Cinnamon-roasted kabocha squash topped with vanilla protein powder “sauce.”  OF course, I had to #strangebutgood-ify mine up by making the protein green.  I blended it with spinach and maple extract.

You can’t taste the spinach… I don’t think my trainer believed me.  Whatever.  It was just the thing to take for a quick protein + carb shot after a killer leg day.

Kabocha squash and green protein sauce


Meal 4:

Is it weird to crave chicken?  I did.  Shredded chicken with green onion and diced cucumber.  I tossed it in a quick nutritional yeast dressing (nooch + apple cider vinegar + cumin + red pepper flakes).

Chicken + Cucumber Salad with nutritional yeast dressing


Meal 5:

I have “tested” this dish more than any recipe I’ve posted on this blog.  I think I finally got it right tonight!!!  And I took pics.  Recipe will come verrrry soon (read: as soon as I can motivate to edit said pics).

It’s an Indian curry.  I shared it with a friend, who gave it her stamp of approval. :)

Indian Curry


Meal 6:

I missed my salmon today!  Normally I like it with fruit for meal 2, but I definitely couldn’t do seafood right before squats (trust me – that is less-than-pleasent if it burps back up… TMI?).  Anyway, I decided to have evening salmon.

Sautéed portabello mushroom, red pepper, nutritional yeast, and salmon (pre-cooked during the Sunday food-prep with lemon and dill).

Salmon with mushrooms and red pepper


Meal 7:

I was conflicted tonight.  I needed more carbs, so it was a good night to try the baked chocolate chip Quest bar I’ve been seeing everywhere.  But I also wanted cottage cheese.  So I went half and half.  Turns out that was brilliant because I still have the other half of that bar to eat – it was AMAZING!

My cottage cheese was mixed with cocoa powder, vanilla, a little stevia, and cinnamon.  Topped with strawberries.

Cocoa cottage cheese and baked Quest bar


Mango-Coconut TVP Oatmeal

Mango-Coconut TVP Oatmeal

  • 1/3 C TVP
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract
  • Stevia (or other sweetener), to taste
  • 1/4 C egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp no-sodium baking powder
  • 1/2 mango
  • Unsweetened coconut, toasted


Add TVP, water, cinnamon, extracts, and stevia to a small pot.  Stir, and bring to a boil over med-high heat.  Cook about 5-6 mins, or until liquid is mostly absorbed.

Reduce heat to medium.  Pour in egg whites and baking powder.  Allow to cook for 2-3 more mins, stirring frequently so that the egg doesn’t form chunks.  The mixture will become voluminous.

Scoop into bowl and add mango and toasted coconut (I toasted mine in a pan with a bit of coconut oil).

Note: For a vegan option, add a flax egg or simply leave the egg out.


Diet changes come tomorrow.  No more cheat days.  Reality has set in… I will be walking across a stage in stripper heels and a bikini in a month.  Ack!

What would you like to have 5.5 TONS of?

What have you learned not to eat before a workout?



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  1. Lisa

    Haha, I heard about that nutella deal-io. People can be so strange sometimes.
    Like seriously, what will they do with all of it?! And how did they steal it without anyone noticing?! Boggles my mind.
    Love all the brightness of colors in your meals. So spring-y and pretty. Can’t wait to read more about your diet changes. You never sieze to impress me with all the changes you have to make! Amazing!

    1. Laura

      You are so sweet. I am a firm believer that pretty, colorful food tastes better!

  2. Debbie

    I may be the only woman in the world to say this, but I was never a big fan of Nutella. Don’t hate me. :-)

    Man, I live curry. Looking forward to the recipe!

    1. Laura

      Maybe no the only woman, but definitely the only blogger. LOL! ;)

  3. Jessie

    I’m with the above comment.. not a huge fan of nutella. Give me some artisana’s raw cacao bliss and I could eat 5.5 tons of it =)

    1. Laura

      I have GOT to try that!

  4. Khushboo

    No such thing as too much Nutella….orrr ice cream – can you tell I have a sweet tooth? Although my stomach is quite the trooper when it comes to eating before workouts, too much veggies beforehand doesn’t do me any favors!

  5. Charissa

    My hazelenut chocolate butter is almost gone. I’m so ashamed and yet not. It was amazing!!!

  6. Sue

    Funny how this Nutella story has gone viral in the US. Here in Germany nobody cares.
    I’d like to have 5.5 tons of dark chocolate. That would be enough for the rest of my life, I guess.
    I have a very sensitive stomach and can’t eat anything before a workout.

    1. Laura

      Germans are so stoic. ;) Actually, I think Americans just really love drama.

  7. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Ha, I think the Nutella thieves are too funny! And you do 25 rep sets of squats? That makes me want to puke just thinking about it!

    A month is going to fly by! I’m thinking of doing a month of zero treats myself, just to see if I can do it. But there’s no way I’m doing it for months on end!!

    1. Laura

      I thought I might puke on the last 5! I had to stop and ask my trainer how many I had left. And today it hurts to move.

      We have similar eating philosophies, I think. If I ever make it to the UK, we must share a (cheat) meal. ;)

      1. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

        Most definitely!!

  8. Angela @ Happy fit mama

    I saw the Nutella story and immediately felt panic that there might be a shortage! I need to make your TVP oats. I ran out of it a few weeks ago and need to restock. Hopefully no one will steal cases of that!

  9. TOni @ Runninglovingliving

    Wow!!! Interesting food you are eating!! LOve the variety! I myself am not a big Nutella fan, I could take it or leave it.

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I have to have variety or I get bored and default to too many treats. ;)

  10. Andrea

    I WISH I liked mangos! But I just don’t. I don’t know what it is about them- just not my thing :-( But that quest bar? I have been dying to try it! The last time I bought quest bars I bought a box and ate the entire box in a week… I think that’s 2 bars a day- maybe more? Not so good…. so as soon as I see these babies sold separately I will purchase one and only one! hahaha! Your meals are so great- you are such a healthy inspiration!!!

    1. Laura

      I’m the same way with papaya. I can’t get into ‘em.

      Thank you so much!

  11. Miz

    Ive FINALLY climbed aboard the fruit and pepper train—and it’s AWESOME :)

  12. Fran@BCDC

    Sell it on the brown market?! It is yummy which is why I don’t buy it! Everything looks delicious, Laura!

    1. Laura

      LOL! Brown market cracked me up!!! I can’t be trusted with it in the house either. Doh.

  13. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    Woohoo! Kabocha love! The color of the spinach in the protein sauce is beautiful and so vibrant!

    Oh, I can’t wait to hear about the diet changes. You’re doing such an amazing job with this! I’m so proud of you and all your hard work!

    1. Laura

      I am SO glad you introduced me to the idea. I’m in loooove!

  14. Sarah MomRunningonEmpty

    I can’t tell you what Zi would do with 5.5 tons of Nutella… It’s just too glorious to think if!!! I’m guessing if I did it I would need a few new pairs of pants!!

    Love the WIAW pics! Can’t wait for the curry recipe :)

  15. lindsay

    can i use the no-oatmeal recipe for this instead? I can’t do TVP and i am so jealous. ARGH my gut!

    1. Laura

      For sure! Let me know if you try it!

  16. lindsay

    p.s i lived in berlin for a summer, they are serious about their nutella, yes, they’ steal it!

  17. Kierston @candyfit

    It’s amazing what a little baking powder can do!

    Your eats are looking slighttttttttly different…Your competition is nearing heehhee :) Everything looks fabulous! Excited for you! xoxo

    1. Kierston @candyfit

      Oh….No broccoli before a workout lol

      p.s. funny story. Something happened the other day while I was doing the leg press. Nothing beats letting out a little air when pushing hard ;) My partner laughed hysterically the first time….then…the second! LOL

      And yes, please cook for me one day. For one FULLLLLLL day :)

      1. Laura

        LOL! That just made my day. I have been there, my friend. ;)

  18. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    I laughed when I heard about the Nutella thing – that’s hilarious. Where are they storing that? I don’t even know what food I’d want 5.5 tons of…

    I’ve learned to avoid sushi before a workout. Raw salmon burps are terrible.

  19. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Love the addition of the spinach to the “sauce” yummy and colorful. When it comes to running, absolutely no Greek yogurt anytime beforehand. Like not even 2 hours. Nope. Not good. For lifting, oats don’t go well for me. I feel too full and blobby (is that a word?).

    1. Laura

      Oh yeah – no diary pre-workout. Recipe for disaster.

  20. Meg @ A Dash of Meg

    I could seriously use some of that TVP oatmeal for breakfast :D I’m still pondering what to have :) ALLLLLLLL of course eats look amazing and I’m really intrigued by your bedtime meal! YUM! I’ve never done 25 reps for squats before! Awesome!

    Love u…

    1. Laura

      Try it!!! It nearly killed me… I’m hobbling today. ;)

  21. Lee

    I need to try these Quest bars that everyone keeps talking about.

    It’s weird, if I drink coffee before a regular workout or run, I feel fine, but every time I drink it before a race, I have to beeline for the portopotty and not to pee. Now there’s a TMI comment.

    1. Laura

      Haha – I encourage TMI.

  22. Ashley Atencio

    okay seriously girl, I’m going to have to try all these recipes! Strange or not, they look wonderful. Especially your last meal with the quest bar! I am on a quest bar craze and cannot wait to try your fabulous concoction! I’ve never thought about putting raspberries with chicken but that actually looks really good…adding that to my list!

    1. Laura

      Thank you so much!!! I’m all about fruit with chicken… and salmon!

  23. Katie

    Um, 5.5 tons of money. Preferably in the form of $100 bills.

    1. Laura

      Best. Idea. Ever.

  24. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

    There better not be a shortage of Nutella!!! (I say that as if I ever buy it more than once every three years, but it would still make me sad… haha) Looking forward to the curry recipe. I <3 curry!

    1. Laura

      I’m the same way… plus, I would probably just make my own if I had to have it.

      Curry coming… Monday… I think… (someone please edit pics for me…)

  25. Linz @ Itz Linz

    mmm all your food always looks SO good ahh!! i can’t have milk or anything like that before a workout!!

  26. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal

    HA! And the good thing about this is that I actually have a jar of Nutella in the pantry. And I’ve left it alone! I don’t think I would need that crazy amount that that German man has. A jar is enough. And thanks to intuitive eating I’m not even craving it. It’s just sitting there.

    Anyway, man, I know I have to try TVP already. I know, I know. I’m behind on these things. Great looking eats!

    1. Laura

      You must tell me when you try the TVP! It’s sooooo good!

  27. Alex @ therunwithin

    Your flavor combos always throw me for a loop. I am seriously impressed with these creations

    1. Laura

      I’m taking that as a compliment. ;)

  28. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    Ass-to-the-grass squats is right up there with the yes/no machine in terms of my favorite workout terms. Your food looks so yummy! It seems like you eat for competition all the time because you are so healthy. Good luck with the adjustment! May is going to be awesommeeeee!!!! I’d like to have 5.5 tons of hundred dolla bills, y’all!

    1. Laura

      I did the yes/no machines today. :)

      Carol… you have SEEN me non-competition eat.

  29. morgan

    Quest bars- so much better when ordered direct from the company! I didn’t know what I was missing until we bought a couple boxes fresh- wow! they are softer & chewier & my husband thought it was a different brand!
    Kabocha should only be eaten (IMO) piping burn-your-mouth-hot (aka directly off the baking sheet) with “frosting” consisting of protein powder, greek yogurt, copious amount of cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice and a large tablespoon of molasses (I know I’m weird- I don’t like honey!)
    never tried berries with chicken but now the store is calling to me, oooh- watermelon chunks with ACV dressing & chicken! yarg. why is it not lunctime here yet???

    1. Laura

      Did you see the watermelon-salmon sald I did? Flippin’ awesome. I love summmer.

  30. Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness

    I love mango and coconut together! I have never tried raspberries and chicken, I think the chicken and cucumbers is much more my normal foods style.

  31. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    You mean I can make my oats even MORE voluminous with baking powder? Consider THAT happening.

    I have been intrigued by this concept of vanilla protein frosting on kabocha. I really just can’t stop my hand from reaching into the fridge and then towards my mouth long enough to do anything to the squash though.

    Not weird to crave chicken. The first time I went vegetarian, what made me turn back to an omnivore was the desire to eat plain, roasted, chicken strips from the grocery store salad bar. I didn’t even want GOOD chicken. :)

    1. Laura

      Yes ma’am! I did it this morning too, sans egg. Still worked! :)

  32. Lift, Sleep, Eat

    I always add baking powder to my oats :) I love how fluffy it makes them..soooo tasty!!
    The mango coconut combination sounds delicious.
    5.5 tons of chocolate definitely yummmm! Someones going to be kept in nutella for a while haha ;)
    I generally don’t like eating anything any closer than 2 hours to my workout..it makes me feel horrendous!

    1. Laura

      Ah! Was it YOU that told me that trick then?! Best idea ever!!!

  33. Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    One month? Eep! Time to bring out the asparagus? ;)

    I had my first fresh mango of the year last week and kind of fell in love. And how did I not know you could add baking powder to oatmeal?! I swear I knew all the tricks of the trade, but that one is completely new to me.

    1. Laura

      Not quite yet with the asparagus… but almost. Oy.

      Baking powder was a new one on me too, but I’ll be doing it from now on. Coolest trick ever!

  34. Debbie (Accidently Delish)

    that’s basically how i always have my kabocha! i do a mixture of whipped cottage cheese and protein #goop. love it! i might just have to make mine green next time ;) also the addition of mango sounds amazing. i’ve been eyeing the mangos for awhile now.

  35. Hannah

    I’m eating my TVP-raw-brussels-zucchini-miso-smoked-paprika-pepper-sesame-oil lunch creation RIGHT THIS SECOND and the bakign powder thing is blowing my mind. Can’t wait.

    1. Laura

      Mmmm… I wish I was eating that right now.

      Let me know if you try the baking powder – it’s awesome! :)

  36. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

    I am totally trying the roasted kabocha with cinnamon and protein powder sauce. That sounds amazing.

    So, really? 1/8 t. of baking powder adds volume to oats? I will be trying this, too, then!

  37. Nadiya

    Are you serious… someone robbed Nutella. LOL!

    Hmm… I’ve learned not to eat a lot of fiber before a long run :P

    1. Laura

      Ohhhh… good call on the fiber. ;)

  38. Jamie

    I love this post for so many reasons.. Nutella, curry and TWICE the TVP oats?! And a chicken craving is totally normal.. I think its weird that I crave raw cauliflower. haha oh well.

    1. Laura

      I do that too!!! Cauliflower is the best. :)

  39. tiggy

    just a word of warning if you’re keeping close count of macros.. with regards to kabocha, i was born in japan and it is counted as 91 calories per 100g raw over there! ( i can show you several links to prove it!).. yeah, higher than a sweet potato! :(.. i wish the USDA database would add it to their system since they still haven’t but yeah.. just be careful! i even went and asked several experts who confirmed that it is definitely greater than 75cals per 100g raw and likely the japanese information is most accurate.. :(

    1. Laura

      I don’t track macros, thank GOD! ;)

  40. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    My only rule is no SPICY stuff before a workout – that does not end well. Have I told you I was referencing your site for small meal ideas as I attempt to eat more that way with LiveFit. These WIAW posts are SO helpful for that. Might do my own little version next week. ;)

    1. Laura

      I’m so glad they are useful!!! You should go back to when I first started trainignand was trying to do it vegetarian. I swear that took every creative bone in my body!

  41. Kristina

    I’ll take a truck load of Barney Butter, please. and raw cashews. and gummi bears. and dark chocolate…

    totally trying the baking powder in my TVP oats next time… and the mango sounds PHENOMENAL.

    I just cannot eat too much before a workout, and fairly bland at that. :)

    1. Laura

      Barney Butter is that good? I always wondered… must pick some up. I trust you. :)

      1. Kristina

        SO GOOD. it contains palm oil, which isn’t the best, but I still buy it sometimes because it tastes so amazing.

  42. Haley @ fullnfit

    That is some neon vanilla protein powder “sauce”!!! Love the addition of spinach :) Is it just protein powder, water, and spinach?

    1. Laura

      Yup! Plus the maple extract. :)

  43. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    Your meals look great, lots of delicious fruit, possibly flatulence, and bye bye to cheat days.
    Now onto important things…are you getting a new pair of stripper heels for this show? I believe new heels are a necessity, and if you need any help picking them out, you let me know. I’m here for you…and shoes.

    1. Laura

      Always flatulence. Tons of protein + greens+ squats. ;)

      No new heels – they are always the same clear plastic hooker heels. So lame.

  44. Brittany @ Delights and Delectables

    That is hilarious about the nutella! John David was concerned about a shortage too! lol I need to follow a low sodium diet. I’m swelling up from too much sodium. I think all your eats look delicious!

    1. Laura

      I don’t know how I ate so much before… now if I eat a salty meal out I can tell BIG time.

  45. Stacy @ Stacy Eats

    Can they share some of that nutella with me?!
    I’m excited to hear it’s almost time again for competition! Hope you’ve fully enjoyed your cheat meals lately! :)

  46. CCU

    Hmmm, that story…. yeah that was me… ;)
    I do not blame those chocolate lovers my friend, we all must stick together (with nutella!)

    Great WIAW today my friend, so much variety!


  47. Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate

    Chicken and fruit go so well together, especially with berries coming into season now. Oh, and Quest bars and fruit of course. ;-)

  48. Jody - Fit at 55

    YOU ARE CREATIVE! I say it all the time but never would have thought these things go together in your meals!

    Nutella – I don’t get it – don’t like it & not my thing.. what re they going to do with it – probably sell on block market.. ;)

    1. Laura

      Thank you Jody! I even kept it pretty simple, right? Except for the curry… you’ll see when I post next week but you are not going to ever make that recipe. I swear it’s good though! ;)

  49. Krystle

    What’s great about TVP? Is it good for replacing oats?

    1. Laura

      It’s a great, low carb, vegan protein source. It doesn’t have much taste, so you can use it here or anywhere you’d use ground beef.

  50. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Omg, have you seen the video of the guy eating an entire LARGE jar of Nutella? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OENU9ZMEeww… just be warned, you’ll probably want to vomit about midway through…at least that was MY reaction! Ugh!

    And heck, if it’s weird to crave chicken, then I’m right there in the weirdness with you! I don’t eat a lot of meat, but every once in a while it just sneaks up on me and I’ve GOT to find some chicken like NOW! Lol

    I’m so glad you finally discovered the pure awesome deliciousness of a baked chocolate chip cookie quest bar…I totally need to try it with cottage cheese and strawberries! Yum!

    I don’t think I would want 5.5 tons of anything…I’d for sure get sick of it…wait, I’ve got it!! I want 5.5 tons of…….ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS YO!! Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!

    I will never ever EVER eat a banana before a workout again. Omg, the last time….omg!

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