I tend to get bored with breakfast grains:  cereal, granola, and oatmeal.  It’s that or toast, pancakes, or waffles.  Yawn.


Staring in my fridge this morning, I decided to mix it up with a little brown rice.

IMG_6829 IMG_6826

Not just any brown rice – Chinese rice!  AKA already prepared and packed in a cute little box. 


This rice bowl is sweet, not savory, thanks to the addition of a mashed banana.


Leftover Chinese Brown Rice Breakfast Bowl




  • 1 cup leftover brown rice
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup almond, coconut, or similar milk
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder (I used a plain green-foods based powder but I imagine vanilla would taste good, too)
  • 1 tablespoon craisins
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Approx 10 chopped almonds




  • In a small saucepan, heat milk and sliced banana on high.
  • When it begins to boil, give it a good stir and add brown rice.  Turn heat to low.
  • Add remaining ingredients (except almonds) and let heat through, stirring.
  • Remove for heat after two minutes or so, plate, top with almonds, and serve.



I’m in the mood to be thankful for the small things.  I am going to be thankful for a (relatively) new habit from Maggie.  Since we moved to Charlotte, she has begun to migrate to the top of the bed in the middle of the night, wiggling into my arms while I sleep.  I wake up every morning holding her to my chest like a teddy bear.


She has the best smelling skin  (she smells like a cinnamon bun) and it just makes every morning so nice.  Puppy love feels so real.


What small things are you thankful for today?



  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans December 12, 2010, 9:06 am

    That’s so sweet! Today I’m thankful for the fact that I learned how to build a fire in my fireplace yesterday! I had built campfire before, but never one in a fireplace. I was worried I would accidentally build a bonfire and burn my house down.

  • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life December 12, 2010, 9:08 am

    I am thankful for nice sunny warm weather and that I’m planning to get my Christmas shopping done this morning!

  • Heather December 12, 2010, 9:09 am

    Maggie is so sweet! I am thankful that on Wednesday, my final exams will be over – the end is in sight!

    I am excited because I can then get in the holiday spirit. I am also thankful for the ability to see a lot of family in the next few weeks – including my nephew who we haven’t seen since August.

    I may make some brown rice today – I am always looking for some new breakfast ideas!

    • Caitlin December 12, 2010, 7:32 pm

      good luck on your final exams!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine December 12, 2010, 9:09 am

    I loooove adding sweet things to rice- it’s like rice pudding!! Today I’m thankful for my cozy little apartment. It’s dreary out!! Hope you have a wonderful Sunday 🙂

  • kelly December 12, 2010, 9:12 am

    I am thankful to be warm inside.. there are 45mph winds outside today! Insane!!

  • Kayla December 12, 2010, 9:13 am

    I grew up using leftover Chinese rice (usually white, when I was a kid) for breakfast, too — covered with milk with a bit of sugar and cinnamon mixed in. It was so simple and delicious. 🙂

    And I love the comment about Maggie. When my fiance is away, our dog sleeps right next to me. Last night, I feel asleep curled up next to him like he was a boyfriend. LOL

  • Amanda December 12, 2010, 9:13 am

    I’m thankful that I have nowhere to be and can stay snuggled up in my warm apartment all day instead of venturing into the snowstorm.

  • Paige @Running Around Normal December 12, 2010, 9:15 am

    Aww what a sweetie!!:) Love Maggie.
    I love when I wake up to Niko being “little spoon” too haha

  • Emilie December 12, 2010, 9:18 am

    That breakfast idea sounds great. My dietitian and I talk a lot about incorporating “different” whole grains into breakfast, and this looks totally delicious!

    Gratitude-wise, I’m going to have to echo other commenters–I’m grateful to be indoors today! It’s cold, gray, and rainy out. A perfect day to stay in and read, knit, or watch a movie.

  • Luna December 12, 2010, 9:25 am

    “puppy love feels so real”, that’s so true 🙂 And, I froze my cookies(well, what’s left of them), thank your for your reply!!!

  • Baking 'n' Books December 12, 2010, 9:25 am

    A dog that smells like cinnamon? I’ll take one to go please! My cat used to lie on my chest and put her paws up around my neck. Very cute – but suffocating and very scary the first time she did it as I thought she was finally trying to kill me to be the head of the house…until I heard her purring 🙂

    • Caitlin December 12, 2010, 7:33 pm

      hahah I hate it when cats sleep on your neck!!!

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing December 12, 2010, 9:31 am

    I’m thankful for snow, since I know in three months I’ll be struggling with appreciating it (more like hating it).

  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete December 12, 2010, 9:34 am

    Maggie must be the best smelling dog ever — cinnamon bun? How cute!

    I am thankful that I don’t work weekends — yesterday we had over a foot of snow! I’m glad I didn’t have to drive in that!

  • Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) December 12, 2010, 9:36 am

    hhaah woah! i’m so impressed with your creativity here! I would have normally just thrown away the old rice.. but why waste when you can make it into a delicious, sweet breakfast!

  • christina cadden December 12, 2010, 9:39 am

    mmm, looks so good!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Graduate December 12, 2010, 9:40 am

    Today I’m thankful for being done with final exams. I have absolutely nothing on my schedule today except for watching it snow. Best. Feeling. Ever.

    I’m also thankful for my best friend. I don’t know what I’d do without her. 🙂

  • Marci December 12, 2010, 9:42 am

    Puppy love is real! They are the sweetest, or just looking for a warm body too.

  • grocery goddess jen December 12, 2010, 9:53 am

    In line with what you’re thankful for: I’m thankful that with the colder weather both of my cats like to get under the covers at night with me and the bf. My whole family in one warm, cozy bed makes me feel so happy!

  • michelle December 12, 2010, 9:55 am

    I am thankful for this wonderful cup of hot tea I am enjoying as I read blogs…

  • vann December 12, 2010, 9:57 am

    I love how Maggie smells like a cinnamon bun. I always say my dog smells like popcorn! It’s the craziest thing 🙂
    I am thankful for my comfortable thermal long johns that I have on while it’s a snowy wonderland outside!

  • Erika @ FoodFitnessFun December 12, 2010, 10:11 am

    Great idea! I always have leftover rice and never know what to do with it! 🙂

  • Emily December 12, 2010, 10:13 am

    Too cute 🙂 And that recipe looks awesome, definitely one to try!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) December 12, 2010, 10:26 am

    Aww…I need a little Maggie in my life. She is too darn cute! 😀

    The recipe sounds grand! I love eating brown rice for breakfast. 😀

  • SaraRM December 12, 2010, 10:27 am

    I have a cat that does the same thing but DOES NOT smell like cinammon! I am thankful to have a day off work and be able to spend time with my loving and supportive husband, doing fun christmas stuff!

  • Jessica December 12, 2010, 10:29 am

    A warm fire and hot tea 🙂

  • the veg meg December 12, 2010, 10:30 am

    That is so so cute! I’m thankful that my semester is finally over on Wednesday, for my little kitty who just decided to creep under the covers and curl up between Husband and I, and for my sleepy husband who doesn’t always sleep enough :]

  • the veg meg December 12, 2010, 10:30 am

    That is so so cute! I’m thankful that my semester is finally over on Wednesday, for my little kitty who just decided to creep under the covers and curl up between Husband and I, and for my sleepy husband who doesn’t always sleep enough :]

  • Camille December 12, 2010, 10:31 am

    Today I am thankful for the fact that I got almost 10 hours of sleep last night at woke up at 7am. That’s the good stuff 🙂

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) December 12, 2010, 10:33 am

    Awww too cute! Maggie seems like such a sweet dog! 🙂
    Your rice bowl looks GREAT! I’ll have to try it the next time I have Chinese leftovers!
    I am thankful that I woke up this morning and have the ability to live. 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) December 12, 2010, 10:57 am

    Yes! Always make rice pudding with leftover rice! I am thankful for my 3 guys. They are my world and I love every moment I get with them…the good and the bad. Have a great day Caitlin!

  • Kristina @ spabettie December 12, 2010, 10:58 am

    AW ! now you know I am Maggie’s Biggest Fan… and now that I know she smells of Cinnamon Bun?? 😀 Basil does the same sort of thing, starting out at the foot of the bed, in the morning ending up next to me on my pillow.

    I am thankful the river is back down! We have a river in our backyard, and it flooded up into the yard last night. *eep*

    • Caitlin December 12, 2010, 7:36 pm

      I want to meet Basil so bad. We should do a weiner swap.

  • monicanelsonfitness December 12, 2010, 11:21 am

    Bless Maggie!
    That is a great breakfast twist too, I do that a lot as well:)

    I am also grateful for my dogs and their incredible smells, how they cuddle, and yawn…hehe. 🙂

  • Jen December 12, 2010, 11:21 am

    I’m thankful for fuzzy warm socks. The temperature is supposed to drop to 20 degrees where I am, so warm fuzzy everything is pretty great right now!

    • Jen December 12, 2010, 12:04 pm

      I’m also thankful that I get to see my own puppy next weekend! (Technically, she’s not a puppy at 11 years old, but don’t tell her that.) I’ve been away at school and missed her tons. Dogs = <3

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In December 12, 2010, 11:22 am

    I’m thankful that our first big snow came on a Sunday:)

    And a dog that smells like cinnamon buns? lucky duck!

  • Amy Ramos December 12, 2010, 11:23 am

    I am thankful for hearing my dad saying he has enjoyed going Christmas shopping this year for the first time in many years. This is the second year without my mom (we lost her last year to advanced early onset Alzheimer’s and he was her primary care giver for 6 yrs).

    • Caitlin December 12, 2010, 7:36 pm

      I am glad your dad is enjoying Christmas, too. 🙂

  • Cassie December 12, 2010, 11:32 am

    Oooh, how do you make your dog smell like cinnamon bun?!? My little pug smells like, well, dog, but that doesn’t stop me from snuggling her at night!

    • Caitlin December 12, 2010, 7:37 pm

      Maggie is just blessed!!

  • Amber K December 12, 2010, 11:34 am

    While I’m in a lot of pain this morning, I am feeling really grateful for a lazy Sunday morning. I have no other obligation this morning than to cuddle on the couch with my husband. 🙂

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) December 12, 2010, 11:39 am

    You are so creative! I would never think of using leftover Chinese rice for breakfast!

    I am thankful for the hot tea I am currently sipping because I am freezing (as usual)!

  • Nicole @ yuppie yogini December 12, 2010, 11:59 am

    I haven’t sniffed Maggie before. Now I’m intrigued.

  • Natalia - a side of simple December 12, 2010, 12:03 pm

    I’m thankful for leftover Thai food. Does that count? 😉

  • Kiran December 12, 2010, 12:03 pm

    Maggie is super adorable 🙂

  • Laura December 12, 2010, 12:04 pm

    She’s so cute 🙂 I have dog envy!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss December 12, 2010, 12:05 pm

    Brown ric is a nice way to mix it up, sounds delicious!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 12, 2010, 12:27 pm

    Aww that is so sweet! It makes me wish I had a dog.

    Today I’m thankful for my sister! 🙂

  • Heather December 12, 2010, 1:22 pm

    Today I’m thankful that it’s a high of 81! And I can wear shorts with my Bears t-shirt while I watch them play a game in 20 degree, snowy weather. Oh how I love the Southwest!

  • Jillian@ Reshape Your Life December 12, 2010, 1:22 pm

    That is TOO cute about Maggie! Dogs are awesome! But I have to be thankful that it’s the time of year when our cats come into the house more (they are indoor/outdoor by choice) and hang around under the Christmas tree. I am such a cat person and wish they would hang out inside more often!

    I also love that the one that was originally shyest of the two decided that I’m awesome and now sleeps with me every night and refuses to sleep next to my boyfriend on his side of the bed. 🙂

  • Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa December 12, 2010, 1:30 pm

    Aw. My cat does that! She burrows under the covers and gets into a ball against my chest. So adorbs.

  • Lauren December 12, 2010, 1:51 pm

    When I’m at home, my cat wakes me up by purring and rubbing her fur on my face…it’s so cute!

  • Casey December 12, 2010, 1:57 pm

    Cinnamon bun?!?! I have a dog (a beagle/Jack Russell mix), and she smells like Fritos!

    • Caitlin December 12, 2010, 7:37 pm

      I have heard a lot of people say that their dog smells like fritos actually. isnt that weird?

      • Ellie December 12, 2010, 8:09 pm

        I totally know what you mean! It’s especially on the bottoms of their paws, too. I never knew anyone else thought this until I learned that my brother and his family would call their dog “Frito paws” on occasion.

        • Casey December 12, 2010, 8:15 pm

          haha! That is weird. Sometimes we call her Frito, instead of Abbey. The smell is stronger when she is all snuggled under blankets. It must be the heat! When I pull the blanket off of her, it smells like I just opened a bag of Fritos!

  • Jacalyn December 12, 2010, 2:17 pm

    I am thankful that I am able to get up every morning and go for a run. We tend to take our mobility for granted. How many people are sick or injured and unable to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

  • Whitney December 12, 2010, 2:19 pm

    The first snow of the season in Atlanta!

  • jen December 12, 2010, 2:26 pm

    You are so creative!!!! I love all of the creations you come up with 🙂


  • Grace December 12, 2010, 3:11 pm

    I love that! My dog does that too – he snuggles in the crook of my arm and sleeps between me and my husband. It’s like having a warm water bottle by your side.

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence December 12, 2010, 3:16 pm

    So cute she cuddles up with you!

  • Amanda December 12, 2010, 3:22 pm

    Today I am thankful for my dad driving me to the airport despite snowy roads and a near-empty flight to West Palm Beach (row to myself!) to enjoy a sunny, warm fun-filled visit with a friend and forget about the land of the cold for a few days.

  • Michelle December 12, 2010, 3:40 pm

    I am especially thankful for my husband for believing in me when I was anxious about my long run this morning. His encouragement helped me get through my distance PR–9 miles!

  • Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul December 12, 2010, 3:49 pm

    I “discovered” eating rice as a breakfast food from a friend who lived in Costa Rica. She would mix brown rice and coconut milk and add in fun other treats. Delicious and not boring!

  • Sarah for Real December 12, 2010, 3:51 pm

    Oh my gosh that’s so sweet! I love snuggly puppies. My Jack Russell sleeps under the covers behind my knees.

  • Lauren December 12, 2010, 4:03 pm

    That is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard 🙂 Wish I had a pup to snuggle!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 12, 2010, 4:22 pm

    I am thankful for stonrg legs that got me through yesterday’s half ironman! They may be a little sore today but it is just a reminder of how well they held me up yesterday! 🙂

    • Katie December 12, 2010, 5:59 pm

      Congrats on the half Ironman!!!

      • Caitlin December 12, 2010, 7:39 pm

        Yes! EPIC.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 12, 2010, 4:24 pm

    I have NEVER heard of a dog who smells like cinnamon buns – my parent’s dog smells like… dog.

    I am thankful for the Husband fixing our washer yesterday so I could FINALLY do laundry!

  • Cyndi @ Weightless Life December 12, 2010, 5:10 pm

    I wish my dog smelled like a cinnamon bun! I’m thankful for a husband who is willing to cheer me on at my race this morning even though it was cold and pouring rain.

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks December 12, 2010, 5:41 pm

    Aw! That’s so cute!

    Unfortunately, my cat comes and sits on top of my head, pushes me off of the pillow and then sits there poking me softly in the eyeball until I wake up and give her attention…not so adorable! 😛

  • Katie December 12, 2010, 5:58 pm

    Today I am thankful for my boyfriend calling me from Afghanistan and how much we get to talk, exciting things in our future we talked about, the sunshine in Denver, and my mom’s support.

    Thanks for prompting this reflection. 🙂

  • Amber December 12, 2010, 5:59 pm

    That is adorbs. 🙂 Puppy love does feel real. My fiance and I have always been dog lovers, so I can relate. 😉

    I’m thankful that I’m conscious of my spending. I had a meeting with a potential wedding florist today and her prices were ridiculous. We ended the meeting after I found out what her prices were. No harm done, but I am so happy I asked up front what she charges! I can’t believe what people are willing to spend of flowers that last ONE day!

    • Caitlin December 12, 2010, 7:40 pm

      When I got flowers for my wedding, I said, “This is the colors I want and these are the colors I need, how can you make it work in January?” In-season = way cheaper!

      • Amber December 12, 2010, 9:35 pm

        Good call! I may have to just tell them the basics just like that and have them make it work! 🙂

  • Laurie December 12, 2010, 6:00 pm

    Oh that is soooooooooo sweet! My doxie does something like that too, except he gets real close on the side of me laying on his back! I love seeing Maggie (and James), keep the puppy pictures coming! Have a great day!

  • Ali December 12, 2010, 6:01 pm

    Sometimes dogs can just be the sweetest. That sounds like the perfect way to wake up in the morning. Last night, my puppy kind of snuggled up next to me which was such a nice way to wake up. 🙂 Loveee puppy love!

  • Shelley December 12, 2010, 9:48 pm

    Aww Maggie is just precious! My cat Bert does that sometimes too but not every night unfortunately.
    I’m thankful that I can live my life freely every day (I watched Boy In The Striped Pyjamas last night and it really struck a chord).

  • debi December 12, 2010, 9:52 pm

    that is exactly where my french bulldog, gucci, sleeps with me each night! she smells like coconut. 🙂 (from her shampoo i purchase at the vet)

  • Gigi December 12, 2010, 11:11 pm

    Today I am thankful for my son and his bright smile which brought up a little sunshine in this dreadful rainy day; i also thankful for my family and my warm house.

  • Camels & Chocolate December 12, 2010, 11:45 pm

    I went to college in Knoxville, and the Tomato Head continues to be one of my favorite restaurants ever! My husband and I went there three times in one week while visiting my sister there this summer!

  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good December 12, 2010, 11:46 pm

    I am thankful that my husband got up early to snowblow the driveway, so I could get out for choir practice early this morning! I am also thankful for the snowplow drivers!

    Thank you for the idea to use brown rice as a breakfast food. I never thought of doing that, but I have some leftover brown rice that should make a yummy concoction in the morning.

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous December 13, 2010, 2:37 pm

    Maggie cracks me UP! I’m feeling thankful for the fact that my sister cleaned the entire apartment yesterday and didn’t even give me grief for not pitching in!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life December 17, 2010, 3:30 pm

    Maggie is such a sweetheart!

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