Quick Cherry Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

May 17, 2017

Quick Cherry Quinoa Breakfast Bowls by Faring Well

Okay, it’s story time. I grew up torturing my gut. Fast food, diet sodas, low carb protein bars, pots of coffee, and extreme binges on peanut M&Ms and low-fat ice cream. In junior high I developed an eating disorder where I starved myself and pounded my body at the gym for two hours a day, nearly seven days a week, and continued this behavior for eight years. When I met Scott at the age of twenty I was a wreck inside, and through his constant display of love and assurance that I was stunning no matter what – I began to loosen the reins on my disorder and treat my body with care. This began with switching to what I viewed as an “organic lifestyle”. Aka: one without the processed junk. It was 2010.

I made a few health swaps that felt like huge victories to me at the time. I switched to Mojo granola bars instead of the chemical-heavy Zone diet bars, and bought bags of trail mix from Trader Joes to have at night instead of a “small” bowl of peanut M&Ms. I started grilling my own organic chicken instead of buying the processed/packaged junk, and focused on eating whole fruits and veggies with hummus during the day for my snacks. Water replaced diet soda, and all natural peanut butter replaced my beloved Jiff. I still went out with Scott for beer and a basket of battered chicken strips once a week after our classes, and enjoyed a pb&j sandwich every now and then. These were my initial baby steps, and my strides have gotten longer over the past seven years, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without that first decision to set down the diet soda and pick up the plastic bottle of water. To jump to where I am now would have meant an immediate (and overwhelming) failure.

Reading Phoebe’s book, “The Wellness Project“, felt like reading through a comparable train wreck health story to my own. She takes you through the real mindset of someone trying to take back their health, and still have a life. Its about those baby steps, the making of one bad habit a little better – and learning to keep a few vices in your back pocket to pull out every now and again for some fun. Phoebe is hilarious, and delivers not just impactful stories, but actual data and results she receives along the way. After battling a slew of health issues over the years, she steps back and thinks for herself (with the help of a few holistic professionals’ opinions) about what she could do to try to get her health back on track. She decides to dedicate a year to documenting the methods she tries to help balance her hormones, treat her thyroid, heal her back, and so much more. I can’t rave enough about how inspiring this book has been to me recently. I’m currently on my second time reading it within just a few short weeks, and cannot remember the last time I finished a book just to turn right back to page one for another read. This book is real, it’s honest, and it’s helpful no matter where you are at in your health journey.

Seven years into my lifestyle overhaul and I am still a wreck. I’ve had periods of great health followed by sickness and unbalance. I’m working on documenting it all to publish as a separate page here on the blog labeled as my “health story”,  to be updated as life goes on. Through the ups and the downs. The wins and and losses. Because through it all, we learn and we grow – and it helps to know someone else has been there too. I’ve found this in Phoebe’s book, and I am so grateful.

Phoebe is doing something really neat with the launch of her book this week, and that is the “4 Weeks To Wellness Challenge“! The concept is to pick your own micro-adventures for a month of self improvement, much like Phoebe did for an entire year (which is documented in her book). You can do one each week, for four weeks, or tackle all four for the entire month! Whatever is doable for you and will help you take the next step to a deeper level of wellness. I couldn’t be more excited to dedicate a month to this, and am going to share my four challenges I’m setting for myself with you here below. You can read all about Phoebe’s “menu” of ideas in this document here. There are so many to choose from – but make yours personal, and make them doable. For me, they will be pasted on a sheet of paper that is taped to the top of my planner – so I can’t begin the day without reading through them first! Here they are:

#1 No phone until after I work out in the morning.

#2 After finishing breakfast, walk once around the block to feel fresh air and get my blood flowing.

#3 No evening television Monday through Friday, instead: read, relax, do an act of self care.

#4 Have an afternoon tea ritual, or make ginger juice shots. Slow down and sip.

As you can tell, I have a desire to be more present throughout the day and connect with myself. I’m hoping that by making this a finite challenge I will actually commit to enduring the days when I just don’t “feel like” sticking to this list. I can’t wait to see how it effects my stress and mood, and really overall awareness of life at the end of these next four weeks. Want to do the challenge with me? Maybe an extra one you can throw in there is to order and read Phoebe’s book ;). If you feel comfy, I’d love to read in the comments below which self-improvement-adventures you are signing yourself up to do. We can check in with one another each week for the next month and I’ll be sure to let you know how things are going here on my end.

Thank you for sticking through my novel of a post! Just to finally reach the point where I discuss the recipe that most likely brought us all here. At the end of each chapter in Phoebe’s book she gives a few recipes that help support whichever area of health she was tackling in the previous pages. One that stood out to me was her dad’s cherry almond overnight oats. I’ve been giving up oats, and cannot have almonds, so naturally I made my own cold quinoa porridge with fresh cherries that is assembled just as quickly. I am pretty keen on this discovery at the moment and hope you enjoy it too if you give it a whirl.

Thank you for all of your comments and messages while Scott and I were in Austin last week! We had such an amazing time, and I cannot wait to share with you our favorite spots and things to do in a future post soon. All of your tips were so stellar – xx. 

Quick Cherry Quinoa Breakfast Bowls by Faring Well


Makes 1 serving.

the bowl
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 batch of “mega milk” (recipe below)

toppings (choose any):
coconut shavings, fresh cherries/berries, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, nut butter, coconut butter, etc.

mega milk
3/4 cup plant milk
pinch of vanilla seeds
pinch of pink salt
few dashes of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 handful of pitted cherries/berries (optional)

The night before:
Blend the “mega milk” (everything except for the chia seeds) in a high speed blender until creamy. Add the chia seeds to a 16 ounce jar, pour the milk mixture on top, seal with a lid, and give a few good shakes. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning:
Give the “mega milk” jar a shake or two. Scoop the cooked quinoa into a bowl or a jar to-go, pour the “mega milk” on top, and add your additional toppings (such as: fresh cherries/berries, nut butter/coconut butter, and all the crunchy seeds). I enjoy the fruit as the sweetener, but feel free to add a drizzle of pure maple syrup or raw honey to suit your taste buds.

Enjoy right away, or pack in a lunchbox with an ice pack to take on the go if you eat breakfast elsewhere. This can have so many fun variations, so play with it as you like!

VISIT Phoebe’s site here, READ about her book here, and TAG your wellness goal photos with #4WeeksToWellnessChallenge.

Quick Cherry Quinoa Breakfast Bowls by Faring Well


  • Reply Tori May 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I just started reading her book and I love it so much already. In just the preface, she shares the most valuable thing I have learned about wellness, that it’s a journey, your own journey, and there aren’t magical answers. Thank you for the recommendation. I too have been loving quinoa in place of oats in the mornings. Can’t wait to try this version. :)

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Oh this makes my heart so happy to hear you already have and are reading her book Tori! Amen to it being a journey and the absence of magical answers. It’s so helpful to connect with others who are on this kind of journey too, for the sake of motivation and the feeling of camaraderie through it all. That is also super neat to hear you are already a morning quinoa fan too, I’m new to the game and am finding it so refreshing! <3

  • Reply Abby May 17, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    This looks delicious! Do you think it would work well with other fruit? Cherries aren’t in season here yet.

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Abby! Absolutely. I list in the recipe that you an use any berries you’d like, I’d imagine strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries to be yummy as well! I can only imagine peaches and plums (soon) being great summer swaps. xx

  • Reply Susy May 17, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    What is the yellow stuff on top of your bowl? Peanut butter? looks yummy!

    • Reply Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Susy! Yes, it is peanut butter! By my fave brand, Pic’s <3.

      • Reply Susy May 18, 2017 at 2:43 pm

        Oh! what is the brand? im curious! :-) Thanks for your reply!

        • Reply Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 4:55 pm

          The brand I mentioned above, Pic’s! <3

          • Susy May 18, 2017 at 5:02 pm

            Gosh, i must be blind. I don’t see it :-( im sorry!

          • Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 7:25 pm

            Oh my goodness no worries! It was just in my response to your first question ;) I know it is a different brand that may not be carried everywhere! But I believe you can order it online still <3 they are amazing. Hope you have a good night Susy! Xx

          • Susy May 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm

            Oh my. I thought Pic’s meant Pictures! That’s how I abbreviate it lol. (Pics) I’m a dummy! Sorry!

          • Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 8:41 pm

            Oh no you aren’t! That IS hilarious though *laughing crying face* I totally see that – haha!

  • Reply Meredith | Earth & Oven May 17, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Cherry chia oats sound absolutely bewitching. I love your topping ideas too! I can’t wait to get my hands on cherries now!

    • Reply Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Thank you Meredith! I hope you can get your paws on some soon too! I was so excited to see them at the FM last week.

  • Reply Phoebe May 17, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    This post is so beautiful. I’m moved and touched, and tremendously grateful. It’s hard to share the messy stuff, and I really appreciate you laying your own struggles out there. Plus, I’m obsessed with your #4WeeksToWellness goals!!! You’ve inspired me :) Thank you sweet friend.

    • Reply Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Oh Phoebe, you are too kind to me! I’m so grateful for you, you put yourself out there in the ultimate way in order to help others and it is just an incredible thing you have done friend. Lots of love and hugs. Ps. Totally shopping your product store on your site like a boss, you rule chica! xx

  • Reply Edie May 17, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    This post is so beautiful and honest, as always. I love your writing style, Jessie. You always speak from the heart and it is so comforting. Also, this breakfast looks delish. Take care!

    • Reply Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Edie, you are such a sweet soul! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Also so happy to hear this breakfast is appealing to you too! xx

  • Reply Karlie May 17, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    This is amazing Jessie. Her book has inspired me so much as well and I can’t wait to join you in a 4 week wellness journey! xoxo

    • Reply Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Yay Karlie! I cannot wait for you to join in too! <3

  • Reply Peggy May 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Looks really yummy Jessie!
    I’m not a fan of the overnight oats, but an excited to try this!
    Give Scott a hug for me!!

    • Reply Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      Aw thank you Peggy! Running into the next room to give Scott your hug now ;). Hoping you like the quinoa better than the oats if you give it a go! xx

  • Reply Andrea May 17, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Yum! Love the recipe and I would LOVE to do the wellness project too! Feel like it’s coming at a great time since I’m feeling low on energy and a little burnt out.

    Visiting your site is always an inspiration. ❤️

    • Reply Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Yay Andrea! Yes! Chime on in and lets all do this together <3. Thank you for the love, it means tons to this girl over here - xo.

  • Reply Thalia May 17, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Oh Jessie, I totally relate to everything. Especially the disorder part, that shit consumed my body & mind for way too long. My body still is struggling to recover with what it was put through. And nourishing it with care and whole foods, is something I’m all about now. Totally need to get this book, it sounds like absolutely everything I need for my journey. Beautiful post & photography, as usual! Xx

    • Reply Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Sweet Thalia, I am SO sorry to hear you suffered from it consuming you too. It is the absolute worst and I appreciate you aligning with me here and leaving me this note, it really means a ton. I adore you and hope you are doing well at whatever point you are at in your health journey <3. As for this book, I think you would love it too!

  • Reply Jess May 18, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    This quinoa bowl, this post, this book. I can’t even being to express how much I love all of it! I appreciate you immensely for sharing your story here on this space,. It’s so encouraging to know that others have similar struggles and we can get through this together. I’m beyond grateful for you to have introduced to me Phoebe’s book and her Wellness Challenge. I’m going out to get it tomorrow. I still need to think of my four challenges, but I’ve downloaded the document you’ve shared and now just need to brainstorm. Cheers to our health journey, my friend! xx

    • Reply Faring Well May 18, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Aw Jess! Thank you. You are such a rockstar. I’m so excited for you to get the book too, and to do this challenge <3. Super adore you and hope you are doing well sweet friend!

  • Reply lisa h May 19, 2017 at 12:05 am

    love the photos jessie! and this is such a nice idea, with quinoa. just curious why you gave up oats? I don’t think i could live without them!

    • Reply Faring Well May 19, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Thank you Lisa! And I too thought for many years that I couldn’t live without oats. But after learning more about their high phytic acid and low phytase counts (phytase is required to break down the phytic acid) – they are mineral blockers. Currently trying to heal my gut and need all the minerals I can absorb, so I had to say goodbye to oats. I’m one month into it and feeling so much better <3.

  • Reply Lisa Smith May 19, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Beautiful recipe and thoughts Jessie. You inspire me.

    • Reply Faring Well May 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm

      Goodness, thank you mama! Love you <3.

  • Reply Tuulia Talvio May 22, 2017 at 2:04 am

    Reading this post brings up so many emotions, as my story is very similar to yours. I got ill in high school and struggled for a few years, until I realized I needed help. I think I’m near having the courage to talk about it, so reading your words are very encouraging. Thank you Jessie for being such a sweet soul. And for making breakfast look this good! <3

    • Reply Faring Well May 22, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Oh Tuulia, thank you. I am giving you a big virtual hug right now for leaving me this note. I am so sorry to hear you suffered as well, but am so happy to hear you have come through it so beautifully – your thriving + vibrant personality shines through in all of the work that you do! I know your story will inspire and touch so many if, and when, you choose to share. All in the right time <3.

  • Reply Abby May 24, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Hi Jessie! Thanks for the lovely post, and for sharing a bit of your health journey as well – I hope you have way more good times than bad <3 <3 <3 You are so inspiring.

    • Reply Faring Well May 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      You are so kind, Abby <3. I appreciate you!

  • Reply Shannon May 29, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Thank you for sharing such an honest and beautiful post. The four challenges you mentioned are also so inspiring! No phone until after a morning workout is such a great idea. I plan to try that this week! Plus, I’m looking forward to trying this yummy recipe!

    • Reply Faring Well May 29, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      Aw yay! Thank you Shannon. You are so sweet and I’m super glad you found that goal inspiring! Happy phone-free mornings to you too now girl. xx

  • Reply Lauren May 29, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Jessie! Your food is always so yummy, and your photos are always so beautiful! I’m sure you get asked all of the time – what camera / lens do you use?

    Thanks for the constant inspiration!

    • Reply Faring Well May 30, 2017 at 8:59 am

      You’re so kind Lauren, thank you for the compliment! I use a Canon Mark IV with a 50mmL lens at the moment :).

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