Keep it clean, people!

As of Sunday, my best friend has officially been defending your freedom for two weeks.  My (and therefore “our”) diet has continued to evolve over the last few years and I thought that, while I’m only cooking for one, I would try to step things up a notch in healthy-ville.  So, for the last few weeks I have made a significant effort to eat much less processed food (except for the comfort food like year-old Cadbury eggs and such that I used to fill the hole in my heart).  In the last two weeks, I’ve lost three pounds.  I was a bit surprised because I have actually been consuming more calories than prior to my clean(er) eating efforts.  My training has picked up, too, so it’s difficult to say whether or not this was a direct effect of the diet change.  My sleeping has improved, though, and I have cut down to only one cup of coffee on most days without feeling huge slumps in energy… and that’s saying a lot because I’ve had some long and active days in the last few weeks.  I’ll keep you posted on my adventures in clean(er) eating but at the very least, I feel better about what I’m eating.

I’ve also found this super delicious and clean recipe for homemade granola – way better than store bought.  I don’t think I can ever go back to store bought granola!  This recipe can be made Paleo and Gluten free and it is naturally Vegan, in case those things are important to you.  Here goes!

Super Yummy and High Calorie but Clean Granola

Base Ingredients:

1 cup oats

1 cup flax seed meal

1 cup almond meal

2 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 cup melted coconut oil

Add-ins:

Whatever you like!  I use nuts (cashews, almond pieces, walnuts) but you can also use dried fruits.  Just be careful with dried fruit because many of them have added sugars and sulfates when they are store bought.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 270 degrees

Combine coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl from which you can easily pour.

Gradually stir in the oats, flax seed meal and almond meal into a large bowl, pouring and stirring in a little bit of the wet ingredients at a time.  Once all of these ingredients are combined and well mixed in the large bowl, add in your add-ins!

Scoop the mixture onto a baking sheet or baking pan and smoosh so that it is relatively flat.  Place in the oven for 20 minutes.  After that time, remove from the oven and stir granola, then smoosh back down and return to the oven.  Bake for another 10 to 20 minutes before stirring and smooshing again.  I usually end up baking the granola for about 50 minutes, give or take.  Just be sure to monitor so that it doesn’t burn.  You’ll know it’s ready when it has begun to clump and dry out.

To make this gluten free, you can either use gluten-free oats or replace the oats with an equivalent amount of flax seed and/or almond meal.

To make Paleo (according to the original recipe that inspired this) leave out the oats and replace with flax seed and/or almond meal.  I *think* that makes it paleo but I’m not an expert.

Image

Here is a close up of my granola (made without the oats) on top of some blended fruit with chia seeds and blueberries on top. 🙂  This is one of my favorite ways to eat it but I frequently just eat it by itself!

Warning:  This recipe is both delicious AND really high calorie.  Eat with care!

Enjoy the recipe! I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Next time, I will talk more about my experience with Crossfit at Crossfit Unparalleled!  I know that Crossfit is often a controversial topic so I’m going to share how I think it will help me become a better triathlete and how I will be trying to avoid the potential pitfalls of Crossfit that make so many people cringe when I say that I am using this as a means of strength training.  haha 🙂

Happy Monday and Happy training!

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