I’ll freely admit that I have not been doing a very good job of eating clean for quite a few months now. I can blame that on stress, busyness, major surgery, and a host of other things, but the truth is that those are merely excuses. All those excuses certainly play a role in my life, but they are simply things that happen in the course of life. They do not define me, and they certainly should not have any power over me. I have reached the point where I am thoroughly disgusted with my eating habits and ready to jump back on the clean eating wagon. I know it won’t be easy. This is the crazy, busy part of our year, so my organization and determination are often about as strong as paper-mache in the rain.
Since I am about to re-boot this lifestyle change, here are the basics of clean eating:
What to do:
- Eat more. Aim for six small meals a day.
- Eat breakfast every day.
- Eat lean protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal.
- Eat two or three servings of healthy fats every day.
- Drink two to three litres of water each day.
- Eat fresh fruit and vegetables for fibre, vitamins, nutrients and enzymes.
- Proper portion sizes
What to avoid:
- All over-processed foods, especially white flour and sugar
- Chemically charged foods
- Foods containing preservatives
- Artificial sugars
- Artificial foods
- Saturated and trans fats
- Sugar-loaded beverages
- Calorie-dense, low nutrition foods
- Super-sizing your meals
I have always liked granola, so I had been looking forward to trying one of the several clean granola recipes within the pages of my Clean Eating cookbooks. I settled on this particular recipe, because it seemed the simplest and I had the necessary ingredients. As the granola was baking in the oven, wonderfully delicious smells wafted through the house. I could not wait to try it, and I was not disappointed. It is delicious by itself, with some plain low-fat yogurt, or with some skim milk. The recipe makes 12 half cup servings, but I foresee that I will need to either double the recipe or make more frequently.
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup roughly chopped unsalted almonds
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped unsalted cashews
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seed kernels
- 2 tbsp flaxseed
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 heaping tbsp natural brown sugar
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
- 1 cup of your favourite unsweetened dried fruit, such as raisins, currants, cranberries, cherries or blueberries (I used cranberries and blueberries)
- Preheat oven to 250F. In a large bowl, mix together oats, nuts and seeds, coconut and brown sugar.
- In a small bowl, combine honey, coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Combine the two mixtures and spread out onto a large baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 75 to 90 minutes, stirring two or three times so granola browns evenly. Remove from the oven and mix in dried fruit. Let cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.
Per 1/2 cup serving: 324 calories; 111 calories from fat; 10g protein; 45g carbs; 13g total fat; 7g fibre