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Posts Tagged ‘Granola’

Despite the fact that I have had such crazy sleep this week, I still managed to wake up this morning at 7am! I went to bed around 11:30pm last night, so I got my required hours worth, but you can imagine my shock when my body naturally woke up at such an early hour. I have never been the typical college student who sleeps until noon anyways and find that no matter what time I go to bed I am always up before 9am. I’m such a morning person though, so no complaints! I love the peace and quiet before a crazy day.

Going back to sleep was not an option at this point so I decided to get a jump on my day. It STILL hasn’t hit me, am I really done? My laundry basket has clothes beyond the brim and I have piles of papers and books to sort through, so I immediately made a to-do list for my day. The weather was going to be in the 50’s and raining so I figured that it was a perfect day to attempt my cleaning/reading lists.

Before yet another home-bound day I went to a Vinyasa Yoga Class. I haven’t been to a class in weeks, and my body felt so sore when I woke up from sitting hunched over my computer multiple days in a row. The class started at 10, so I decided to have a refreshing Lemon Zest Luna Bar and Jonagold Apple while catching up on emails.

This bar had me feeling rejuvenated. I love the fresh lemon flavor in the morning because I can’t always stomach chocolate first thing.
The class was amazing but made me realize how stiff I have become. Hopefully I can get back into yoga this summer. On the topic of summer…. I HAVE A JOB! The HR representative called me when I was on my way to yoga, and I sat down to fill out paperwork after class. Don’t worry I thoroughly apologized being a com for being a complete sweaty mess. I applied for this position in late December and have had two interviews, so the anticipation was killing me. I shed a few tears when I found out I finally was granted the position. I don’t want to go into details quite yet, but essentially it is a paid summer marketing position in the food industry!

When I got back from yoga/paper signing I made exactly what I was craving: A Green Monster with Granola Bowl.


Into my blender went: 5 ice cubes, 1 large frozen banana, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood, 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/4 cup water, cinnamon and spinach.

I topped it with a bit of Nature’s Path Vanilla Almond and Flax Granola. Adding the extra ice cubes today made it more like an ice cream, it was so thick! I forgot to add peanut butter to the mix today, and found that I really prefer the flavor and feel more full when I add it.

Shortly after I made myself a snack plate of strawberries, MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread and 2 carrots while browsing for apartments! I’M LOOKING FOR APARTMENTS!?! I never thought the day would come when I would be searching for a place of my own. The only difficult part is that I’m not sure how long I will be here for, and I have to move in one week. YIKES!

I had another Jonagold later on…I have a thing for apples :).

I’m off to finish up some laundry and then dinner with my roommate who I haven’t seen for an entire week! I can not believe this fact, but we have had such crazy and opposite schedules. It will be good to finally catch up and relax.

Really,

Nora

What are your plans for the Summer?

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Happy Earth Day!

I wanted to start my day with a piece of earth aka a Green Monster and Granola. Into my blender went: 1 frozen banana, 2/3 scoop chocolate whey protein, 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood, 1 handful of spinach (what was left in my bag), 2 tsp Hershey’s Unsweetened Cacao powder, 1/3 cup pumpkin, cinnamon, 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 cup water and 3 ice cubes. I’m not sure if it is the pumpkin or the cinnamon that makes this combination so delicious, but it is my favorite green monster concauction I have tried. The pumpkin makes it amazingly creamy and flavorful.

I recently ran out of my new favorite Galaxy Vanilla Almond granola, so I had to pick up another at the grocery store. My grocery store does not carry Galaxy (I bought it at a natural foods store) and I wasn’t in the mood to buy Bear Naked Vanilla Almond, so I decided to give the Nature’s Path version a try. I tried a bite straight from the box before topping my bowl and it had such a familiar taste that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. After brief deliberation, I decided that it tasted like a Rice Krispie Treat! It was good, but I think I prefer it as a snack because it is so light and airy. Galaxy granola still owns my heart for granola toppings because it has such amazing flavor and crunch up until the last bite!

This was such a refreshing and hearty breakfast. I grabbed an apple before running out the door to sooth my need for “crunch” and “juice”. I think I might be slightly dehydrated because I woke up with a bit of a headache. I’ll make it a point to have some more water today, I don’t think I drink enough.

Tangent– I am a granola girl. I have tried almost every granola on the shelves at my grocery store, and I buy homemade versions at the farmer’s market when I see something new. I’m always trying new varieties, and I have not found a better flavor and crunch than Galaxy.

Also, I forgot to add to my late night post the highlight of my day: $4.95 sale on Mangia Crunchy Almond Butter! This stuff is usually almost $10 and I’ve never tried it! It does look delicious and has a nice layer of oil and nut pieces floating on the top of the jar! My other jar is almost finished, and I can’t wait to try this!

Earth Friendly,

Nora

Are you doing anything special for earth day?

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Apparently I have an over packing problem.  I struggle to close sandwiches, wraps and omelets in the same way that I struggle with my suit case every time I travel.

This morning I woke up and decided it was an egg day. The sky was dark and a misty rain was present in the cold air. I thought about oatmeal and pancakes but knew I needed something a bit more savory. My solution: egg-white omelet with spinach, broccoli, mushroom, tomato, vegetarian sausage (I crumbled up a Yves and heated it with my veggies) and feta cheese, a side of whole wheat toast with raspberry jam, coffee and orange juice. I do not make omelets for breakfast often (they are more of a dinner dish for me) because I have an extreme “sweet breakfast” complex, so when I do I tend to go a little overboard. I somehow managed to get it on my plate in a presentable manner, and topped it with Sriracha hot sauce and cracked black pepper. It was the perfect breakfast for this cold morning, and filled me well.

After breakfast I went to a Vinyasa yoga class.  Let me tell you there is nothing better than doing relaxing yoga in a warm room when it is miserable outside. It brings out a whole new uplifting mood! When the class was finished the clouds parted, the sun was shining and the sky was a brilliant shade of blue. Although the temperature was still in the upper 40’s it was an amazingly beautiful day! After class I stopped by the grocery store to visit my co-workers and pick up some produce. I think that my 10am yoga class followed by grocery shopping is becoming my Sunday routine. I picked up some goodies for dinner and headed home for lunch.

I was parched after yoga and shopping so I wanted something refreshing for lunch aka a green monster, granola and raw almonds bowl, apple, carrot, green grapes and Medjool dates with almond butter. I mixed up my green monster a bit, my combination was: 1 large frozen banana, 3 large fresh strawberries, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, 2 big handfuls of spinach, 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk, cinnamon, cacao and vanilla extract. The strawberries gave it a darker color so it looked like sludge. Since it wasn’t an exciting lunch I neglected pictures but it looked something like this (didn’t I have the same thing last Sunday haha…yep!) with about a cup of big green grapes and a large carrot.Miss Congeniality is on TV and I have a bunch of work to do so it is going to be a stay-in day. I have something nice planned for an early dinner before going to a 7pm meeting.  I love having relaxing Sundays. When I was younger my family would attend church together, have a great brunch, do yard/house/school work all day and gather for a thoughtful and comforting dinner. It was the perfect way to end a hectic week, and refresh ourselves for the week to come. I now see why Sunday is meant to  be a day of rest.

Peace and Love,

Nora

Do you usually do something special on Sunday?

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It’s official. I am in a breakfast rut. My oat comeback yesterday must have been a fake out because this morning I was craving a green monster and granola. I wasn’t planning on having ANOTHER smoothie this morning, but when cravings call I answer. This is possibly the most uninteresting breakfast to photograph, and I realize how repulsive the green looks but I promise you it really hits the spot. I find that my breakfast cravings tend to reflect the way I am feeling. I had a late night with friends yesterday, which left me dragging when I woke up this morning. Green smoothies are the perfect remedy when I am feeling lethargic upon waking. They are light, yet pack tons of essential nutrition and have an “energizing” effect. In to my blender: 1 large frozen banana, 1/4 cup frozen raspberries, 3 ice cubes, 1 scoop Chocolate Whey Protein, 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood, 1 cup vanilla soy milk, ~2-3 cups of spinach. I topped my bowl with some Galaxy Granola and raw almonds. I’m glad I have a few deep soup bowls because this smoothie yields over 3 cups!

To add to my lameness, I had another Jonagold and coffee before heading to class. I’m starting to feel like a lame food blogger. I’m in need of some creativity!

Dinner last night was a quick throw together with my roommate. I love cooking, but sometimes it is nice to dig into the depths of your fridge and make a 3 minute plate of food. I ended up having a “Semi-Greek Salad” which consisted of HUGE plate of spinach (I was having a major spinach craving after a green free day haha!) topped with a toasted Boca burger, lots of Cedar’s Garlic Lovers Hummus, pita chips, cucumber, red bell pepper, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and sprouts. After dinner I broke into….EASTER CANDY!! Remember my second bunny?

Last seen.

Well, it no longer has a back pack to carry all of its yummy carrots in. I also made a dent in my peanut M&Ms. What remains:

Hopefully my eats will progressively become more interesting through out the day! Tonight I am going to an “etiquette” dinner with my roommate. Our friends who cooked us dinner a few days ago are in a fraternity, and one of their projects is to host a nice dinner and learn table manners! Somewhat random but naturally, I love this concept. I’m not positive who my “date” will be, but it will be interesting to be educated the traditional ways of fine dining. When it comes to etiquette, I think that stopping to take photos is probably a no-no (whoops!) but I’ll see what I can do with my sneaky iphone photo taking skills!

Happy Friday,

Nora

What do you do when you are in a food rut? Do you go with it or try new and creative things?

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When I have absolutely NO idea what to have for breakfast and need something quick, nutritious and filling, I turn to Greek yogurt, granola and fruit. I am hitting all of my nutritional bases with whole grains, protein and a serving of fruit. I try to pick a granola that is organic (Be careful when you buy granola, many of them have TONS of sugar and are highly processed.) and that has a bit of fat for staying power. I like using a lower fat granola for topping purposes, but when granola is the main component of my breakfast paired with a low-fat yogurt I like a heavier granola for satiety.

This morning I was NOT in the mood to make oatmeal (weird I know…I always am) and I wanted something cold, so toast was not an option. I received a package of Chobani Champions to sample yesterday, and it felt like the perfect opportunity to try another flavor. I am trying to widdle down my cereal/granola collection and I thought that my Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola would be the perfect addition to the Honeynana yogurt. I was extremely excited to try this flavor because I LOVED the Chobani non-fat Honey Greek Yogurt I tried a while back, and love the combination of honey, banana and nuts. I used 1/4 cup granola (almost didn’t fit in the cup!) and had a small Gala apple on the side to round my breakfast out.

I really like the flavor of this yogurt. I think the Champion line is a great product for people who have never tried Greek yogurt or for children. Both the chocolate and honeynana had a thinner consistency than other Chobani products, less protein and big flavor. I love Greek yogurt because of the tangy flavor and rich texture, but I have found that for many people it is an acquired taste. The Champion product is great because it is a bit more mild but still packs more protein than regular low-fat yogurt, has probiotic cultures and excellent nutrition! I love the diversity of Chobani’s products; there is something for everyone to enjoy!

I have one hour-long class this morning then it’s off to the gym for my upper body lifting committment! I’m sticking to this in hopes to gain some upper body strength by summer. I haven’t been sore after the past two sessions, so I think I am going to switch up my routine. I think it is important to work different muscles and “build” weights if you are looking to gain muscle, not simply tone-up. And of course I packed one of these:Chocolate Whey Protein Shake: 1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1 scoop Organic Chocolate Whey. Is it weird that I actually like these? I just pack it up with some cold packs, shake and drink…tastes JUST like a chocolate milk shake! Lunch time is usually right after the gym, so I typically don’t have a “post gym” snack, however; since I am trying to build back muscle, I read that protein shakes are the best recovery because your body absorbs the nutrients faster than through a food source. I try to have this as soon as I am finished, and then head home for lunch about an hour later. I haven’t had this routine long enough to promote any results, but I am hoping it helps!

Happy Friday!

Nora

What are essential breakfast elements you have even when you are in a hurry?

How do you feel about protein shakes? Any experience/advice for strength exercises?

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How does it go from being 20 degrees to 60 degrees in a week? I don’t even need an answer to this question, I am LOVING this weather! After my Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola experience yesterday morning, I needed more. I decided to update my favorite summer breakfast: 1 cup yogurt, mixed berries, bananas and granola, to a new mix: 1/2 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/2 cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1/2 TBS Chia seeds (let sit and combine ~10 min) handful of blueberries, 1 banana, cinnamon and 1/4 Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola.

I loved the combination of soymilk, yogurt and chia seeds. It had the consistency of a smoothie; not as thick as Greek yogurt, but the toppings didn’t sink like they would in a thin milk. The chia seeds made a “jelly” like texture. I have to give another shout out to the people at Fruit Not Fat, for this granola. I love that it holds it’s crunch in every bite and has clusters, but does not clump. The flavor is outstanding, and I really think cooking it in apple sauce instead of oil makes it SO much better tasting and healthier! GOOD WORK!!

Warm Weather Eats,

Nora

Do your “favorite” meals change with the weather? Are there certain foods you only eat during the summer/winter?

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! I felt that it was necessary to start my day off with something green in honor of today. A Green Monster in a Green Bowl and topped with Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola (aka my new love…but I’ll get to that in a moment.). In to the blender went: 3 ice cubes, 1 frozen banana, 4 frozen strawberries, 1 handful of spinach, 1/2 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, 1 TBS chia seeds and 1 Scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood.

Okay now… HOW HAVE I NEVER TRIED GALAXY GRANOLA?!?!?!?!?! I have seen it in a few blogs, and had to pick it up when I saw it at the natural food store. I am a granola girl through and through. I top everything with it, eat it straight and it is my staple for breakfast all summer long. My favorite in the summer is another variety of vanilla almond that I use to top yogurt and sweet summer berries, and I have to say the Galaxy version absolutely amazed me. It is made with applesauce instead of oil, and I only think that it inhances its flavor! I had to have a handful out of the bag after eating this, just for good measure! It is crunchy, naturally sweet and has hearty pieces of almonds in it. I love when granola holds it’s structure and the flakes/clusters are solid. Galaxy Granola is out of this world…pun intended. I might have to become a Fruit Not Fat (company name) granola convert.

Luck of the Irish to you,

Nora

On the topic of granola: What are your favorite brands? If you make it yourself, what are your favorite flavors to use/how do you prepare it?

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