NUTRIENT-DENSE NOURISHMENT FOR THE MIND & BODY
I believe that food is meant to nourish our bodies and that what we put in our bodies is key to our overall mental and physical health. So often we eat out of convenience and impulse, though we forget that we have been given one body and one life. What happens when we choose highly processed foods over time? Well, a lot of really messy things start happening with our GI tract, mood, and health. There are many reasons why this happens, though let’s focus on nutrients for now.
Think: Highly processed = Energy-Dense
Whole foods/Homemade Foods = Nutrient-Dense and Energy-Dense
Eating foods that are energy-dense and not nutrient-dense over time leads to obesity, chronic disease, and poor gut health. We know that gut health is closely linked to mood. If we choose to eat foods that are nutrient-dense and energy-dense, we can improve our mood and our physical health. Who doesn’t love good home cooking anyway?
Mindful Meal Prep = Anxiety Reduction
We have a ton of time on our hands to do a lot of things that create more depression and anxiety like perpetually scrolling through social media and measuring our lives against the lives of the masses. We are never attractive enough, smart enough, successful enough or just plain old good enough. We can switch on Netflix and binge watch our favorite shows while we binge eat foods delivered to us by Uber, Grub Hub, etc. (And if you have an insomnia cookies nearby– well, that’s another post entirely :)). Maybe those aren’t your things– maybe you like to play video games. (They made that an addiction now, you know?) I’ve been there…my 10 year old son and I have definitely gotten lost in finding the best recipe to protect us from the cold in Breath of the Wild (you know who you are Zelda fans!). The reality for all of us is that we spend a lot of time doing things that are easy and convenient and impulsive which leads to a lot of time stuck in our heads and in our depression and anxiety.
I challenge you to keep doing exactly what you are doing in your life– AND to take a break from all that worry to make some granola. Granola is an awesome snack. It’s cheap, easy to make, and nutrient-dense when you make it at home. The smell of granola cooking your oven will be enough to have you baking it again and again. Sometimes we need a break from the screens and the drama to reset our minds. Make some of LJ’s Grr-nola this weekend. It goes great with a little IG, some Breaking Bad, Legends of Zelda, & of course, we can’t forget Fortnite (Chapter 2). – Rose
Make Your Own Schnacks-Granola
Nourish your body and your mind by focusing on yourself and the present moment during the prep. Pay close attention to the aroma that fills your home while baking. Breathe in deeply and take time to slow things down. Nourish your body by enjoying this homemade, nutrient-dense granola. You're kind of a big deal RN. TBH. 🤷♀️
- 8 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola)
- 3 cups sliced almonds (or any nuts/seeds)
- 2 teaspoons fine-grain Himalayan pink sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1.5 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup agave, honey, or maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cup dried fruit (we use raisins, though dried cherries and blueberries are great too)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. (You can also use a buttered pan or tinfoil instead of parchment paper)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds (any nuts/seeds), salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and dried fruit. Stir to blend.
- Melt the coconut oil in a small sauce pan on the stove-top with medium-high heat.
- Pour in the oil, maple syrup and/or honey and vanilla. Mix well, until every oat and nut is lightly coated. Pour the granola onto your prepared pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer.
- Bake until golden, about 20 to 24 minutes, stirring halfway. The GRR-nola will further crisp up as it cools so be sure not to overcook.
- Let your GRR-nola cool, then serve!
MAKE IT Gluten AND NUT free: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats. Use seeds, like pepitas or sunflower seeds, instead of nuts.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN: Not a fan of raisins or almonds? Use cashews and mangoes. Grr-nola can be anything you want it to be. Add chocolate and peanut butter chips, sprinkles, or skip the toppings and keep it simple-- this is your snack!
| Amount Per Serving 1/2 Cup|
| Calories|| 234|
| % Daily Value*|
| Total Fat 11.7g|| 18%|
| Saturated Fat 6.3g|| 31.5%|
| Trans Fat 0g|
| Cholesterol 0g|| 0|
| Sodium 141.9g|| 5.9%|
| Total Carbohydrate 27.6g|| 9.2%|
| Dietary Fiber 3.4g|| 13.6%|
| Sugars 11g|
| Protein 3.5g|
| Vitamin A 0%|| Vitamin C 0%|
| Calcium 3%|| Iron 5%|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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