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Paleo Granola: Grain Free Goodness

Paleo Granola Recipe

Why Paleo? Isn’t that some kind of fad diet?

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis at the age of 9. The condition I have is an autoimmune condition where my body essentially attacks my thyroid. Moderate exercise, a low FODMAP diet, and the elimination of processed foods all contribute positively to the management of this disease. Although I love traditional homemade granola, I also love feeling good in my body and calm in my mind. This means choosing a Paleo or grain free lifestyle.

Diet trends come and go just like fidget spinners and slap bracelets. Paleo is considered by many to be one of those trends. “I think I’ll keep my carbs” or “I love bread way too much” are often phrases associated with all things Paleo to nonbelievers. I love cheese, bread, cakes, and pies just as much as the next person, but my body is in disagreement. Paleo may be a trend for some, but it is essential for my health. If you have Hashimoto’s or another autoimmune diagnosis, or just want to get away from processed foods, I recommend the Paleo lifestyle.

Paleo Granola Tips & Tricks: Perfectly Imperfect

I generally use the eyeball it method to create recipes and this recipe is no different. The amounts listed below are approximate. It is perfectly okay for things not to be perfect so take this recipe as practice with imperfection.

I use coconut oil for my granola recipes because I love the taste and the health benefits of coconut oil. Prior to putting the granola mixture into the pan to bake, melt the coconut oil in a sauce pan. Melt enough oil to evenly coat the amount of granola you are making. If the granola looks too dry going into the oven, melt more oil. Eyeball it. The consistency of your granola will be your preference and we like ours crunchy, but not stuck together. Play around with the ingredients and the amounts to get the consistency and taste that is right for you and your family.

Homemade Granola

LJ’s GRR-nola

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