I think one of the most frequent store bought products for people is granola. It is such a filling and quick breakfast or snack and with so many choices, some of them healthy, why not pick it up at your local health food store?
Even the most conscious of brands like Udi's use an ingredient that I choose not to eat. The usual suspects are refined sugar and canola oil. I want neither of these ingredients in my life on a regular basis. And if I am choosing to have refined sugar, it has to be worth it and for me that would be a chocolate souffle or a lemon cake. Something so decadent that when I am eating it, my whole body knows what a treat it is. Granola is not on the list.
And neither are most packaged foods. I rarely buy anything in a package but if you start to read labels on even the foods you think are "healthy" for you, you will have a food awakening. Most packaged foods use sugar, an omega 6 oil like canola, which by the way is the worst possible oil to use in my opinion, (more on that in a future post) or an unknown ingredient like 'natural flavoring'. And if by some slim chance none of these are in your healthy packaged food, check the sodium content. I bet it is through the roof!
At this point some of you are thinking, "Is she crazy? I do not have the time to scratch cook everything!?!" I know it feels this way sometimes. And the easiest thing to do is go to Whole Foods and grab a dinner from something in a box that seems healthy. But you can manage your time to allow for good food. Check out this and this post to help keep you organized and support you to make the best food choices possible for you.
Do not be fooled; the choices out there for processed foods are mostly horrible for you and in a lot of cases the environment. The large manufactures of 'food like products' are making "food" in laboratories, using ingredients that are addicting and in some cases causing major disease to manifest in the body. The best choice you can make for your health is to begin to eat a plant based whole food diet rich in superfoods and superherbs. I am a conscious meat eater so I am not advocating a sprout only diet. Most things in moderation is how I live. But I do not eat meat from unknown sources. I choose to eat eggs and meat from local farms that have sustainable humane practices. If you do not know much about this way of conscious meat eating, check out the film Food, Inc. and in particular the way Joel Salatin farms. The way he farms is the criteria I use when purchasing meat from farms for my family. It is sustainable, humane and it heals the earth that factory farming destroyed.
Even if you have until this point, chosen prepackaged granola or a boxed
cereal, starting with this easy shift into scratch made food will make a
difference to your health and your wallet. In the cleanse I lead
yearly with Cher Aslor, Nourish, we teach you how to make the
staples you usually buy at the store. Moving away from processed foods
into whole food living is how you will continue to be healthy or move
into health in a deeper way for yourself and the ones you love. You are worth it.
Makes 6 cups
2 cups of gluten free rolled oats
1 cup of raw buckwheat
1/2 cup of raw walnuts ( or any nut you prefer, like brazil or almond) soaked overnight in pure water, then drained and lightly crushed
2 tbs raw whole sesame seeds
2 tbs raw whole flax seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbs raw seed or nut butter
4 tbs coconut nectar or real maple syrup
3/4 cup dried superfood berries like goji berries, mulberries or golden berries
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add the nut or seed butter and coconut nectar or maple and mix thoroughly until the butter-sweetener mixture is evenly distributed. This may take a heavy hand but it will mix.
To keep this raw, place in a dehydrator on 100 degrees for 8 hours or until your desired crispness.
If you do not have a dehydrator or care to keep it raw, preheat your oven to 325. Place granola on a parchment lined baking sheet in an even layer. Cook for 20-22 minutes shaking the tray throughout to make sure the edges are not burning. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until cooled, add in your dried berries.
Curious about a whole food lifestyle and want to learn more? If you are local to Colorado, join us for this year's nutritional and lifestyle cleanse, Nourish: A Way to Radiant Living starting May 1st. RSVP to the free informational session on April 8th, here. Of if you know you want to want to make these changes and would love the support of a rich community and years of education in nutrition, movement therapy and lifestyle, register here. You will have to set up a profile on mind body if you do not have one already. Cannot wait to see you this May!