Posts Tagged ‘healthy-living’

Granola for the New Year

December 29, 2018


It’s raining here in Ocean Shores. Been raining nonstop for some time now.  I bravely don my rain parka, tighten up the hood, and dash out to the garden to pick a variety of super greens (mustard greens, spinach, chard, kale, collards) to clean, steam, and make the spinach ball recipe as seen in my previous blog post.  These greens are the tough Super Heroes of the winter garden, standing bravely against the winds coming off the ocean, the relentless sheets of rain that fall sideways, the hail, and the onslaught of hungry moisture loving slugs. Here at the coast, until we get a deep frost sometime in late January, the greens grow tenaciously in the garden.

But this post is about GRANOLA.  And this post makes me think about a question I have.  What makes a recipe yours?  How many alterations later can you claim the recipe as your very own?  Since I am clueless on the subject, if you have any input, I’d love to hear your comments below.

I refuse to buy granola.  I find it is too sweet.  Store bought granola practically makes my teeth shiver from the cloying sugary morning kick it delivers.  I have collected many granola recipes and this one included here is my favorite.  The original recipe was given to me from my friend, Betty.  If Betty is looking at this recipe, she may ask herself if this is her recipe because I have altered it slightly.

This is the perfect batch to make for the new year!  Make it now and enjoy it through the first days of the new year. It lasts a good two weeks in a sealed container.


Granola Recipe

5 Cups rolled oats
1 C unsweetened large shredded coconut flakes
1 C Wheat germ
1 C Walnuts
1 C Almonds (I use slivered almonds)
Sunflower Seeds (half cup) and Pumpkin Seeds (half cup)

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
¾ C Vegetable Oil (I use Olive Oil!)
¾ C Honey and Maple Syrup (equal mixture of both)

Preheat 350 degree oven. Mix above ingredients together in BIG bowl. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Spread half the mixture on one sheet and the other half on the other sheet.
Bake, stirring @ 5-10 minute intervals in the beginning. Then in the last 10 mins. Stir every few minutes until brown (light)

IMPORTANT: I keep rotating the sheets every time I stir.  The sheet on the bottom rack moves to the top rack and the one on the top goes to the bottom.  Or you can just bake one sheet at a time and skip the rotations.
Careful on the last 10 minutes it can burn quickly.
Let it cool and store in a tight container.
Each batch takes +- 30 mins.

Serve with milk, almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, or yogurt. Don’t forget to add your fresh fruits and dried fruits. Sliced bananas, chopped apples, raisins, and fresh blueberries are my favorite toppings.



Mothers and Daughters

October 19, 2015

This past weekend, we hosted a Mother Daughter Yoga Retreat at Little Renaissance.  We had three generations present and, yet, we never felt any sort of generational gap.  The inter-generational aspect of the retreat was so fun and all interactions were meaningful.  I observed that the one grandmother present was gleaning wisdom from her grandchild as well as from the other younger retreat participants.  I love how the interactions transcended age and went into the arena of wisdom, love, and deepening relationships.

Circle of Love

Circle of Love

At one point, after a yoga session, I asked everyone to share with one another their ideas on the following: What I admire about you or What I can learn from you.  Everyone freely and openly shared their admiration for one another.  What I have to comment on is how impressed I was with the three youngest present.  They were fun, age-appropriate mature, not glued to social media, and into human interaction which included heart to heart connection with each person present!

Abi and Jen

Abi and Jen

We did a shared reading on Saturday night and here are some of the readings or sources of readings.

Rick read The Waking, a self-reflective poem that describes waking up from sleep by Theodore Roethke.  Rick was quite animated as he read and Cecilia was moved to film him doing his exuberant reading.  Towards the last line, he was so expressive that Ruah spontaneously laughed so hard with delight that she hit her head on her water glass.  She didn’t cut herself, but we had to ice the hummingbird-sized egg on her forehead:

The Waking

By Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

Theodore Roethke, “The Waking” from Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke. Copyright 1953 by Theodore Roethke.

Harmony and Ruah diligently doing their Spanish homework!

Harmony and Ruah diligently taking time out to complete their Spanish homework!

Other readings included:

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (you can view it being read by Anthony Hopkins on youtube).  Abi read this dramatic poem which calls for total sensory involvement as the reader observes with the mind’s eye the  many scenes of sensory images.

The forecast called for rain all weekend, but we had pleasant weather for this time of year. We walked the beach and did not get wet.

The forecast called for rain all weekend, but we had pleasant weather for this time of year. We walked the beach and did not get wet.

Cecilia read from Journey to the Heart:  Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul by Melody Beattie.  She chose the reading from October 11th in the book.  I do not have the book so cannot include the reading, but I did find another quote from the book:

“You don’t need to limit yourself anymore. You’ve opened your heart. Now open your mind. Look around. See all the possibilities. The universe is teaming with them. It will lead and guide you into this abundance if you ask it for help and then allow that to happen. Open to life’s abundance. Open to all its possibilities. The more open you become, the more creative you’ll be—in work, in play, in love, in life. The more creative you are, the more possibilities you’ll see.”

From shared readings, I discover great books.  Jen read from Calling in “The One”, 7 Weeks to Attract Your Soulmate by Katherine Woodward Thomas.  The book is great for people ready to find their soulmate.  The chapters focus on internal change and appeared to offer powerful tools for attracting one’s soulmate.

The whole group (minus Rick who is taking the photo)

The whole group (minus Rick who is taking the photo)

Saturday’s Shared Readings took place around 10pm and I think I was too tired to take note or to remember what everyone read.  The last one I remember is the poem Tiffany read from We’Moon.  We’Moon is an astrological data book and calendar filled with poems and beautiful artwork.  Tiffany read a poem called Trucker’s Language and is about women using words and expressive forms of communication which are actually words of empowerment!  The title really captures your attention and the poem does so even more.  Tiffany will send me the poem and I can come back and include it in this blog entry.

Enjoy the remainder of photos from the weekend retreat at Little Renaissance on Washington’s wild coast.

Trees sprouting from driftwood

Trees sprouting from driftwood

multi-armed goddesses

multi-armed goddesses

Abi meditates under the Bodhi tree

Abi meditates under the Bodhi trees

back at Little Renaissance, Weather so mild in late October that we have lunch outside!

Back at Little Renaissance, the weather is so mild in late October that we have lunch outside!

Yes, that would be Harmony walking on Rick's back!

Yes, that would be Harmony walking on Rick’s back!  That’s it…She’s hired!

Umbria Yoga Part II

November 2, 2012

Seems that I am finally catching up with the last two parts of Umbria Yoga blog posts (one month later!).   Ecco, Part 2.  You will notice that the list of one-minute held poses below can be modified or substituted by  simpler suggested poses.  The sequence is incredibly beneficial.  If pressed for time, you can omit some poses or you can do the sequence by holding each pose for only half a minute.  The poses are powerful and very symmetrical leaving you feeling quite balanced physically, mentally, energetically, and emotionally.  This sequence leaves you feeling peaceful.  Your body will hum with delight!

A) Movements to a breath sequence:  tadasana, hands overhead (inhale), forward bend (exhale), extended forward bend (inhale), come to standing hands overhead (inhale), , tadasana (exhale)

Do as many rounds of the above as you like until you feel warmed up and connected to your breathing.

B) Sun salutations:  one regular round without variations and another round which includes strengthening poses such as a twist from Warrior I with arms outspread, warrior 2, side planks, cobra with ankles crossed

C) Sun Salutations are followed by these asanas, which are each held for one-minute.  The minute-held poses below are in Sanskrit followed by English:

1) Supta Baddha Konasana/Bound Angle Pose:  lying on back with knees bent and feet touching each other,  outside feet touch the floor

2) Kurmasana/ Tortoise Pose   seated in bound angle and round the back, fold forward and try to bring head to feet  (can go more advanced by extending legs to a “V” and slip arms under legs)

3) Supta Virasana/  Reclining Hero Pose (or simplify by stretching one quad at a time)

4) Dhanurasana/ Bow Pose (or half bow or easier yet, quad stretch)

5) Ananda Balasana/ Happy Baby Pose (or extend legs wide to stretch inner thighs while lying on the back)

6) Urdhva Dhanurasana/ Full Back Bend/Wheel Pose (or bridge pose again or cobra)

7) Bakasana/ Crow (or Malasana/ Squat)

8) Ardha Adho Mukha Vrksasana/ Half Handstand at the wall (body forms a 90 degree angle at the wall by walking the feet up the wall)  Since we were outside for most yoga sessions and we did not have a wall, we did half handstand in pair work by coming up against someone in downward facing dog!

9) Balasana/ Child’s pose

10) Sirsasana/ Headstand at the wall

11) Anahatasana (like child’s pose but the hips are up in the air)

12) Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana/ Dolphin Pose (think downward facing dog on the elbows rather than on hands)

13) Inversion: Pincha Mayurasana/ Peacock Pose or also known as Forearm stand (to modify can repeat dolphin pose)

14) Salabhasana/ Locust Pose (on belly, lift both legs or lift one leg at a time..very difficult to hold full locust for one full minute)

15) Halasana/ Plow Pose

16) Matysasana/ Fish Pose  (or you can lie on your back over a rolled towel or blanket under the shoulder blades)

17) Nakarasana/ Crocodile Pose (lie on belly and lift both arms and legs at the same time)

18) Ananda Balasana/ Happy Baby Pose

19) Adho Mukha Vrksasana  Handstand  (or can modify by working on wall splits: downward facing dog with heels to the wall, then lift one leg up the wall)

20) Balasana/ Child’s Pose

21) Ustrasana/ Camel Pose

22) Shasankasana/ Hare or Rabbit Pose

23) Shavasana/ Corpse Pose

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