Thursday, January 27, 2011

What to eat for breakfast....

A couple of years ago I went to see an Ayurvedic medicine specialist.  I wanted to see what my dosha was and how I could eat better for my constitution.  (More info on Ayureda is here  Turns out I am a pitta/vata and my vata was out of balance.  Yes, it is all a little confusing and I left with a list of foods to eat (cooling foods like salad) and things to avoid (cabbage?!.) At any rate, one of my big take home messages was I eat a lot of wheat.  She analyzed a daily sample of food I eat and it was clear that I was eating wheat at almost every meal and in many snacks.  Easy to do! My wheat was mostly whole wheat but there are so many more grains and choices besides wheat!   Based on her recommendations and what I have learned in my Integrative Nutrition class, I have changed my diet considerably since then,  eating mostly vegetables, fruits, eggs, a little seafood and legumes.  I have focused on limiting wheat and and adding in other grains like brown rice, quinoa, barley, and millet.  Unfortunately I can overdo it on the cheese and dark chocolate!

Fast forward to January 2011.  I gained some weight over the last year first while training for a marathon (yes it is commonly happens) then when I had an injury and had to quit running, and lastly when I had knee surgery to fix the injury and had to stop all exercise for about 6 weeks.  So now I am trying to get back to a happy place where all my pants fit.  The last few weeks I have eaten mostly vegan (except some milk in my decaf coffee) and really focused on eating mostly vegetables, some fruits, legumes, nuts, tofu and tempeh.  I have stopped all refined sugar and most natural sugar, just for a while to see what happens.  Believe it or not, after the headache for a couple of days, I feel great, don't crave sugar or chocolate anymore, and don't get very hungry.  Three cheers!  But trying not to eat wheat and eating mostly vegan left me with what to eat for breakfast? Not toast, not GRANOLA was a good answer.  I have made granola a number of times and have tons of recipes.  This time I tried a hybrid of a bunch of recipes and came up with a delicious batch. I eat a small amount (1/3 cup?) with almond milk and some added almonds, pecans, or hemp seeds for some added protein and goodness.  Today I added blueberries and blackberries.  Yes I know they are not in season but they were inexpensive and actually delicious.  A nice splurge from locavore eating!

Granola with Nuts and Coconut
4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 pecans
1 1/2 cup coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup flax meal
1 Tbsp cinnamon
big pinch of salt

1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix together all dry ingredients in a big bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients in a small bowl, then mix into the oats mixture. Stir together until well mixed.  Pour onto a large jelly roll/sheet pan (large sheet pan with sides) and spread out evenly.  Bake in he over for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes, until golden brown. Add dried or fresh fruits of your choice when you serve.

Note: It will get crunchy as it cools.  If you want it to stick together in clumps you'll need to increase the agave.  You can change the type of nuts to add whatever you like best. If you add dried fruits before you bake it I find they get very dried out and not very good!

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