Let's start off easy this year.
Let's start with breakfast - always a good idea.
Anyone else have the post-holiday blues?
(Christmas was only two weeks ago! Where did it gooooo!)
I want to do something a little different this year. In response to some curiosity expressed by friends who know, I want to describe in greater detail an eating style I've been building over the last few years.
It still needs a name. Seasonalitarianism seems a bit bulky, but that's the working title. I'm sure something smoother will come along at some point.
Basically I eat seasonally, transitioning from a semi-indulgent, holiday-friendly diet in winter to a fully vegan diet in summer.
And back again.
Sound crazy? Maybe. But I've been doing it for a few years now and really, I'm pretty happy with it. Nothing is banned (not permanently), nothing is left out. Exercise is built in slowly and aimed to coincide with enjoyment of the seasons. I'm a brown, fit goddess in the summer (or that's how I feel) and a festive party-goer during the holidays. I get to watch the sun rise while running along a hill top when it's warm, and I get to sleep late in my cushy bed when it's cold (or I would if it wasn't for the toddler).
I get to do and be everything!
Anyway. We'll start simple. It's January, and I'm still in my everything-is-available-for-me-to-eat phase. Lovely. Whoever thought of dieting in January anyway? It's much too cold and miserable. Give me a diet in July, when all the fruits and veggies are in (except that's not a 'diet' at all, that's just enjoying the summer). Don't leave me in the cold in January, with only turnips and tomatoes ripened in Chile to comfort me.
So here are my January plans. I will:
Cook three meals a week, one meat, one vegetarian, and one soup.
Stop eating pork and pig products after the 15th (but feature it in my meat meals until then).
Run one day a week, not too far. About 1/2 a mile.
Do yoga or another gentle, indoor exercise the other five days (and have one day break, ha!).
Eat salad at least one meal a day (but you know, GOOD salad. Like, with cranberries and sunflower seeds and stuff).
That doesn't sound simple? Maybe I will make a chart!
I love charts.
Anyway, we'll make new goals come February, but for now let's start...basic. With cocoa almond granola for breakfast. Because it's still winter. And baby, Christmas may be over but it's still cold outside.
Cocoa Almond Granola (adapted from Joy the Baker)
4 cups oats
1 cup raw whole almonds
1 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened but sweetened would be good too...sweet)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar (you can add more if you like, I prefer my granola less sweet)
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss together first six ingredients. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, honey, oil and butter. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour the warm sugar mixture over the oat mixture and toss with a wooden spoon. Spoon mixture onto prepared baking sheet(s) and slip into the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, removing from oven to toss and stir 2 to 3 times during baking. Granola is done when toasted around the edges and fragrant.
Serve with milk or yogurt.