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What’s Your Granola? Extended Edition

by Lisa on January 15, 2011

Greetings from sunny Orlando!

First, this post is really about granola, literally and figuratively.

Yesterday, Woman’s Day magazine online posted my suggestion for their Snack Smart section of their healthy living blog. Check it out here (it’s only a paragraph…but it would be awesome if you’d go there and leave a comment!).

Random update:

It’s beautiful here, and I heard from Joe that the temperature for his race at home this morning was 9 degrees, so I think that makes it even better here. I’m visiting with three former college roommates, who now hail from Ft. Lauderdale, Seattle, and Boston. Mrs. Ft. Lauderdale thinks it’s freezing here, and my other counterparts are ready for a swim. I, personally, am wearing jeans. Why? Because we’re staying in someone’s timeshare (which is really nice), but the property-wide wi-fi turns out only to function outside. So I spent from 7-9am outside on the porch working, and I am certainly not complaining that it was 50 degrees out, but I’m still chilled from it. I also cannot be in direct sunlight for health reasons, so currently I’m doing work in the shade (can’t you tell, I’m working!), while the ladies are in their bikinis in the sun (I’d insert a photo here, but I’m banned from taking any bikini pics).

Just pretend I'm in this picture.

Food is always a challenge for me when I’m around people. I’m handling it well, and it helps to be with friends who accept that I’m different without making me uncomfortable. I bought this today so I’ll at least be prepared for breakfast for a few days.

Four shades of green...makes me sigh with relief, even if there were no organic apples to be found in Publix (I thought that store was supposed to be "the best"?)

Back to Granola! I posted this once before, so if you already read it…skip :)

I just think it’s appropriate to all the granola in my life right now.

Many years ago (9?), I saw a show on the Food Network in which they interviewed this woman who lived on a farm and she developed a recipe for granola (that she made for her husband and kids). Initially, she was just trying to get this granola recipe perfect, making little adjustments with each batch…until it came out just right. It happened to be so good, that she started selling it at Farmer’s Markets. She then expanded, and sold it to a wider audience….etc. At the time of the show, she was loving life, doing what she wanted, and making plenty of money from doing it!

After watching the show, I had a conversation with my Mom and later with my sister (who never actually figured out what she wanted to do with her life), about the concept of Finding Your Granola.

I’m sure you’ve met people who know exactly what they want in life—they have passion about a certain topic, and they follow this bliss, making it into a career and feeling great about all of it. You know, that person who works but loves what they do so much they don’t feel like they’re working.

My sister and I always contemplated this (when she graduated from high school, she lamented about how there was nothing she wanted to do). When I lived in Boston, I saw this granola episode, and ever since then my mom and I have used the term for identifying or talking about what the heck that thing would be for us—that thing that would be work and career and a living, but doesn’t feel like work.  Maybe I’m deluding myself, and maybe there isn’t anything—but I don’t think I’ll give up the idea, because what if there is!?

It brings me to now, a time when I’m really enjoying all the things I’m dabbling in at the moment—wellness coaching, teaching online, blogging…learning about and practicing making healthy food. But it brings up the issue of how Americans are really great Masters at Dabbling in things. We don’t master anything (our passions) because we spend so much time analyzing and figuring out what we like that we just dabble in things, and never focus enough on one thing to make it a BIG thing.

My mom keeps telling me that she and Fred think that maybe My Granola is actually granola.

Have you tried making this yet?

——————–

What is your granola?

How well do you travel with other people?

Do you stick up for your food preferences when you’re in groups or just go with the flow?


  • http://wookieandcompany.blogspot.com Mrs. Wookie

    My turn to comment!!

    There's this cheap-ass granola that can be found in grocery stores on the West Coast that's hearty, clusterful, and won't soggify when you decide to take your time with your granola, yogurt, fruit, etc. It's fantastic, cheap, and crunchy. That's my granola.

    Yes, some people drop crazy amounts on granola, and that's fine for them. I just dropped a crazy amount of money on a pair of Birkenstocks.

  • http://cyclicalunemployment.wordpress.com/ Katherine: Unemployed

    I just read my Woman's Day mag! on my way to their sight to read right now. Bolthouse has some other green/chocolate protein drink. have you tried it?

  • http://www.1970kikiproject.wordpress.com CathyK

    congrats on getting the mention on the woman's day blog, lisa! woo hoo!
    i love quaker harvest crunch granola. four stars!
    envious of your florida weekend! it's been snowing here all day – enough already, thanks very much!
    i don't mind traveling with other people…as long as we STAY in separate lodging. the best way to ruin friendships and family relationships is to bunk up all together, IMO!
    i don't go with the flow very easily – my way or the highway, haha! i am getting more relaxed, though!
    enjoy your time with your girlfriends!

  • Erica – Itzy's Kitchen

    Hope you have a blasty! I love making granola! I make a batch at least every other week either for Josh & I or for my parents. I use this general recipe: Mix 2 tablespoons honey with 2 tablespoons canola oil (or applesauce). Add in 2 cups oats, 1 cup mixed nuts & seeds, 1 1/2 cups coconut. Mix wellllll. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour. yum yum!

  • Erica – Itzy's Kitchen

    PS- congrats on the article! Going to post a comment

  • http://wheres-the-beach.blogspot.com/ Heather @ Where's the Beach

    I really need to make my own granola, but I don't really eat it terribly often. I won't buy it unless it's on sale and I try to get the lowest sugar, cleanest ingredient brand I can find. 50 degrees is warmer than where you live, but it's still chilly ;-)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Thanks for that—I love quick simple recipes that anyone can do, but
    still are amazing. That sounds like a great combo!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Thanks!
    I totally agree about lodging. I'm rooming with a friend, and I'm
    forcing myself to stay relaxed about it. Usually, I'd never agree to
    something like this.  But….this is kinda like our 10 yr reunion
    meet-up from college (should I admit that?!?), so I tried to be
    flexible :)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I've never tried that, but it sounds amazing! I'm all for chocolate
    and for green…so put them together, and I'm sure to be happy :)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    One of the most important points about granola is that it cannot get
    soggy!!!!  So, I'm sure, if I was on the west coast, I would be
    stalking your granola :)

  • http://ashleighsslice.wordpress.com/ ashleigh

    Congrats on being on Woman's Day! I went and left you a comment there too.

    I try really hard to stick to my food preferences with other people, but a lot of times I'm tempted by less healthy choices. I usually just try and work out a little more to let it all even out.

  • Kayla (Littl Miss Healthify)

    That's awesome! I love granola! Your recipe looks fantastic, I want!

  • http://www.cottercrunch.blogspot.com lindsay cotter

    I love making my own granola. I love toasted coconut in it and dates. Congrats on the woman's day and for being in wamer weather! hehe.

  • http://healthandhappinessinLA.blogspot.com Health and Happiness in LA

    This is a great topic, and I like saying “granola” instead of “passion.” I'm lucky in that I found my granola quite early, and I've always known I want to be an actor. But that creates problems of its own, because I feel like I couldn't be happy doing anything else (so… I really hope I never get any disfiguring scars).

    My brother has no idea what he wants to do and I think that is a little scary. And I'm sorry your sister never found her granola. That totally sucks.

  • Jtones

    I love granola and missed this blog post before, so I look forward to trying this recipe, sounds delicious! My husband found his “granola”, so I do believe it is possible… so why haven't more of us found ours? Perhaps we do just dabble, or are afraid to try or change from what we know? Either way, seeing someone do what they love makes you want to do the same… lucky for me I am doing what I love for now too :)

  • prettyinorange

    I love Bolthouse Farms' products. Soooo good. Hmm, I like this Finding Your Granola thing. I think I have found mine, albeit in a roundabout way. I think I'm sort of meant to be here to put people in the position for them to succeed.

  • http://purplebirdblog.wordpress.com/ Christin@purplebirdblog

    That Bolthouse Farms green stuff is one of my favorites!!!

  • http://stephaniejothomas.blogspot.com Stephanie

    This is really interesting to me. I feel like I've been dabbling at granola for sometime. I think I'm still in the recipe tweaking stage but I feel as if I've established what the main ingredients are. Does that even make sense?
    Everybody that I am around knows that I have established some pretty great eating habits and that my health is not something I take for granted. I guess I’d say that there are some times where I’ll be generally a bit more lax in my diet if others are around as to not create an issue but that’s because I have usually shied away from being the center of attention. Talking about what I eat/won’t eat sometimes makes me antsy because people want to talk about it more than I do. I sort of climbed over that mountain (I am writing a blog about my life and what I eat!!) and now even relish when people want to know about the reasoning behind my choices. I’m thankful for that because if health is the ultimate goal, why wouldn’t I want to share that with my family/friends? I think for people that don’t make the same choices, I worry that they feel that I’m judging their food choices when I’m not.
    Going to read your article now!

  • http://thebalancedbean.blogspot.com/ Maryann

    When I graduated from college with a degree in sociology, I was fricken scared. I had no clue what I wanted to do with it. I knew I wanted to get into nutrition but was intimidated by the amount of time it would take and the hard classes. Eventually I decided thats where my heart is, so I might as well make the commitment to go back to school now rather than waste a few years in pointless jobs and be stuck in the same postition a few years later.

    I definitely know what you mean by sticking to my food preferences when im with other people. When im with my boyfriend, im not afraid to be picky. However, when I am with big groups, I do get embarassed ( I know I shouldnt) and sometimes tone it down a bit. Also, I know its ok to indulge sometimes so usually those are the times that I choose to do so.

  • http://greensandjeans.wordpress.com/ Madeline

    I feel like it has taken me a very long and crazy road to find my granola. But I'm pretty sure I'm on the right path now (and there is a LOT of peanut butter involved…)

  • http://ourcoastallife.blogspot.com/ Camille @ La Bella Vita

    I am definitely still on a quest for my perfect granola. Too many combinations. Maybe my problem is that they all work :)

  • http://fitchocoholic.wordpress.com/ Gen

    hmmm I don't know yet what my granola is………
    I usually try to stick up for my food preferences, but without annoying everyone else. So if that means that I have to compromise, then I do!

  • http://anediblemosaic.com Faith

    I'm glad to hear you're having such a wonderful time in Florida! Love the idea of finding your granola…and I think you're absolutely right about most of us being a jack of all trades but a master of none. Very interesting food for thought.

  • http://www.iheartwellness.com Kris | iheartwellness.com

    What a beautiful time you are having!! We are enjoying some nice rain here while you have all the sun ;)

    I do love granola, but I have to make my own as all the store bought ones have sesame seeds in them and I can't have them….

    I love fruit pieces in my granola…yum!!!

    xxoo

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I have a thing with the sugar too—I am pretty picky about my granola!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Thanks for leaving a comment!
    I'm with you—I just try and even out my food choices over time.

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    toasted coconut and dates would be a fabulous addition to granola!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Thanks.
    I think some people have a much harder time figuring out their passions in life. Sometimes I feel confused, but I guess I know the overall idea!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I think both things are probably right—fear and not focusing enough on something.
    Lucky hubby you have…for more than one reason :)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I know exactly what you mean! I feel the same way—like I know the general category of my granola, but not 100% exactly what it is…
    Thanks for your thoughts :)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    It really sounds like you've made the best choice for yourself—gotta always follow your heart even if it's not the most practical thing to do in the moment!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Mmmmmmm…..peanut butter adds value to everything :)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Mmmmm, I love fruit pieces in with the nutty crunchiness too :)

  • http://ahungryspoon.blogspot.com Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon

    So glad you're enjoying a wonderful trip with your old college friends–and what better place than Florida for a reunion?!

    Like you, I'm often the “weird” one when it comes to traveling and food–my friends engage in good-natured teasing over my endless bag of food I take with me when I travel. You just never know when you'll need a healthy snack though, right?!

    My “granola” and true passion is social work–I definitely feel lucky to do my job every day :)

  • http://twitter.com/torontogirlwest TorontoGirlWest

    First of all – gracias for visiting my blog! :)

    I have to tell you – I love that your granola may actually be granola! It makes me happy to think you found “it!” As for me, I'm a (criminal) lawyer and I love it! I know I make a difference in people's lives but I don't know that I'll do it forever. I have multiple granolas you see!

  • http://midlifecruiser.blogspot.com/ Nellie

    I make my own granola too! I use coconut oil, shredded coconut, honey, cinnamon, salt, and a dash of stevia.

    I love that you surround yourself with people who accept your food choices. I'm on a quest to find foods that won't bloat me up! I start out the day with a flat belly, then end looking 9 months preggers. It's frustrating. Luckily, jonathan wants me to be healthy and supporst whatever I do.

  • DiningAndDishing

    I absolutely love this post – what a great way to put it! Blogging, cooking, writing and photography are all passions of mine. I don't know what my exact “granola” is just yet but I keep working to find it!

    - Beth @ http://www.DiningAndDishing.com

  • Allison @PickyEatingRD

    First off…so jealous you are in warm weather!! I'm sitting inside in a rain/ice/snow storm! I always stay true to my food preferences when I am in a group. Usually my friends convert to what I am eating!!

  • Thehealthyapron

    I am definitely in the profession I was meant to be in. I adore nutrition and teaching others! I am very passionate. However, my REAL job (aside from blogging) left me a bit dry and that is why I started my blog. It brings new light to what I am doing. I would love to start my own business or write a book but in the meantime, blogging is bringing me pleasure.

    In answer to your question, I try to follow my personal beliefs as much as I can when at family functions or gatherings but I will just go with the flow if there are no other options…I make SOMETHING work haha (as long as it is not fast food…I just don't go there ha)

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