Tag Archives: protein

Healthy Homemade Granola

I got a craving for granola and yogurt. I had just gotten some organic, whole fat Greek style yogurt at MOM’S Market so I was halfway there already. I had made a huge batch of trail mix for a recent road trip, so I didn’t even need to gather the nuts and seeds. Within 20 minutes, my post-yoga snack for the next day was ready and waiting. And a bonus, I’ve got granola for a week! This is a great example how a little bit of prep can make healthy eating for the week happen with ease.

granola for the week

Food Fridays: Healthy Breakfast Simplified

I woke up this morning and headed into the kitchen with the intention of making tea, and instead found myself making homemade muesli.


(The tea happened a bit later)


I recently fell into a breakfast rut, tired of some of my favorites.  I used to keep a bag of Bob’s Red Mill muesli in my pantry, but I took it out of the rotation when I tired of it.


I’m glad I did because it led me to realize how simple it is to make my own (and much more cost effective).


Muesli is flexible – you can add what you like or your body is craving, and you can eat it cold (either with milk or yogurt) or warm.


It also makes the perfect on-the-go mason jar meal.


Xandra’s 5 Minute Breakfast Muesli:

muesli2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 tsp (or to taste) cinnamon

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup sliced almonds

2 tbs coconut flakes

2 tbs chia seeds

1 cup unsweetened raisins

Combine ingredients in a bowl, and serve over yogurt, in milk, or warmed on the stovetop with milk.

Store remaining muesli in a glass storage container.


What’s your favorite way to simplify breakfast? Let me know in the comments below!


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

clear signature


Folate through Food!

Folate is a crucial nutrient during pregnancy, but its importance is even higher before pregnancy as adequate folate intake can reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida.  Taking a folic acid supplement is often recommended to women of childbearing age because the risk of spina bifida occurs early in pregnancy, often before a woman even knows that she is pregnant.  There is some concern that continued use of a folate supplement beyond preconception and early pregnancy may cause an increased risk in asthma in children, and at this point it is no longer serving the purpose of preventing neural tube defects.  There has been no correlation to asthma and folate when consumed naturally in food, so it’s great to get used to eating a diet rich in folate before trying to conceive and then continuing this throughout pregnancy.


Folate is important for overall health because of its role in creating red blood cells, which prevents anemia, and it is necessary for the creation of DNA and RNA.


When vitamin B9 is naturally occurring in food it is called folate.  Folic acid refers to the synthetic version of the vitamin. The recommended daily intake of folate for a woman of childbearing age is between 400 and 800 mg.


If you are of childbearing age, it’s good to take a prenatal vitamin, or a folate supplement to make sure you are getting enough.  Food is a great source but it is not always easy to get enough from food alone on a consistent basis and folate is so important to the early development of your baby.


Here are some of my favorite sources of folate:


Lentils – Lentils are such a power food!  Not only are they a rich source of folate, but they are high in protein as well, making them a great choice for anytime but especially preconception through postpartum.  A half-cup of cooked lentils has about 45% of the folate that you need for a day.


Quinoa – This amazing grain has 19% of the RDA of folate in a 1 cup serving and is another great source of protein.


Spinach – One of my favorite dark leafy greens, and an easy one to start out with because of it’s mild flavor, 1 cup of raw spinach has 15% of your daily folate needs.


Sunflower Seeds – These flavorful seeds are a great addition to many dishes (including smoothies!).  A quarter cup of sunflower seeds not only gives you 19% of the folate you need, but also 6.2 grams of protein and 14% of the recommended dietary fiber.


Avocado — One of my favorite foods, avocado is a great source of folate, protein, dietary fiber, and healthy fat.  An avocado alone has 5 g of protein, 50% of the folate you need in a day, and 63% of the dietary fiber you need!


Here’s a recipe for a delcious meal that features 3 of those folate rich ingredients!

Cook quinoa and lentils in vegetable stock.

I usually cook the quinoa and lentils together, but cooking time varies by brand, so until you get the hang of cooking with these ingredients, you might want to start off cooking them separately.

Combine 1 cup of cooked quinoa, ½ cup cooked lentils, and a cup of spinach (stir it around and the heat will wilt the leaves).

Season to taste with sea salt,pepper or any other favorite spices.

To boost your immunity, you can add 1 minced garlic clove.


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

clear signature


SuperFood Packed Start to the Day!

As we get ready for spring, I thought I’d take one look back at my favorite cool weather breakfast.  I love it so much I might eat it through the beginning of spring, but probably not into summer.

I start the night before with my favorite new appliance – my Zojirushi rice cooker – it’s so much more than that!  I put 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of Steel Cut Oats in the rice cooker, set the timer, and go to sleep.  It doesn’t even matter if I’m not sure when I’m going to be awake and ready to eat the oatmeal because the rice cooker has a warming function that works for at least a couple of hours!

[updated note: this would probably be a 2 person serving; it was perfect for me in the earlier days of nursing when my body was still craving lots of good quality calories]

When I wake up the next day, I get all of my ingredients out and ready. Depending on my mood, or on what fruit I’m adding, I sometimes add a splash of maple syrup (the real stuff! not the caramel flavored colored high fructose corn syrup stuff). Then I mix in some cinnamon, which I use in just about everything.  You can really add whatever you’re in the mood for.

So where are the Super Foods, you ask?  Here they come!

In goes a teaspoon of Maca powder which is great for a lot – I have found it to really help boost my energy and keep me more focused.  Then I add a heaping teaspoon or two of chia seeds – amazing little things! They help balance the blood sugar, they’re a great source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, and they’re a complete protein to mention just a few things. Check out www.mychiaseeds.com for more info.

Next comes my fruit, and this changes based on my mood and what I have on hand.  Sometimes it’s bananas and/or dried cranberries.  Sometimes I heat up some frozen strawberries and make a syrup and mix that in.

Then I’m ready to dig in and eat a great balanced breakfast that keeps me energized and full for hours without the crash that we get from refined foods.

So let’s recap the recipe and a bit about why each ingredient is so healthy:

Steel Cut Oats – whole grain so it hasn’t been stripped of any vitamins or minerals

Maple Syrup – just a little bit for a natural sweetener

Cinnamon – yum! (plus it is loaded with antioxidants and has antibacterial properties)

Maca powder – for vitality and mental clarity

Chia seeds – for the fiber that balances blood sugars, complete protein, and Omega 3 oil

Banana, cranberries, strawberries or other fruit – getting some of your fruit in early gives you a healthy energy boost and gives some nice flavor and texture to the oatmeal.

Enjoy! If you try it out, let me know what you think 🙂