Do you remember back to when you first became interested in your health? For me it was during freshman year when I ever so timidly started to dip my toes into healthy living.
All throughout high school, I never really thought about my health. I walked to and from school, but never did any other kind of exercise. I ate fruits and vegetables, but I also binged on pizza, pop and chocolate when I was with my friends. These habits continued into my first year of university.
But one day, after months of curiously walking past the exercise room in my residence, I finally got up the courage to climb up onto that elliptical and give it a try. I think I only lasted 15 minutes my first time, but I stepped off feeling sweaty, happy, and accomplished.
After I started exercising (even though it was infrequently) I also began paying more attention to my diet. Before this, I would have a greasy cafeteria breakfast of eggs, toast, and tater tots. But one day instead of my usual, I grabbed a yogurt, a banana, and a bowlful of Harvest Crunch from the cafeteria and mixed them together. That’s all I ate for breakfast for the rest of the year.
Since then, I’ve realized Harvest Crunch isn’t the epitome of healthy (hello uber-processing and a thousand grams of sugar per serving) – but I’ve always loved Harvest Crunch’s flavour combination of honey + almond + coconut. So when I ran out of granola this week, I decided to replenish my stash with a granola with those flavours.
Honey Almond Coconut Granola
Makes about 3 cups
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then mix the oats, almonds and coconut together in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan over low heat, mix the honey, oil and vanilla. Then pour into the dry ingredients and stir until evenly coated. Spread the mixture out evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, making sure to stir every 10 minutes.
Let cool and then place in an airtight container. Enjoy it with yogurt, milk, oatmeal, or just by itself.
I tested it out on top of a bowl of banana chia oatmeal with soy nut butter. This is hands down my favourite granola recipe to date!
Afterwards I went on a 3.37 mile run. It’s funny to think about how 4 years ago I could barely do 15 minutes on the elliptical, and now I can run more than 4 miles on a good day.
Before I first started exercising and eating well, I never thought I would be able to lose weight, enjoy healthy eating, or run without wanting to throw up. But all I needed was to take that first step. It’s amazing how one healthy change is all it takes.
When did you become interested in healthy living? What was your first step?
What are your favourite flavours for granola?