Gratitude and Granola


Gratitude embodies one of the best ways to shine in this world. When you’re feeling grumpy and discontent, it’s hard to put a smile on your face and meet the day head-on. You should greet each day feeling excited and down right giddy! Gratitude can help you find that enthusiasm to carry you through the day.

Every morning, as soon as my eyes open, no matter how I’m feeling on the inside, I think of something for which I am grateful. It can be something big, like “I’m grateful that I’m not living in a war zone.” Or, it can be something totally trivial and mundane, like “I’m thankful for my new pair of running shoes.” Once you start thinking of things you’re grateful for, it’s hard to stop! And once you see how many things you have to be grateful for, it’s really difficult to stay in a foul mood. Gratitude can completely change your day!

Furthermore, studies show that gratitude can have all the following benefits: It makes us happier, it makes people like us, it makes us healthier, it makes us better workers, it makes us more optimistic and makes us less materialistic. These are only a few of the benefits that gratitude gives us!

Feeling gratitude can be difficult if you are hungry and your brain is carb starved (everything always comes back to food). The human brain runs on glucose; and, if it’s not getting what it needs, you will be anxious, depressed, grouchy and lethargic. If you feel anxious, depressed, grouchy and lethargic, the last thing you will feel is thankful. You will probably start listing all the things that are wrong with life and thus starts a downward descent that ends in a dark place. But there’s no need to spiral into the blues. Staying carbed-up will keep your brain happy and the gratitude flowing!

The following recipe is plant-based and gluten free. I call it my gratitude granola, because when I start feeling low and ungrateful, I know I need a complex carbohydrate to start the sugar flowing to my brain! I usually make it in double or triple batches and freeze half. I’ll sometimes have it for breakfast or for a quick lunch and/or snack. It really is an anytime-food. Be Grateful. Keep Shining. Peace Out!

Gratitude Granola

2-Cups rolled oats

¼-Cup mini chocolate chips

¼-Cup flaxseeds

½-Cup slivered almonds

¼-Cup sunflower seeds

¼-Cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

½-Cup raisins

1-tsp cinnamon (or more according to your taste)

2TBSP vanilla

½-Cup good quality peanut butter

¼-Cup agave syrup

¼-Cup coconut sugar

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. In a saucepan combine the peanut butter, agave syrup and coconut sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly just until peanut butter has melted and everything is well combined. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and mix quickly until the dry ingredients are well coated and moistened. Line a large, shallow cookie sheet with parchment paper. Press the mixture into the pan, spreading it into a thin, even layer on the cookie sheet. I usually wet my hands to make this process easier. Bake for thirty minutes at 300 degrees F. Remove from oven and let sit at least thirty minutes before eating. The granola will get crispy as it cools. Break apart and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!


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