Hearty, Healthy, Heavenly Granola

If you know me, you know I’ve been a Smoothie for breakfast devotee for decades. My husband Chris on the other hand loves a varied menu of eggs, toast, cereal, fruit, juice, yogurt and…granola. We go through a lot of it. And since I don’t eat it, I often forget to stock up on it. That’s just what happened the other week. That misstep inspired me to take matters into my own hands. Literally. It helped that Cookie and Kate, one of my favorite online cooking sites, was featuring this Orange & Almond Granola recipe. It sounded delicious to me, but I knew Chris would not like the orange flavoring. And so my first batch of homemade granola was born! It was easy and fun to mix up. Best of all, it was a hit with the Hubs.

Give Thanks!

It’s not like me to step off the grid completely, even at our cabin, but this past week I did. I even stayed up there by myself with Bowie for two nights — a first! I thought about my family, my life today, and my intentions for tomorrow. No Black Friday shopping! Though I did happily do some some Shop Local Saturday shopping in Keene. I’m sure you’ve been bombarded by both other bloggers and company emails. I don’t think you need me adding to the din. If you did get some holiday shopping or decorating done, I say good for you.

Crunchy Chickpea Salad

In my continuing quest to come up with healthy lunchtime options, I decided to shop my pantry and fridge for inspiration. This salad combines some of my favorite things: chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), Brussel sprouts, cucumber, radishes, red onion, and at the last  minute…quinoa (not shown). I also added some leftover grilled chicken. Think this would make a nice, light side dish, especially for a grilled dinner. I made it in the morning for lunch later, but it was still fresh and delicious the day after, too. Calorie count? At about a cup and 1/4, 300 calories. With chicken, 420 calories.

6 Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep

Studies say that up to 61% of women who are postmenopausal experience frequent bouts of insomnia. For me, sleeplessness started sometime in my early 40s. It kind of goes in waves, depending on my stress level, late dining, too much wine, too much work, ummm…life. At its worst, I’ve gone up to two months without sleeping through the night. Yes, I know there are prescription drugs out there that can help, and I did speak with my internist about them. But in the end, I decided to go for a more holistic approach. I doubt I’ll ever be a “perfect sleeper,” but these 6 steps have helped me a lot. If you experience sleepless nights, I hope some or all of them will help you too!

ASIAN STYLE LUNCH BOWL

I’ve been really busy but doing most of my writing from home. Which also means I’ve been doing most of my “lunching” from home. While I have quite a few tried-and-true go-tos, there are days when I’m craving something new, different, unexpectedly delicious. And so, my Asian Style Lunch Bowl was born. The no-egg version weighs in at around 420 calories. With an egg, it’s around 500 calories.

Open for Lunch: Egg & Avo Sandwich

As much as I can obsess over fashion, I can also obsess over lunch. Especially on days where I’m home writing various projects. I was already serving this open-faced sandwich (to moi!), and my recent trip to Santa Fe only confirmed its deliciousness. It’s super easy and super fast to prepare. I promise you won’t be disappointed. And you’ll enjoy a power-packed lunch full of protein, fiber, no GMOs and super low on added sugar and fat.

Egg-cellent Lo Cal Lunch

IMG_3445As a freelance Creative Director/Writer I work both on and offsite and often find myself at home for lunch. It’s a lot easier on my wallet but also requires some creativity to keep calories in check, tastebuds satisfied. And this 250 calorie meal (yes!) is one of my good-for-you, good-to-eat go-tos. In all, it’s super easy to prepare and includes an open face sandwich, beverage and “dessert.” And yes, it keeps me going all afternoon long.

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_2523I love to bake. And my family loves when I do. Over the years I’ve tinkered with recipes and tried to make them my own. And these cookies are probably everyone’s all-time favorites. Yes, they’re a sweet treat. But when made with all-natural and/or organic ingredients, they’re a little bit of good-for-you decadence we all deserve. I’m not a professional Nutritionist, but I’ve compared my ingredients to Tate’s, which are the one store brand I’ll actually buy. My estimate is 80 calories a cookie.