Month: September 2014

Quinoa Coconut Protein Granola

Do you ever feel like in the course of a day you have to be two, or ten different people. I feel like women, especially find themselves popping in and out of roles depending on what or who they are dealing with. We go from best friend to mother, to boss-lady, to lover and back again. What’s that phrase about wearing different hats? But, I will admit sometimes I feel like wearing different hats. There are days I want to be a fashionista and there are days I want to be a kick-ass workout warrior. And sometimes I want to be a blissed out earth-loving yogi.

I think that’s true on some level for all women.

As I say in my About Page, “I’m a walking contradiction. A mala-bead wearing, Michael Kors-bag toting dreamer with a degree.” I’ll sing the praises of kombucha while sipping an iced latte. I’ll wear Nars cosmetics and moisturize my skin with coconut oil. And you know what?

I like it that way.

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No apologies necessary.

I do what I want. It keeps life interesting and there’s something freeing about one day showing up in a killer outfit with a fun orchid purple pop of lipstick and the next living in stretchy pants and toting my yoga mat everywhere.

Sometimes it’s too much fun being a girl 😉 We have so many options to express ourselves.

One thing you can count on though. You will never catch me in Birkenstocks. Never ever, ever. Never have, and never will get behind those. What’s the appeal? Can someone please explain?

I find that most often I prefer to express my hippy, earth-loving, nature-babe side in the food I like to make.

So a few days ago I was feeling especially hippyish and after checking my homebrewed kombucha to see if it was ready, (true story) I decided I wanted to make granola. I wanted a crunchy, nutty lightly sweetened granola with a bit more protein than usual. I considered protein powder, but the chef hates my Sunwarrior with a passion after an unfortunate over-proteined chalky smoothie incident. I don’t blame him one bit :/

So, next I considered the grains. Could I substitute some of the oats with a healthier, higher-protein grain? Quinoa! Obvious choice. And I’m happy to report it worked like a charm. Not only did the quinoa bump up the protein content, but it also lent the granola even more crunch and texture than normal granola.

P.S. Please don’t be afraid of the high fat content in granola. Nuts and seeds are extremely good for you. They keep you satiated, they make your hair shiny and your skin super soft. The low fat craze is so over. Fats are in people! Yay!

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Did I mention they also make great travel parfaits?!

Quinoa Coconut Protein Granola

Makes 6-7 cups

1 cup quinoa

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 tbsp ground flax

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or sugar of your choice)

2 tbsp coconut oil

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

In a small saucepan on medium heat stir together wet ingredients until the sugar is dissolved and the coconut oil is melted.

Add wet ingredients to dry and toss to combine.

Spread granola in an even layer on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Let cool and break apart to desired sized clusters.

Store in an airtight container.

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Do you also sometimes feel the urge to bounce from glam to hippy?

How do you express yourself? Food, fashion, makeup, hairstyle? All, or none of the above?

 

Happy Monday my loves!

Sam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Death is a Blessing

The only continuous sound in the plaza at Lincoln Center comes from the center fountain. Water bubbles and splashes in a Zen-like rhythmic cadence in stark contrast to the rumbling trains and sharp car horns of the city just beyond. It’s 8am and suits with briefcases are hurrying to get to important things. They pass by the fountain looking down at their watches. It happens to be fashion week and assistants in tight pencil skirts hurriedly weave amongst the crowds with towers of cappuccinos and double skim lattes, willing the threatening brown drops to stay in their paper cups until they reach their destination.

Fifteen minutes pass and the outskirts of Lincoln Center are abuzz with life. Without ceremony, suddenly a drum beat echoes through the courtyard. One is not enough to draw any New Yorkers attention, but the beat continues, growing louder, a low thump like the earth’s heartbeat vibrates underfoot, travels up stilettoed feet and hums through curious spines.

A trickle of white fabric draws eyes to the far right corner of the plaza where young men and women walk ceremoniously toward the fountain. Now the suits have stopped to watch. One hundred dancers step as one to the drum beat and circle the fountain. The air has become solemn and a hush comes over the crowd. The dancers continue their journey with downcast eyes, unaware and unaffected by the goings-on around them. At 8:45 the drum beat stops and the dancers stretch out their arms and raise their chests and faces to the sky. All is still.

One by one people remember. They remember the one thing that we all have in common. Life is a finite thing. As busy as we make it and how many grievances we have about it, one day it will end. For all of us. Some of us go too quickly, leaving the rest of us to lament our loss and wonder why.

Look at life through the lens of death. That is the best advice I can give you. What if your day was tomorrow? What would you do differently? Who would you spend more time with? Would you hold off on your dreams?

Honor those who are gone by cherishing the life you have. Go for your dreams. Your lost ones won’t be at peace if you stop your life where theirs stopped. Be grateful every day and bask in the knowledge that you are loved. Be patient with others and practice loving kindness, especially toward those who don’t seem to want it. They need it most. Reach hearts and remember to smile. Smiling goes a long way. Learn to love and be loved. Be busy, sure. But be busy with friends and dreams and laughter.

When we were standing there, one hundred dancers with outstretched arms, in the stillness I could hear my heart beating. It beat in time with the dancers beside me. It beat to the drum as we walked out of the plaza. And it beat for those whose hearts no longer can.

Here is what I know: Death is sure, but so is love. Love continues long after hearts have stopped and when ours decide to stop beating, those who have gone before us will be there to embrace us with outstretched arms and even more love than we knew in life.