August 13, 2014
Life Changes. None of us want them because I think we all hate change. If it’s a good life change, we’ll take it begrudgingly, but if it’s something that’s scary or undesirable, we avoid it like the plague. Perhaps that is why so many of us cling to what we know and what is comfortable.
I am one of those people. I get comfortable and want to stay with what I know. Even if it makes me unhappy. I sit and think how different life could be if I would just try something new, but it’s scary so I stay where I am. Sometimes, however, you get a kick in the butt that forces you to make that change and you go with your heels dug in…. and then you realize that it was something you should have done so much sooner. Yes, that’s me. Kicking and fighting and holding on to the door jam until my knuckles turn blue. And that is where the story begins.
To start with, I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. It’s only been a couple of months but when you stop doing what you love, it can seem like forever. I stopped for several reasons. It was a time of drudgery and unhappiness and I couldn’t wrap my mind around anything that gave me pleasure. I was trying to figure out life’s destiny due in part to the untimely death of my brother, due in part to the fact I didn’t want to get up and do what I had done for the last sixteen years….mortgages. Life wasn’t fun anymore.
My bosses talked to me…they were worried. My friends and family talked to me. I talked to myself. I decided after several conversations and long bouts of thinking that I was going to make a HUGE change and leave my “I knew where I was going everyday” job. I was going to concentrate on my blog and so the next change was to redo everything to make it more exciting and fun to look at. I went to a food writing seminar and hung out with chefs and other foodie writers and thought I was super cool. But then I added in food safety courses and menus and decided to take on the catering business. At this point I am sure my husband thought I had lost my mind and for the first few days I was almost in agreement with him. But as time wore on and I was doing what I loved and I didn’t have the stress of my job any longer…I realized this was a dream come true and yes, why hadn’t I done this years ago?
But just as you think everything is going right with the world, along comes another change that slaps you upside the head and wakes you up. Out of state and only one day into our mini vacation, my husband has a heart attack. Luckily for both of us, with fortuitous timing and excellent care, everything turned out well with no damage to the heart. But what a wake up call for both of us!
We had to take a look at our lifestyle, our way of eating and what we were eating. It was time for another change. We realized how lucky we were to receive this “second chance” and made the choice to eat smaller portions, heart healthy meals, exercise and even cut down on the wine that we love to enjoy. Some of it has been easy, and some of it has been a kicking and screaming change.
One of the fun things is discovering foods that are good for you and still amazingly good to eat. The day of the heart attack we had eaten that morning at the bed and breakfast we were staying at and they had been so nice to share their granola recipe with me that I had enjoyed with my yogurt. It was one of the first things I made for my husband to make a change to his breakfast.
Sometimes changes are good and sometimes not so good. But it’s all about how we deal with them and how we embrace that change. I for one am loving life right now and hope that it keeps being as exciting as it’s been the last couple of months. And I hope you stick with me…together we’ll embrace the storm.
Almond Coconut Granola
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 bag (6 oz) frozen coconut
- 1/2 cup flaxseed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 6 Tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup mixed dried fruits (I used dried cherries, blueberries, apricots and banana chips)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Stir together oats, almonds, coconut, flaxseed, and salt
- Melt butter, oil and honey and cinnamon over low heat
- Pour liquid mixture over oat mixture until well combined
- Spread granola evenly in a large rimmed baking sheet
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring halfway through the baking process
- Cool granola in pan on wire rack and stir in dried fruits