Quinoa Breakfast Granola

Last week I was trying to find something for breakfast on Pinterest, and cereal and granola recipes were really catching my eye. But when I checked the recipes I was so disappointed with the amount of sugar or the lack of protein in all of them. I still absolutely love the very high protein granola I’ve made twice now, but I was still looking for less sugar. Finally, I decided to make up my very own recipe for quinoa granola.

vegan, granola, breakfast, quinoa, healthy, nutrition
Full of keep-you-feeling-full goodness!

That’s right, this is my very first original recipe! I drew inspiration from the pumpkin granola I mentioned above and another quinoa granola recipe, but this is an entirely new creation. And it’s delicious, if I do say so myself.

I seriously debated adding the magic-vegan-protein that I used in the pumpkin granola but in the end decided to stick with just quinoa this time. (If you’re curious about the magic-vegan-protein-definitelynotproteinpowder-ingredient, you should definitely check that genius out here.)

I have been eating this all week and now I only have one day left and I am soooo sad. This is going to have to be repeated soon. I love granola and cereal but if you don’t make it yourself it’s an easy way to get a ridiculous amount of sugar and processed ingredients + no protein into your body real fast. And no protein = no energy = never full and always needing more food. And don’t get me started on the amount of sugar and processed foods in a normal diet.

This is definitely 150% better than store-bought granola. And let me assure you that it will keep you completely full well until lunch time. In fact, I’ve had to be reminded that it’s lunch time more than once over the past week because I wasn’t dying of hunger! It doesn’t get better than that.

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Goa, India

After a great weekend in Mumbai, we headed to Anjuna Beach in North Goa, India for the rest of Kyle’s spring break. North Goa has a reputation for being a bit of a party haven, but that certainly was not the case when we were there.

We arrived after dark and took an hour-long taxi ride to our cottage. That part was a little scary at times! Luckily, we made it there alive. Kyle decided to pay extra for the air conditioning and thank goodness for that, because it did get pretty hot! The cottage was fine but the shower left a bit to be desired. The water was definitely always cold . . . if you were lucky enough to get any water at all! No wi-fi in the rooms but it was available at the restaurant.

From the cottages you could walk through a bar area to a dining area with a beautiful sea view. The food was great, we had breakfast there a couple of times and the owner was very nice. The beach is lined with the similar restaurant/bar terraces with sea views and accompanying cottages on the other side.

goa, india, anjuna beach, travel
Tantra Beach Huts – so glad we did NOT stay here! You know you’re old when all you can picture is falling to your death while trying to go to the bathroom!

We arrived on a Sunday at almost 9PM and checked into our room. Then we headed next door to Cafe Lilliput to grab a beer. Just a few minutes after they brought it to us the server made his rounds for last call. We were quite confused, since we were expecting to be the “old” people calling it a night at midnight.

We asked several questions. First, was last call at 10 because it was Sunday? Nope, 10 PM all week. Ok, well, is last call at 10 only here and other places are still open? Nope, no alcohol is be served after 10PM in all of Anjuna. Then we asked why, and the only answer we got was that the police go around checking each place.

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5 Ways to Stay Healthy When Eating Out

Being healthy while you’re at home is much easier than when you’re relying on others to prepare your food for you. But, there are many occasions when eating out is necessary. Trying to stay (or become) healthy is no excuse to miss out on social opportunities. This week, instead of sharing a recipe, I wanted to provide some tips for how to stay healthy when eating out.

True celebrations are not what I’m talking about here. Your birthday, anniversary, and maybe a special holiday or two can be true free-for-alls. But, if we treat every trip to a restaurant as a celebration, we’re likely not going to be able to stay on the healthy wagon for long.

So, how can we balance an evening out with healthy choices?

First of all, remember that everything is OK in moderation. Then, try out these tips!

1. Only Drink Water.

You know you’re going to be consuming more calories and sodium than you would be if you were eating at home. Why not save yourself the extra calories of soda or juice? Even diet soda can make you feel more hungry than you actually are because your body is searching for the calories that it can taste but isn’t getting (ie any artificial sweeteners). This can lead you to consuming more food than you intended.

If you’re going out to a Happy Hour and don’t want to be the only person without a drink (because no one wants that!), choose a lower calorie option and stick to one serving. A glass of wine, a beer, or a gin/vodka with diet tonic and lemon/lime juice are your lowest calorie options.

Whether you do stick to just one drink or you have more than one, make sure you’re still drinking plenty of water! That will help you stay hydrated and combat the extra salt that you’ll be eating.

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Mumbai, India

For Kyle’s semester break we decided to meet up with Kyle’s dad in Mumbai, India for a weekend since he was in New Delhi for work. I cannot tell you how excited I was to finally make it to India!

We considered a month-long train trip around India this summer but eventually decided that even a month wouldn’t be enough time to properly see India. So instead, we’ll be spending a month in a different location : )  before we head home to the States for a few weeks this summer.

We arrived in India around 6AM. We had arranged for the hotel we were staying at to pick us up; however, they were nowhere to be seen. Luckily we didn’t spend too much time looking for them because when we finally did arrive at the hotel they confirmed that they hadn’t sent anyone to pick us up. In addition to that, they denied any knowledge of us having arranged an early check-in. Kyle had to show them the email thread where we did indeed confirm – in addition to airport pickup – an early check in. An hour later we were taken to a lovely room with a mold covered bathroom ceiling.

Luckily, India got much better after that!

But back to our airport-to-hotel journey. By the time we realized our arranged transportation wasn’t there, we were out of the airport. We needed some rupees for a taxi so we walked toward the parking garage in search of an ATM. We didn’t find one. What we did find, was a man in a suit asking if we needed a taxi. We explained our lack of cash and he replied that it was no problem and that he would take us to an ATM.

So, we followed him through the parking garage, out to a road where his car was stopped. First stop was the ATM. After that, I wasn’t paying enough attention to details to be sure but I honestly think we drove around in a circle before he stopped the car again. Then, he told us we had arrived at our taxi. We got out, got our bags, and squeezed into one of the tiniest cars I’ve ever been inside.

mumbai, india, bombay, beach
Mumbai Beach

We got several hours of sleep while we waited on Kyle’s dad to arrive. Once he was settled in we walked along the beach and down some of the main streets for a while. For dinner, Kyle suggested Harry’s, which was a very short walk from the hotel. I loved every single thing I ate in India, but the green vegetable curry at Harry’s was truly fantastic.

mumbai, gateway to india, travel, elephanta island
Gateway to India

We woke up early Saturday and headed to the Gateway of India for a trip to Elephanta Island. You can buy tickets to the island from men with ID tags outside the entrance to the gate. There’s a short security line to through before you get to the Gateway. After that, we bought a couple of bottles of water and found the gate for our boat.

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Curried Butternut Squash Stew

I have some very exciting news for you this week . . . we finally bought a slow cooker!! Don’t worry, I don’t actually expect you to be quite as thrilled as I am. I’m a little amazed that I actually lasted 6 whole months without one. So, now that my life is whole again, I had to find something to use it for. This curried butternut squash stew was the perfect solution!

I was a little (ok, a lot) ambitious and thought I could double the recipe. I got as far as adding the squash and half the cauliflower to the slow cooker before I realized there was no way it was going to work.

So, I pulled out a bowl and separated half of the cauliflower and squash into it. The rest of the recipe was divided evenly. All of the ingredients in the bowl were popped into the fridge to await their turn to the slow cooker the next day. It could not have been easier to make two batches of this.

After washing the slow cooker basin, I just dumped the contents of the bowl in and added the can of light coconut milk. That’s it! The house smelled amazing two days in a row, I have lots of delicious food in the freezer, and a fantastic lunch for the week.

With so few ingredients, I was slightly worried that the stew would be a little lacking in flavor, but it definitely is not! It is delicious. I’m serving it over rice, but it is just as good all on it’s own.

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