Three Seed Breakfast Bars

Happy Tuesday! Let’s say I may still be struggling after an awesome weekend at my old stomping grounds, Kent State! It was homecoming!! Such a blast from the past! I enjoyed every minute!

I came home early Sunday afternoon and started preparing right away for the week! Stocked up at the grocery store, baked some pumpkin carrot cake (just because I am obsessed with pumpkin), and made a delicious grab and go granola bar that is healthy.  A granola bar that you can pronounce all the ingredients, it has zero chemicals, zero preservatives, and is really yummy!

Let’s take a look at  two popular granola bars that you can buy at the grocery store, shall we?

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Check out those ingredients.  Remember, ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. The first ingredient listed is present in the largest amount. What do you think? I see sugar, corn syrup, different types of oil, partially hydrogenated oil and a few extra things that I do not know what they are, EW! This is only two types of granola bars, there are TONS of options. Some may be better and some are way worse.  Granola bars that you buy in a grocery store are not only expensive but simply just not good for us! We are not getting a lot of bang for our ‘healthy’ buck! And what I mean by that is you’re not getting a lot of dense nutrients.

The message here is stay clear of what I call “Fake Health Foods”, make your own at home that taste better and fresher. And, this recipe, for my five seed granola bars, is very adaptable! It’s as easy to make as rice crispy treats! I bought all my ingredients at Giant Eagle Market District, they have an AMAZING bulk section.  So, I was able to buy foods that are often expensive at very low costs, and in the exact amount I needed them in.  So I would recommend finding a grocery store that has a bulk section, check out Whole Foods!

Three Seed Breakfast Bars

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  • 1 1/4 C old fashion rolled oats
  • 1/3 C raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C Raw Pumpkin Seeds (Green Pepitas)
  • 2 Tbsp Flaxseeds
  • 2 C Whole Wheat puffed Cereal (or regular, whatever you can find!)
  • 1/2 C Chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 C Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 Almond Butter (I used freshly ground)
  • 3 Tbsp organic honey
  • 3 Tbsp organic brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray 8 inch square baking pan with non-stick spray
  2. Spread oats, sunflower seeds, pepitas, and flax seeds on a rimmed baking pan.  Bake, at 4 min, shake pan to mix, continue baking another 4 min OR until flagrant and lightly toasted. Transfer to a mixing bowl.  add cereal, apricots, and blueberries; toss to combine
  3. Combine almond butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, salt in a small sauce pan.  Set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture bubbles around edges.  Pour almond butter mixture over cereal/seed mixture and stir until combined.  Then pour into your ready pan.  Coat hands with non-stick spray and press mixture down firmly to make an even layer.
  4. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.  Cut into 12 bars.

Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers 

I suggest you make these for your friends and family…today!  Yes, these may have sugar in them, however, you control how much, these are so adaptable! Unlike the bars you buy in the stores, you know exactly what your feeding yourself or loved ones! Eat these along with a piece of fruit and some coffee, your breakfast is set!

Enjoy!!

Friday’s Favorite Things

A new and exciting ‘thing’ that will be starting here on MHP is every Friday I will be sharing  my favorite things of the week! Items in all categories that I simply could not have live without, just HAD to have! Oh, this will be fun! I will feel like Oprah…ya know, her favorite things! Okay…slightly kidding!

This week, I don’t know what I would have done without the yummy Trader Joes Crunchy Almond Butter with Roasted Flax.  This Almond butter is my absolute favorite.  I use it almost everyday.  I add it to my oatmeal, eat it will apples/celery/bananas, I enjoy it in the morning on toast or Whole Wheat Nan.  SO GOOD, very filling, and loaded with flax seed! You have got to try it! 

Next up… Luna Bar flavored Chocolate Dipped Coconut. This bar is a perfect sweet treat that also will hold you over between meals.  If you love coconut…give this a try! I always try to have this on hand if I am craving some chocolate.

Lastly, Almond Breeze Almond Coconut Milk.  (PS, I LOVE coconut and anything coconut flavored) This is relatively a new product that is out on the shelves. It is the perfect blend of nutty almond and the sweet taste of coconut. When I saw it, I knew I had to try it.  I always use almond milk, and I knew with my love for coconut..this would be a big hit! This week, I used it in my cereal and in a smoothie.  Very good.  If you do not like coconut, you will not like this…just a little warning.  

So there you have it…this week’s favorite things.  All food related!

Have a fabulous Easter/Holiday weekend.  I am excited to spend my weekend with family and friends. It will include a bridal shower, chocolate, oh and Easter egg hunts!! : )

What are your favorite things this week…please share!! 

 

Avoid that 2:30 feeling

Monday…We meet again.
 
I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! However, today…my butt is dragging!  After a late night of hanging out with friends and watching the Superbowl, this morning was a struggle.  I am not  the morning person (it’s a work in progress, I’m trying!) Therefore I am always looking for quick energy boosters besides my normal dose of coffee from my Keurig and/or my Starbucks fix.  Something that can rev me up… naturally.
Here is what I’ve come up with:
Walking! Okay, so we have all heard this before.  but it is true.  Just a quick 10 minute walk can give us up to TWO HOURS of pure energy according to a study done in Personality and Social Psychology.  So get up and move, it really does work! Just by getting your blood pumping…will do wonders for your mood. We all know what endophins do for us! 
Omega 3 Fatty Acids.  Fatty Acids are known to enhance our mood and brain function. sprinkle some CHIA SEEDS onto your lunch to avoid a midday slump. (Recently, I have been obsessed with Chia Seeds, i’ll sprinkle them on everything…or add them to my smoothies.  Just for  a TBSP you receive about 5-6 g. PRO, 9 g. of healthy fats, and 6 g. of Fiber. Also, they are loaded with B vitamins.)
Stretch.  Start your morning off with a 10 minute stretching/yoga routine with some deep breaths.  I promise you, you will feel the energy.  INSTANTLY!
Play music.  There is nothing more motivating then playing your favorite music.  It will get you up and moving in no time. 
Listen to your body.  If you are tired more than normal and just can’t seem to kick it …listen to your body.  What does it need?
Lastly, I have figured out some energy POWER snacks (besides…my vanilla latte) to help me get through the day…give them try!  Some of my favorites. 
~Chopped walnuts (or almonds) and apples over vanilla greek yogurt. 
~Celery with Almond butter, a banana with Almond butter, Apple with Almond butter
~An orange.  Citrus fruits give us an instant boost!
There you have it…ways to energize without the espresso. 
How do you avoid that 2:30 feeling? Share your tips!