Life struggles are real…
… if I can, I always try to find solutions for them.
Today I am sharing something a little different, something that I am dealing with that is a very common struggle known by many… which is getting into shape, losing weight and becoming as healthy as possible. I know I am not alone in this struggle since these are some of the most searched terms on the internet.
Over the past few years I have read every diet book and tried every eating plan ever created from cover to cover. Want to know the two common threads I found in all my reading and testing?
- The diets/eating plans all contradict each other.
- You will lose weight on all of the diets/eating plans.
But here is what I found to be the most important thing…
- Will you be able to stick with the eating plan which may limit carbs, meat, fat, or whatever the eating plan dictates for the long run?
After following many of these plans, I did lose weight, only to gain it back again when I simply could not sustain or limit food groups from my diet. A carb-free diet is not sustainable for the way I want to live, but it can be for someone else. You just have to do some trial and error to find out what plan is easy for you to follow so that you can stick to it for the long run, perhaps even life.
Back in February, I was once again scanning the internet for food and nutrition information and stumbled upon a Weight Watchers Freestyle program post. I had done Weight Watchers 25 years ago where you kept track of everything you ate. The new program that I was reading about was much smarter and was created in a way that allows more healthy foods to be on the “unlimited food list” that now includes chicken breasts, fruit, lentils, beans and more. These once had to be counted, but no more.
I like all these foods and if I could eat them and other favorite foods, perhaps I could do this and keep it up for the long run. So I read more, downloaded the WW online app and made a list of the foods I love, like toast and crusty bread.
With some trial and error over the past two months, I lost 15 pounds by allowing myself not to feel guilty about eating bread. I call this a win! I even had a normal size slice of chocolate cake when we were out to dinner two weeks ago.
So… over the past few weeks I have been looking at all the real and wholesome foods I love and figuring out ways I can add them into my daily diet in a smart way. One food is granola. I like crunchy foods best… toast, crusty bread, granola. I have the bread thing figured out and wanted to find a low or non fat granola that would not be too caloric. I found a recipe and tweaked it so I could have enough to enjoy on a bowlful of berries, making the berries seem like a decadent treat.
The nice thing about making the granola myself is that I know exactly what is in it. I can also add as much sweetness or optional ingredients as I want so that it is just right for my taste and needs.
I like it alone on berries, but you could add it over non-fat Greek yogurt or even…
… whipped cream on top. Ed likes it this way with real whipped cream, but to keep the WW Freestyle points low, you could add non-fat whipped cream. That’s what makes it so good… you get to decide.
Weight Watchers Freestyle Non-Fat Granola Recipe
Non-Fat Granola Topping Recipe
When you are looking for a little crunch on your berries or yogurt, but don't want to add the calories to your day, this non-fat granola is the answer. It is easy to make and can be tweaked in many ways to customize it to your taste.
Makes 18 - 1/4 cup servings - 3 WW Freestyle Points.
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 3 tbsp egg white or the white of one large egg
- 2 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp orange rind, finely grated
Optional: 1 tsp Orange or vanilla extract, 2 tsps of pepitas, sunflower seeds, raisins, or dried cranberries. Note that the addition of some of these will change the WW Points value or calories per serving.
Preheat oven to 350° oven.
Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Combine oats, pepitas, almonds and chia seeds in a large bowl. Whisk the egg white, maple syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add egg white mixture to coat oats mixture and toss to combine. Scatter over lined trays.
Bake for 10 minutes, swapping trays on racks and stirring halfway through cooking. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with orange rind. Bake, for 2 minutes more or until granola is lightly golden. Set aside on trays to cool completely.