Whole-Food Granola

Whole Food Granola--Refined sugar free, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free
Whole Food Granola–Refined sugar free, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free

In my series of 5 Ideas That Completely Changed the Way I Eat, the first idea “Say No to Crack“, was about making better choices at breakfast time, so I thought it would be appropriate that my first recipe on the blog be one of that can help with that choice.

I fell in love with this granola when I went gluten-free and dairy-free 3 years ago.   The great thing about this recipe is that I used absolutely no refined sugar!

Listed under “ingredients” are the ones I used in the picture, but to add variety to my routine, I often substitute some of the nuts and seeds.    If you have a nut allergy then you can use buckwheat, and your choice of seeds.  This recipe can also be made raw, but since I am currently travelling and my food dehydrator is half-way across world, I only have times for cooking.


1 cup of raw organic sliced almonds (or any other nut of your choice)

1 cup of raw organic walnut pieces (or any other nut of your choice)

1/2 raw organic pumpkin seed (or any seed of your choice)

1/2 raw organic sunflower seed (or any seed of your choice)

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

A generous amount of cinnamon (this depends on your taste)

1/2 cup of pitted Medjool dates

2 teaspoons water

2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)

1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)


Preheat the oven to 225 degrees celsius. Grease a large baking sheet.

In a blender or food processor, mix dates and water until it forms a paste. In a medium mixing bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Add the date and water mixture to the nut mixture. Make sure all the nuts and seeds are well coated with the honey and coconut oil (you may need to add a bit more honey or maple syrup, depending on the nuts you used).

Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and bake for 25 mins. With a spatula, mix and flip the granola mixture and bake for another 25-35 minutes. Turn off oven and let the granola sit in the warm oven for 2 hours.

dsc_4218Serve as a cereal with sliced or dried fruit, and coconut or almond milk, or just eat on its own as a tasty treat.  Store the granola in your fridge for up to a week.

For a more salty taste you can add 1 teaspoon of salt before baking.

Can’t wait to hear your feedback on this one. If you are enjoying these recipes and posts, then please don’t forget to share them.

Thanks for reading!


Can I interest you in purchasing some overpriced heroin?

Not sold?

How about if I very cleverly package it with the word “Organic” on it?  “Vegan”? “Gluten-Free”? “Reduces Appetite”? “No Sugar Added”? Oh oh, I know… “Fat-Free”!

We are all taught, from a young age, that heroin–no matter where you buy it, how much it costs, and how cleverly it is packaged–is garbage.   When it comes to what we eat, we have a harder time distinguishing between what is healthy, and what is garbage.

As a general rule, if you would be extremely concerned if your dog got into it, and ate it, then you probably shouldn’t be feeding it to your kids either.  It might also be a good idea for you to pass on it too.  All jokes aside, thanks to brilliant marketing, it is getting harder and harder to know how to properly read a food label, and then accurately assess if it’s nutritious, or toxic.

For the most part, real food is not preserved in a package,  which eliminates the space to write these tricky little labels, or a list of ingredients.   Real foods (healthy foods), have a short shelf life; are one ingredient long; can’t be stored in a cardboard box in your pantry for months; and are unrefined, whole-foods.  Thus, if you are reading a label, then that is a good sign, that it does not qualify as healthy.

That said, in this day, packaged foods are so popular for a reason.  They are convenient, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Even I have some packaged foods in my cupboard at this very moment.  When I buy these foods, I read the labels, and do my best to determine which of the options, in my opinion, is less toxic to my body.  Words like “natural” or “calories” have little to do with my decision. To me, it’s all about the quality and quantity of the actual ingredients.  This post, which is #5 out of 5 Simple Ideas That Completely Changed the Way I Eat, is meant to help make reading these labels, a little less deceiving.

Each food in it’s natural unrefined state, contains in that food, all the nutrients needed to properly metabolize it.   For example, raw sugar cane, before separated into two parts–refined white sugar and blackstrap molasses–can actually be considered healthy.  Our body recognizes it; can metabolize it; and readily obtain nutrients from it.   White sugar is devoid of it’s nutrients, so in order to digest it, it must steal from your body all the vitamins, minerals and amino acids required to metabolize it.   Furthermore, refined sugar is robbed of it’s fibre.   Fibre is good because it slows down the rate at which a food is digested.  This is important because it reduces the likelihood that the sugar will be released rapidly into your bloodstream–causing a spike in blood sugar and insulin (the fat storing, stress hormone) release.   My top three choices for added sweeteners are, dates (a whole food), maple syrup (often not raw) and honey (not vegan), simply because consuming these doesn’t mean my body has to be pillaged of it’s own nutrients in order to digest it.

Then there is also the “5 ingredients or less” rule. The rule is…don’t buy anything that contains more than five ingredients.   Again, 5 ingredients or less doesn’t classify it as healthy, but I do think it’s a good idea to avoid most products that have more than 5 ingredients in it.    Greater number of ingredients can mean more processing, and greater toxic load.   Especially, if it sounds like one or more of those said ingredients were made in a laboratory.

One of these things just doesn’t belong here. Can you guess what it is?

A-is for Apple

B-is for Brazil Nut

C-is for Calcium Caseinate

And what about here?
Organic Limes
Organic Limes


20 Litres of Gluten-Free, Cholesterol-Free, Halal, Refined Vegetable Oil.
20 Litres of Gluten-Free, Cholesterol-Free, Halal, Natural Source of Omega 3, Refined Vegetable Oil.


Organic Berries
Organic Berries

Let’s start giving ourselves more credit… Identifying healthy, is this easy.    Go with your gut, not a fancy label.   While it’s true, when buying produce organic is often a better choice, that doesn’t apply to everything.   Don’t be a sucker for marketing, fancy brown paper bags, and expensive price tags.  A creative campaign never trumps the extraordinary intelligence of Mother Nature.

Sending love from Sydney,







No Regrets!

“A quality life demands quality questions”  -Dr. John Demartini

…as does a quality diet.

This post is part 4 of 5 simple idea’s that changed the way I eat.

In part 1, “Say no to Crack!” I touched on blood sugar as it relates to food and sugar cravings.  The lower your blood sugar, the more your brain will signal for the quickest hit of sugar, in the largest quantity you could imagine.

Anyone ever tell you “your eyes are bigger than your head”?

Well, that also has a large part to do with where your head is at when you sit down to eat. Let’s say, you have an extra stressful day, maybe work really sucked, or the boss was exceptionally assy that day. Whatever the threat you perceive to your survival in the near future–whether it be a legitimate fear/threat or not–your body will react by wanting to store some energy for it.

How does your body store energy?

Through storing fat.

What’s the quickest way to store fat?

Eat excessive quantities of fat and sugar… STAT!

A large portion of food cravings are governed by these factors.    In this day and age, the majority us rarely need all this superfluous body fat.  Fact is, most of us can actually do with a lot less of it…I’m just saying.

Case and point–that time we all stuffed our basements with 8000 cans of beans for that whole Y2K fiasco.

So then, why in this state, would we think it’s a good idea to stand in front of an open fridge, or pick up a menu and ask ourselves, “What do I FEEL like eating?”

Who was the genius who came up with that question?

Duh, I feel like eat junk food right now.  Here’s an idea, how about I ask myself a question that is more conducive to my overall physical, mental and emotional life goals. “How do I want to feel after I eat this?”  or, “What can I eat that might help me reach my current health goal?” perhaps, “Have I had enough fibre? protein? or healthy fats today?”  or even, “What can I use to decorate my plate?”

Depending on how assy your boss was that day, the answer to, “What do I feel like eating?” could be the insidious combination of a chocolate bar, a bag of chips, a can of pop, and a donut. Ooh, or ice cream–that perfect hit of fat and sugar in one deliciously evil, creamy little blend.

I love ice cream, but I always regret ice cream :(.  I would have been better off eating all those 8000 cans of beans that are stored in the basement.   Have you ever regretted eating junk food and storing energy?

How about a salad…have you ever regretted a salad?

I have never heard anyone say, “Oh god, I feel disgusting, I knew I shouldn’t have eaten that damn salad, I was just craving it soooo badly!”

Who cares what you FEEL like eating, you don’t always feel like eating a salad, but you NEED a salad more than a chocolate bar…every time!

My wish, for all of you who read this post is, that from this day forward, every single time you ask yourself that question — “What do I feel like eating”–this post will pop into your head, the words will haunt you, and you at least some of the time, change the quality of your question, which has the impact to change the quality of your diet.

Sending love from Sydney,


Oh and “assy” is a word, it’s just not in the dictionary, yet 🙂



If Only For a Day

There is a considerable amount of debate when it comes to the subject of the innate human diet.

Are we meant to be omnivores, pescatarians or herbivores?

Above all, this question was the one I wanted the answer to when I first decided to study nutrition. There were a number of convincing arguments from all sides, but in the end, I never got a definitive answer. Like all nutritionists, I was to collect the data that was either provided to me, or that which I found through independent research, and I was to formulate my own opinion–which I ultimately did. That said, I am open to the idea that I may one day change my theory, as we are constantly learning more and more about the human body and it’s intrinsic design.

No matter what side of the fence we are on, we all seem to collectively agree on one thing…. We are consuming way too much meat. The Earth and our bodies were not designed to consume animal products at the rate at which we are consuming them now. Even those who follow the hunter-gather diet (paleolithic diet), understand that our ancestors were highly unlikely to successfully hunt and kill an animal on a daily basis, let alone at every meal. The prevailing belief among paleolithic eaters is, that the diet was mainly comprised of plant-foods, while animals were captured and consumed less regularly. Fast-forward only a few-thousand years, where over 92% of the estimated 7.153 billion people on earth, are eating meat, some of whom, eat it at every meal. We are exhausting our resources at a rapid pace, making the task of raising all these animals in an honourable or wholesome manner, a near impossible feat.

To add fuel to the fire, there is a fair bit of dispute in the vegan world if we are in fact even meant to cook our food. Raw-veganism, if practiced properly, can provide us with all the nutrition the human body needs–including protein. I have heard every argument you can possibly think of, as to why a person believed they could not ever practice raw-veganism. I usually dominate that argument, but don’t worry, I am not writing this post to convert you. Well, not completely…

I am not 100% raw-vegan, but I am about 95% of the time–usually consuming meat about one day a week and it’s a personal choice that when I do choose to eat animal flesh, I prefer it comes from an organic, free-range source. I find this diet to be the perfect balance for me given my current circumstances, as I consider all the factors that currently affect my quality of life–socially, financially, physically and spiritually. It’s a personal choice, ultimate up to each individual, where in the spectrum they would like to lie. This means you don’t have to belong to one side or the other to do your part to practice conservation of our resources, and you can reap some of the health benefits of being a raw-vegan without completely giving up meat. You can choose to simply be a raw-vegan, even just one day a week. It doesn’t matter who you are, what kind of schedule you have, how much you are addicted to animal flesh, or how much you worry about meeting your protein needs, it’s easy to sustain from it for simply one day per week. Over time, just as it happened to me, you might find you actually prefer it, at which point you could decide to increase it 2 or 3 days a week. Either way, the idea is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be all or nothing, the whole world can benefit from at least one day a week.

The most common question I get when I pitch this idea is… Where will I get my protein?

Okay, first of all, chances are if you have been eating animal protein for your entire life, you will not develop a protein deficiency after just one day. None-the-less, this is one of the many reasons why it may be wise to practice your 1 day, as a RAW-food vegan.

Proteins are just various chains of amino-acids. Within the human body, there are 22 different animo-acids that are needed to make up these various chains. When we eat animal proteins, our bodies break them down into the individual amino-acids, and then it uses those amino-acids to build completely new chains of proteins. Plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables-including sea vegetables, nuts and seeds) as long as they are raw, are full of these amino-acids, but if one heats these foods above 108 degrees fahrenheit, all the amino acids die. Eating a variety of live (raw) plant-foods can provide you with all the nutrients your body needs to make protein. Again, just like my last post “decorate your plate”, the key here is–variety

It is important to understand that word “vegan” does not mean “healthy”. A junk-food vegan diet, in my opinion, can be one of the worst routes that one can take.

“If only for one day” is part 3 of 5 simple ideas that completely changed the way I eat. I look forward to hearing your feedback on this or any other posts.