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Today we are heading to the world famous San Diego Zoo for “Zoo Day” with the company my husband works for.  We’ve been looking forward to this day for the last month or so. Who doesn’t love to see the animals at the zoo? Plus, it will be a great day of exercise with all that walking … which means, no “cute” shoes for me.  It will have to be my “Disneyland” Nike’s, as I call them.  I have my shoes I wear when I walk for exercise each and every morning, but they won’t match a thing (they are bright pink and lime green, afterall). So, last year I bought myself a pair of Nike’s I can wear with jeans or shorts, that will match pretty much any outfit, are super comfortable … and most important of all, will look good. You see, about a year and a half ago, I had a stress fracture on the outside of my foot and got to wear a “boot” for a couple of months.  This was because I’d wear cute sandals or flip flops for hours on end, walking around Disneyland, walking the mall, walking around the softball fields for hours, wherever I had to be, I wore shoes that I shouldn’t have. My parents always told me to wear more sensible shoes!  My Dad hated when I had flip flops on.  He was not a fan of those shoes, or gum chewing. My Mom can tell you the story of the time her, my sister and I were in Vegas and I brought the cutest, highest wedge sandals in all the land. As we were leaving the hotel room, my mom said to me “You’re not wearing those shoes, are you?” I replied, “but, of course, they’re so cute!” She said, “You are not going to want to walk the strip in those!” “I’ll be fine!”  ….. I wasn’t fine.  My feet were killing me and blisters were forming.  We walked into a convenience store and I bought a pair of “Lucky Las Vegas” bobby socks and put them on with my cute, adorable wedge sandals.  Now, I looked super goofy … from the ankles down.  The good news is, I walked into a casino as soon as I put those socks on, walked up to a slot machine and won $50!  So, those really were “Lucky Las Vegas” socks.  My Mom always looks pulled together, whether she’s wearing tennis shoes and jeans or her penny loafers.  She has a very classic look.  I should have listened to her that day, she looked great in her Treetorns or Nike’s, whichever she was wearing (she even keeps a pair of Nike’s at my house in the guest room closet).  I should have followed in my mother’s footsteps and went with the look she was sporting that day.  Then again, maybe I wouldn’t have won $50. Today, I’ll be ready with my sneakers on to walk the zoo with Dennis and Kylie.

Not only will I be ready with the correct shoes on, I’ll be ready for the day after eating this breakfast full of fruit (dried and fresh), nuts and Greek non-fat yogurt – leaving the house feeling healthy and ready for the day! For the yogurt, I use Dannon Light and Fit.  It has the lowest sugar of any I’ve seen.  I always check the sugar grams on yogurt before I buy it, because I don’t like to have a lot of sugar.  The Dannon is my go-to.

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Last night, I made homemade granola so it would be ready for this morning’s breakfast. It’s really quite simple. I started with old fashioned rolled oats and shredded (reduced fat) coconut … I found that at Sprouts. Simply mix the oats and coconut together in a large bowl and in a smaller bowl, whisk together vegetable oil and honey. Add the honey and oil to the oats and coconut, mix together with a wooden spoon and lay it out on a large sheet pan and bake. Make sure you stir the oats mixture a few times during baking.

While that was baking, I combined dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried apricots, cashews (whole) and almonds (chopped … I bought whole almonds and chopped them). Once the granola was out of the oven, I let it cool and mixed the dried fruit and nuts into the granola.

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I then placed the granola in airtight container to store.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cuts shredded coconut (I used reduced fat)
  • 2 cups roasted cashews
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup good honey
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dried apricots

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats and coconut. In a smaller bowl, whisk together vegetable oil and honey and add to the oats and coconut. Mix together with a wooden spoon. Pour onto a large jelly roll pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. Make sure to stir a few times while baking.

Combine cherries, cranberries, apricots, cashews and almonds in a bowl and set aside.

Remove granola from oven and allow to cool.

Add dried fruits and nuts to granola and mix together. Put in an airtight container to store. Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris