Friday, May 20, 2016

Jamie's Diet Food: "Paleo" Granola

It's been much harder to keep my weight down this year, since I'm not doing nearly as much volume as last year. I also want to try to stay lighter this year, because that's what cyclists do. I've been more successful than I anticipated on hilly races at staying up with the climbers, but I think it will be that much easier if I weigh less.

As a result, I've been leaning back towards a paleo eating style. I don't really subscribe to the theoretical side of paleo (although I used to, and you can read some of it in my archives) . . . I know more about human physiology now, and the paleo/primal movement strikes me as one more movement that's more about the tribe than about the science. There are some good principles, but it seems mostly like a chance for people who need to feel special to tell everyone else how special they are. I feel the same way about vegans. Go ahead and start penning your hate mail, now. Diatribe over.

Anyway, I may not be part of the great primal evangelical movement anymore, but I still like a lot of the ideas behind it. Eat as many whole, natural foods as you can; focus on lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits; have some nuts and seeds, minimize grains; enjoy things in moderation; and remember that diet is only a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Since it's hard to do lots of endurance training when you eat lower quantities of carbohydrates, I've also been doing some nutrient timing. On Tuesday, when I had some hard Trainer Road intervals on the docket, I had some pasta with my lunch and a sandwich for dinner. On Wednesday, when all I scheduled was yoga and an endurance ride, I stayed away from the grains in favor of extra veggies and some fish. I eat some calorie-dense foods, but I cluster them around my hard workouts.

For breakfast, I've been having nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit on yogurt. Then I found this paleo granola recipe on Pinterest. I just finished making a small batch to make sure that I like it. And I mostly enjoy it. It feels a little heavy, probably from all the nuts and seeds. I don't like it as much as real granola. Maybe it needs more salt, or more vanilla. Here's my version, if you want to try it:

Jamie's Paleo Granola

2 cups almonds (chopped or slivered or whatever)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut
2 tbsp flax meal
2 tbsp almond meal
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger

3 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 275*. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Combine dry ingredients in a big bowl. Warm liquid ingredients in a saucepan on the stove (don't put honey in the microwave). Combine and toss. Spread mixture on baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15.

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