Red, White & Blueberry Granola Parfait

Happy 4th of July!! [to my American readers, that is… to everyone else, yay Friday!]

I never used to be a huge fan of the 4th when I was a kid. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was deathly afraid of fireworks. When my family would watch them, my mom would put earplugs in my brother’s and my ears so that we wouldn’t freak out.

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I’m still kind of afraid of fireworks, mostly because I know the damage that they can cause if they go wrong… but they’re undeniably beautiful. These days, I love the 4th of July. It could be that said fear of fireworks has decreased, or it could be that I’m of legal drinking age. Either/or, I dunno.

That said, I still love to get a little something healthy in my body before all of the afternoon and evening indulgences. But I still love to be festive. Enter: granola and yogurt parfait. Remember when I did the 21 Day Sugar Detox? There was this stuff on the detox called “banola.” It’s basically grain-free granola, sweetened with bananas. I decided to make a blue granola based on this recipe, and what better ingredient to add a little US of A color than blueberries? That’s a rhetorical question.

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You could really put this granola on whatever you wanted, but just take into account that it’s not overly sweet. There’s a lot of natural sugar from the blueberries, but if you find that you want it sweeter, just add some honey or maple syrup. I decided to make a fun parfait with some strawberries to get the full flag of color into the jar. If you want to keep breakfast light today or over the weekend, this is the perfect, USA-inspired dish.

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Red, White & Blueberry Granola Parfait

Banola adapted from The 21 Day Sugar Detox
Makes approximately 4 cups of granola


For the blueberry granola:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • 1/3 c. egg whites (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. raw almonds
  • 1 c. walnuts
  • 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1 c. almond meal

For the parfait:

  • 2/3 c. blueberry granola
  • 2/3 c. greek yogurt
  • 6 medium strawberries, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 c. blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender, process bananas, blueberries, egg whites, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until smooth. There will still be a few pieces of blueberry skin that won’t blend, which is fine.
  3. Prepare a cookie pan with either parchment paper or non-stick spray (I used parchment paper. If you use non-stick spray, expect the granola to brown more.
  4. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients with the blended ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Spread the mixture on the pan into as thin a layer as you can.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until some pieces turn golden, breaking up and flipping every ten or so minutes.
  7. After the blueberry granola cools, assemble the parfait. Layer 1/3 c. greek yogurt, half of the strawberries, the blueberries and 1/3 c. blueberry granola, in that order. Follow with the remaining greek yogurt, strawberries and granola.
  8. Top with a little more yogurt or fruit, if desired.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Questions of the Day:
>> What are your 4th of July plans? Weekend plans if you’re not celebrating?
>> What are your favorite parfait additions? 


My Thoughts About The 21 Day Sugar Detox

I want to preface this post by saying that I am not a licensed health professional or an RD. The experiences I share on this blog are unique to myself. What works for me works for me, and it may not work for you.

Okay, so it’s Tuesday! This is the first full week of school that I’ve had for … three?… weeks, I believe. That’s okay with me, really. I appreciate my weekly schedules, and while days off are fun for a while, I don’t think I could take that any more. Enough small talk for today, though – let’s get to the meat of today’s post: my experience with the 21 Day Sugar Detox.

If I’m being honest with you, I was really nervous about admitting that I was doing the 21DSD. That’s why I was so nonchalant about saying it on here. I think people often misconstrue the reasons behind trying out new ways of eating. Note that I didn’t say “dieting,” there. Personally, I don’t believe that fad diets work. Been there, done that, and I’m very wary of them now. If I’m going to do something like the 21DSD, it must align with my values and have some valid research backing it up. However, the 21DSD intrigued me. Let me explain.


The 21DSD book is filled with information not only about how to eat during the 21 days but also the science behind why that works. The creator of the 21DSD, Diane Sanfilippo, ends her preface the book with these words: “My goal has been, and will continue to be, to show people how changing the balance of the food on their plates, as well as their habits around sweets and refined foods, will change their lives.” I went into the 21DSD with the intention of experimentation. I wanted to see how limiting my sugar intake for three weeks would make me feel, both physically and mentally.

After the holiday season, I felt pretty crummy. I was bloated almost constantly, and I had some pretty crazy cravings for all things sugar. Now, I am not one to turn down a cupcake or chocolate, but when I started to not crave vegetables as much, I knew something was wonky.



I’d seen several reviews of the 21DSD, and all of them were positive. I decided to recruit my girl Cassie on board, and we looked into the 21DSD seriously.

My goal for the the past 21 days was to cut those sugar cravings, lose the bloat that I felt, get “regular” (ahem), and ultimately just see how my body reacted to this way of eating. My goal was not to lose weight. Let me say that again for you: my goal wasn’t to lose weight. I didn’t take before or after pictures. I didn’t weigh myself before, during, or after. I simply just wanted to feel better.

The Food

What could I eat?
Gluten-free grains (1/2 cup per day), limited starchy vegetables, most other vegetables, full-fat dairy, meat, fish, eggs, most nuts and seeds, and limited condiments

What about fruit?
One green-tipped banana (actually my favorite kind, people think that’s weird), green apple, or grapefruit per day

What couldn’t I eat?
Refined carbohydrates, soy, wheat, flour made from grains, cashews, peanuts, alcohol, and sweeteners, among a few other things

What did I eat?
Check out this What I Ate Wednesday post for a typical day.

To be truthful, the 21DSD did not feel restrictive at all. A lot of it was similar to the way I already ate, just with less fruit and grains. Sure it was strange to not eat peanut butter, most fruits, and oats for a few weeks. I had to turn down alcohol with my friends (frankly, that was fine – I don’t have the money to spend on that right now). But all in all, I had maybe one or two moments through the entire program where I really missed those things.


The Experience

How did I feel?
When it was all said and done, in a word: amazing. For the first few days, I was completely fine and feeling great. My bloat started to decrease. By the end of the first week, my digestion was regular again. During week two, I had some hungry moments, so I compensated for that by adding some extra almonds into my day as a snack. I would also add in desserts on some days, like coconut oil chocolate almond butter cups (the easiest thing to make, ever) or coconut flour mug cakes. By the start of the third week, Cassie and I were texting back and forth praising the 21DSD.

Overall, my body just felt like it was working more mechanically like it was supposed to. I did have an acne flare, which I am attributing to “detoxification.” I don’t think I lost weight – but like I said, that wasn’t my goal. I did lose the bloat I mentioned, and I can happily say that my sugar cravings are gone. This weekend, when I ate a cupcake, I didn’t feel like I wanted ten cupcakes. One was good.

Something to note here, though, is that it would be beneficial to stagger adding back in foods that were eliminated. Since my family was here this weekend, I went straight back to most foods, barring alcohol. I had chips, tofu, bread, a cupcake and white rice all within the weekend. My stomach was in a bit of a tizzy Friday night (the last day of the 21DSD was Wednesday), but by Sunday morning I was feeling great again. We will see this weekend how I respond to alcohol (ha!).


What did I learn?
First and most importantly: fat is GOOD, and it will not make you fat. Second, it’s fun to vary breakfasts. For a while I was stuck in a breakfast rut, but this made me step out of my comfort zone and eat more savory breakfasts. Okay, back to the fat. “Full fat” anything might look intimidating in our world of low-fat lovers, but they just haven’t experienced the greatness that is full fat coconut milk in coffee. Coconut oil tastes fab in mug cakes. Eggs are more flavorful cooked in olive oil. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are damn tasty. And when we eat enough calories in a day, our bodies thank us. They run more efficiently with fat. Oh, and obviously, vegetables are as good and good for you as ever.


Where do I go from here?
Well, I can say that I don’t feel like I need to add sweetener or sugar to everything anymore, that’s for sure. I actually probably will cut back on my stevia usage, if I use it at all. A lot of things are very sweet to me now, even carrots, which is interesting. And the same goes for plain Greek yogurt – it’s no longer shockingly sour but rather enjoyable. I want to keep the principles of the 21 DSD, meaning decreased sugar, in my daily life. I want to continue to limit refined, processed foods. But I’m a realist – I’m not going to totally eliminate them. That’s no fun. The same goes with fruit. I like strawberries, blueberries, grapes, etc. Fruit season is coming up! And goodness knows I’m ready to face plant into some peanut butter (although I have a deep love for almond and sunflower butter now, too).

Would I recommend it?
Absolutely. *But, and this is important, only do what feels right for you.* Talk to your doctor if you feel you need help deciding if the 21DSD should be an option for you. Treat your body with love and care, always with good intention. It will respond positively to that, which will make for a more positive you. This worked for me. Like I said, it might not be your solution.

So that was a little long-winded, but hopefully you made it out alive. As I final note, I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the 21DSD. Cassie was a great support system, and it was actually a fun and worthwhile experience. That said… I’m going to have some wine this weekend.

Question of the Day:
>> Have you heard of the 21DSD? Tried it? Thoughts?
>> Have you tried full fat coconut milk in your coffee? Do it now.

Eats and an Author + Winner [WIAW #38]

I have to say, one thing I’m going to miss dearly when I leave college is the opportunity to see and do unique things that I might not have the chance to experience elsewhere. Last night, I had the opportunity to see Jodi Picoult speak for a lecture series at my school, and I left immensely impressed and just in total awe.

I know this isn’t a literature blog or a creative writing blog, but literature and writing are something I am very passionate about so you just have to hear me out for a minute! If you get the chance to see Picoult speak, do it (she is one of my favorite authors, and I highly recommend her work). The stories she shared with us about her story research were enthralling. I could have listened to her for hours – I have to admire someone who is so open to learning new things and completely immersing themselves in their work.

Okay one more thing before we get to the other star of today, the food. Picoult has gone ghost hunting before with Jay and Grant, the guys from Ghost Hunters! I am super into the paranormal so when she told us those stories (which were some of the most authentic ghost stories I’ve ever heard) my jaw probably hit the floor. Let’s just say the ghosts left gifts for her that she still has today. Pretty crazy.

I didn’t get out of the lecture until 9 pm, so I had a really late dinner! Let’s go backward for today’s What I Ate Wednesday.

Recently I have discovered the collard wrap. Well, really, you could make a wrap out of most green vegetables, but the collard green just seems right. If you chop of the stalky end, the leaf itself is really wide and holds up fairly well to fillings. I prepped a big batch of tuna salad from the 21 Day Sugar Detox book (yes, I am doing the 21dsd – I will be posting about it soon), and I wrapped it up in some collard greens. The tuna salad had green apple, celery, and homemade mayo. I also had a side of broccoli!



I worked from five til seven pm yesterday, so I snacked on a banana, carrots, and sunflower butter. Yum. Also, it was really cold at work so I brought my blanket with me. No shame. Bring your blanket to work day. I’ll be doing the same when I work tonight, longer + later.



Lunch was yesterday’s recipe! I paired my spaghetti squash stuffed peppers with brown rice. 


I was a little nervous about breakfast tasting good together, but it actually worked out quite nicely. I prepped a batch of the 21dsd’s carrot pumpkin spice muffins the other day. For breakfast, I crumbled two of those over some plain greek yogurt and added cinnamon, a few almonds, and some almond meal on top. I also had two mugs of coffee with full-fat coconut milk mixed in. Seriously the best thing I learned from the 21dsd.


And that’s a wrap! I had wanted to have some coconut oil chocolate after dinner, but since I ended up eating dinner later than expected, it was a no go. Ah well. There’s always tomorrow 😉 Thanks for hosting this food party, Jenn!


Before I sign off, the winner of my Traditional Medicinals Relax with Tea giveaway was Gina from Health, Love and Chocolate. [The winner was chosen randomly with Random.Org] She has been contacted!

Questions of the Day:
>> Ever made homemade mayo? 
>> Do you like Jodi Picoult? 
>> Who is your fave author?