Paleo Granola Recipe for the Autumn Season

Hello and welcome back to Fanciful Impressions! The fall season has arrived, which is my favorite time of year. The air is brisk, the leaves change colour and there is of course, Halloween! Today on the blog, I thought I would share one of my favorite autumn recipes. There is just something about the crisp air of fall. Along with the vibrant foliage, the weather at this time of year makes life feel that it is a time of new beginnings. Maybe it’s just that lately; my own life feels so refreshing. In between working towards fitness goals and being open to trying new things, the fall weather has been invigorating.

But along with those feelings of optimism and adventure, this time of year has a way of bringing me back to center. It’s a time to get back into the routine and I find myself really getting into a groove of productivity over the past few weeks. While keeping busy and powering through to-do lists can feel fantastic, a busy schedule can sometimes feel overwhelming. When I’m not eating the right foods or getting enough sleep, I know that I’m not at my best. My task list for the day can suddenly seem unachievable. It’s important for me to make sure that I have balanced and nourishing meals ready to go at this time of year.

As the weather gets colder, I also notice that my appetite begins to change. I find myself suddenly craving all those classic comfort foods idyllic for cold weather. I love indulging in a delicious and hearty homemade breakfast during the fall season. It helps fuel each busy and exciting day. This homemade granola is always in my meal planning rotation. While it’s hearty and rich, it is also gluten-free and paleo. It makes for a filling breakfast but is also great to have stored in the fridge for an afternoon snack or for when you’re on the go.

Ingredients

  • 3 Apples
  • Juice from ½ Lemon
  • 1/3 cup each of pecans and walnuts
  • ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup coconut
  • 1 cup of fresh berries
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tb – 1 ½ tb Cinnamon
  • Almond butter, raisins, banana and/or chia seeds to serve on top of the cooked granola (optional)

Steps

  • Pre-Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Chop up apples into cubes (you can choose to leave the skin on/off)
  • Chop up cherries (if you use seedless berries, you can actually just toss them in whole)
  • Cover a baking pan with parchment paper and add the chopped fruit to the pan
  • Sprinkle the fruit mixture with lemon juice, salt and cinnamon (use as much cinnamon as you’d like) and mix together so that the fruit is evenly coated
  • Add assorted nuts and seeds, mix together
  • Sprinkle entire mixture with coconut
  • Bake in oven for about 25 – 30 minutes or until the apples are slightly golden
  • Serve with almond butter, raisins, banana and/or chia seeds
  • Makes 4 Servings

What are some of your favorite fall recipes? Until next time and thank you for reading today’s post!

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Finding Balance: My Morning Routine

Over the past few months, I’ve realized how essential it is for me to have balance in my life. As I have learned over the years, it can be all too easy to slip into the habit of letting the workday be my entire day. It’s a habit that creeps up on you and you suddenly feel as though there isn’t time for anything else.

We hear the term ‘balance’ a lot nowadays, along with words like ‘wellness’, and ‘mindfulness’. The constant reminders of these lifestyle benefits can sometimes feel like just another burden, an added demand to also excel in. It got me thinking of what balance even means. Does it mean excelling in all aspects of one’s life but also practicing yoga every morning? Is it working part time so that there’s more time for life’s other obligations? Is it doing only the things you love to do? I’ve spent some time thinking about this and for me, balance means doing everything I can to live the life I need to feel awesome (yep, that’s the adjective I’m going for). It has taken me many years of learning to trust my intuition and listen when the signs are telling me life is out of balance.

For a long time, my morning routine consisted of waking up at the last possible minute before I had to get ready for the work day. I wouldn’t have time to make breakfast at home, partly because I valued my sleep, but also because I couldn’t resist treating myself to a large iced mocha and a chocolate chip muffin on my commute. It may not come as a surprise, but at this time in my life, I was overweight. My morning commutes took over an hour on public transit, which didn’t leave much time for a morning workout at the gym or a homemade breakfast.

It’s not easy to hear when things are out of equilibrium and my old morning routine had many signs. Luckily, I’ve since learned the importance of recognizing how to better plan my time so that I can incorporate the habits I need for a balanced day. I thought I would share three things that help get me started for the day on the right path. They are not overly time consuming, meaning I don’t have to wake up at 4 AM every morning, but they do keep me in balance.

Balanced Breakfast I love breakfast. Always have, always will. I love starting the day with a delicious and healthy homemade breakfast. Gone are the days of those high-carb muffins. I always dedicate 15 – 20 minutes in the morning to sit down at the kitchen table and enjoy my breakfast and a cup of coffee. My go-to lately is overnight oats. I make them the night before so it’s ready in the morning.

Learning Something New I like to begin each day with an open mindset and desire to learn new things. While I have always loved reading fiction; non-fiction books also take up a lot of real estate on my book shelf. While enjoying my breakfast and coffee, I take those few minutes to read through a few pages of my latest non-fiction book, or listen to a podcast. My current book is Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge. It’s such a captivating read. I love learning about the history and business of makeup.

Living Space One thing I like to do before the start of the work day is tidy up the house. I like to unclutter the living room, wash the dishes from breakfast, make the bed, etc. This only takes about ten minutes or so, but it helps remind me that at the end of the workday, I will come home to a tidy space and an evening that is all my own.

I love my current morning routine. It feels great to wake up a bit earlier so that I can go for a run or to a fitness class and then treat myself to a homemade breakfast while still having time to tidy up the house and read a new book. What I love most about it is that it makes me feel that I’ve already had a full day before the workday has even begun. What helps you find balance throughout the day?