Breakfast/ Exercise/ Fitness

For the Love of Granola

Wow…can I just tell you all how much I love all the great discussion going on in the new “forum”?! Seriously…this is exactly what I had hoped for: a supportive, healthy community all helping each other out and giving great feedback and kind words.  Thank you!

This morning I woke up early after sort of tossing and turning all night long—hate it when this happens! I think I was just wound up after work last night and getting home late. Anyway, I woke up early to go for a run because I have to work from 10-4 today. I ran 3 miles and it felt really great to stretch my legs after 2 days of not exercising. I didn’t have any music on so I could just run and concentrate on my breath. It’s almost meditative when you do this–I highly recommend it! Before I went, I had an Erin Baker’s Mini Breakfast cookie for some fuel. These are GREAT! They are like an all natural mini energy bar made with whole grains and they are only 100 calories. Perfect for pre-workout snacks. The only bad part is that I can only find them at the Fresh Market and I can’t always afford to shop there! This was my last one so today at the store I will have to pick up some clif bars instead.

After I got back I had a bowl of Nature’s Path flax plus pumpkin granola with skim milk and a banana. I had a cup of coffee as well. I usually don’t eat cold cereal but granola is an exception. Ever since I was really little I have always LOVED granola! I would eat it every single day as a little girl. I also have the best recipe in the entire world for homemade granola but I just can’t seem to find the time too often to make it. I think Nature’s Path makes a great product though and I feel good eating this. I also loooooove their Peanut Butter Granola but sometimes its hard to find. This breakfast really fills me up actually and when I eat granola + milk and banana I usually don’t get hungry for about 3-4 hours after. I had one cup of granola with one cup milk.



Granola, milk and banana =469 calories. When you add on my pre-workout snack my total breakfast was 569 calories.

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  • Clarissa
    January 27, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Granola ROCKS! Would you be able to post your homemade granola recipe? I’d love to see it.

    Sorry you had a rough night of sleep! Have a great Sunday…

  • Sara
    January 27, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I feel incredibly silly! I cannot find the forum on the blog? Is it just through the comments or is it a separate page?

  • Beth
    January 27, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    I can’t find the forum blog either.

    Just curious- how many grams of protein and fibre are in those mini bars? They look like a good idea 🙂

  • Amber
    January 27, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Sara the forum is just the response area.

  • VeggieGirl
    January 27, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I eat granola (the Enjoy Life brand: every morning, with almond-milk. Delicious!! I bet your bowl of peanut-butter granola with the sliced banana had a wonderful flavor, as well!!

  • Lynn
    January 27, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Morning everyone. This is a question for the forum and Jenna, I would love to hear everyone’s opinion.

    I hear a lot to eat a small carb like Jenna did before exercising and then breakfast after. Is it bad if I ate a full breakfast and then 10 minutes later began to exercise. Is it harming my body? I don’t feel naseus.

  • Lynn
    January 27, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Oh one more totally random question, but semi-realted to exercise. Do you all know of deodorant that doesn’t leave white marks? Or any secrets to make it not leave a white mark? It doesn’t matter what I do, I get it on my shirts! (Jenna you seem to know alot about beauty products, if you have one you recommend I would love to hear it)

  • Katie
    January 27, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I second that request for your granola recipe, Jenna! I have been looking for a good packaged product, but most contain ingredients I don’t like and are super high in sugar. I’m looking for one with a good mix of pro/carb/fat! Any other suggestions?!

    BTW, does anyone know why Fage has so little calcium? (about 1/4 the comparable amount of Stoneyfield!) Kind of annoying for those of us who hope that dairy will help meet our daily calcium needs.

  • Meggie
    January 27, 2008 at 3:31 pm


    I think the reason people say to eat a small snack before a workout is because if you work out hard, blood is directed away from your stomach. Digesting a large meal might be more difficult while you’re working out, especially if the meal contains a lot of protein or fat. That said, I have gone to the gym after eating a full breakfast and have been fine. I think it all depends on what makes you feel the best!

  • aimee
    January 27, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    RE: Lisa’s request for homemade hummus yesterday

    Check out Roni’s recipe website –

    I’ve used this recipe three or four times with my own variations (ie: using cannellini beans instead of garbanzos.. adding roasted red peppers and hot sauce or cumin and more curry) and the stuff always tastes better to me the second, third and fourth days. since I haven’t really used garbanzos, it doesn’t seem as thick as real hummus, but that doesn’t bother me. It’s really great for carrot and celery dipping. But this recipe has definitely cut down on the fat and still has lots of good nutrition stats.

  • Shelley
    January 27, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    wow there must be something in the air (all over the country, haha). I just read the discussion in yesterday’s forum about over-indulging, and I too just had a HUGE over-indulgence the past two days. I was so frustrated with myself, but I’m glad to see I’m not alone. I totally agree with the whole putting it behind you and focusing on being healthy today (and tomorrow, etc). Hope everyone has a great Sunday 🙂

  • Eliza
    January 27, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    hi Lynn, from what I know it is not bad for you to eat 10 minutes before working out..if it doesnt bother you of course. If you begin to feel nauseaus, then you will know its your breakfast.
    I ate oatmeal and natural peanut butter 30 minutes before my workout and I was completely fine…Of course this meal was about 250-300 calories. I wouldnt think a huge breakfast like an omelet, bacon and toast would sit to well for me! But oatmeal is fine.

    After I worked out I had a granola bar with a little more peanut butter. I limit myself to 200 cals of it a day..its soo good though!

    Sometimes if you just rub the fabric together where the deodorant stain was it will just lift off.
    Or just wait a few minutes before putting on your shirt.

    Have a good day everyone!!

  • ana
    January 27, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    hey lynn! i too eat a full breakfast before working out. i just don’t like to break it up (it’s my favorite meal of the day ^_^) and find that it’s just fine as long as i’m not too full to exercise (which i am not often!). i say, whatever works for you is fine! b/c everyone is different. some just gotta eat before.

  • ana
    January 27, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    hey again! i just read back over what everyone wrote last night, and wanted to say that i really appreciate the advice! I am thankful this blog is full of such caring, informed people! i really did feel awful last night, but (like one blogger said) today is a new day!^_^ i really need to just work on stopping binging period. i am not so worried about the actual weight gain anymore (as i am approaching my goal weight of 130) but i just hate the way i feel when i do it! (all bloated and unhappy!) it is an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle (and my body even feels and tells me that it does like not to overeat so much!) and i really want to move away from it (i have had periods of binging over the past 4 years). does anyone have any helpful tips of getting away from eating such large amounts of food? it honestly isn’t b/c i’m restricting so much (i’ve done that and am always satisfied right after i eat the food). this is more an eat, eat, eat b/c, well, i don’t know why b/c! any suggestions or opinions?

  • jos
    January 27, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I, too, struggle with binging. I’ve gone to therapy and discussed it and read so much on the topic. Binging really is a learned behavior and it is also something I am learning has a lot to do with emotions. If you’re eating and eating I would ask yourself what emotionally is driving you to go for the 4th cookie? Usually we don’t know why and it isn’t until you sit with yourself and really figure out what is driving you to eat, will your binging stop. Binging is a response to something that it bothering you internally.

    What I would also recommend, which I’m sure you already are doing, is to make sure that you eating enough on the days that you don’t binge. If you are always binging on sweets and you don’t allow any of those in your diet, make sure you eat a dessert of your choice every night. It won’t make you gain any weight as long as it’s in moderation. We gain weight from binges, not from eating a small amount of whatever food we are binging on. I think blogs like these are great, and I think it’s awesome how Jenna allows herself a dessert whenever she feels like it. Give yourself permission to eat whatever you want whenever you want and don’t judge yourself based on your food choices!

  • Amy
    January 27, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Hey all — obsessive reader, but infrequent commenter here — At first, I thought the overeating discussion might distract from Jenna’s blog, but I’ve found it very helpful to read other people’s advice (and just a tad bit comforting to see that I am not the only that struggles here!) Over the past few months, I’ve slowly realized that I developed a late night bingeing habit. While I have gotten very upset about this, I am finding it very helpful and cathartic to observe my situation from an ‘objective outsider” pov. Ignore all the emotions tied to the problem and figure out a logical way to approach a healthier lifestyle. Beating myself up over it doesn’t work (I’ve tried) and it’s important to realize that lack of self-control is not the only factor. For me, many factors were at play — I was training for a marathon, so I needed lots of food, but I learned to ignore hunger until I thought I ‘had time’ to eat –late at night. I was working 9am-6/7pm with a 45 minute commute each way, and trying to do my runs after work. So then, by the time I ate the bulk of my calories around 9-10pm, I couldn’t stop once I started eating. Then I would be wired and unable to sleep, and sick to my stomach. Then, after the marathon, my workouts became less intense, but my appetite stayed the same. Then, about 2 months ago, I injured my foot and have not been able to run –which is not only my exercise but my outlet for stress relief.
    So, combine a seriously voracious appetite, late nighteating, very little sleep, and a sudden inability to exercise —and you get, rapid weight gain!
    My emotions have run amuck, but I’m finding it best to have a positive outlook. negative thoughts don’t get me anywhere. I realize that this eating habit developed slowly, so it will take some time to undo it. (although I think, with a conscious approach to eating, I can return to sensible eating quicker than I fell away from it). Easier said than done — by habit, I eat without thinking. TV, computer on? Then I must be eating!! So easy to acknowledge, a bit challenging to change.

    My injury forced me to take a breather and reconsider my daily schedule. Quality sleep was the biggest missing link for me. I really think working towards achieving ample, quality sleep makes other healthy habits fall into place. I want/NEED 7 hours sleep — I can’t sleep on a full stomach, and I will wake up to overeat if I didn’t eat enough during the day, so I NEED to eat more substantial meals earlier in the day; therefore, I need to eat dinner after work, not go to the gym. Therefore, I need to go to the gym in the morning. In order to go to the gym in the morning, I need a good night sleep!
    By rearranging my schedule, I can still do everything and even have free time after dinner! I am still working on adapting to the new schedule, but I know it is for the best. Why? Because I have Jenna (and Kath!) as example!!
    This is a long rant, but moral of the story is, JENNA, YOUR BLOG ROCKS! Following your example and being able to identify with you and the other readers has been a godsend for me. Thanks!!!

  • Katie
    January 27, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Ana – This whole issue of binging and emotional eating is really a tough one. I feel your pain. I went through a period like that as well, and as others have said, so have they. I think all of their suggestions are right-on. That said, I think a combination of factors need to come together for you to get over the problem once and for all, since it sounds like it is a pattern for you. A good writer on the subject of emotional eating is Karen Koenig…you may want to check out her thoughts. Best of luck! Keep us posted.

  • Paula
    January 27, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    The new weekly tip that you put up is great! I have two super-overripe bananas, and I needed to figure out what to do with them! THANKS!

    Keep up the great work!

  • Eliza
    January 27, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    ive lost 5 pounds slowly and healthy by reading these blogs..honestly, i would have to say my weight loss is because the blogs help me realize that other people like food ..and enjoy food like me. and thats fine!! they change my whole mind set. especially jenna’s

    I love how healthy and balanced Jenna’s diet is.

    GO you!

  • Tina
    January 27, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Amy- thank you for your advice on the topic of overeating. It is definitely comforting to see that others struggle with the same issues I do.

    Ana- I feel terrible today as well, after overeating last night. So you and I need to be patient with ourselves today and get back to normal! After the first day, the next days will get easier. Hang in there!

  • Jessica
    January 27, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Ana and Tina,

    I just want to say that I am in the same boat as you two…the past couple of days I’ve been stepping a little out of line… binging on kashi cereal, yogurt, nuts, etc. I know they are “healthy” foods, but any food can become unhealthy when you go way out of proportion!!! Anyway, I will add myself to the group that is going to be patient with ourselves and get back to normal. 🙂

  • Kelly
    January 27, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Totally off the current subject of binging but has anyone tried apple butter? I just picked up a jar at the store after reading the short ingredient list and thought I’d try it. Not sure what to expect… Anyone?

  • Erica
    January 27, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    I absolutely LOVE apple butter! It makes a fantastic spread on good quality bread.. personally, I like to toast myself up apple butter paninis with my panini maker! I have the American Spoon brand which I found at Whole Foods and I’m hooked. 🙂

  • rona
    January 27, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    on the subject of binge eating,

    I want to say that the openness of those who have shared is touching. Binge eating is a really difficult thing to overcome, but it is possible. Overeaters Anonymous has helped me tremendously, as has their literature and the AA literature. Also, being grateful for every tiny bit of progress. Like, being thankful that I ate on a plate, or being thankful that I threw out the last 1/2 cookie instead of eating it too. Surrendering my whole self into gratitude for what was even just a little bit mitigating or positive — that helps me move into a healthier space.

  • jenn
    January 27, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    your apple butter panini sounds really interesting. what else goes in it and what kind of bread do you use? do you use any cooking spray/smart balance/butter?

    the shorter the ingredient list, the less processed something is…! apple butter usually has fewer kcals than full-sugar jams/jellies, but just make sure you read the label carefully because some brands have HFCS. it’s pretty good as a topping for plain yogurt, and i also like stirring it into a mug of hot water– it’s like hot spiced cider, with way fewer calories and much better apple-cinnamony flavor! also, my mom uses it when she makes pork tenderloin. i don’t eat pork so i don’t know how that would taste, but my brother will put away like 1/2 a pound when it’s prepared that way.

  • jenn
    January 27, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    thank you so much for posting that. i could relate to so much of what you were saying– especially the part about how your workouts affect your meals and how the timing of your meals affects your sleep!
    i also used to wake up in the middle of the night and eat– sometimes, i think, without being fully conscious of it (i would find boxes of cereal and stuff left out on the counter in the morning or a plate on my nightstand and not remember waking up or eating at all). it’s been less of a problem for me since i’ve been making more of an effort to eat more throughout the day, but i still feel like i eat the bulk of my calories in the afternoon/evening.
    anyway, hearing that others have the same struggle really helps a lot, and your explanation gave me a lot of insight and also some guidance about what i need to do differently (not workout in the evening–> eat dinner at that time instead–> get enough sleep–> so i can go to the gym in the morning).
    do you have any suggestions/tips/ideas about what has worked for rearranging your schedule and re-training your body/behavior?

  • jess
    January 27, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    just a quick note about apple butter- I Love the stuff. If you make some toast and spread some apple butter on, Then put poached eggs on top=my go-to meal when I’m feeling poorly. Definately check out the ingredients though because they vary significantly brand to brand. Some I’ve tried are just apples and applejuice simmered down with or without some spices (like cinnamon and such) and others contain all sorts of gelatin like ingredients. My favorites are the ones where the ingredients list reads: apples, water, salt. Haha. It’s also great stirred into oatmeal with a banana (skip the pb if you’re doing this 😉 gross combo). As far as texture expect something in between actual butter and applesauce. for taste, expect Amazing!
    I am working on rearranging my schedule/body schedule too now that school is starting up. I’ve found that just by getting up earlier a couple of times, regardless of when I go to sleep, already I’m starting to get into the swing of things. And if I eat a bit more these next few days as I’m adjusting then I must need it, and soon I’ll hopefully feel lively enough to hit the gym in the a.m. anyway 😉

    good luck everyone!

    and thanks jenna for all the amazing ideas and especially the healthy inspiration- you’re amazing attitude has actually helped me make significant strides towards a healthier lifestyle.

  • Sarah
    January 28, 2008 at 1:05 am

    OMG apple butter is soooo yummy! But the best thing is Pumpkin Butter!! I love the stuff! It’s the same concept only with pumpkin. The only bad thing is I have only ever been about to find it when I visit North Carolina, so I only get to re-stock every so often 🙁

  • jenna
    January 28, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Apple butter is good but I’m a raspberry preserves girl myself. I could eat raspberry preserves with a spoon. Sometimes I do when I just need something and I don’t know what.

  • Kelly
    January 28, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Just a follow up on the apple butter… It was great! I made a big oatmeal pankcake for dinner and spread some of it on top. YUM! I tastes like a sweet thinned out applesauce. This is the brand:

    Then, I toasted some whole wheat bread (a piece of a baguette I had) and topped it with some organic cherry preserves. It was delicious! I’m trying to get away from all the sugar free jams and preserves I used to eat. Sure, it’s more calories but it’s better for you. Jenna- you have inspired me to choose good quality foods rather than fake calorie bargains!! 🙂


  • jenna
    January 28, 2008 at 2:00 am

    VeggieGirl–where do you find this granola you speak of? Do you really order it offline?? What makes it so yummy?

  • jenn
    January 28, 2008 at 4:52 am

    Sarah I LOVE pumpkin butter…! I didn’t know it was a local specialty tho (I go to school in NC) 🙂 How do YOU use it?

  • no
    January 28, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    no comment

  • VTgirl2010
    January 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I just wanted to say how much I love this blog and jennas take on food-keep up the great work!!!!!

  • Marcell346
    February 10, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Hi, guys! I just want to know, have you heard about cannabis butter/oil? Its a thing now. I read that Medical marijuana is a very old medicinal herb that has been used for thousands of years to treat a great variety of ailments. Cannabinoids, have been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anxiety reducing properties that have helped a great deal in several illnesses. Like this article I wonder if someone can teach me how to create an infused cannabis granola. I highly appreciated all your help. Thanks!