My Journey to Crunchy….and Back

My husband says it started with the lettuce. I will always say it was the granola. Truth be told, the steps on this journey to better health have been so miniscule that it could have been the day my husband gently broke the news that my ramen noodle casserole with corn, however frugal, was really not something he wanted to experience again.

I was born in between the hippie and Paleo eras. This means I have had my share of Snackwells and low fat turkey breast sandwiches with mustard. It also means that being a “crunchy mama” was just starting to come into vogue after we made the decision to formula feed and vaccinate our first baby and use disposable diapers from WalMart.

When our oldest was about three months old, my husband and I went on a weekend getaway sans baby (thanks to formula and WalMart) at a bed and breakfast. The breakfast part was a serve yourself affair in a cozy little dining room. Among the gourmet muffins and other loveliness was a bag of granola, homemade by the owners.

I had heard of granola, but having never been a fan of oatmeal, I didn’t go out of my way to buy it. Honey Nut Cheerios was my breakfast of choice from the time my mother bought mega boxes for me when I was nine months old. However, one taste and I was hooked! When I got home, I began looking up recipes online and discovered the whole new world of crunchy mamas.

Other than buying less crunchy lettuce and making the crunchiest possible granola at home, I guess I haven’t been a stellar member of the crunchy club. We still own an SUV and a microwave, and I have only tasted raw milk once. (Note: If you hate milk, you will still hate the taste of raw milk.) No matter how far I get on this journey, certain paper products will always remain on my shopping list. That is a solemn promise!

The food part of crunchy was getting pretty fun. I started grinding my own wheat and felt like the Little Red Hen. My kids got used to whole wheat bread from the store. With the help of my bread machine, I can even make a pretty good loaf of 1/3 whole wheat bread. I made yogurt….once…..and felt empowered. I used it in green smoothies along with bananas to hide the taste of kale and spinach.

But, if you have switched to the whole grain goodness and buy all your grains brown except for corn, you must know that crunchy has changed.  Again. Now, grains in general are bad. They were tampered with in the ’50s. They make your blood sugar go up. In fact, they are just the same as sugar in your body. They are the cause of every health issue you have. All that crunch from granola and a nice whole wheat baguette? Bad. Or so they say.

The new crunchy is nuts. Lots of them. Flour made from them. Nuts made into milk. And coconut is the miracle food of all. From the coconut is derived oil, sugar, milk, butter and just about any other food group known to man. And lotion…..and toothpaste.

So, is the new crunchy nuts? Or does it make sense after all? I really can’t give a final opinion. I will tell you that I have an almost empty pail of coconut oil in my pantry next to the popcorn and white potatoes. I have almond and coconut milks in my fridge next to the cheap grocery store milk I still buy for my kids and cooking. I have a small bag of fresh ground wheat flour in my freezer next to the flax seed meal. I’m saving up for some almond flour and using my coconut flour sparingly. We’ll see where this journey takes me.

With all my indecision in this healthy eating thing, a few things haven’t changed. You will not find any crunchy, nutritionless lettuce in my refrigerator. And crunchy granola is on the menu for this Sunday’s breakfast. I’ll have mine with coconut milk. With fond memories of many big orange boxes, the one nut we no longer buy is Honey Nut Cheerios. After all, we have to save up for that almond flour somehow.




  • Carrie

    January 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm Reply

    Ha! We eat our weight in coconut and almond around here too. I discovered coconut manna and oh my goodness.. there is nearly a line item in the budget for that stuff!

    • JenniferLSelf

      January 11, 2014 at 4:34 am Reply

      Hi Carrie! Thanks for stopping by. Is coconut manna the same as coconut butter? Please do share your favorite ways to use it!

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