gluten humor {via Gluten Dude}

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been eating like crap since well before my first pumpkin spice latte signaled the launch into the holiday season. In fact, I’m pretty sure I fell off my healthy living wagon way back in June when I hurt my ankle in an unfortunate refusal to wear sneakers incident.

The result? Well. I’m exploding out of my pants and my skin makes me look like I just hit puberty. I’m a mess.

A recent bout with stomach issues (that led to me diagnosing myself with pancreatic cancer before taking a deep breath, stepping away from WedMD and realizing that it’s more likely GERD) led me to take a closer look at what I’ve been eating and try to figure out what is not agreeing with me.

In the end, I cut out about 95% of my gluten intake (honestly, the stuff lurks everywhere. It can even be in baking soda, yogurt and salad dressing) and my stomach has calmed down dramatically. You know what else? My skin issues have begun to calm down a little bit too. A little reading up on the subject made me even more aware of the connection between what I eat and the state of my skin.

Color me sold.

gluten humor {via Gluten Dude}via Gluten Dude

I’ve grappled with whether or not I need to give up on gluten for awhile now (this article on Bustle is a pretty spot on description of gluten sensitivity). I was tested for celiac and it came back negative, but I’ve had a suspicion that I have a gluten sensitivity for years (and I’m pretty sure my whole “Am I or aren’t I?” has made me look like a crazy person to friends and family).

To get around the whole feeling deprived thing, I’ve started trying to find healthier, gluten free snack options (in case you couldn’t tell, this seed was in my head back in November when I wrote my Clean Eating Snack Ideas post).

My latest obsession? Homemade granola. It’s simple and it’s a thousand times more delicious than any mix you could buy in the store. My current favorite is chocolate coconut granola. So. stinking. delicious.

Cuddles and Chaos | homemade granola recipe

Did I mention that it’s insanely easy? Take at my granola recipe and see for yourself:

Preheat the oven to 350.

3 cups of oats (make sure they’re gluten free if you’re avoiding gluten!)
2 cups of chopped nuts (I like almonds, pecans and walnuts)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of flax seed
1 cup of chia seed
1/4 cup of cocoa
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of coconut flakes

Take a big old mixing bowl and throw in all of the ingredients except the coconut flakes. Mix your little heart out until the dry ingredients are wet and everything is mixed together. Next, throw a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spread your mixture out on it, being careful not to spread it too thin (it will burn!).

Put the cookie sheet in the oven for thirty minutes, adding the coconut flakes about 5 minutes before it’s finished (if you add them to early they’ll burn. Ain’t nobody got time for burnt coconut).

Once it’s out of the oven, throw it on a cooling rack and don’t freak if it doesn’t seem crunchy and granola-like—it will harden as it cools. When it is cool break it up and store it in an airtight container (I’m partial to mason jars because I think they’re purty).

homemade chocolate coconut granola recipe

Easy, right? And so delicious. Plus, it makes your whole house smell amazing while it’s baking.

Choco-coco not your thing? First of all, I’m breaking up with you. But because I’m so nice, check out this Buzzfeed post that breaks down granola making to a pretty simple formula first.

What’s your favorite kind of granola?

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.