Granola and an epiphany

So it’s 2013 and it’s safe to say that the year didn’t start with a big bang. I spent New Year’s Eve alone watching truly atrocious telly and eating a thoroughly screwed up “celebration” meal that made me feel pretty sick.

The following week fared rather better. I was actively glad to be back at work, if only because it meant that I wasn’t in the MouseHouse™ for extended periods of time. I even filled up the entire weekend (friends will know that this is Very Unusual as Fran Doesn’t Do Sundays) with a trip to Medlar on Saturday and dim sum at Dragon Castle on Sunday.

And on Monday? That’s right folks, I re-started Weight Watchers.

Now, I lost 3 stone in 4 months on Weight Watchers several years ago, so I know that I can actually do this diet if I set my mind to it. The problem being that I haven’t managed to set my mind to it even once in the last 4 years. And therein lies the rub…I have to confess that even whilst sticking to the diet to the letter last week, if I was really honest about it, I fully expected to fail again, just as I’ve failed on everything else I’ve tried over the last few years. Looking a year ahead into the future, I still saw myself as an unhappy plus-size porker.

And then I had my epiphany. I’m trying not to go out much at the moment – my finances can’t take it and it’s far easier to eat sensibly if I’m at home in the evening – so I was sitting on my sofa, bored out of my tiny mind and trying to distract myself from thinking every little sound was another mouse and I decided to explore the Weight Watchers app.

The main function of the app is to track what I eat every day but one of the other features is called “Success Stories” and shows a number of people wearing godawful clothes who have lost substantial amounts of weight. Person 1: lost 3st 2lbs. PFFT – easy*. Person 2: lost 2st. WHATEVER. Hang on…Person 3: lost 5st 5lbs which is not dissimilar to what I hope to lose and they did it in 10 months. 10 months…that’s half a stone a month…just over 1.5lbs a week. That’s good, steady weight loss.

I suddenly realised that If I lost half a stone a month, which is totally achievable (and is the rate of loss that my doctor wants me to aim for), I could theoretically be thin by the end of 2013. Like the big girl’s blouse that I am, I burst into tears in a good way. For the first time in years, I have realised that I can actually do this if I am determined. By the end of this year, I can (will!) be in nice clothes that come from normal shops. I won’t feel disgusting and fret that my sizeable arse is going to knock things off tables as I squeeze past.

And so to my latest discovery that is helping me reduce that sizeable arse: granola! I have always liked the idea of granola but there is one fundamental problem with it: dried fruit. So I’ve made my own, adapted from the recipe my sister wrote in her last Weight Watchers cookbook. And by adapted, I mean that I read 3 teaspoons of honey as 3 tablespoons…whoops. I’ve ditched the dried fruit to even it out. It’s all good.

Granola (approx. 9 servings at 4 points per serving)


300g porridge oats
25g sunflower seeds
25g pumpkin seeds
25g flaked almonds
3 tablespoons clear honey (or 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp of golden syrup is delicious)

Heat the honey/syrup in a small saucepan until it is very thin and runny.

Mix all the dry ingredients together and pour in the honey/syrup in a slow trickle, mixing all the time so that all the oats are coated and the mixture clumps together a bit. It won’t really clump a lot as this is still quite a small amount of honey for a lot of oats, but go with it.

Line a baking tray with some of that non-stick baking parchment stuff and spread the mixture onto it evenly.

Pop the tray into the oven which has been preheated to 170c (fan) and cook for 6 minutes.

After 6 minutes, the oats on top and at the edges will have gone brown so mix it all up and cook for another 6 minutes when it should be done.

Let it cool and it will then be nice and crunchy and a little bit sweet.

Serve 40g of the granola with 75g of low or zero fat greek yoghurt (1 point) and some fruit – blueberries or bananas are good.

I’ve eaten this every day and I’m not getting tired of it at all and it keeps me full for hours. I never normally eat breakfast but I find myself looking forward to this. Even better is that it’s dirt cheap to make and stays crunchy for at least 10 days in a Tupperware container.

*I know it’s not easy. Shhhhh.

2 thoughts on “Granola and an epiphany

  1. I'm delighted it's working for you, great news. is useful for WeightWatchers recipes. It has a few Americanisms and some weird ingredients in a few recipes, but also some interesting ideas. Best of luck, keep up the good work. p.s. the home cured salmon worked out really well

  2. Thanks Nicky. I've lost just shy of 10lbs in 2 weeks so it's definitely working! It's just the long haul bit that's hard to get my head around but I have to persist. I'll take a look at that website, thanks. I'm lucky because I have a lot of WW books because my sister wrote quite a lot of them! Glad that the salmon worked out – I realised pretty quickly that I didn't like it too much – I've really gone off quite a lot of fish in the last couple of years. Very strange as used to be much more into fish than meat!

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