A few months ago, I had the great privilege of attending (and COMPLETING!) the intensely rigorous hiking program at The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu. It was one of the great trips of my life because I did it while undergoing chemo (that’s also the insane part!).
In addition to surpassing physical and mental obstacles (an understatement on the grandest scale), I connected with some new & amazing lifelong friends, AND ate some great food!
One note about food consumption: Most of the people who attended the program felt as though we were calorically underserved (another massive understatement so much so that one participant ate her orange rind because, as she said, “There are CALORIES in it!!!!!!”).
The Silver Lining of the caloric restriction was that to me (the chemo patient), every day was filled with more calories than I had been able to consume since before starting chemo. The other Silver Lining was that my friends didn’t get mad at me for being satiated (at least not outwardly). Probably because I was bald. Ya think?
One of my favorite dishes is the Ranch Granola. OMG, is this good. Add a little almond milk and a few blueberries to this bowl of delishousness and you’ll get up the mountain in no time!
The Ranch Granola
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
- 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 2 egg whites beaten
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except fruit, spices and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients plus spices and salt.
- Combine both mixtures and egg whites and pour onto 2 sheet pans.
- Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
- Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add cherries and mix until evenly distributed.
Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.