Easy, Simple Granola Recipe

We love granola in our house!

But what we don’t love so much? All of the sugar and weird ingredients in most premade granola from the store.

I researched a few granola recipes online and came up with this delicious, easy recipe based on what we had in our pantry at the moment. The great news is that you can add in whatever flavor or mix-ins you like to make it your own!

I also feel so happy whenever I can make something myself and save on plastic/unnecessary packaging. I love storing this granola in repurposed glass jars and it also makes for a great gift for a friend or neighbor.

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 cups of rolled oats
  • 2 cups of sliced raw almonds or your favorite nuts)
  • 1 cup of agave nectar or honey
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • Dash of cinnamon to your liking
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • Optional: dried fruit, dark chocolate chips, or your favorite mix-in



  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together (oats, almonds, flax, chia, cinnamon, mix-ins)
  3. Bake the mix-ins in a glass dish in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and stir, then bake in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  4. While the dry mixture is baking, mix the wet ingredients together (agave, coconut oil, vanilla extract)
  5. Remove the dry mixture from the oven and add the wet mixture. Stir and spread evenly.
  6. Turn the oven down to “warm”.
  7. Place a single layer of the granola onto a baking sheet lined with wax/parchment paper.
  8. Place the granola back in the oven for 15 minutes. Check and stir occasionally. Since the oven is on warm, it will toast and get crunchy, but it won’t bake and burn.
  9. Remove from the oven and enjoy! This granola is great in yogurt, on top of a fruit parfait, or in a smoothie bowl.

The next time you’re craving granola, give this healthier recipe a try! Chances are you already have everything you need in your pantry.

Have a great day,




Christmas HIIT Workout

Merry Christmas Eve, friends!

I made a gift for you…in the form of a workout, of course. 🙂

You can complete this fun, quick, effective HIIT workout at home or the gym! It’s a ladder style and all you’ll need is a set of dumbbells.

I had my class complete this workout earlier this week (to the sound of Christmas songs, no less) and they loved it. I hope you will too.

1_3 cup fresh lime juice3 tbsps agave nectar1 cup pineapple juice2 cups pineapple1_4 cup triple sec (1).png

If you give it a try please let me know how it went! Or consider posting a sweaty post workout selfie and tagging me so I can give you a virtual high-five. Have fun, and most of all – I wish you and your families so much love and joy this Christmas!


Training (or lack thereof), a Tree, and Gratitude

Happy Monday and HAPPY FIRST POST OF DECEMBER! The best month of the year! Christmas is upon us and it’s officially not too early to be listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas album on repeat or to light all of the pine-scented candles. Woohoo!

Despite my Christmas cheer, this week has been a little bit tough! During my run on Tuesday, I noticed some odd pain in my ankle. I tried not to think much of it and thought maybe it just felt weird from the boots that I wore to work the day before. The next day, it hurt pretty badly to walk on. I tried running again on wednesday and it was even worse. So, I took Wednesday-Sunday of this past week as cross-training/rest and ran a whopping SIX MILES this week. Yep, no fun. I’ve been trying to be as positive as possible and have been praying that this is just a small tweak and not a full-blown injury. My ankle felt much better on Sunday so I’m going to try going for an easy run today. Stay tuned on that – hopefully it’s all better and I can go back to normally scheduled training…I just don’t feel myself without running consistently! But this week has been a good lesson that running is a fun part of my life but it’s just that – a part – and it should never be my whole life. I’m thankful for that reminder.

Monday: HIIT class

Tuesday: 5 mile easy run @ 9:40/mile

Wednesday: HIIT class + 1 mile run + 30 minutes on the elliptical

Thursday: 20 minutes of yoga at home + a nice long walk

Friday: 10 mile bike ride and lower body circuit (3×10 weighted squats, lunges, straight-leg deadlifts) and upper body circuit (3×10 bicep curls, overhead press, tricep extension)

Saturday: HIIT class

Sunday: TOTAL REST! According to my Garmin, I only took about 5,000 steps total. I’m counting that as a win and hoping that taking it easy did the final trick to heal my ankle.

While fighting a potential injury, I was tempted to let it make me cranky and steal my joy…but I refuse to let not being able to run get me down! When my circumstances are less than ideal, I wake myself up back to reality and what a good, good life it is by counting my blessings via a gratitude list. This week, I was grateful for…

a sapporo + sushi date with my man at our regular spot. This was the first restaurant we ate at when we moved to California and it’s been our special place ever since!


our quirky beach town’s Christmas parade and decorations on the main street


treating ourselves to vegan donuts 


and discovering these acai bites as a healthy after-dinner dessert 🙂


this week, we got our first california christmas tree!


and most of all — grateful that we have these friends who have become like family, to kick off the Christmas season with!


Verse of the Week:

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. ” John 1:9

Training + Thanksgiving Recap

Happy Wednesday friends! This is a very delayed post (this week has already been crazy busy) but I wanted to check in with last week’s training recap nonetheless. I am about 4 weeks away from starting my official training for marathon #4 and I really enjoy documenting the little daily work put in each day, knowing it will add up to something great come Spring. Thank you for reading along! I hope you find it helpful and encouraging for your own health/wellness journey.

I also have some fun questions for you at the end of this post so be sure to answer in the comments!

Monday: Taught HIIT class (I love when I teach because I get to actually do the full workout with my class…hello, getting paid to strength train!)

Tuesday: 7 miles @ 9:19 pace on the treadmill. (It cut me off after an hour and 5 minutes! I only I ran a little faster and got that perfect round mileage…womp, womp.)

Wednesday: taught HIIT class and ran 3 miles in the evening at a gym date with C ❤️

Thursday/Thanksgiving: my DIY turkey trot tradition continues! 3.1 mile run (Chad followed me on the bike) at the beach and river bike path. 8:03/mi pace which felt fairly easy effort!

I made us a cranberry electrolyte mocktail to get in the holiday spirit after the run, while we prepped food for our Thanksgiving feast.

Cranberry Mocktail: fill a glass 3/4 with water, add splash of all-natural cranberry and orange juice, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt, and squeeze of lime.

For Thanksgiving, we celebrated with a bunch of our friends that we do life with here in Ocean Beach! I am so grateful to love all of these people and to have our own big “family” here at our home away from home. We missed our families on the East Coast but had a blast with this crew…and we loved walking the pier after dinner. Full bellies, full moon, and the ocean = perfection. Thanks M & D for hosting! ⭐️

Friday: 6 mile run @ 8:46/mile in the morning. Literally “ran” into my pal Ali! Love an outdoor morning run, thanks to a day off from work!

On Friday afternoon, we went to C’s boss’ house to watch the Virginia vs. Virginia Tech basketball game. Chase especially loved playing in their beautiful backyard!

Our weekend overall was extremely restful, and included lots of naps and games together! Bananagrams is our go-to favorite.

Saturday: taught HIIT class, made a giant batch of green juice, and went on a 12 mile bike ride with Ali. We’re lucky to live somewhere so pretty to explore!

On Saturday evening (after yet another nap!) Chad suggested that we have a family sunset date. So that’s exactly what we did.

Sunday: 10 miles @ 9:01 pace. My goal marathon pace for May 2019 is 9:05. So this gave me hope that I have the building blocks to work towards that.

After my run, I helped in the nursery at church (baby snuggles!), grabbed sandwiches, and watched the Eagles finally (and just barely) pull off a WIN with C.

Total Mileage: 29

Verse of the Week: “So be truly glad, there is wonderful joy ahead, even if you have to endure trials for a little while.” – 1 Peter 1:6

(this applies to all things + many seasons in life, especially a marathon build-up!)

Questions for You:

1. What was your favorite thing about Thanksgiving this year?

2. Do you love or hate HIIT workouts?

3. Given ideal weather conditions, where is your favorite place to run?

Have a wonderful, happy week!

Training Summary: 11/12/18 – 11/18/18

Monday: 6 miles at the bay + cardio HIIT

Tuesday: 5 miles on the treadmill and a short leg workout: 3×10 weighted walking lunges, squats, and straight-leg deadlifts (got to workout with my hubby for this one — woohoo!)

Wednesday: 5 miles on the treadmill + arm circuit

Thursday: rest/30 minute walk

Friday: 4 miles on the treadmill + BEYOND BURGERS (100% veggie and delicious!)

Saturday: 4 miles at the beach with and a pelican sighting! And a date day bike ride in the afternoon.

Sunday: 6.2 miles via Race Guarding at the Wonder Woman 5k/10k.

made this yummy salad for Sunday night dinner with friends: spinach, romaine, chickpeas, pomegranate, apples, pecans. Yum!

Total Miles: 30.2 so happy to see 30 again — it’s been a while! Up and up!

Verse of the Week:

But you, God, shield me on all sides. You ground my feet, you lift my head high. – Psalm 3:3

Training Summary: 11/5/18 – 11/11/18

Monday: 4 miles easy with Milestone Running Club (first headlamp run of the winter!), taught my cardio HIIT class…followed by a delicious dinner with my gal pal running pal Ali at a newish VEGAN restaurant in Mission Beach.

Tuesday: 6 miles moderate – treadmill

Wednesday: taught cardio HIIT class + 30 minutes of Runner’s Yoga from Yoga With Adrienne — I love this video!!

Thursday: 3 mile fartlek – treadmill

Friday: 3 miles easy – treadmill

Saturday: 5 miles easy around town

Sunday: 5 mile tempo @ goal marathon pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 26

Other random highlights from our week:

  • My first time at Soulshine was SO good that I brought chad back there for our Saturday date night – twice in one week, hooray!
  • We went to SeaWorld and rode two roller coasters — walking around the park is my favorite “cross-training” 😉
  • A member of my workout class brought me a mix cd, avocados, and persimmon from her garden — she is so generous!
  • I got blue light blocking glasses for work and so far, I love them! Have you tried them?
  • My church family has donated $2000 worth of books for Christmas presents for my foster kiddos at work!! They are going to LOVE them.
  • I got to babysit my friend’s 3 year old daughter on Friday night and it is amazing to realize how much she’s grown since I met her two years ago! She is so verbal and has her own spunky personality; I love watching her grow up and dancing to Moana with her.
  • I made a great vegan chili and vegan apple crisp (fall is HERE!).
  • Please keep LA & Northern California fire victims in your prayers. Crazy what’s going on in our state!

Sending much love to you,


Training Summary: 10/29/18-11/4/18

Good morning friends, and happy Monday! I hope that you had a great week.

The truth is I debated conveniently “forgetting” to post this week’s workouts – it wasn’t a great one; wasn’t the kind of mileage or workouts that I normally aim for. I had a really nasty cold towards the end of the week, which caused me to miss my long run, and earlier in the week – I just got busy and let a few excuses get in my way.

The good news is that it ain’t no biggie and this Monday marks the start of a new week and a chance to get back to my goals and stick to my scheduled workouts. I’m also not in training for anything right now, just running for the joy of it, so that helps me to have extra grace for myself. 🙂 Life isn’t perfect so we can’t expect our fitness journeys to be perfect 100% of the time, either. Sometimes we slow down and need rest and that is a-ok. I’m feeling so much better now and am ready for a fun week of workouts ahead!

So if you’re reading this and your workouts didn’t go perfectly this week, have GRACE for yourself and don’t beat yourself up. Today is a new day!

Training Summary: October 29 – November 4

Monday 10/29: taught cardio + strength HIIT class, 50 minute walk

Tuesday 10/30: 6 easy miles @ 9:52 pace

Wednesday 10/31: taught cardio + strength HIIT class

Thursday 11/1: started to feel a little sick…total rest

Friday 11/2: started to feel REALLY sick and left work early…3 super duper easy miles in the afternoon to keep me from going crazy at home. Caught a good sunset!

Saturday 11/3: taught cardio + strength HIIT class, easy 4 mile run, XT paddleboarding

forgot my qalo wedding band 😦

Sunday: TOTAL REST. Save a few light walks with our pup. 🙂

Total Weekly Miles: 13…womp, womp. Onward to a new week!

A few random thoughts:

Image may contain: Kathy Strazdus Stracke, smiling, standing, child, tree, shoes, outdoor and nature

  1. My biggest goal for the week ahead is to have as much joy (running and not running!) as my mom did this past weekend at the Mushroom Cap Half Marathon in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. How great is she? Congratulations on a tough and hilly race, mom!


2. Who else watched Kenya’s Mary Keitany stellar performance at the NYC Marathon? Even though I desperately wanted my girl Des (or any American) to win, I couldn’t deny how beautifully she ran and held on to the lead for soooo long and from such a big distance. You go girl!

3. I listened to a great podcast with Des this week. Immediately sent it to my friend MK and she loved it just as much, so I thought I’d share with you, too! I’ve listened to many with her but this sports psychologist asked such challenging questions and opened up her personal side in a way I had never heard before; it was great to know her in a different way!