cinnamon + cacao granola (paleo/gluten-free)


When I was in Nicaragua I fell asleep at nine and woke at five. It’s been my habit to wear ear plugs when I sleep since the slightest sound could wake me, however, in Nicaragua I was distracted by the fact that there were no sounds from which I could escape. I took a place in the mountains and all one could hear come nightfall were birds flittering through trees and nocturnal animals calling. In the morning were different birds, different animals but the same trees, and it felt as if the trees never resumed their former shape because of all the velocity, the shaking. It took me two days to become accustomed to the quiet and then I welcomed it. It felt natural to sleep and rise in concert with the dark and light, and since I’ve been back I’ve exhausted.

I still sleep, yet there’s so much noise around me. I wear my ear plugs again to quiet the footfalls of men rushing up and down the stairs at all hours, the blare of horns and music as cars race down my street. At dawn I wake to shovels scraping the sidewalk and a host of other tools meant to break ice. I listen to music on my morning commute because everything is just too much, and I even shy away from friends who write that they are so! busy! because it’s as if I can hear the sounds of their disquiet, of rapid movement.

I’m wondering if, like the trees, I’ll ever be able to resume my shape.

People (friends, colleagues, acquaintances) have been asking the perfunctory questions related to a move: have I found a place in California (no, because I only decided less than a week ago that this would be the place to which I would move this year)? What about my health insurance (I’ll have to complete forms)? What about driving (I’ll figure that out when I get there)? What about money (don’t you think that I don’t think about money when I’m not thinking about money)? What about your apartment (I’m leaving, I’m leaving)? What about your book (don’t ask)? What about movers (making inquiries)? What about friends (working on it)?

I’ve been back less than a week, having barely adjusted from moving to one environ to another, and I’m getting killed with questions.

Lately I’ve found the act of multitasking hard, impossible even. I can no longer read and listen to music. I can no longer deal with programming a new phone and reviewing a quarterly analytics report. I’m finding that I work best when I focus on one task at a time, perform it to its measure, and then move on to the next. Right now I’m focused on making enough money to pay my taxes, dental surgeries (will marry for dental insurance!), and enough to get me settled for three months in California. Then I’ll worry about logistics. Then I’ll worry about everything else.

Right now I’m gathering as much information as I can while letting a lot of my possessions go. Right now I need people to help me with information and work and take my things.

Right now I need to hole up in my home and rest while I devour all of this chocolately granola.

INGREDIENTS: Recipe via The Whole Pantry app* (best $2.99 I’ve spent in months see note, below)
2 cups coconut flakes
½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
½ cup poppy or sesame seeds (I used slivered almonds)
½ cup chia seeds
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
⅓ cup rice malt syrup, honey or coconut nectar
¼ cup melted coconut oil
½ tsp sea salt flakes
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 125°c / 255°F. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and use hands (or a spatula) to coat evenly. Line a tray with baking paper and spray lightly. Spread mixture evenly onto tray. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. At this point, you can add in additional dried fruit (I love dried cherries and ginger), and store in airtight container or glass jar for up to a week.

*Note: As you guys know I’m pretty obsessive about researching products before I try them, but admittedly I got seduced by this app while in the Apple store waiting a month to get my iPhone6. I hadn’t learned about the apparent shadiness behind the app and its founder until a reader brought it to my attention a few days ago on Twitter, and a kind reader (thanks, Emi!) posted a comment today. I did some digging and I’m so unnerved (to put it mildly) that someone would lie about surviving cancer and defraud people out of thousands of dollars for her own financial gain. I want to apologize to you guys for not doing my due diligence, and I’m glad you’ve brought this to my attention. I’ll be extra vigilant, moving forward. As always, thank you! For more information about the story, click here and here.


14 thoughts on “cinnamon + cacao granola (paleo/gluten-free)

  1. As a fellow wanderer, having just moved back to Ohio from an island in Puget Sound, I understand this totally. The closest house was a mile away and I had a trail system in my back yard. Now I dont have a backyard. If solace is your thing then I recommend Washington state (not Seattly, though it is a beautiful city).


  2. Hi Felicia,
    I am so sorry for the overwhelming questions and (perhaps?) anxiety/pressure that this must be causing for you. I would like to offer help and suggestions if you’d like?

    This post resonated with me in so many ways. When I was in my mid-twenties, I was wounded, lost and homeless living in my car despite having two degrees. My family wasn’t my family anymore.
    I was just discharged from the hospital after being attacked (for the first time, the second being “family”) by a group of men in the street I’d known my entire life, just after sunset–all surgeries and blood transfusions completed, broken bones fused back together by metal, but would never be the same, and deep purple bruises turned an ugly brown, mirroring how I felt about myself, stitches removed leaving scars that would never fade.
    I had nobody, under $200, little to no family and the one place I called home was gone in so many ways.
    So, as battered as I was in so many ways, I began driving across the country. I was terrified and had no place to go. I decided that I would continue driving until I nearly ran out of money and would live in my car until I found a job & built new “roots” someplace else, somplace I knew absolutely nothing about & didn’t know a soul. I was completely, completely alone.
    I will spare you ALL of the details because this post could go on and on. But in the end, I ended up in California. I ended up showering at the beach and YMCA, hitting the pavement, finally finding a job and eventually saved enough money for an apartment and a new place to rebuild & place my head. A place of my own to actually, finally breathe. I am back in Massachusetts for reasons that I can’t go
    into now for reasons we’ve vaguely discussed and I’m finding myself longing to return to California once again.
    But I digress. This is not why I am writing. I am writing to offer any help or tips that might be helpful for you because I had absolutely NO clue about California when I stumbled into the state and explored it from top to bottom. L.A. isn’t my scene either and I ended up in a very small beach town.
    If you would like any tips or help, please do not hesitate to ask and email at all. It would be my absolute pleasure to not only help out another person in need, but one of my favorite authors.
    If not, I wish you peace & safety in your journey. I truly wish that I hear from you.


    1. Jessica,

      Thank you so much for sharing your brave, honest words. I really appreciate them and it provides ample perspective.

      At this point in my journey, I plan on keeping much of my decision making close to me and offline, but I do appreciate your kind offer of assistance.

      Warm regards, Felicia


  3. I am pained to see the Whole Pantry app featured on your blog, which I read with the utmost respect (read the GOMI page on Healing Belle for the full story). I imagine you would not wish to give this app any publicity if you were aware of the full story, so wanted to let you know…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Emi,

      Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention! Someone mentioned this to me on Twitter the other day and I was appalled. Admittedly, I’ve been bogged down with a sinus infection and didn’t amend my post to feature the AdAge story link. I definitely wouldn’t knowingly promote someone who defrauded people and I’m sickened by it. Thank you so much for the needed reminder to update my post. I’ll do it shortly. Warmly, Felicia


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