About six months ago, I did something that would make the average American weep salty tears of loss and severe separation anxiety: I threw away my TV.
Well…technically, I didn’t just chuck it in the dumpster in the back of my apartment building. I paid $5 to donate it to a local organization which refurbishes TVs and sells them for money to benefit Habitat for Humanity. I know, serious good samaritan points for me on that one.
But I did it.
And honestly, since that fateful day so many months ago, I haven’t looked back!
Yes, me! The TV-obsessed girl who spent years mapping out her week’s schedule based on TV shows she just had to watch – like The Bachelor and trashy episodes of MTV’s Laguna Beach on Mondays and Jack n’ Jill on Tuesdays and Dawson’s Creek on Wednesdays and Grey’s Anatomy or Will and Grace on Thursdays and finally, some TGIF or soap operas I used to videotape in high school on Fridays (<- perhaps one of the sadder things you’ll learn about me).
Television gave me a welcome escape from the really awkward years of my life by allowing me to slip into a world where I didn’t have to think about my braces-laced teeth or that horrible boyfriend I was dating or what I wanted to do with my life. Instead, all I had to do is hope for Ali to lose those 5.3 pounds on The Biggest Loser and for Ben to finally admit how much he loved Felicity. Seriously Scott Speedman, what took you so long?!?
But that all changed when I graduated from college…and started doing things!
Not that I didn’t do things before…but it was after college that I started this blog. And had to make new friends over beers at happy hour when I moved to Madison. And spent a formidable amount of time training for my 1st marathon. And ate. And cooked! I did lots of cooking. My life filled up with activities, leaving little time to adhere to a strict TV schedule…and I liked it.
Don’t get me wrong! My life would not be as complete (or sane) without my weekly dose of Parks & Recreation and Modern Family but taking a step back from the boob tube has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. And quite frankly, between going back to school, working full-time, blogging, freelance projects and trying to stay physically & mentally in-shape (hello, marathon #2!), when I do have free time, it’s more likely to be spent sleeping than anything else.
Or I admit it, watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.
You can take the TV away from the girl, but you can’t take the girl away from Netflix.
But seriously, now I would just rather do things like crossword puzzles…or snowboard…or call a friend…or organize my closet…or travel…or read O Magazine…or take the time to learn that buckwheat groats are gluten-free…and a great source of manganese…and delicious when paired with coconut…and mango…and apple…and then bake up a batch of granola to prove it.
Moral of this story: living life > watching life.
Apple Mango Coconut Buckwheat Granola
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45-50 minutes
2 1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup brown rice syrup or honey*
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup diced dried apple
1/3 cup diced dried mango
*I used Tropical Traditions Organic Brown Rice Syrup, found here.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, toss groats, cashews, brown rice syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until evenly coated. Pour onto a baking sheet and press into an even layer. Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until granola is light golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately mix-in coconut, apple and mango. Stir every 10 minutes or so until cool.
Store in an airtight container or immediately devour the entire batch…it’s your call.