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Barley For Breakfast

February 8, 2011

First of all, I would just like to say a HUGE thank-you to you all! Your comments about different diets, food lifestyles and the decision to become a vegan or vegetarian were so insightful and I appreciated every single one.

For the time being, here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • I love animals and don’t agree with the way they are being mass produced and treated. I cried during Food Inc. and Earthling.
  • I don’t want to miss out on important nutrients that meat, eggs and other dairy products can offer me.  It would be hard for me to be successful at getting my nutrients from vegan or vegetarian sources.
  • I do think it’s possible to thrive on a vegan or vegetarian diet, but I don’t believe it’s the diet for me.
  • I would love to say that from now on I’ll be eating certified organic, free-range meat…but I’m afraid that won’t necessarily be the case.
  • I love eating eggs, yogurt and cheese. However, lately my consumption of chicken, turkey and other meat has been extremely low. I’m not a big fan of turkey sandwiches, I prefer eating beans with my salads and I don’t eat a lot of turkey burger.
  • I’m not going vegetarian, but I do eat less meat than the average person.
  • I eat (and will continue eating) lots of whole grains, a variety of fruit and vegetables, beans, legumes, yogurt (with no added sugars/sweeteners), real cheese, eggs, nuts and if I want to I will eat chicken, fish, and turkey.
  • I do my best to eat a clean diet and eat foods made with the purest ingredients. I want to eat foods the way they were intended to eat by nature.
  • I avoid refined sugars/sweeteners, highly-processed cheese/dairy, crazy chemicals, food coloring and additives.

Well, there you have it! I want to hear your feedback. I don’t expect you to agree with everything I’m choosing, but that’s okay. We are all different and must find what works for us.

Moving on…


barley and homemade Greek yogurt (tutorial tomorrow!) topped with mango, pineapple, strawberry chunks, shredded coconut and chia seeds

I copied my fellow TeenageHealthFreak (love her!!) and had Coconut Mango Barley for breakfast today. So delicious and so many amazing textures in this bowl!

I couldn’t find any decent instructions, on the package or online, for cooking barley. I just boiled 3 cups water and then added 1 cup barley, brought it down to low and let it cook, covered, for an hour.

I loved the barley. It is nutty and slightly chewy and paired swimmingly with the fruit, yogurt and coconut.

I bet you’re wondering what I meant by homemade Greek yogurt.

You’ll just have to wait and see tomorrow. 🙂


For a little lunch/snack today I had the prettiest shade of green in my Green Monster. Ever.


– 1 HUGE handful fresh, organic, baby spinach

– 2/3 cup almond milk

– 1 banana

– 1 big ole spoonful of peanut butter

– 3 ice cubes

Blend on high until smooth and creamy!

Topped with my last Earnest Eats Granola Plank, microwaved and crumbled on top.

Best granola EVER. So crunchy and sweet. Love it.


I was worried that my lentil sprouts weren’t going to work out…but they are doing fabulous!

They smell very peppery, I can’t wait to eat them on salads when they’re done! It will probably be another day or two.

Have you tried barley?

What’s your favorite Green Monster?

Be looking for the homemade Greek yogurt post tomorrow! 😉 I’m such a tease!

Have a great evening, thanks for reading! I love you all!

35 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2011 4:50 pm

    My favorite green monster is probably going to be the one you just posted! I’ve never had one but I think im overdue….

    Love your take on lifestyle! Good for you 🙂

  2. February 8, 2011 4:52 pm

    Love the homemade greek yogurt idea, but I have NO clue where to get cheesecloth to make it. I guess I could use good quality paper towels? I have tried and LOVED barely. I havent had any in while though, and Im not sure why! It is so versatile, and even my hubby likes it!

  3. February 8, 2011 4:54 pm

    I make my own greek yogurt, too!! It’s so easy and mine gets even thicker than store-bought brands.

    i used to drink a green monster a day but have slipped out of the habit lately. I blame the cold weather!

  4. February 8, 2011 5:00 pm

    I’m a barley freak! My grandfather used to make the best barley soup when I was a kid! Great analysis on your vegetarian/vegan eating thoughts! 🙂 Your green monster looks soo good!

  5. February 8, 2011 5:09 pm

    I would have never thought to add sweet things like fruit to barley, but that actually looks great! I haven’t experimented with adding too many ingredients to green monsters, I usually just stick with the simple banana and spinach. But yours sounds amazing. 🙂

  6. February 8, 2011 5:19 pm

    Girl, I’m totally supporting your decision. Do what you think is best for you. 🙂

    Loving your GREEN MONSTA! 🙂 My favorite is banana, apple, almond milk, and lots and lots of greens. 🙂

  7. February 8, 2011 6:16 pm

    I have never had barley! I should try it to switch up my oats for once and have something new!

    Hope you have a great night !xo

  8. February 8, 2011 6:31 pm

    I looooooove barley! I so want to try barley risotto! But the coconut mango barley looks great as well!
    Favorite green monster? Any and all! Well, there was one that I couldn’t stand, but I’ve tried to erase it from my mind 😉

  9. February 8, 2011 6:46 pm

    I love barley! It’s so chewy and delicious 🙂

    I think you’re making the best decision for you. Only you know what’s best for yourself! Good choice 🙂

  10. February 8, 2011 7:11 pm

    Looks like a great day of good eats–I’ve never had barley for breakfast, but I do love the idea. I’m so used to eating it in savory dishes, the thought of eating it with fruit and yogurt sounds wonderful! Hope you’re having a good week 🙂

  11. February 8, 2011 7:22 pm

    That is exactly my favorite green monster, sometimes with the addition of a little coconut milk kefir and maca powder! 🙂

  12. Jessica permalink
    February 8, 2011 7:26 pm

    Where do you buy your chia seeds from?

    • February 8, 2011 7:31 pm

      I was actually surprised to find them at my local health food store!

  13. February 8, 2011 7:32 pm

    Girl, I’m glad you’ve found a place where you’re comfortable with your diet. That’s wonderful. 🙂

    I’ve never had a Green Monster… I know, I know. I have all the ingredients right now to make this one… maybe just maybe I’ll try it.

  14. February 8, 2011 9:00 pm

    Breakfast barley is so interesting to me, I’m definitely going to have to jump on this bandwagon soon!

  15. February 8, 2011 9:17 pm

    I am totally the same way about being a vegetarian. I don’t eat poultry, meat, or seafood, but I eat yogurt, eggs, and cheese. I don’t like to label myself though because if I want to have meat one day, I don’t want to feel “bad” because it’s a nutritious choice and can be ethical too.

    I’ve always wanted to make homemade greek yogurt! I can’t wait to see the post.

  16. February 8, 2011 9:28 pm

    I think that was a great decision! Something else you could do is try to find a farm in your area! I know Michael Pollan’s websites have links to animal farms, so you can actually go to the farm and see how they treat their animals!

    • February 9, 2011 2:06 pm

      Yes! That is definitely something I want to do, I’m going to start looking in to this!

  17. February 8, 2011 9:56 pm

    I haven’t had a green monster in a while, but I do have old spinach that needs to used up. I like to add yogurt into mine that makes it way more creamy.

  18. February 8, 2011 10:12 pm

    i think it’s great that you’re finding a diet that works for you. i’m a pescetarian who rarely eats dairy. actually, i haven’t had red meat in 15 years, but i certainly don’t judge anyone who does eat it. i fail to believe there’s only ‘one’ way of eating healthy. i mean, there are 7 billion people on the planet and we’re all supposed to eat the same way?? i highly doubt it.

    p.s. barley is awesome. i have it every morning. 🙂

  19. oatsandspice permalink
    February 8, 2011 10:33 pm

    Peanut Butter green monster? YUMMM sounds delicious! It looks so creamy too 🙂

  20. February 8, 2011 11:32 pm

    While I eat vegetarian most of the time (like 99%), I am just not a fan of labels. I believe we are in charge of our bodies, and we don’t need to label our eating habits for anyone. As long as we are comfortable with the choices we make, then that’s really all that matters…in my opinion!

  21. February 8, 2011 11:40 pm

    Your green monster looks exactly like what I am eating at this exact moment except my shades lighter! I didnt put enough spinach LOL

  22. February 9, 2011 12:15 am

    I think this is a great ‘compromise’ 🙂 Do what works for you. The fact that you’re making an effort to be a conscious consumer and be kinder ot animals is a definite step and does make a contribution. It’s not worth going to extremes that are detrimental to your health/well-being.

    You go girl! 🙂

  23. February 9, 2011 2:58 am

    wow! your barley looks awesome! ive never tried it!! and i thnk your decision is perfect and it sounds like you are proud and happy with your choices, whic is the most important thing!

  24. February 9, 2011 9:56 am

    Oh looks yummy! I’ve never had barley before, but it sounds and looks delish! 🙂

    I think it’s great that you are sticking to what you feel is right for YOU. I think there are a lot of pressures in the blog world to become vegetarian/vegan, and I can see that despite being one! 😛 I’m thinking of doing a post about that soon…

  25. February 9, 2011 11:55 am

    I have been meaning to try barley. Looks great.

    I do eat a lot of meat. I don’t feel that the vegetarian or vegan diets are for me. When it’s possible, I do choose organic meats. It’s not always possible for me to do so (due to expense), but a few changes still make a difference.

  26. teenagehealthfreak permalink
    February 9, 2011 12:35 pm

    oh yay!! glad you liked it!! 🙂 i love making homemade greek yogurt,so much cheaper!!
    my diet is the same as yours! a vegetarian/vegan diet is not for me, i thrive on animal products/protein. and if i do eat meat,,, it’s usually local so i feel a little better about that.

  27. February 9, 2011 1:16 pm

    Haven’t tried that granola but it sounds and looks tasty!
    I LOVE green monsters/smoothies! My favorite is a ton of spinach, fresh coconut water, frozen banana, protein powder, and tons of cinnamon. Oh and LOTS of ice. So good!

  28. runyogarepeat permalink
    February 10, 2011 10:30 am

    I totally agree, there are so many different ways to eat a healthy diet. Some people choose vegan, others choose a different way – all ways can be healthy I think, just depends on your body’s needs!

  29. February 10, 2011 9:26 pm

    Yay for the lentil sprout babies!

    I swear we have the exact same diet! I experiment with vegan and vegetarian dishes but I don’t really believe in labeling myself according to the foods that I eat. I try my best to choose organic when possible, but lets be real…sometimes it’s just too dang expensive!

    Your barely breakfast is beautiful! I bought some barley the other day and now I know exactly what I’ll be making first!

    I really need to try a GM with PB! My fave so far is spinach, almond milk, protein powder, and bloobs!

  30. February 16, 2011 1:06 am

    I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian either, but my meat consumption is also way down. I’d just prefer to eat something other than meat. That barley bowl looks to die for!!

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