Almond Streusel Blueberry Muffins


It’s July 2nd and I am down in California at my parents’ house.  Every morning, I climb out of bed, roll into the kitchen and see my dad, sitting in his same oak antique chair in the family room, coffee on his side table, newspaper in hand and watching the news.  I go about my morning routine, retrieving my favorite red and white striped mug from the cupboard and pouring some coconut milk in the bottom of the mug before filling it with coffee.  Aaaaahhh.  Give me 15 minutes, with my coffee and my cell phone checking Facebook and Instagram and THEN.  I will be ready to function.

We all get into our habits.  They are habits. Some we know are bad for us.  Some we know are good for us.  As we get older, our bodies start to tell us the truth: which are good and which are bad.  But…our heads might tell us otherwise.


One thing you may not know about me is that when I was in college, I was a little bit thicker than I am today.  The “freshman 15” was more like the “freshman 30”.   I think it was a combination of being on my own, making my own food choices, but also, I was not in dance classes on a weekly basis like I used to be when I was at home.  All those “habits” I had when I was under my parents’ roof had disappeared.  The beautiful thing though is I didn’t know it.  I knew other girls were skinnier and smaller than I was in the sorority but I didn’t think anything of my size.  I attribute that to my mom.  She never gave me a bad time about gaining weight.  She loved me how I was.  And so did someone else…

In my junior year, I met a boy (now my husband 🙂 ) and he saw me for who I am.  We dated that whole year.  When summer came, he went back to Portland where his family lived and I went to San Jose, where my family lived.  That summer, I focused on 3 things: working at Wells Fargo as a bank teller, doing step classes at Gold’s Gym taking a water-bottle with me wherever I went, and spending time with my family.  The end of summer came.  As we always did in August, mom took me shopping for school clothes before I drove back up to the U of O for sorority rush.


I will never forget the reaction on my sorority sister’s faces.  “Melissa, you look great!”  “Melissa, what did you do to lose weight?”  And to tell you the truth, I didn’t know I had lost weight till that very moment.  “I don’t know!  I did carry a water-bottle with me wherever I went?!?”  Since my boyfriend was in Portland all summer, I simply focused on work, working out, and family.  I started creating habits.

Now, 25 years later (holy moly!  Is it really 25 years later???!!!!), I have learned to keep up with healthy habits.  I still love my chocolate and sipping delicious cocktails but I am pretty good at keeping “everything in moderation”.


My dad, Papa as he is known :),  had a successful, well-guy check-up last week and overall he’s doing great.  According to his doc, one thing he needs to work on is losing a little weight.  “Here I come to save the daaaayyyy!”  (Yes, that’s me and Mighty Mouse theme song playing…in my head, at least 🙂 ) I am trying to instill some of my healthy habits into his every day living.

“Hey dad!  Have you ever thought about putting peanut butter on your toast in the morning?  It’s a great way to get some protein first thing in the am.  Kick starts your metabolism and helps your body process things slower.”

“Speaking of slower, switch that french bread to whole wheat and that too will help your body in so many different ways!”

Well, today I made some light, low sugar muffins.  This recipe makes a TON, so I froze half of them for him to heat up in the am’s when we are no longer here.  They’re made with whole wheat flour, oats, light sugar, little oil, fresh anti-oxidant packed blueberries, and topped with crunchy almonds.  They are a great way to start some healthy morning habits! 🙂


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The next morning, I caught him eating his toasted french bread with butter.

Me: “Dad! You should have a muffin!”

Dad: “Oh.  I forgot about them.  Good idea!”

Habits…they are soooo hard to break. 🙂

What are some of your healthy habits (and not so healthy habits?!–those are often more fun 😉 )?

xo, Melissa


3 thoughts on “Almond Streusel Blueberry Muffins

  1. This is Melissa’s (known to us as “Missa”) Dad (known to the Manos family as “Papa”). Healthy habits are a great idea, however, daily habits have to be challenged first. Reorganizing my taste buds in alignment with my lovely and highly intelligent daughter’s recommendations requires an effort hard to find in the morning when I am partially awake. I know that I must lower my cholesterol and calorie count to live a healthy life. I also need to get out and exercise my aging body to strengthen muscles and lubricate joints. That is also something Missa recommends to her steadily maturing father. So, I ask myself regularly, when does the father take advice and direction from his daughter? When does he re-evaluate his behavior and life-styles when his daughter challenges them? The answer is abundantly clear to this senior citizen… when his “little girl” becomes a wisely mature mother of two healthy children and adored wife to her mentally and physically healthy husband. Oh, I may slip into a cholesterol laden hamburger or a slice of delicious french bread with butter on occasion, but knowing what is best for me to stay healthy for my daughters and grandchildren has become my mantra of life.


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