I hope you’re having a tolerable Monday so far.
This blog post is going to be one part healthy dessert recipe success,
one part dessert flop,
and one part life confessional. It’s tough to know just where to draw the line in regards to openness on a blog. I know that my favorite blogs don’t censor out all the messiness of life. Life happens. The things that tend to keep me coming back to a blog are the real life stories, and experiences that are shared.
I decided to share a little bit about a rough patch going on in my life because
1. I realized that the importance of staying healthy during stressful times is great subject matter.
2. Its tough to put on a happy face, and act like everything in my life is normal when it’s not.
3. The alternative is to not post at all (pretending everything is fine is too uncomfortable); but this is a new blog and I don’t want to stop posting.
When life smacks you out of the blue…
The day I came back from Big Bear, something totally unexpected happened. I had been having a rough time in general with business/life, and felt a little counseling/coaching were in order. I mentioned this to my husband, and he began to get a bit defensive. A whole can of worms were opened up, and it turned into shouting. The kind of shouting that the whole neighborhood can hear.
We’ve had some underlying issues that have never been addressed, from early on in our marriage. Big mistake. I’ve learned my lesson that things left unresolved will find you. It’s not a matter of if, but when they will surface. For us, these things are beginning to surface 16 years later. Oy.
The shouting match ended with a broken dish, and him leaving with a suitcase. Yikes. There are too many personal details to go into here, but I wanted to acknowledge that I’m not perfect, and life is messy. I have gone on too long trying to be perfect, and smooth over the rough spots, rather than address them. I have failed to seek help when needed, and failed to insist that we work out our differences early on.
Hanging in there.
He is back home, and things are civil for now. The good news is that he has agreed to go to counseling. We are both at fault in our marital problems, and we are accepting the fact that counseling may not bring a happy ending.
What really struck me in this situation is how severely the stress ravaged my body! I literally felt like someone had injected adrenaline in my veins. I felt like this intense drug was coursing through my veins for about 15 hours straight. It got me thinking about how important it is to take care of ourselves during tough life circumstances.
Self care must come first!
We must not forget to eat, and drink plenty of water! I had to force myself to drink water, and I still felt like I wasn’t getting enough.
I spoke to a counselor, and she gave me great advice:
“Don’t try to figure everything out right now. Just take care of yourself, and stay busy. Problems that have taken years to develop aren’t going to resolve in a week, no matter what you do. Be patient.”
Always go for green.
I have been making sure to get plenty of greens. I got a double wheatgrass shot over the weekend. If I had a wheatgrass juicer, I’d be drinking wheatgrass juice a few times a day to offset the effects of the stress. I still don’t even own a standard juicer! I’ve set my sights on owning a wheatgrass juicer, and have been checking Craigslist every day.
I decided to treat myself over the weekend with some vegan almond butter cups. I wasn’t even thinking about blogging at this point, so snapped a few pics as an afterthought. I managed to get a few decent shots of the finished product.
I didn’t follow a recipe, but just decided to wing it. This recipe is by no means perfect, but it is easy, and delicious! The texture of the chocolate is not quite solid enough, but is just right if kept refrigerated.
High Raw Vegan Almond Butter Cups
2 oz raw cacao butter
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave)
raw almond butter mixed with sea salt and sweetener of your choice, to taste
I didn’t measure the almond butter. I’m guessing I used 1/3-1/2 cup.
Melt the cacao butter using a double boiler or just a bowl on top of a saucepan of water will work fine. Here’s what I used (my daughter is a dark chocolate fiend like her mother):
Once melted, mix in the cacao powder and maple syrup. Vanilla is tasty too, but I’m out.
Spoon a small amount into each mini baking cup. Next, put a small blob of the almond butter mixture in each cup, and finish by spooning the remainder of the chocolate to cover the filling.
Refrigerate until solid.
The dessert flop was adding this to banana soft-serve. In case you’re not aware of it, there’s an amazing technique of simply processing frozen bananas in a food processor or vitamix and it creates the texture of soft-serve ice cream!
In theory, these almond butter cups would be perfect paired with this treat. But sadly, it wasn’t so.
In my pre-vegan days, I loved the combo of frozen chocolate, peanut butter, and vanilla ice cream. But for some reason, this just didn’t work.
I hope to experiment in the future with more chocolate recipes, as well as raw vegan ice cream recipes, using an ice cream maker. There is great info to be found on the web, but I’m always fighting the time monster.
No matter what is going on in your life, don’t forget to nuture your health, and your soul!
Treat yourself to something that feeds both.
Have a great rest of your Monday, and a great week!