Time of the Month and CCK’s Homemade Oreos

Life is slowly returning to normal as a newly married “Mrs” — or at least a new, better normal and I’m starting to find space to get my blog on again! It started with a few more evenings and mornings in the kitchen over the last few weeks, and was finally jump-started when a co-worker’s excitement over her new blog got me all fired up about what it is that I love about blogging!

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I’ve been thinking about food a lot–and I’m wondering where food is at for all of you! One thing that has become very apparent to me over the last 4-5 months is the role that, for women, our menstrual cycles play in our eating behaviours AND the way we feel about ourselves. If your tapped into your natural cycle, you probably know what that looks like for you. Perhaps about a week before your cycle you are super emotional. Maybe a few days before your cycle you want to eat everything that’s not nailed down. And then you do. And then enter emotions and the insecurities that underlie them and the tears that follow. Our bellies get bloated, our breasts get swollen. And then….it comes! We feel relief and normal for a few weeks until…ah, there it goes again. Sounds like a lot of crazy-making if you ask me. But that’s mama nature’s call, not mine!

How do you deal with that sometimes challenging pre-period time of the month? I have been determined to do my best to lessen the blow on both the food front and on the self-berating front. I’ve done a lot of research into what’s happening in our bodies at this time, and our urges to eat have a lot to do with the fact that we actually burn about up to 300 more calories a day in the week leading up to our periods. With this in mind, try and go easy on yourself if you are eating more than usual or you notice yourself craving particular things. Other self care things might be helpful too–the kinder you can be to yourself, the better! Drink women’s tea, use essential oils, use hot pads and take warm baths. If you’re feeling emotional, watch a sad movie to get some tears out. Use this is a time to pamper yourself and take extra care to tend to your needs. Who says that PMS has to be a drag? While there are things I still don’t enjoy about it (i.e., being bloated, feeling insecure) I’m trying very hard to ease myself through this time every month and separate my body’s biological rhythms from what my reality actually is. How else do you take care of yourself during this time? Please share!

We have been doing some wonderful cooking and baking–one of our favourites was Chocolate Covered Katie’s homemade Oreos! The best part about this recipe is that I didn’t make them! That’s right — one of the joys of married life. THANK YOU honey!!! I was there, however, to photograph the process and to eat them when they were ready of course. One word: YUM!

Hope over to CCK’s website to get the recipe. For now, enjoy the photos!

oreos

 

Your Wise Self (and Salted Caramel Brownie)

We’ve talked a bit about “shoulds” in previous posts and how we can get caught up in shoulding ourselves at the expense of trusting our inner knowing (stay tuned for a more detailed post on shoulding). We learned not to trust our intuition if doing so meant losing the support or approval of our caregivers when we were little. Despite our best intentions (what kid doesn’t want a little love and approval!?), we may have drowned out our inner knowing to the point that as adults we doubt ourselves and our ability to make decisions that support our highest good. If we take away those external benchmarks and expectations (which now manifest as “shoulds”), how do we know what is okay for us from the inside? How can we learn to distinguish what is truly us from our inner critic? I’d like to introduce you to your “wise self.” We all have one. Just as sure as our inner critic has a place at the table, our wise self has one too–albeit our wise self is a much more gracious dinner guest. Your wise self is the part of you that wants what is truly best for you: you may call it your higher self, intuition, or the part of you that is connected to source –whatever you call it, it speaks to us all the time. The question is, can you hear it? Connecting to your wise self is easier than you may think. Simply cultivating an awareness that this part of you exists can be enough to shift us. You can also consult your wise self to manage a stressful situation or in the midst of a difficult decision. If you are battling out the critic or judge in your head, turn to your wise self and ask for the truth of what’s going on. It may look something like this:

Be still. Breathe. Ask for guidance. Breathe. Be still and listen.

Your wise self is like your ship in the ocean: it will help you ride the waves and get you back to safety. Think of it as your personal navigation system that takes you back to your true self. The knowing has been within you all along. caramel salted brownie   This little treat made its debut at a dinner party last year; it was served to us by our friend Nicole and it was a complete and utter show-stopper. Not only did we devour it after our lovely meal, but I proceeded to eat the leftovers we were sent home with for breakfast the next morning! After all, with simple wholesome ingredients, no wheat, refined sugars, or dairy, it’s practically oatmeal! Of course I had to have the recipe and have since made it quite a few times with a similar reception. The original, more cinnamon-y, recipe comes from Baker Bettie and can be found here. My slightly tweaked version is below. Thanks for sharing Nicole!

Salted Caramel Brownie

Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup solid coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp Himalayan pink salt

Brownie Batter

  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 cups almond flour (bought or ground in your blender)
  • 1 ½ cups salted caramel sauce from above
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil an 8×8 brownie pan. Make the caramel sauce first by blending all ingredients together in a powerful blender. Make sure your maple syrup is room temperature or it will make the coconut oil stiffen. Blend until silky smooth and thoroughly combined (Bettie recommends at least two minutes). In a separate bowl, add the brownie ingredients and 1.5 cups of the caramel sauce. Reserve the remaining sauce in a bowl for later. Pour into brownie pan and bake for 12 minutes or so (do not over-bake–fudgey consistency is where it’s at!). Once cooled, spread the remaining caramel sauce on top with a spatula. Be sure to lick the spatula clean when done! Serve warm with a dollop of coconut vanilla ice cream and let your wise self have the day off.