Just the facts, ma’am (and Caramel Apple Waffles)

We can create a lot of drama in our lives from the assumptions that we make about people and situations: overanalyzing and presupposing to know why something has happened the way it did. You wouldn’t go into a court room as a juror without all of the facts of the presenting case to form your conclusion, so what makes you presume to know the “truth” of a situation based on pure speculation? How much stress do we create and energy do we waste overanalyzing things when we don’t have all the facts? As much as we may hate to admit it, we only know what we know. The unfortunate reality is that time spent brooding and ruminating over a situation or circumstance not of our doing does not bring us any closer to the truth—and, more times than not, it only fuels our anxiety.

We need to let the facts be the facts and not attach to them. Try this exercise: close your eyes and picture whatever situation is causing you grief. Now take that situation and place it outside of yourself, sitting on the ground, outside of your sphere of control. Strip it down. Visualize yourself peeling away every story, belief, or assumption you have draped it with. That means that every self-assigned meaning and personal interpretation of that situation needs to go. Strip the facts down to their most basic form: information. What do you actually know? Sit. Stare at your pile. Free from all that muddled and warped thinking, free from YOUR story about it, those facts are actually pretty harmless. And that’s all you got. You can’t debate the facts. You can’t change them. You can’t control them. So just remember: what you don’t know, you don’t know—and you likely don’t need to know. Feel the freedom in letting it go. Congratulations: your life has suddenly gotten simpler.

Simple living is good—but let’s not carried away now. Why have plain ol’ waffles when you can have CARAMEL APPLE BUCKWHEAT waffles? I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’…

Caramel Apple Waffles, ummm yeah!?

Caramel Apple Buckwheat Waffles

Waffles (adapted from Purple Radish)

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup spelt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp xylitol (or unrefined sugar)
  • 1 cup shredded apple
  • ¼ cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and milk (to curdle). Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the apples last of all. Let sit while you make your caramel sauce.

 Caramel Sauce (based on this recipe)

  • 1 cup mejdool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 tbsp macadamia nut butter
  • 2 tbsp maple butter (or use creamed honey)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp butter extract (optional)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 small apple chopped (for topping)

Combine all of the ingredients in a super power blender and blend until smooth. Cook waffles according to waffle maker instructions (I recommend coconut oil to grease the grill). Serve with Earth Balance, a generous spread of caramel and finely diced apple. Makes 5-6 waffles.

Thinking BIG (and apple spice hemp pancakes)

Recipe: Apple Spice Hemp Pancakes, Dreena-style

Sometimes we need to think bigger than what we think we are, and bigger than what our world shows us we are. It’s very easy to buy into a limited idea about who we are when we create a life around us that reflects that perception back to us.

This is again that idea of story. The more our surrounding world confirms our story, the easier it is to live it without asking ourselves if we are actually holding ourselves back by creating situations that reflect our self-limiting beliefs back to us. What is the story that your family, your relationships, your job, your community and your home tells about you? For example, if your story is one of struggle, do you always meet with conflict in one or more of these areas? Do these areas cross-check in a way that confirms this belief? Or, let’s say you believe you are only deserving of so much in your life, be it in money or in relationships or whatever—again, how are these areas of your life reflecting that back to you? Have you bought into a reality that is holding you back? Are you ready to drop it? Think about it. And now, think bigger.

That’s right. BIGGER. I always come back to this quote by Marianne Williamson: “We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Who are you NOT to be amazing? To live in flow, with grace?

The only person who can set limits on our self and our potential is US. We can so strongly identify with our stories that we can’t actually imagine our life any other way. But there are ways! We may be lucky enough to meet people along the way that see something better for us and can mirror that back to us so we can see it too— these “angels” will see within you your magnificence and will show you glimpses of your worth and your empowered self. But that is only half the picture. You must also hold that vision for yourself.

Begin by writing out the details of a life you never in a million years would think is possible for you, the one that embodies your passions, your dreams, and your best self. What does it look like? What are you doing? Who are you with? What does it feel like? You might want to focus on one or two aspects, or take into account all aspects of your life. Then, break it down and start to move towards that vision in small (or big) ways in your life. And, with each step forward, take note of how you feel. Do you feel heavy and lethargic at the thought of something? Or does that thing/action lift you up and invigorate you? Or, another checkpoint, as a dear friend reminds me, is to ask yourself if a certain choice or action is motivated by fear or by power. Keep revisiting your vision and experience how it feels in your heart as you experiment with change.

 Whew! All that thinking big has conjured up a BIG appetite. Perhaps time for a pancake or two? Or should I say, time for an Apple Spice Hemp Pancake from Dreena Burton’s new cookbook Let Them Eat Vegan!? I love Dreena, and if you love vegan, gluten-free, and unrefined living, you will love her too! In fact, you can love her here. But for now, grab a pen, your journal, your highest vision for yourself, and a pancake (topped with almond butter and maple syrup, get outta town!)—and start letting the self-imposed limitations drop by the wayside.

 Apple Spice Hemp Pancakes

1 1/4 cups spelt flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup hemp seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice [I prefer without]

1/8 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 cups vanilla non-dairy milk [I use almond and I add extra vanilla extract]

1 tbsp neutral flavoured oil [I like coconut]

3/4 cup apple, diced.

Combine dry ingredients and stir. Combine wet, stir. Add wet to dry. [I had the best results when I allowed this lovely batter to sit for 10 or so minutes.] Ladle onto an oiled pan on medium-ish heat. Flip once bubbles start to form and outer edges stiffen. Cook for another minute or two and then get that pancake on a plate, stat!

©Dreena Burton. Da Capo Lifelong Books.

Askin’ them questions

Recipe: Granolie in the Raw

Can I ask you something so you can ask you something? Are you giving to yourself? Are you actually taking the time to listen to what it is your body needs or what your soul is craving? So often the only way we feel we give to ourselves (and meet our own needs) is via the food that we eat. What’s that? You want a peanut butter pumpkin oat bar (you too??!)? You want some chocolate? Well, since you aren’t going to give yourself what you REALLY want or need, sure, let’s load up the plate.

Now hold on a moment. Before you wolf down that plate of so-called comfort, let’s take a second to ask ourselves some more questions: “What do you really want/need?” And the next one, the juicy one, is “why aren’t you giving THAT to yourself instead?”

In the face of a gazillion obligations, it can be hard to justify taking time out for ourselves to do something that refuels us or makes our heart light up (or lighten up!) – but do you really need to justify it? I mean seriously, how did all of those things somehow get to be more important than YOU!? And, let’s say you think they are, well how productive are you going to be after you consume that plate of whatever that you are using to convince yourself that your needs are getting met? Uh huh. That’s what I thought.

So go there. Ask the questions of yourself. And ask them with love, and care, and a genuine desire to take care of yourself. Your soul is hungry for something. Dig a little deeper and find out what it is, and then engage in healthy self-indulgence — the kind that doesn’t come with shame, guilt, and remorse. Isn’t it time we started allowing ourselves our needs and stepping up to meet them?

Read More »