By Chef Deborah Lieder
Life is rarely an even keel and steady flow. We have moments, periods of time when we feel we have a handle on things. Yet oftentimes, we find ourselves navigating through the various obstacles and challenges of modern culture. It is so easy to get lost in the chaos of what is going on around us that we forget to take a moment to look at what is going on within us. Our body has its own built-in barometer that never fails. Every ache, pain, strain, headache is telling us to look at something we are inviting in. It takes effort and intention to listen and diagnose, especially when we are used to taking a pill and moving on with our day. The challenge lies in activating the initiative to respond in a more healthful way to the signals our body is sending us.
We are surrounded by numerous restaurants and fast-food chains, quick fixes to quiet our hunger pains. We are on the go from place to place and have forgotten the value of packing snacks or lunch when it used to be the norm. And we are surrounded by many people who don’t think twice about what they consume, especially if their body has been sustaining itself quite well. It takes courage to honor our body in this day and age. There is always a new fad diet, a new pill or supplement to transform you into the perfect physique, or a quick fix to the health that we are all seeking. But our body will tell us exactly what it needs and in the right proportions. And when we listen, it will thank us.
At some point, things will start breaking down. We are all aging and the longer we can feed our body what it deserves, what it is truly nourished by, the more organic our aging process. Wherever we are at, no matter where we are on our healing journey, we can start making changes today. Yes, allowing ourselves the courage to take a look and a listen may seem scary or shameful. Yet when we give ourselves that opportunity, that is where we find our healing.
Our lives are crazy nowadays. Most everyone fills each moment of each day with something to do. So if we can carve out some moments to give to our body and our holistic healing, we end up giving ourselves the gift of life.
Chocolate Coconut Seed Energy Bites
· ½ c. cocoa butter
· ½ c. coconut oil
· ¼ c. honey, maple syrup, or liquid sweetener of choice
· ½ c. quality cocoa powder
· 1½ c. shredded coconut unsweetened
· ½ c. chia seeds or additional coconut, or substitute rough chopped nut/seed of choice
· 1 t. vanilla extract
· Pinch of sea salt
In a small saucepan, melt the cocoa butter over low heat. Add coconut oil and melt. Add liquid sweetener and stir well. Whisk in cocoa powder then add vanilla and salt. In a medium bowl, toss shredded coconut and chia seeds. Pour chocolate mixture over coconut and chia seed, toss to coat evenly. Place onto a parchment paper-lined 9×13 baking dish and refrigerate for 1 hour or until hardened (can also freeze). Cut into the desired size.
Quick and Easy Granola Nut Bars
· 1 c. dates, pitted
· 1/4 c. maple syrup, honey or liquid sweetener of choice
· 1/4 c. nut butter of choice
· 1 c. roughly chopped nuts of choice
· 1 1/2 c. rolled oats
· 1 t. vanilla
· Pinch of salt
· Additional options: Chocolate chips, dried fruit, banana chips, nuts or seeds
Place dates in a food processor and pulse until small chunks remain. In a large mixing bowl, place oats, almonds and date ball. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm honey, and peanut butter. Stir and pour over oat mixture, making sure to evenly disperse throughout. Transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap and place in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes. Cut into the desired size.