Letting Life Live Me

When it looks like life happens to us and things aren’t going our way, we can feel stressed. And when we feel stressed, we sometimes create habits to try to deal with that feeling, like use food for relief. These habits can create difficulty and challenges like pain, chronic health conditions and excess weight.

But what if life isn’t happening to us? What if life is actually living us with the same intelligence and order that we see running throughout the universe? Which of these is really true? How does life really work?

Join us to explore:

The shift from believing life happens to us to life is living us is in seeing that what we experience moment to moment is our thinking. What if it isn’t the circumstances in our lives that make us feel the way we do, but our thinking ABOUT the circumstances? To test this out, if we simply take pause, relax and follow the nudges that come from common sense or our deeper mind, life changes. And the struggle that leads to unhealthy habits begins to fall away.

As we respond to our deeper mind, these nudges that are the nudge of life living us, life gets easier and more joyful. There are still the ups and downs of being human, yet we hold everything more lightly. We let them come and go, more like young children do, and life begins to get better and better.

Write us in “Comments” below questions or observations you’ve had about food habits or what occurs when you follow your common sense. We’d love to hear from you.

It’s getting warmer and the sun is delightful. I all of a sudden had the thought of ice cream, and that thought was of my favorite flavor–chocolate hazelnut. Here’s a great WFPB recipe using only 3 ingredients: frozen bananas, raw cacao and hazelnuts. It takes only minutes to make and it’s really good.

To Your Amazing Health,
Connie and Bill

Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate Ice Cream


2-3 bananas
3-4 tablespoons raw cacao
Handful of filberts, almonds or your favorite nuts

For those who like it sweeter like milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate, add:
2 teaspoons maple syrup
12 drops liquid stevia

Slice the bananas in 1/4 inch slices. Place on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and freeze for 1 hour or more.
In a food processor add frozen bananas, cacao, and sweeteners (if you’re using sweeteners), and pulse and blend for 90 seconds.
Add nuts and pulse and blend another 30 seconds, until the nuts are chopped to the size you like.

Enjoy.

NOTE #1: If the banana and cacao isn’t mixing easily, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk. This makes it more like a soft serve ice cream if you’re eating it immediately, but by putting it in the freezer, it hardens up again like regular ice cream.

NOTE #2: If you want to be ready to make this quickly on hot summer days, you can eliminate the time needed to freeze the bananas by keeping some bananas frozen in the freezer. Just peel them and wrap them in plastic wrap. You can keep them this way for several months. They get darker the longer they’re in the freezer, but it doesn’t affect their taste or quality. The bananas are hard so I find it easiest to slice the frozen bananas for this recipe with a chef’s knife on a cutting board..

Using Food For Relief

Well, how does it all begin, using food for relief from anxiety or stress?

Join us in a discussion of how using food for relief can generate behaviors that don’t support our health, weight and well being:

As we understand that what we think about what is happening in our lives makes us want to find relief, we begin to see how we create and repeat food habits. The more we get curious and notice the thoughts and feelings that arise when we don’t like what’s occurring in life, we begin to see that it’s just our thinking we’re responding to. And that we can let those thoughts and feelings move through us, as they always do when we don’t make them more important that they are. Then our food habits begin to unravel and disappear.

Take a moment and get curious about your thinking and feelings that come up before you reach for food to find relief. Nothing to do. Just notice and hold it all loosely. And send us a “Comment” in the section below of what you see. We’ll point you to go deeper in unraveling food habits.

The recipe is a Mexican Oaxacan Bowl. The dish is filling and has lots of diverse flavors and tastes. Enjoy.

Black Beans, Yam, Sweet Potato, Red Onion, Red Peppers and Jalapeno

To Your Amazing Health,

Connie and Bill

Mexican Oaxacan Bowl (Serves 4)

Mexican Oaxacan Bowl with Black Beans, Yams, Coleslaw and Avocado

2 yams, cut in large cubes
1 sweet potato, cut in large cubes
1 red pepper cut in medium strips
1 Jalapeno, large dice
1 red onion, cut in half moons
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (more if you like it hot)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400º F.

Mix spices in a bowl with avocado oil. Add the vegetables and mix well until well coated with the spice mixture. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes or until soft. Turn veggies after 15 minutes so they cook evenly.

1/4 cabbage, grated or thinly sliced
2 kale leaves chopped or torn small, discard stems
1/2 red onion, cut in thin half moons
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Place vegetables and raisins in a bowl and add avocado oil, lime and spices. Mix well and set aside.

28 ounce can black beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of red pepper flakes

Add beans to a small pan. Add all the spices and warm the beans through. Add to each serving bowl and top with baked, spiced yams, sweet potato, red pepper, Jalapeno and red onion. Next add the cabbage slaw and top each serving with half an avocado, cubed.

Feelings Are Our Guidance System

The last two weeks we’ve explored how to begin to have a true relationship with food. First we got curious and open about what kind of eater we are. Then we began to see that maybe we use food for relief or reward and often create unwanted habits in doing so.

Today we talk about how our feelings may be telling us more about the nature of our thinking than the circumstance we’re thinking about. Join us:

The more we see how circumstances are neutral and that our experience is a reflection of the meaning we’re giving the circumstances, the easier it is to let the thoughts and feelings move on by. When we begin to see that our experience is coming out of our thinking ABOUT the circumstance, we don’t feel so compelled to manage the circumstance in order to feel better. We can let the thoughts flow on by instead.

As a result, negative or anxious feelings diminish much more quickly. Nothing to do. We simply see deeper into what creates our experience and how it changes naturally. As we see that the feelings resolve on their own as our thinking changes, we end the need to reach for food (or any other habit) to try to feel better.

The recipe this week is a fun breakfast idea. Bill thinks of them as his “chocolate waffles” with a high nutrient dense twist. Try these chocolate squares. They are delicious, healthy and a great breakfast option. Serve them in a bowl with thick homemade almond milk and fresh fruit. Enjoy.

To Your Amazing Health,
Connie and Bill

Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Squares (Serves 4)

1 1/4 cups oat flour (Grind 1 heaping cup of rolled oats in a blender)
1/4 cup raw cacao
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup applesauce or grated apple
1/4 cup almond milk (see below on how to make your own)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla stevia (we prefer Sweet Drops brand)
1 cup shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cacao, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt.
In another bowl the mash banana.
The add the applesauce (or grated apple), almond milk, maple syrup, stevia and zucchini. Stir until evenly combined
Spoon batter into 8″ x 8″ baking dish.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and cut into squares. You can also cut them smaller into bars for snacks.

Homemade Applesauce

Cut as many apples as you want into a saucepan and turn on very low heat. Stir occasionally as the apples heat and the juice from the apples will collect in the bottom of pan so you don’t need to add additional liquid.
Cook 20-30 minutes until soft, mash with a potato masher. Store in refrigerator.

Homemade Almond Milk

Blend 2/3 cup raw almonds and 2 cups purified water in a high-speed blender for 30 seconds or until creamy. I use this as is without straining, but you may prefer to strain it to get a clear milk.
This is more almond milk than the recipe calls for. We make this larger quantity so it will blend well (it’s hard to get 1/4 cup to blend well in a blender) and it gives us milk to top the squares with later or use in other recipes.


Unraveling Food Habits

Last week we got curious about the type of eater we are. Are we a “clean-plater”, a grazer, or maybe someone who eats to find relief or feel reward?

We may have noticed that we eat out of habit rather than when we’re hungry. So how do these habits come about? Join us to explore more:

The next time you reach for food, check in, pause a moment. Notice if you are hungry or wanting food to calm a feeling or give you pleasure. Reaching for food when we’re not hungry again and again, creates a habit so that every time we are in that feeling, food is our go to.

When we pause, we come into the present moment where we’re able to see more clearly how our thinking can fall into old habits that aren’t real in this moment. We’ll explore more next week. Join us then.

The recipe this week is Red Lentils with Curry Leaves and Ginger. Quick to make and delicious. Even people who have never tasted lentils love this dish. Enjoy.

To Your Amazing Health,
Connie and Bill

Red Lentils with Curry Leaves and Ginger (Serves 2 to 4)

Red Lentils with Curry Leaves

2 cups red lentils
4 – 5 cups veggie stock or purified water (more if you want it soupy)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon avocado oil
3 tablespoons fresh or dried curry leaves*, cut in small pieces with scissors or crumbled
2 to 3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy (Red Pepper Flakes)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Place all ingredients but sea salt in a large pan. Bring to a boil and turn heat to low. Cover and cook until lentils are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.  

Add sea salt. Let cook for 5 to 10 minutes more and serve.

So delicious.

* Curry leaves are not real common but can almost always be found at an Indian Spice store or and Oriental Food store.