My computer and I have been having a standoff of sorts. Up ’til now, the computer has been winning. I walk by it, it blinks, I keep walking. I scan email on my phone and mark it “unread” until later. I have all but shunned technology as of late. I mean, I still troll Instagram and Facebook, I’m not a total hermit, but I’ve shunned all tech that asks me to be responsible.
This was a sort of conscious choice. By that, I mean, I was aware of the avoidance and still chose to prioritize other things. I took some time and allowed myself to avoid, for a bit, and finally decided to analyze the WHY behind this standoff.
I took a hard look at my behavior and I came up with a few thoughts (forgive this moment of self reflection – there is a recipe coming – I promise):
- May is a crazy month in our house. There are a ton of year end activities including 3 recitals, 2 banquets, school concerts, 2 birthdays (including my own), Mother’s Day, a graduation and the usual day to day occasions that can make being a parent to 4 awesome, busy kids hectic. I’ll admit it, this rattles me.
- Because of the “busy” that becomes our life in May, we don’t have our usual volume of sit down family meals. We make a lot of on the fly, don’t follow a recipe, eat standing up kind of foods that don’t lend well to food blogging (or food photographing).
- I suck at transitions! May always represents a transition of sorts. My routine loving brain freaks out a bit (okay, a lot!). The end of all of our usual activities, the beginning of Summer activities, the fear of change, the emotion of leaving behind familiar and happy times all rattle around in my mind. This takes up more mind-space than I care to admit. This year, it has resonated even more than usual as I have one daughter finishing Kindergarten, which has been magical, and another finishing Middle School, which has been transformative. Those who know me well, know that I’m not someone who wears my emotions on my sleeve, so many of these emotions just ruminate in my mind until I’ve worked through them and move on. May seems to make these emotions bubble to the surface beyond my comfort level.
- Auto-Immune Diseases don’t like stress. As many of us with Celiac and other AI illnesses know, when life gets hectic, your AI acts like a spoiled toddler vying for your attention. What that means to me, is that food isn’t entirely my friend. It forces me to hit the reset button on many of the foods that I usually eat with no problem – I’ll write more on this in an upcoming post – but I’ve spent a good deal of energy looking at how I eat and how I can be kinder to my system to support a healthier me. It’s easy to get busy (there is that word again) and reach for convenience foods, ignore food labels, or lose track of sugar and caffeine intake.
So, I’ve avoided sitting down at my computer, because I knew that as soon as I did, all of this stuff would come pouring out and I’d have to admit that I’m not a one woman juggling act who never drops a ball. In my case, the ball that usually drops is me. I go to the gym less, I reach out to friends less and I watch my diet less. I’m hoping that by taking the time to sit here and write about it, that ball will go back in the air and I can get back to cooking, photographing, writing and sharing.
Below are some “on the fly” meals that we deemed photograph worthy. Many have been posted on my Instagram account, I hope you’ll follow me there to get some quick meal ideas.
Below is a recipe that I’ve made on and off for the last few years and recently revisited. It’s a great “on the fly” snack that is versatile, packed with protein and is healthy & easy to make. You can take the time to roll out and cut into bars, or, as I usually do, roll up into balls and store in your fridge for a quick pop of energy. These “Super-Power Energy Bars” are a great secret weapon to combat “hangry” without compromising the quality of your food. They have fit the bill for me during this month of
Super-Power Energy Bars (Chocolate Covered Cherry)
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 0 min.
Makes - 8 bars or 12 balls
1/2 cup mixed nuts (raw, unsalted)
10 Medjool Dates (pits removed)
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder or 3 Tbs. cocoa powder
1 Tbs. Grass Fed Gelatin (optional)
1 Tbs. Virgin Coconut Oil
Pinch of Salt
- Place the nuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it becomes a coarse powder, being careful not to over process into nut butter. Transfer the nuts to a bowl.
- Add the dates and cherries to the food processor and pulse until a ball forms (be patient – it takes a little while).
- Add the nuts back in to the food processor; add the protein powder/cocoa powder, gelatin and salt and pulse to combine. Process until it is uniform and stays together when pinched.
- Turn out onto parchment paper and form into a ball. Cover with another sheet of parchment and press until flat enough to roll out.
- Roll out into a rectangle, about 1/4″ thick and cut into smaller bars. Continue rolling out until all the “dough” is used.
- OR Skip step 5 and roll the dough in your hands to form balls (about the size of a ping-pong ball).
- Place bars (separated with parchment) or balls in the refrigerator to firm up.
- Keeps in the fridge for up to a week.
This recipe was adapted from about a million “Lara Bar” recipes on Pinterest but my jumping off point was Nom Nom Paleo’s “Liar Bars”