Monthly Archives: January 2013

Is it time to get over yourself? Get over yourself!

It’s time for a blog post. If I don’t write, people don’t visit and then my ego takes a hit but my brain takes note: write.
So I’m going to tell you what I’m thinking about today…
What do you want to do with your one life?
I think I will enjoy just being silly and me.
Nothing’s serious. Nothing!
Will you try taking some stupid pictures of yourself and posting them for the world to see? Be brave, it pays.
The crazier the better. I promise you will laugh.
So, get over yourself!
Maybe you’ll even delight me by posting your silly pictures on my fb wall?

20130129-124232.jpg

20130129-124257.jpg
It’s dark in here. I’m scared.

20130129-124344.jpg
How surprising!

20130129-124419.jpg
Need more?

20130129-124449.jpg
Ok, that one really made me laugh.

When I’m low.

I’ve been feeling low the last few days. Do you know that place where you want to blame your spouse and insist they help you every night with dishes and laundry regularly as well? I spiral down into thinking that if he would just help more, then I would be happier. Well, it can go on these ineffective thoughts. Whenever I look for reasons to be unhappy, there they shall be.
So, I’ve submitted to my bedroom to sit with it. I am noticing how I am inclined to look for things to make me feel better. Stimulants (coffee, tea), talking with someone, essential oils, meditation or an inspirational book. But then it occurred to me that this low has something to teach me and I shouldn’t push it aside. It is exhilarating and scary to sit with your own emotions and lack of thought to attribute it to. It’s like a carnival ride narrated “You’re up. No, you’re down. Try this! It’ll make you whole again!”. I’ll have to ignore that for now and look deeper…
This “darkness” has taught me that I’m ready for the next step and that is exciting. So now when it begins to creep in, I know that it means something great is about to come alive in me. But what is this next step? Something inside me surely knows.
The trick will be to not let my feelings Radiate out to others. Rather I’ll use it to locate that soft, sensitive spot in me. The part that pulls us closer and shares a deep understanding of what it means to be human.

20130121-202154.jpg

The Battle in Gluten-Free Baking

20130117-144149.jpg

White flour makes me tired and gives me a headache. It makes my body feel like I’ve just been injected with poison. So, I have been on the hunt for some great gluten free baking recipes. Most of them called for a gluten-free mix. Which I didn’t have, which was expensive in health food stores and when I googled it, there were so many recipes to choose from. I wanted a recipe I could make now. I did some coconut flour muffins and they were good and everyone liked them but the texture threw me off. I finally went to bulk barn and got a variety of gluten free flours to experiment with. Here’s what I bought:
More coconut flour
Potato starch
Sorghum flour
Rice flour
Tapioca flour
Buckwheat flour
Arrowroot flour
And Xanthan gum.

I made some pretty good muffins using the Coconut Mama’s coconut flour recipe and adding 3 TBSP of arrowroot. The texture was a lot better. Here’s the basic recipe for that:

Makes 12 medium-small sized muffins:

3/4 cup coconut Flour
6 eggs
3 TBSP arrowroot flour
1 cup of fruit or flavourings (dried, fresh or frozen, sometimes I add more and a combination of fruits)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Xanthan gum (I’ve done it without)
1/2 cup honey or other sweetener ( I do this to taste, and add some stevia too)
1/2 cup butter Or coconut oil (I should say melted but I have just blended it up with great results)
Now add flavourings:
Vanilla?
Cinnamon?
Almond extract?

I just blend it all up with an electric mixer and pour into muffin tins lined with paper cups. The batter will be thick. I bake mine in a convection oven at 325 F for up to 20 minutes, usually about 16-18 minutes.

What I have discovered is that the best gluten-free muffins come from using a combination of flours and lots of flavourings and fruit. But not too much puréed fruit because it ends up soggy.

Here is the muffin recipe I have tweaked to my liking. These muffins rely rise too! I actually forgot the rice flour the last time I made them and they still turned out great (as you see in the picture above, that’s them).

Super Fruit Gluten Free Muffins:

1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
3 TBSP arrowroot flour/starch
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp Xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 cup butter, melted or partially melted
1.5 cups of liquid (applesauce, yogurt, kefir, mashed bananas)
1/2 cup honey or more (or other sweetener)
10 drops of stevia (optional)
2 tsp vanilla
2-4 cups of diced apples, fruit (frozen or fresh)
6 eggs

Maple sugar to top muffins (optional)

Mix all ingredients. Bake in muffin tons lines with paper liners. I baked at 325 F in a convection oven for 20 minutes. Done when toothpick comes out clean. The texture of these was absolutely perfect. Even when I omitted the rice flour. Play around with this recipe and let me know how it goes.

Here’s the beautiful insides of these muffins:

20130117-145012.jpg

Creating Peace in Public

When I go out in public it feels like a magical, spiritual experience. People are so nice to me. They start up meaningful conversations and ask about and compliment our children. I often have cashiers give me deals or take a percent off my bill for no reason other than that they like me, I think. I’m bragging about this so that you can take part in experiencing strangers at their best. How do I achieve this?
The first step is to understand that all people have the potential to love and be joyful. I ask myself “What do I want to inspire out of people?”.
My body language, my tone and my questions are capable of inciting frustration or a desire to help me.
The second thingis to know that people are doing their best with what they have right now. You are capable of giving them more. If they seem crabby or hurried or are making mistakes, it’s not because of me and it is not intentionally perpetrated against me. They may be having a hard day, or a hard life and all the more reason to be extra gentle with them.
The third thing is to consider your words. Use words that demonstrate understanding and a desire to come to a conclusion. I do this by simply describing the problem, there’s no need for judgment or harsh tones. At a restaurant I would say “Hi. I ordered the Hawaiian pizza and I got liver and onions. “. I leave it at that to see what they say. Most often people will want to correct the problem especially if you are kind about it. When I’m returning something that’s broken or I just want to exchange it, if it’s seeming unlikely that they will do it, I’ll just ask “What can we do about it?” rather than place blame or insist I get my way. It also empowers people to gve good customer service and to come up with a solution. I think people often go in frustrated with their product and they identify the employee as the reason for the frustration. The employee usually has nothing to do with the manufacturing process.
Dealing with what you see as an injustice against children: Quite often I come across a parent who is obviously stressed and it is manifesting in what is frustration and aggression with the child. I smile and breath and remind myself that they are doing their best. A harsh look or comment would only further the parents feelings of isolation and anger. Simply harnessing the understanding that they have the potential for joyful parenting often will help the situation alone. Sometimes I will ask “Can I help?”. Or I will say “It’s ok.”. That seems to really help sometimes. I think because we worry so much about what other people think, this tells the stranger that your not judging them. It means that I accept the situation and their feelings. It’s common for strangers to ask me for advice with their children. I think
I’ll start carrying business cards to give out so I can continue to connect with these strangers.
The last thing is make eye contact and say hello. Too much we walk around like other people don’t exist. Draw people out of it with your head up and your heart open.

20130103-093300.jpg