The things I'm reading, for work and for personal growth have been rich and thought provoking. I want to underline and highlight it all and meet up to discuss every insight! It's inspiring and overwhelming! It feels like a feast.
Parenting my kids, each with unique needs and ever-changing situations, is requiring me to dig deep and get creative and think hard. No coasting going on here, no cruise control- being fully awake is a must. It is purposeful and deep, joyous, exhausting and heart wrenching.
All the while, I'm trying to physically nourish my family and myself every day.
On busy days I am looking for fuel. One of my go-to’s is Granola. I try to always keep it on hand. I love it for a power snack and it is one of my favorite breakfasts- especially with plain Greek Yogurt and fruit. When my body feels out of whack, it’s usually because we are out of granola.
I tried this new Granola recipe recently (though I am very loyal to my granola recipe I’ve been making for years). I thought I would give it a go. I got the inspiration for the recipe from My Father’s Daughter cookbook by Gwyneth Paltrow, which I checked out of the library. She calls it "Favorite Granola" so I thought it was worth the shot. It doesn’t have refined sugar and has substantially less oil than my regular recipe. I added and deleted a few things, but used her instructions, sweetening with real maple syrup and agave nectar. It is really good. (After my last post of Monster Bars/Slice with gobs of sugar, chocolate chips and M & M's, it seemed like a good balance.) Everything in moderation is a guidepost in my life.
Here is the recipe for the Granola.
(I always double the recipe if I have enough ingredients because it freezes so well. I leave one batch in a jar on the counter and the other in a ziplock in the freezer. )
2 cups whole rolled oats (Old Fashioned Oats)½ cup whole raw almonds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup shredded coconut
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
(I sprinkled a couple of tsp. Chia seed in mine too, or you can sprinkle wheat germ for some added umph!)
½ cup real Vermont maple syrup
3 Tbsp. light agave nectar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (or coconut oil brought to liquid temp)
½ cup Craisins and dried cherries (and/or golden raisins), roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together the oats, almonds, seeds, coconut, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Combine the maple syrup, agave, and vegetable oil in a small bowl and then mix with the dry ingredients.
Spread the granola out on a baking sheet LINED WITH PARCHMENT PAPER (I learned the hard way about the importance of this).
Bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until evenly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and push the granola so it's about 1/3 inch thick, letting it cool completely and then breaking it apart into small pieces.
Combine the cooled granola with dried fruit.
Keeps well for several weeks in an airtight container and in a ziplock in the freezer for a few months!
And here is some mind/soul nourishment from some of my current readings:
(I highly recommend each of these books.)
From Mary Pipher’s The Shelter of Each Other about counseling with families:
“Whatever the family is ashamed of must be discussed. As Adreienne Rich wrote, ‘That which is unspoken becomes unspeakable.’ We are diminished by living with problems we try not to see. Secrets keep families from dealing with reality. They create alliances and estrangements. They keep things from changing and make people feel ashamed. Secrets teach people the destructive lesson that certain events cannot be handled. For families or individuals to be healthy, they must be able to integrate all of their experiences into their lives. “And from Brene Brown’s fabulous new book, Rising Strong about “rumbling with disappointment, expectations and resentment“, she says this:
“Here is what you need to know about disappointment: Disappointment is unmet expectation, and the more significant the expectations, the more significant the disappointment. The way to address this is to be up-front about our expectations by taking the time to reality-check what we're expecting and why. Expectations often coast along under our radar, making themselves known only after they have bombed something we had high hopes for into rubble."
“Over the years, my body has not gotten firmer. Just the opposite in fact. But when I feel fattest and flabbiest and most repulsive, I try to remember that gravity speaks; also, that no one needs that plastic-body perfection from women of age and substance. Also, that I do not live in my thighs or in my droopy butt. I live in joy and motion and cover-ups. I live in the nourishment of food and the sun and the warmth of the people who love me.”
I am hoping you too can feed your body or your mind/soul on some of this, and "live in the nourishment of food and the sun and the warmth of the people who love (you)".