I know that I haven't really used this blog as an emotional/personal outlet much since I started it, I didn't really want it to be that. But things change.
Lately, I have been very angry. I am not usually an angry person. I just feel upset and frustrated with everyone and everything. I can't seem to calm myself down. I have also been very emotionally drained. I live in a city where I have no friends, where I don't fit in and where I feel like I don't belong. And I am stuck here for another 6 months-my lease ends in June. I have also been looking into getting a BS or MS in nutrition/dietetics. I am looking at at least 3 years of school work before I can even apply for a program. I need to take math, chemistry, nutrition, biochem, organic chem, anatomy/physiology, psychology... Way to go history degree!
On my bike ride home from the gym today I had a lot of thoughts going through my head. The big word that kept popping up was BALANCE. I feel out of balance, out of control. If you ask my mom, she will tell you that this is not a new phenomenon for me. I am pretty sure that I have struggled with this my whole life, especially when it comes to food/exercise.
As long as I can remember I have struggled with accepting who/what I am and how I look physically. In junior high I remember restricting my intake of candy to zero. I would eat cup after cup of Kix because I thought that it was fat free and low in calories. I also remember bundling up in multiple layers to go out to the garage and use my parents' nordic track. I was obsessive. In high school I cut out large amounts of carbs and would run for 6 miles after my three hour soccer practice. And the funny thing, I wasn't chubby at all. In fact, I wore a 00 pant that kept falling off my non existent butt. But I felt fat, I felt chubby. That is so sad to think back upon. In college my weight kept bothering me. I trained for and completed a marathon. I was strong and lean and fast, but all I saw where the tiny imperfections. And today...today I am doing okay with how I look. I no longer beat myself up because I didn't go for a run or hit the gym. I can exercise four days a week instead of seven. I still see all my flaws but I am starting to be okay with who I am. But I need help with food balance.
I am an incredibly emotional person. I eat. I eat when I am sad, I eat when I am frustrated, I eat when I am happy, I eat when I had a bad day. I eat. Food for me is an addiction, much like alcohol is for many people. When I had a bad day at work, instead of having a drink, I go home and eat chocolate. And I know all of this. I am very aware of my emotions when I put that 5th cookie into my mouth. I need help balancing my emotions with eating. I am really trying to force myself to stop and think and make some tea instead, but my will power isn't all that great. I guess one up-side to my eating is that at least it is healthy vegan sweets that I make! :) But honestly, I have always been that way, especially with sweets. I wonder where it came from.
So...my goal for this year is to try to remain centered and create balance in my life. I think my first step will be to go back to yoga, but BALANCE it with a little running. Yoga has been a part of my life since I was 17. I think it is time to slow my body and mind down a little bit and give it a chance to do some healing. I will keep you all posted on how things go.
But, since this is primarily a food blog, lets get down to the food!
5 Minute No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars
I found this lovely little blog via one of the other blogs I follow. She is not vegan or gluten free, but some of her recipes are quite delicious. I have been wanting to find a healthy, low sugar granola bar recipe for awhile now and she has done it! Make sure that you refrigerate these or else they will fall apart on you.
1 3/4 Cups rolled oats ( I used certified gluten free )
1 Cup crisp puffed brown rice cereal ( I read this wrong and just got crisp brown rice cereal )
1/4 Cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 Cup sunflower seeds
1/4 Cup chia seeds
1/4 Cup unsweetened coconut
1/8 Cup ground flax meal
1/2 Cup brown rice syrup
1/3 Cup peanut butter
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients together. In a microwave safe bowl heat peanut butter, vanilla extract and brown rice syrup together for 30 seconds. Or you could heat them up in a small sauce pan on the stove. You want the ingredients to slightly liquify so it is easier to mix.
Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix really, really, really well. I ended up using my hands because the wet ingredients were not as liquidy as they should have been.
Pour the mixture into a shallow pan. Depending on how large/thick you want your granola bars will depend on the size of your pan. I used a 9x13 inch pyrex. Using a piece of parchment paper press down on the top of the mixture to flatten it.
Place in the refrigerator until hardened, about 1 hour. Feel free to wrap them individually for easy grab and go snacking!