Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Good afternoon.

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 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. 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!

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