I like rabbits. I like their busy noses, their curious ears, and their fluffy cotton-tails. I also have a deep appreciation for rabbits mouths. Many people do not realize this but rabbits actually have a split upper lip, meaning they can feel things with that lip and often stick their tongue through it when cleaning their mouths. I adore this adaptation and wish I had a split lip myself (I know it would look funny, but seriously, how practical!). Though, perhaps that’s not such a good idea since my teeth look very similar to rabbits teeth, if it weren’t for the magic of dentists and falsies.
What does this mean? Well, to me, it means that rabbits can smile extra wide. They can show their upper gum especially well and it makes their cheeks puff up just a little bit bigger. We also know rabbits are infamous for their big “buck” teeth, but since everyone knows that crooked teeth make for a better kisser, I’m going to say that rabbits are extra-good at giving kisses. I know first hand, since, I have a rabbit after all 😉
Wikipedia defines armor as: “a protective covering that is used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual, or vehicle…” It goes on to talk about guns, war, and violence. But what about everyday armor? How do we protect ourselves from damage?
Every day, on my way out the door, I set the alarm to my house, put my seatbelt on in the car, drive safely, and look both ways before crossing the street to class. I respond to “how are you?” with the cultural expectation, “good” and smile as much as I can. But sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes you want to be able to let your guard down and tell everyone who asks that you are having a really tough time and it feels like everything is not going to be okay. Sometimes you just want people to know that behind the smiles and laughter you are in pain and just need a hug and some support.
I’ve found this to be especially hard in a new town, with new strangers who aren’t comfortable with seeing me outside that social expectation. This is new for me, because I have always had close bonds with people around me who I knew I could run to. That’s not the case in a new town, where you don’t know anyone. So until the day when I can put my amor down and be “real” with my new strangers, I will try and keep the smile and hide the lonely. But next time you notice someone who may look a little down, perhaps they’re just new to the office, or just moved to town, ask them really, sincerely how they are. You might be surprised what you hear, and it just might make a world of difference. Who knows. We need more sincerity in this social media world, filled with gaping distance and clothed in armor.
Yummmm. These babies are better than anything you could find at McDonalds or in a frozen bag of Ore-Ida. I’ll admit, since going gluten free there have been many days when I crave fast food fries. But after making my own and seeing how easy and tasty they are, I’m definitely satisfied.
There are so many variations you can make here, but the best part is, you can make them just how you like them – how well done, how much salt, what seasonings, shape, etc. And it’s really very quick and easy and you could have them sitting in your lap 25 minutes after craving them. If you want to make things really easy, buy the bags of small potatoes. You can even get multi-colored ones for a really fun plate!
It’s funny, because I never used to care about food at all. I was a picky kid, eating french fries and chicken fingers everywhere we would go, choosing my meals off a very small palate.
However, in the last several years I have run into some quite interesting challenges in my diet, and like many who develop food intolerances, I had to make some changes. In my case these changes were fairly drastic.
I grew up a bread, pasta, and candy kid: always looking for carbs and even spelling my very first word: C-A-N-D-Y (because my parents always spelled it out when trying to hide it from me)! If you have spent any time on my blog at all, you will notice that these things are definitely missing. In the fall of 2011 I began my gluten free journey and saw huge changes in how much better I felt. But something still wasn’t right and in the years since I have been experimenting with what seems like every food group and diagnosis out there to find what made my body happy. While I’m still not where I would like to be, I have come a long, long way, making the biggest changes and improvements in the last year with the new diagnoses.
It’s touch and go when it comes to my diet and I’m constantly learning and testing boundaries, but along the way I’ve had the opportunity to get to know food: to play with it, try new foods, learn my way around the kitchen, and really experience all the fun pleasures that can be associated with food. I never thought I would be someone who cared about healthy eating, and I still wouldn’t necessarily say that I do (as far as being “healthy” in the kale and green beans sense of the word), but I am a strong believer in listening to your body and creating the optimal baseline for success, starting with what you put in it. Cooking can be fun and the improvements in mood, fatigue, GI symptoms, and overall wellbeing are truly worth all the work that goes in. And after a while, it won’t even seem like work – just like normal life!! I promise. So, if you don’t feel like your health and wellness are at a satisfying level, dietary changes are not a bad place to start.
Sweet potato fries are a special treat because of their natural sweetness. I eat these as a sweet snack, or even dessert some nights. For the POTS folks out there, it’s a great salty snack as well to increase blood volume. These babies keep well in the fridge and are a great go-to snack when you’re search for something “healthy” to munch on but don’t have a lot of time.
GF, DF, SF, Paleo, Vegan
1 sweet potato per person
1-2 Tblsp fresh cilantro, thyme, rosemary, or parsley (my favorite is rosemary)
It’s tough. It’s time consuming. It’s emotionally, physically, and mentally, exhausting. Grad school, I’m learning, presents especially intense day-to-day challenges.
But despite all my rough days, early mornings, and fatigue, I have to keep remembering that the opportunity to learn, is a gift. I’m fortunate that I come from a family who’s social class made it easy to go to school and have the opportunity attend higher education with the financial stability to pay for me to go. Even further, I have been able to go on to graduate school and now am on my way to getting a masters.
The topics are interesting. The classmates encouraging. The professors inspiring. But wow, are the tests and workload challenging. Now as I come off a weekend of non-stop studying, and enter a week of more vigorous studying for a Friday exam, I will aim to remind myself of this each and every day.
It’s a gift. A blessing to learn and in turn be able to make a difference in someone’s world. So I’m going to embrace each hour at my desk and stare down every worksheet I make, with a conscious effort to be thankful for the gift of long nights and lack of sleep! And read this blog post when I just can’t take anymore.
What “gifts” do you have in your life that you might not see as blessings initially?
Snack, snack some more, and just a little bit more…!
Okay I’m addicted. First of all, I should say that these posts are few and far between because I uprooted and moved to Charleston, SC and started graduate school the next day. Life has been crazy ever since and I’m barely getting a moment to catch up with friends, let alone write any new posts. Hopefully it will calm down a bit soon, but in the mean time, I just HAD to share this recipe with you all.
This is the best granola I’ve found so far that doesn’t have any added sugar and I officially have to have it in my kitchen at all times!! It makes several jars worth, so I typically freeze a couple jars so it stays nice and fresh, and it really freezes great!
I found this recipe on Spoonful of Sugar Free (where I’m finding a ton of recipes lately) so huge thanks to Alex. Her blog is full of recipes that I don’t have to adapt because they’re already free of added sugars. So much love going out to her. I have just slightly adapted this recipe to be more GP friendly and more to my taste preference.
When searching for a chocolate recipe, I had a lot of trouble finding one without any added sugars (including natural sugars), as I often do when searching for desserts. I have adapted this from several recipes I found to be completely free of added sugar and it tastes awesome! To make it a bit sweeter, I added bananas and created a tort of sorts… errr a sort of tort?
GF, DF, SF, Vegan
1/2 C peanut butter (I use mara-natha)
1/2 C. applesauce
1 large banana (mashed)
1 1/2 C zucchini (peeled, chopped in food processor)
3/4 C gluten free oats (ground in food processor)
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Optional: If you like things a bit sweeter, add in 2 Tbslp of honey or maple syrup
Optional toppings: Top with peanut butter and extra banana