While we may have already technically had the first day of Spring, I usually look to Easter as the unofficial start of my Spring. Since today is Easter Sunday, I'm personally making a fresh start.
This is time of year, regardless of religion, is about rebirth, renewal, and fresh beginnings. And I don't know about you, but I totally get behind anytime I get a fresh start. Mother Nature is rocking rebirth all day long--tulips blooming; trees sprouting leaves; little animals coming out of hibernation--not to mention the lovely yellow tinge of pollen which adorns everything outdoor object, moving or not.
Also, our diets naturally change too. From craving warm soups, oatmeal, and pasta dishes, to wanting quicker, cooler dishes like salads, tacos, cereal, and sandwiches. The spices we crave change. The fruits & veggies we eat change. One thing which doesn't change with the seasons, even if all ingredients inside them do, is my desire for waffle-y goodness. And I bet if you were to be honest, you do too.
Yep, you got that right....Hot cross bun waffles.....with a citrusy twist.
Citrus? Yes, a navel orange to be exact. And to me, citrus scents symbolize cleanliness, renewal, and true fresh starts. Plus, with the addition of currants & grain free flours, we are totally in business!!
As we move into the beginning of a new week, it's important to take some time to connect within; figure out which actions feel the most expansive for yourself; and, get to it!
So, got any ideas for what you'd like to do? I have one major goal: to slow down.
I've been running around these past few weeks, burning my candle at both ends. I've been exhausted, cranky, and sleep deprived. And that combination doesn't make for a super happy Brooke. And when I become aware of this pattern, then it's change time for me.
What will a slow down look like for me when I still have a full time job to go to and other adult responsibilities to meet?
Well, I'm planning out time each day to just chill. And this is not something I've actually consciously chosen to do before. But, in order for me to change, I've got to do things I've never done right?
This carved out time can be used for me to journal, to practice yoga, to meditate, to dream, to nap, or to even sit in silence. It's just time for me to turn inside and remember who I am. Where my heart is. And where my heart wants to move toward.
Most of the time, my heart wants to move toward creating waffles.
Who am I to deprive myself?
What are you planning for this season of rebirth? A huge project(s)? Or is it simply to be? I'd love to hear your goals in the comments below.
And I'd love to hear how you feel about these waffles!
adapted from rachLmansfield
Deep down, we all want to fit into one group or another. And there's no shame in that--it's so totally a human thing to do.
There are many ways to "fit" in...wearing certain clothes, participating in various activities, speaking in the same vernacular, etc.
One way we can "fit" in is by talking about others. I know....I know....I can't fully believe I'm admitting this out loud either, but it's so important. Because we all have our faults/shadow sides we don't want others to see. But, what's one way to move through the darkness? By shining a light on it! So, I'm shining my light into a part of my soul which has long become a dark & dingy place. Maybe you'll join me so we can move through it together? Because I'm kinda afraid of the dark. It's just creepy.
Yes, I used to gossip about others to fit in with my office culture. In fact, I found myself just last week speaking ill of someone. Usually, I can do that and walk away unscathed. But, this particular day, I remember driving home from work and feeling gross. Weighted down even. Burdened. Dirty.
What did I do? Well, I went to my trusty journal and channeled how I was feeling in my heart space. I began writing and the only thing I could write over & over was---I don't wanna do this anymore. It feels gross. And it's always gotten me in trouble. With friends. With coworkers. Even with bosses.
And you know what? Despite the fact I'm 37, I still detest getting into trouble. Maybe it's my people pleasing nature...but I hate it. I don't like disappointing anyone because of the words I've said behind someone's back.
So, I decided it stops. Now. Because words hurt. I've had so many words hurled at me for many years which I know have left scars. I don't want to do the same to others.
So, to celebrate this new found revelation (only three decades in the making!), I created a waffle to show off our sweet...and our often, shall I say, rather "salty" sides.
Think classic Belgian waffles with a maple coconut sea salt sauce. Yeah...you heard it right. Maple + coconut + sea salt = sweet and salty collision of flavor.
This sauce is a Pinch of Yum creation, so I can't take credit. But, it was my idea to spread the sauce over waffles. And I've got to admit, it's good idea if I do say so myself ;).
In creating the sauce, I did leave the almond butter a bit chunky, because I absolutely love freshly ground smooth-ish almond butter from the bulk section of my grocery store.
Reason number 1,235,762 I'm weird...I love me some chunky sauces. Seriously. I prefer them. Give me a chunky bowl of smoothie/ice cream/oatmeal/grits/rice & veggie bowl/salad, etc. I gotta have various textures in my creations. It gives my teeth something I can bite into. While smooth can be good, chunky is better (even if the word itself doesn't sound so pleasing).
How's the no gossip thing going so far?
Well, while it's only been a week, I do feel freer. I'm not always looking behind me/around me when I open my mouth. You know that action....looking around you like an owl ensuring you're "free" to speak. Not having to look around in an almost 360 degree manor definitely is giving my neck a chance to loosen up. And it's shifted my focus to looking forward. Because I have a lot to look forward to. I've got big things in my future. And you know what? So do you.
The other thing I've noticed? I'm just actually speaking directly to the person the situation involves. I'm thinking before I speak. I've realized my words don't need to be harsh or cutting. I just need to speak my truth in a respectful and heartfelt way.
Despite this week being super positive and motivating for this new way of life, I'm also aware things will not be easy. I'll have bumps along this path. I will catch myself in a place where my ego wants to fit in/join in on some of the office gossip. I may even engage in it. I'm human.
But, what matters is my willingness to see where I've stumbled, become aware of my choices, recognize those feelings, and then let them go. By forgiving myself. By giving myself grace. By being able to focusing on what's ahead and not having to crane my neck into a pretzel to make sure I'm not heard by this person or that person.
I must admit, I'm scared to post this. I don't want to be seen in a bad light. I'm not a constant shit talker by any means. My ego is telling me, "You are not so bad. Don't share these words. People will hate you." But, admittedly, my mouth has gotten me into major trouble over my years. I've lost friends. I've lost credibility. I've lost self respect. And I don't want to lose anything else.
As I awaken, I'm leaving the actions behind which no longer serve me. And this action no longer serves me. So, when I know better, I'm definitely choosing to do better. And this no gossip position is just better.
So is this waffle. Make it to celebrate all of your sides. Make it to motivate yourself to keep going in your resolutions.
Heck, just make it because it tastes good. Celebrate the everyday victories. They do add up.
Do you have anything you're struggling with? Are you afraid to share your dark, aka "salty" side? Use the comments below to share your own journey, and let's share your own keys to help one another move through these revelations together!
Ever had an acquaintance (whether at work or school) who you casually say hi to but never get more in depth than that? There's nothing wrong with the person, it's just you don't really converse.
Until one day....you guys just start talking and boom--everything clicks. You discover you've both experienced similar life circumstances; you think similarly about things; or, you're currently going through the same situation.
That happened to me today. It's a coworker I've really only exchanged pleasantries with. But, we began
chatting today and woah, we have a lot in common. And honestly, that's exciting because I love making new friends and always seeing that we as a people are way more connected than I even think.
This is actually how I was with this waffle combo. I mean, toasted coconut and I have always been nice to one another. We've said hello in passing. We've shared a few pleasantries. But, we've never really gotten acquainted.
While I knew roasting veggies in the oven brought about a depth of flavor the stovetop can't provide, I had no idea toasting coconut shreds would make them more robust, flavorful, and coconutty.
I mean, that's a word right?
Yep, in this big ole waffle word, it sure is. One because of the amazing amount of coconut in this recipe. But, two, because I did do something nutty--I used syrup to dress my waffles.
Yes, me. I used syrup. There's a first time for everything. And I did it. And you know? It was...delish. Certainly something I will do again. Very soon.
Once the coconut is toasted, its blended with sugar and then the rest is quick to assemble. Perfect for a quick weekend breakfast before you run off to tackle your to do lists.
But, you can definitely take your time when you make these waffles. Cut on a playlist; roll up your sleeves; and, just really enjoy the waffle making process.
Creating these waffles is like nurturing a new friendship. You get to spend time together and dig deep into your likes, dislikes, desires, and pet peeves. You bond over favorite music, flavors, and books. You try new things together. You create new memories. You create new experiences. You create new bonds.
I know I'm looking forward to nurturing a new friendship; y'all know I've nurtured these waffles--now it's your time to get acquainted.
You may discover, much like I did, these toasted coconut waffles are worth beginning a new relationship.
Pleased to meet ya coconut. Let's visit again real soon.
adapted from Minimalist Baker
This week while it's been warm, it's been raining. And you know what "they" say--April showers bring May flowers.
So this means May will be gorgeous!!
And as the weather warms up, it seems my brain thaws out too. This winter has felt like I've been constantly in a fog--has it felt like that for you? Or is it just me?
Either way, let's celebrate spring shall we.....by whisking inside the box.
Isn't that contradictory to your blog title? Well, no not really. Let me explain...
My blog title is about taking your breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner outside of our normal boxes--cereal box, granola box, pop tart box, freezer box--and into the kitchen to create something wonderful, healthy, and heart nourishing.
Now, if you find an amazing (aka healthy & gluten free) mix inside of a box, then by all means get in the kitchen & make it happen.
There's the literal name of the blog, but knowing me there's gotta be a deeper meaning...right B?
Right. The name takes on a whole other meaning if one enters into the area of the heart.
Most of us have a box we put ourselves into, whether we know it or not. Boxes can include things like wife, daughter, friend, lover, coworker, boss, granddaughter, parent, teacher, volunteer, etc. Within those boxes, there are certain rules/expectations which occur. These "rules" (for lack of a better term) can be spoken or unspoken. But, sometimes, those roles can feel a bit...constricting. And it's necessary to break through, even just a little, to whisk outside of your box.
At least that's what happened to me. I needed to whisk outside of my own boxes--the ones I'd adopted & embodied both consciously & subconsciously.
How did I whisk out of my boxes? Well, I've created this blog & created some awesome waffles for starters. That's opened up a whole other world of connection, creation, and idea generation.
And here we are again, full circle...the waking from a long winters nap.
And as my brain wakes up, I have so many goals I'm wanting to conquer. What are they? Well, let's see:
1. Get in some learnin'. How will I do that? Podcasts. And public radio. Got any suggestions? Because here are my faves
2. Starting a new project...the #100DayProject to be exact. 100 days of....playing guitar. That's right, I've picked up my axe again to play. It's day 2, but I'm determined to get back to my musical roots. I mean, I wasn't the greatest, but I sure do love to belt out Taylor Swift songs. What is the 100 day project? Well, it's a project where you give 100 days to creation of something/anything. It's where you can express yourself through any medium you choose. I thought about doing 100 days of blogging, or journaling.....but those things I do on the regular. I wanted something I haven't done in a while....or at all. So, this round I chose the thing I love but haven't done in a while. I'm also interested in doing a project where I take a new picture daily & post it. Maybe that's a project which has another name/length of time, but so intriguing. I have some amazing friends who are photographers, so seeing their work inspires me (not just food photos either!).
I'm sure there's a third goal out there somewhere, but I'm simmering down my list making/mega numbering ways.....so two it is. I think that's plenty to tackle this month. Maybe in May, things will be more aggressive, but for now, I'm easing into this brain thaw. And I'm sure by the end of the month, I'll be liking where I am.
Come me along with me as I do this thaw thing....and share some amazing waffles in the process!
Now, I'd love for you to share with me what some (or all) of your goals are during this month. Join the conversation below and let's celebrate the arrival of spring & the shedding of our winter cloaks.
I was gonna write something cutesy, as an ode to my love of Honey Nut Cheerios. But, that's not where my head or my heart is these days.
I am awakening to things in my past which have shaped me into who I currently am. I realize how I've become the words I didn't want to identify myself with. I realize I'm uncomfortable in this space of not knowing. And by not knowing, I mean admitting to everyone how I don't have clarity for the future. I don't even really know where I'm going past my current job, my current financial status, and my current chronic fatigued state.
All these feelings I'm experiencing are all a blur. That's why I'm glad I've had an outlet--it's made me a better waffle creator. So, in a sense, this will be a cutesy post...even if it's mixed in with seriousness.
I've been writing in my journal a lot recently. Giving myself readings (contact me here if you'd like one especially for you); reflecting on my day to day; and brainstorming for the blog/my business. One thing which has kept coming up in my writing is the idea of doing things before you're ready....and letting fear/our old beliefs get in the way. Let me explain....
I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago where I was encouraging a colleague to do more/be more/let her creativity & personality shine. She's very talented, witty, and sees things from a logical & real perspective. I wanted her to see what I see. I wanted her to know she has an infinite amount of talent.
"I wish I believed that."
Ouch, right? What a way to shut down any thought or dream of going to a higher place. Of being different. Of utilizing your talent in a unique way. That statement just ended the conversation right then & there. I had nothing more to say. My heart broke for those limiting beliefs.
The abrupt end to the conversation shook me. It was all I could think about. I went home that evening, sat down to write, and it hit me.
The reason why it shook me to my core was because I was feeling the same way in my own life! If all relationships are mirrors, this relationship just shined a tremendously reflective (dare I say even X-ray like) mirror straight into my soul. "I wish I believed that" has been something I've embodied since the first time I rememeber hearing a teacher call me smart. Do you know what my response has ALWAYS been since that time?
"I'm not smart. I just work hard." I totally shut down any compliments (and the compliment giver) the second I hear them. Even though it is unspoken to the compliment givers, "I wish I believed that" is the whisper which rattles throughout my bones and killed more dreams than I probably even know.
Those words have become that engrained in my being. Because when people encourage me in the way I encouraged my colleague, I shut them down too. Her response has always been my response.
No no wonder my heart broke when she responded to my encouragement. It's the same way my heart breaks when I say those words to myself.
"Well, now what?" I kept writing that sentence over & over in my journal. I mean, it's all well & good to have such an ephiphany; but, what do I do with this knowledge now?
I wrote that question until I had my answer--"I'm waitin' on ya."
Uh, I'm sorry, what's that inner wisdom? Waiting on me?? I kinda don't get where you're going with this.....
(Good thing my inner wisdom hasn't given up on me. I ask ALOT of questions & need ALOT of things clarified lol)
Waiting on me....Waiting on me.....oh! waiting on me. To change my thinking. To reverse that statement. To embody something new. To flip the script from "I wish I believed that" to "I completely believe that". To choose away from my default, break myself down setting towards one which uplifts & fills me with confidence.
Ahhhh....that makes sense.
But, true change isn't just going to come from one day of swapping out one statement for the other. It's repeatedly flexing my statement change muscle (probably multiple times a day) to reverse the old engrained "I wish I believed that" belief.
Changing these statements seems daunting. Heck, as fatigued as I've been experiencing recently, changing this belief sounds downright exhausting. But, I guess my inner wisdom knew I'd feel this way (she's all smart like that), because she wrote something which put it into perspective for me--think about how you learned to cook.
Of course, my life analogies would go back to food. Everything in my life always comes back to food.
But, I gotta hand it to my inner wisdom. She's right. When I first learned how to cook, it was awkward. I mean I made quite a mess (oh wait...I still do). Back then though, I overcooked pasta and undercooked eggs. I burned veggies and made bacon into charcoal. I lit oven mitts on fire and melted spatulas. But, the more times I got into the kitchen, the more comfortable I became with everything (except cooking meat...my germ phobe self never got used to that...glad it's not currently in the mix!)
Recipes didn't look so daunting anymore. I experimented (successfully!) with new ingredients. I bought new gadgets (hi there waffle maker!). I expanded my knife skills. I learned the food lingo. I went to culinary school. I got a job as baker. Now, kitchen time is as second nature to me as brushing my teeth.
,That is encouraging. I mean, the more I change my disbelief statement into a belief one, the more comfy I'll get with it. The more it will become second nature. The more I will embody the new and leave the old behind. The more it truly will represent who I am right now and not who I was in the past.
I hope my colleague is reading this right now. I hope this resonates with you as well. Because each one of us has some old belief which rattles around inside of our bodies. We've believed it for years and years. It's become our default answer/setting/response. We didn't know there was another way.
Change is hard. Shifting beliefs is tiring. But think about something you love to do. At first, when you begin anything, it felt awkward. You had to learn steps/procedures/movements etc to build your skills. It took practice, but you did it. Now, it's easy to just do your thing! You probably don't even have to think about it. It's become that second nature.
Same idea with these new beliefs. And same idea with this waffle recipe. In addition to what I learned about how to bake over the years, it took time for me to learn how to use my current waffle maker (each one has it's own personality/temperament I believe). It's taking time for me to learn how to take better food photos (that's the current skill I'm learning to cultivate).
That's not to say you or I can't pick up a new skill(s)/recipe/belief statement on the first try. We can. But, for it to become a habit, it's got to be part of a daily practice. The more we do something, the better we become at it.
And I don't know about you, but I want to get better at instantly responding with a positive, life affirming statement instead of one which reflects self inflicted limits and keeping myself in a box.
Because you know we don't stay inside boxes round these here parts. :)
So, as we expand and awaken to things around us, it's up to us to use what we learn from our relationships in an expansive and life shifting way. We have the choice to use the mirror of our relationships to rewrite the patterns which have kept us stuck. We get the choice to release our pasts to step forward into our present. We also have the choice to not eat bad waffles.
And I'm all about that choice. Life is just too short to eat bad waffles. Instead, recreate these honey nut waffles in your own kitchen. You'll be reminded about how sweet life can be if we take the time to heed life's lessons. Enjoy!
adapted from A Breakfast Drama Queen
This week, I've just been....tired.
My boss has been out for a couple weeks and I've stepped into her role until she gets back.
During my first week as her (which was just last week I might add), I walked around shell shocked. It was like playing whack a mole--I just spent my time whacking down fires as they popped up. I had no idea what I was doing. I just kept working hard (ever have the moment where you realize there's never enough time to get everything done??); trying to fill her role as best I could; and the time just flew by.
Sunday night, as I laid sprawled out on the couch unable to move, I realized all the work of being someone else has worn me out & left me in a true state of depletion. It's a state of fatigue I unfortunately know well---nodding off while driving (scary I know!); sleeping any spare moment I can; not being hungry; not being thirsty; and, not being able to handle any of the supplement protocol I'm supposed to be taking.
All because I'm trying to be something I'm not---someone else.
And isn't that a crappy feeling? I mean, it is for me.
Being someone else is admittedly something I've gotten used to in my life. I've played roles for many people--parents, friends, lovers, bosses, counselors, sports coaches, and teachers.
It even got to the point where I looked into the mirror and didn't even recognize who I was. The suffocation I was feeling in my external world was nothing compared to my internal world. I lost all connection to my inner wise woman. My connections were to all things outside of me--people I hung out with, clothes I wore, places I went, things I said....nothing which made me feel whole.
I must say, luckily, I haven't felt suffocated by these past couple of weeks. Yes, I'm depleted and utterly exhausted. It's going to take me a while to physically get my strength back (funny how I used to take recovery time for granted...now I crave it). But, for the first time, I'm aware of the depletion before I actually completely bottom out (hello chronic fatigue relapse!!)
So, this whole being aware thing gives me a chance to really figure out what to do when this depleted feeling strikes. Before opening my eyes to this pattern, I'd just dive deeper into the role...thinking somehow I wasn't doing enough/being enough/convincing everyone else enough.
Now, I have the opportunity to figure out how to get out of the role and dive right into what makes me....well, me.
Where do I go you ask?
My journal is usually the first place. The second....you get one guess....
You're right....I get in the kitchen. Sounds cheesy but it's true. It's my magic. It's my happy place. So, no matter what city/apartment/loft/home I am led toward, please let there be a huge kitchen with lots of light (meh, the rest of the house can be small...just give me all the kitchen!)
So, now that I'm in my happy place....let's talk about the waffles shall we?
These are gingerbread. Classic spicy flavor remade gluten free from one of my all time favorite blogs, Against All Grain. When I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy in 2014, Danielle's cookbook was the first one I downloaded. I had no idea about going gluten free, so she opened up a lot of new baking ingredients and lifestyle options.
Fun fact: I didn't make a lot of homemade gingerbread growing up. Despite the fact I loved it so much. Because my mom hates gingerbread--everything about gingerbread or gingerbread related. She says her mom ate too much of it when she was pregnant with my mom.
Can there actually be too much gingerbread? I mean, are there to many kitchen gadgets?? No way. So bring on the spice. Mom, you're just gonna have to watch.
This waffle is a blender recipe--dump all your ingredients into the blender & just whir it on up! So easy...so gratifying...so satisfying.
So, when my world spins into a place of fatigue & depletion, I step into the kitchen; cut on a podcast; and, remember who I am. Then, I move from that place---the grounded, calm, warm, and quite gingerbready place. That's who I am.....what about you?
What makes you remember yourself when you find yourself depleted, tired, and utterly spent. Have you ever played roles & gotten lost in the world external to yourself? Let me know how you reconnect. Let's remember who you are....whole, free, and full of peace.
adapted from Against All Grain
Last week, while I was cleaning out my room, I found my old journals.
No, these weren't the angsty journals of my youth, where I wrote on and on about what my crush was doing or if he even noticed my existence (side note: the crushes I had never did notice me....heck, most of the time they didn't even know I liked them!)
These were the old journals from my dieting days, a period of time which covered my senior year of high school through my years in law school. It was quite painful to go through them. I actually could feel the emotions oozing out of the faded, bleeding ink.
You see, I used to be dogmatic in my diets. In fact, I was downright militant.
There was no room for so called "fun" foods at all. I strictly measured, portioned, and counted each piece of food, right down the the number of kernels of corn I consumed. I kept astonishingly thorough records. There was even a time in my life when I didn't have a potato chip or a french fry for almost 2 years. I now see how deprived I was--of both food and the enjoyment in life. I mean, have you ever had thick cut tortilla chips sprinkled generously with sea salt, dipped in guacamole while laughing with a group of friends sitting outside on the patio of a restaurant on a warm summer night drinking margaritas? Those memories, my friends, are truly heaven sent.
But, there were plenty of times when these memories never really happened. In fact, I spent most nights dreaming of those moments. I didn't really allow myself to share in them. Honestly, I did all I could to avoid situations where foods would be offered which were outside of my given "plan" at the moment.
You name the diet.....I've tried it. You name the event...I avoided it. I've even turned down dates, stunting my romantic development as much as these restrictions limited my physical development. All in the name of sticking to my "diet."
I told people it was because I wanted to be a fitness model. I trained like I was going to be on the cover of Muscle & Fitness Hers every.single.day. I was always cycling carbs, worrying about macros, figuring out fat grams, and carrying around gallon jugs of water.
The truth? I was too scared to enjoy life. I was afraid once I began getting away from the serious routine I'd created, I'd lose track of everything I'd worked for....including my weight. Oh...and side note here...never EVER did I get buff like those fitness models. In fact, I stayed very waif like and never gained an ounce of muscle, especially in my arms. Little did I know, the daily extreme dieting and exercise regimen limited my ability to really do things like gain muscle physically and even logically reason/assess situations mentally.
So, what does all of this have to do with the waffle for today? Well, I have quite a sordid past with protein powder.
Most of the days after class, you'd catch me drinking TONS of protein shakes, and fixing protein pancakes. I'd have protein bars as a snack. I'd have protein bars for dessert. I'd even have protein bars for a meal if in a pinch. Part of me is surprised I have no kidney problems with as much protein as I consumed. The other part of me is just dang grateful to have survived protein overload and the extreme flavor distress.
Flavor distress? Yes, flavor distress. Lets be real with each other for a minute--have you tasted some of these protein powders out on the market? Blech. I KNOW cookies and cream are not supposed to taste like THAT (insert whatever explicative you'd like to use to describe the flavor). Nor is that tropical paradise/pineapple/strawberry/mango chalky concoction gonna magically take me away to a lounge chair by the clear blue ocean. Its just not.
But, I've faithfully stuck with protein powders (if that is not the definition of loyalty, I don't know what is) until last summer. I just gave them up and figured I'd be off of the powders forever. Gee, can you tell I'm an "all or nothing" type thinker???? But, I woke up last weekend oddly craving protein pancakes and had some leftover plant based protein powder, so I figured I'd turn them into protein waffles instead.
I followed this recipe here and I was surprised at how easy it was. Mix it all in the blender; whir it up; and, pour into your waffle iron. That's my kinda recipe--short, sweet, and, hearty. I mean, isn't that what little girls are made of? Maybe a few years ago I'd not have liked the whole "hearty" piece as a description of myself (or the short part), but, I am fully okay with both now.
I am also okay with talking about my disordered eating past. It is a part of me and the part I clung to when everything else in my world was spinning in disarray. In fact, I still notice when times get tough around me, I want to run back to that default setting. But, I realize by sticking so closely to a super strict routine/plan/regimen, I deprived myself of the things which make life great--family gatherings, friend meals, dates, sporting tailgates, parties, coffee chats, etc.
Now, I really listen to what my body wants each day, realizing some days it is gonna want waffles more than it does veggies. And that is completely, 100%, without a doubt OK. I know right now meat isn't appealing to me, but that is not to say I won't wake up one day in the future and want meat again. Rather than stick to a strictly crafted plan out of a magazine which takes NONE of my personal preferences into account, I'm gonna make sure to listen to my body and feed it exactly what it wants--no deprivation allowed these days!
So, as for the recipe, sub in whatever protein powder you have on hand--hemp, whey, soy, vegan, rice, pea, egg white, etc. You can't go wrong. The plantains add a nice texture to the batter and they are incredibly filling. I'll give it to you protein powder....you do keep me full for many hours. I topped with hemp seeds, cranberries, raspberries, and cinnamon. Great option if you're on the go. I bet my younger, gym rat self would have approved of this recipe. She would have grabbed these as a sandwich, made with scrambled egg whites & turkey bacon with her protein mocha on the way to class. While that's a tempting idea, I'm glad those stomaching those faux mocha (fauxcha?) days are over....and so are my kidneys!
adapted from Purely Twins
I am so excited to share this post with you guys today. First, its #wafflewednesday and I'm always excited to share the waffle of the day. Second, this starts a new series for the blog, my "Box Breakers."
This series is about the people in my life whom I admire for their bravery, courage, tenacity, outlook on life, emotional intelligence, and overall badassness. I thought it would be fun to create a waffle (with their assistance & ideas) to highlight these individuals; their accomplishments; and, the values they represent.
I mean, if that's not true admiration, to get a waffle made in your honor, I don't know what is.
The first recipient of this honor is a current coworker and all around genuine person. I met her almost a year ago. I remember her warm smile and welcoming attitude. Truth--I had no idea what I was doing, and she was super helpful at getting me acclimated to our work environment.
The more I got to know her, the cooler she got. Yes, she is totally into art and is very creative. Yes, she is super friendly and super hilarious. Yes, she is very smart, organized, and entrepreneurial. Yes, she inspires me to be a better person. And she is a roller derby gal--that description just immediately took her to full on badass doesn't it? Yes, yes it does.
See, I loved to roller skate as a wee young kiddo. I loved the lights at the rink; the music which was played; the arcade games. Heck, I even tried my had at Rollerblading (remember when that was super popular in the early 90's? Yes I was obsessed with all of that neon.) I mean, I wanted to be hell on wheels back then, with the wind in my hair (short as it was), and athleticism as my calling card. But, there was one problem......
I only skated on carpet. Both at my house and at the roller rink. And I have to say my old school Rainbow Brite skates aren't quite flying through the wind on thick, plush carpet. Little Miss Rainbow just couldn't get off to a good start. And at the roller rink, while Rainbow shined in the bright lights, holding onto the wall while moving in a circle was just not the speed demon way to be.
Secretly, I've always wanted to get out on that roller rink floor and move. Plus, it would be even cooler if I kept my balance and really flexed my muscles while scoring points for my team. Right now, I'll just let my friend do it for me. I'll cheer her and her team on while I sit in the stands. I'm totally fan-girling right now, so without further ado, let me introduce you to Kelsey Hausler!
Q: Tell us about yourself Kelsey. Where are you from? Favorite hobbies? Any pets? Fave waffle?
My name's Kelsey, and I'm from GSO. I like creating art, and I love to roller skate! I play roller derby for Greensboro Roller Derby, but I also have started going to the local indoor skate park on my quad skates. I don't currently have a pet, but I do have a neighborhood cat that hangs out in the lawn sometimes! My favorite waffle is a classic Belgian!
Q: How did you get involved in roller derby?
I had a friend who I'd learned had joined, and I found out that the league she practiced with met up a few miles from my house. She told me that anyone could join. I didn't know anything about derby or how to skate, but I had the free time and I wanted to give it a try, so I bought a cheap pair of quad skates and showed up to their first practice of the season. I was addicted to everything about the grassroots sport and the people involved from day one.
Q: Do you have a roller derby nickname? If so, what is it? How did you get it?
Traditionally, you get a derby name once you pass assessments, declaring you skilled and safe to play roller derby. Most women decide their names on their own, and lots of people use their legal names now, but my derby name is Xena! I chose it for myself. The character and fight scenes had their own meaning for me as a preteen, because she was this woman who didn't fit into gender roles and was an all around badass who stood up for people in need.
Q: Let's get into roller derby a bit more. What does a typical practice look like?
A practice lasts two to three hours. On a typical day, we spend about thirty minutes doing endurance or specific strength training on foot, and then we get skates and gear on to practice drills we'd like to execute during gameplay. Most skaters have routines they do on their off-time to meet their individual goals, like jogging, yoga, climbing, or Cross Fit. The fun of derby is that it's a sport that uses your entire body, so most anything that engages a core group of muscles is great cross-training!
Q: What does a competition actually look like?
There's a great video for this here! WFTDA, the Women's Flat Track Roller Derby Association, has a youtube channel and they post fantastic quality videos of games usually a month or so after they've occurred. It's a dream. Games are two thirty minutes periods, with a fifteen minute halftime.
Q: Where can people come and see you if they want to check out your bouts?
We'll be having our first home game of the season at the Greensboro Coliseum on April 8th!! You can watch me play for the Gate City All-Stars in the first game, and then the Mad Dollies in the second game!
Q: Any accomplishment you're particularly proud of?
This is my first season skating for the Gate City All-Stars!! And I'm captain of the Mad Dollies with my super awesome teammate, Commander Cupcake!
Q: Who or what inspires you to be your best self?
My teammates! I love my teammates and I admire the work they have put into this league and our community. On top of seeing these sweaty, persevering women on the track, we all do our part to keep the league running.
Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
Brooke Roper is a wonderful being and I'm glad to know her! And she makes a damn fine waffle!
And, if anyone wants to learn more about derby, please reach out to us on FB, or better yet, come to one of our games!
this is our next home game event page:
Now, onto Kelsey's waffle. For her waffle, I did a grain free blueberry waffle with a walnut praline sauce.
Come again? Walnut praline? I mean, is there such a thing? I thought pralines were always made with pecans Brooke?
Well, technically, pralines are at their core just nuts and sugar. And by "nuts", I mean any type of nut. So, if you've got almonds? Make almond pralines. If you've got cashews? Cashew praline. And so forth and so on.
So, on the day you get ready to make the waffles and realize you only have walnuts, not pecans like you thought you had? You make walnut praline sauce.
How did you make the praline sauce?
Well, I took a few tablespoons of vanilla bean ghee and heated that up in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the ghee has melted, I took a couple of handfuls of chopped walnuts, about 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and lemon juice. I just let all of those flavors meld together and poured them on top of the waffle. Instant classic. Instant fanciness. Instant yums.
So, here's to you Kelsey! For following your dreams.....for doing what lights you up....for being so awesome....and for whisking outside the box and creating a life you call your own. You inspire me.
This weekend, I've really been thinking about the concept of self care. Specifically, I want to know how can I incorporate it into my everyday so I won't always be waiting for complete days/weeks off from work/family/job/daily reality.
See, I've had the house all to myself these past 4 days. My parents were out of town. And to be honest, its been wonderful.
And my parents didn't even have to worry about me throwing a wild party--ahh, the blessings of having an adult house sit!
Not that I don't like living with my parents (no offense Mom & Dad!), but after living on your own for so long....its just nice to be in your own space. I've been looking forward to this weekend in particular for as long as they've had the trip scheduled. Because I knew it would just be me, myself, and I. And it was just what this combo introvert/extrovert needed to recharge her batteries.
I took the entire weekend off from my job and have spent the past couple of days staying in my pjs; making waffles for brunch; roasting veggies for dinner; and, catching up on my fave soap opera storylines.
This morning when I woke though, a fog of sadness fell over my head. In fact, after writing about it, I realize it was a visit from the dreaded "Sunday Blues." Have you ever had those? Unfortunately, its a feeling all too familiar to me.
My version of the blues on this day? "My total self care weekend is over. What do I do now?" blues. I eagerly awaited this time off for almost a month. I spent time dreaming of all I could get done, and all I was going to do in my kitchen, my blog, and my life.
You should see my to do list for the weekend. Let's just say it was a tad adventurous. ;)
So, my first question to myself was: what exactly is self care?
I'll admit, up until now, I've always believed one need to carve out massive amounts of time in order to care for one's self. And when no major time was able to be carved out for self care, then it simply didn't get done.
Yep, those thoughts comprised my old mindset. I truly believed to my core one needed to keep on working and not stop to recharge/renew/refresh. I realize now (after alot of deep diving) said mindset actually was a combination of old stories I absorbed from my childhood and the culture I grew up in--that "gotta have more/do more/be more" mindset.
Luckily, I've had the chance to open my eyes and realize there is life outside of the "all work no play" mentality. Reason number 165,432 I am thankful I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. The mentality and mindsets I've held so dear for the 37 years I've been on the planet is completely shifting. And its so damn wonderful.
So, let me ask again: what is self care?
Would it be okay to admit I honestly don't know what that really looks like?
Back in my old mindset days, I thought self care just meant lots of massages, bubble baths, candles, and pedicures.
Well, guess what? This gal doesn't really like alot of those things. And I felt something was wrong with me because I didn't like them.
Except for the massages. Now those I can get behind.
But, in this new mindset I'm cultivating, I realize self care can be anything I want it to be. It is anything you want it to be. Its anything which makes us all feel loved, renewed, and cared for. And that really isn't going to look the same for everyone. Because we are all different.
Yes, there may be some overlap between folks. In fact, there is guaranteed to be overlap. That's why we have friends who share our same interests.
One of my interests......I'm sure you'll be surprised by this one....is cooking. Any and all things. In fact, I'd like to think in a former life, I was a frontier woman, because I'd be all about learning how to churn my own butter & whip things up completely from scratch.
Now, these waffles didn't require me to churn my own butter (that whole dairy allergy thing gets in the way with that one), but I did make them from scratch. Well, our 2017 idea of from scratch. Not the 1800's version.
I used a new flour in this recipe (well, new to me): brown rice flour. Have you ever tried it? Of course, its gluten free, which is great for all types of gluten intolerance and celiac disease. But, its also higher in fiber, b vitamins, calcium, and zinc than its sibling white rice. The only difference between these two is the appearance of the husk. In brown rice, the husk is left intact, keeping the nutty, rich flavor and heartier texture. In white rice, the husk is stripped, leaving the rice bare and nutrient deficient.
The rest of the ingredients, well, I've used them before but not in this combination. Lemon and lavender meld together to provide flowery, springy goodness. Perfect for a fun brunch with friends or a quick weeknight meal. Hey, I'm not judging if you eat waffles for dinner. Because I do. A lot.
So, what do these waffles have to do with my self care weekend? Well, I don't have to always take off long weekends from work to hibernate from my life to nourish my soul. In fact, I can just step into the kitchen and go into a whole other world. Whether for 15 minutes or an hour. Or for reheating leftovers or whipping something new. I have the choice to decide what self care is for me. I have the choice to do said activity any time my soul desires some "me" time. And, it may not always be cooking which is my care. It may be lounging in pjs or watching my soaps. It may be a day off or three weeks off. The point is its up to me. Not the stories I've absorbed from others.
And isn't choosing for ourselves the most nourishing activity anyway? Because when we decide on our own terms, we automatically are choosing from a place of love, nourishment, and respect. And those feelings are some of my major goals of practicing self care. Eating these yummy waffles.....well, that's just a side benefit!
What are your self care goals? Share with me in the comments. I'd love to hear what nourishes you.
Mega props to Minimalist Baker for inspiring this recipe.
adapted from Minimalist Baker
So, I posted this week on Instagram inspiration can come from anywhere.
It can can come from other people---the words they say or the thoughts they express.
It can come from art---music/dance/paintings/sculpture/theatre/ballet---anything which makes you feel.
It can come from the books we read; the podcasts we listen to; or, even the products we buy.
In my case, the inspiration for today's waffle comes from a sauce.
But, not just any sauce. A tahini apricot sauce.
Yes, the majority of my food inspiration comes from......you guessed it...food.
I know. A food blogger who gets her inspiration from looking at other people's food. So original Brooke. So original. ;)
Usually, I see what others are doing, and I think, "Would that work as a waffle combo?"
Most of the time, the answer is maybe. After all, with so many different people in the world, some sweet and even savory waffles appeal to at least one person. And, over time, exposure to various combos of flavors may actually increase a person's desire for it. That's my super scientific observation right there. How do I know about this theory?
You see, this happened to me with tahini.
Yes, that tahini...the main building block of hummus. A component of baba ganoush. A part of tons of dressings.
Ground up sesame seeds.
I know...I can hardly believe it myself. Me disliking tahini?
See, I ate hummus as a college student without knowing exactly what was in the dip.
All I knew was hummus was healthy. It was a good way to eat beans if you didn't like actually eating beans themselves. And it made me feel so grown up to eat in that little cafe with what my parents called my "nuts & berries food." Each Sunday, I'd walk up to the cafe after church; grab a hummus sammie on sprouted whole wheat; listen to NPR on my Sony Walkman (oh I'm dating myself there!); and, feel so utterly grown up and adult.
I was informed & I was well fed.
Until I tried tahini by itself for the first time. Do you remember your first time eating plain tahini? My response was, "Uhhhh that's not hummus. That's gross." And with those words, I set tahini and hummus aside.
Oh sure, I went back to hummus. Many times. I even would have it for weeks straight.
But, I'd always try plain tahini. And each time I did, I'd declare to hummus it was over. I couldn't do this again. It just wasn't the same. Old feelings of insecurity crept in and ruined the present moment.
I'd always go back though. Because I kept thinking maybe this time, things will be different.
Finally, after about oh....7 years....things began to change.
I ate tahini drizzled over falafel. Not bad.
Hummus in a salad dressing. Getting warmer.
Fresh roasted eggplant & red onion with tahini. Breathtaking.
My piece de resistance? Tahini and medjool dates: TOTAL GAME CHANGER.
The combo of sweet & salty blew my mind. The depth of flavor was outstanding. And ever since then, we've been quite happy in savory dishes. In fact, savory dishes were the only places I felt tahini's importance.
But, I kept seeing recipes for tahini baked goods--brownies, cakes, and pancakes to name a few. And then this sauce from The Roasted Root helped bring my combo to light.
To make this more waffle like, I did use traditional flavors in here like cinnamon & vanilla extract.
But, you can totally leave them out if you want a savory waffle. I dressed mine up a few ways with a few different combos:
1. The one you see here--just some simple blueberries, sesame seeds, and apricot jam.
2. Avocado, apricot jam, and sesame seeds---a cool take on the smashed avocado toast.
3. Cream cheese (in my case, dairy free), sesame seeds, and you guessed it....apricot jam.
I loved each way to prep these---they're incredibly versatile. And to think, this marriage may not have even come into fruition if I'd been too stubborn to never try it again! Lesson learned. I hope you've learned something too. After all, doesn't the saying go something like---"you're just one taste away from changing your flavor life?????"
Oh, it's not?
Well, it completely should be. Because, taste changing IS changing all areas of one's self in my humble opinion.
And flavor changing does a body/mind/spirit good. You never know who you'll inspire with your creations.