I was writing in my journal this morning about some things that are happening in my life right now and I decided that I hadn’t blogged in quite a while. I’m still working through, what feel like, some pretty major changes in my life right now. I’ve also started a 40 day “transformation” program based on A Course in Miracles. A few things right off the bat that I’ve noticed about myself (and may ring true with you as well). I get myself into a state where I feel like I need to “fix” (change, correct, whatever word you want to use) everything at once. That doesn’t work for me! I end up trying to change too many things at one time and, because I am not consistent with any of them, I give up and don’t do any of them. For example, this summer I was going to start doing the following: alternate day yoga, alternate day qigong, daily meditation, SOS (sugar,oil, salt) free eating, decluttering my house, blogging, start to get my youngest daughter ready for college next year, morning pages (3 pages of journaling every morning – from The Artist’s Way), reading 3 different books that all had exercises associated with them, etc. How much of that did I get done or stay committed to? ZERO! I was trying to do all that at the same time and because I wasn’t staying consistent with any one thing, I didn’t do any of it. I have learned I need to take baby steps. So, for the next, now, 30 days I have committed to just doing the 40 day program. Granted, there are some thing associated with this program that are included in that list, meditation and journaling.
My journaling, this morning, led me to a revelation about myself and my depression. I feel like I’m on a trapeze bar, swinging through the air and someone has just told me to LET GO! Let go??? Are you kidding me??? I have an enormous amount of fear that I’m going to go plunging to the earth and crash instead of either #1 – someone/something catching me (and by the way, yes, I know that that someone could, and probably will be, me!) or #2 – there being a safety net that will catch me before I crash. My youngest daughter said something a while back that was intriguing to me “I don’t have a fear of heights, I have a fear of falling”. All my life I’ve told people, and myself, that I’m afraid of heights. Maybe it isn’t that I’m actually afraid of the height at all but the fear of falling. There are a number of situations in my life right now where I feel like I need to LET GO. Actually, quite a lot of them. I started thinking about this because of a situation I’m in right now that is requiring me to let go or risk, what I’m perceiving as, unpleasant consequences. Thankfully, the 40 day program is helping me let go. Let go of the fear. As I’ve told my daughters, ad nauseum, over the past few years “There are only two states of being, love and fear. They can’t reside in the same space. So, if you’re living in fear change your state to living in gratitude”. I think I’ve been feeling overwhelmed because I feel like I’m being asked to let go of lots of things at the same time and, as we learned above, I don’t do well with trying to do too many things at once! And yet, there are some scenarios where I don’t have an option but to let go. Well, you always have an option. I’m choosing to let go because it will be the healthiest thing to do for everyone involved. Over the next year I’m going to be doing a lot of letting go. As I sit here and write this, I have become aware that I don’t need to do it all at once either. I can take baby steps.
Speaking of baby steps… one of the baby steps that I committed to when I got home from True North was to do intermittent fasting. While I haven’t been 100% compliant, I feel like I’m at a good 75% and even at 75% I can attest to the benefits of this type of eating. I’ve learned that it is extremely hard to travel and stick to an SOS free way of eating and I’ve done a lot of traveling this summer. I also hadn’t been exercising pretty much at all. Two medical issues contributed to that lack of exercise. So, when I went to the doctor, recently, I was THRILLED that I had only gained 5 pounds since I got back from True North. Seriously… THRILLED!!!! I figured I had gained at least 10 or more because of what I’d been eating and the lack of exercise. I am attributing this lack of weight gain to my intermittent fasting. Recap on what intermittent fasting is: I eat during 8 hours of the day and fast for 16. So, I eat during, say, the hours of 9a-5p and then I fast from 5p till 9am the next morning. This will sometimes vary depending on what time we end up eating dinner. Now that most of the traveling has subsided (one more trip to Michigan for my cousin Jennifer’s wedding!) I am now able to eat primarily at home making dishes that are SOS free.
My recipe share of the day: I was going to share a SOS free granola recipe but I’ve actually thought about packaging it and selling it because YES it was that good!!!
Reuben Casserole from The PlantPure Nation Cookbook (yields 4-6 servings) – we double the recipe so we have leftovers the next day
This is one of my family’s favorite dishes. Not completely SOS free:
One 20oz package frozen hash browns (no added oil or salt)
6 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 T nutritional yeast flakes (can buy at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, etc or online)
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
3 cups fresh spinach
1 cup Russian Dressing (recipe below)
One 14oz can/jar sauerkraut, drained
One 6oz package tempeh strips (our Kroger is now carrying tempeh so I’m sure you can find them at most major grocery stores) – it calls for a specific brand “Lightlife Organic Smoky Tempeh Strips”. I don’t know if I could find those so I just used whatever the store had that was close
3/4 cup Daiya Cheddar Style shreds (optional) – this is not oil free
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9X9 inch casserole dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- Thaw the hash browns
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute the mushrooms and bell pepper in a small amount of water until tender. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder and onion powder, stirring to combine. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts.
- Press half of the hash browns into the bottom of the pan
- Mix the Russian dressing with the sauerkraut and spread on top of the potatoes
- Spread the sauteed spinach, mushrooms and peppers over the sauerkraut
- Cut the tempeh strips into small 1 inch pieces and sprinkle over the vegetables
- Top with the cheese, if using, and cover with the remaining hash browns
- Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are browned around the edges
Update since I forgot the recipe for the Russian Dressing!
1/4 cup Tofu Cashew Mayonnaise (recipe below… I promise this time!) – or you could use a commercially prepared vegan mayo
4 t low sodium ketchup (no high-fructose corn syrup)
2 t chopped sweet or dill pickle or pickle relish
1 t dijon mustard
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.
Tofu Cashew Mayo
1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water to cover for 2-3 hours, then drained (unless you have a high speed blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix)
7oz extra-firm tofu
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t tahini (sesame paste)
4 t lemon juice
1 1/2 t white vinegar
1T Dijon mustard
2T apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 t agave nectar (or honey if you don’t have agave)
1/4t xantham gum (if you don’t have this don’t worry about it. The mayo will just be a thinner consistency. I’ve never used it)
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth and shiny.
Here’s to letting go of the trapeze bar and landing safely!