Last week we talked about how anxiety is that unspoken thing that we all have but that no one talks about, when we do talk about anxiety we mostly talk about ways to relieve it or make it go away, but what if anxiety is actually good for us? When we experience feelings and emotions, it’s our body’s way of trying to communicate and tell us something. Anxiety doesn’t have to be good or bad, it’s just our body telling us that we need to pay attention and check in with ourself. Are we in a situation that isn’t in line with who we really are or what we really want? Are you stuck in the future when you need to be present right in the now? Another way to think about anxiety is that it’s excitement mixed with fear about the unknown. When we take away the fear, we’re just left with excitement and who doesn’t like to be excited?! It’s normal to be unsure about the future, but there’s something refreshing about not knowing what’s going to happen. It’d be pretty boring if we knew exactly how things are going to go. Where’s the fun in that? If we reframe how we think about being anxious, and let go of the negative connotation, we’re able to take a step back from being consumed by it, and appreciate it for what it really is.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the things in life that we resist and how they are usually what we need the most. I take an intense, hot yoga class every morning and the classes that I teach tend to be high energy and fast paced with fun playlists. For years and I have resisted taking slower more restorative classes, thinking I’ll be bored and restless. Faster paced, difficult classes tend to keep your thoughts busy and the time goes by quickly. You could say I like a distraction with my workout. Last week I finished teaching at a studio, and the teacher after my class asked if I would stay for her Yin class. Yin yoga is mostly done sitting or laying down, with a lot of hip openers (deep stretches) that you hold from 2-5 minutes each. Obviously this is not my ideal form of yoga. It was almost like I my inner self answered before I had a chance to think about it, because next thing I knew, I was taking her restorative class. During the class, it was quiet and we moved intentionally and slowly. At the end of the hour, I felt as if my muscles had been wrung out like a wash cloth, and kind of like my soul was exposed and raw. I was also so zen that at 8pm on a Friday night, I went home to go to bed. After sleeping like a rock for 9 hours, I woke up feeling brand new, refreshed, happy and well….restored. My experience with mediation has been similar to this one, I resisted that for years as well. It turns out, if you don’t want to be alone with your thoughts, you probably REALLY need to be alone with your thoughts. We usually resist things because they’re hard and might lead to other difficult things (uncomfortable conversations, exercise, therapy) as we are prewired for fun. The takeaway….that thing you’ve been resisting, it’s time to do it.
If I could eat chocolate chip cookies every single day, I would. I know this doesn’t really fit with the “yoga and veggie” impression most people have about me (don’t get me wrong I really love yoga and veggies but I also really love chocolate chip cookies- probably equally as much). To be honest, the problem isn’t really that cookies are not the healthiest option, it’s that my body does not feel so good after eating them (even the “healthier” versions) and we all know I like to feel good. Store bought, processed foods should always be a last resort, and I’ve experimented with so many gluten-free, dairy-free recipes that might be a little healthier than store bought- but not much - so I challenged myself to come up with my own chocolate chip cookie recipe. I wanted to create one that had minimal ingredients, very little sugar and that would make me feel good instead of gross. The inspiration actually came because I had apples that were about to go bad and I needed to use them up. I’ve also made these with pears and bananas, basically using whatever I have in my fridge, hence, refrigerator cookies. I’ve made these without measuring and they still turn out great- so the recipe is forgiving too. Awesome for kids to sneak them a serving of fruit but also awesome for you because we all need more fruit and veggies. You’re Welcome.
3 small apples, either very finely diced or pulsed in the food processor- expect to be chunky. Don’t worry about peeling.
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
generous sprinkle of pink salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chunky almond butter
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut flour (add more if super runny)
3 tablespoons coconut sugar (optional- they’re still tasty without)
1/2 cup-1 cup mini chocolate chips (depending on how much you love chocolate)
Combine everything and stir well, add chocolate chips last. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, will be cold but never stiff like regular dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop tablespoon sized dough (it will spread) onto baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 mins. Bake longer if you like a crunchy cookie.
Cool on a wire rack. They freeze well or keep in a container for 3-4 days. Makes about 12.