My husband and I are big on snack bars, they're on our grocery list every week. We simply can't get enough of them (although our budget can). Most boxes only come with 4-6 bars. What about the other days of the week?! We usually end up buying more than one box just to make them last between the two of us food-lovers.
I have been wanting to make my own granola bars for quite some time now, and I'd say our first attempt came out pretty great!
Our baked bars consist of oats, almonds, flaxseeds, chia, millet, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, brown rice cacao crisps, raw honey, vanilla extract, pure maple syrup and of course, chocolate-peanut butter drizzle.
Now Let's Get Baking
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes
For the granola:
1 ½ c.gluten free oats
1 c. almond slivers
1/8 c. raw whole golden flaxseed
1/8 c. chia seed
1/4 c. millet
1/4 c. roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 ½ c. gluten free brown rice cacao crisps
1/2 c. raw honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c.pure maple syrup
For the drizzle:
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325' F
Spread oats and almonds onto a jelly roll pan and
toast in oven for 15 minutes, shaking pan occasionally.
You will know when they are ready when the oats are a light golden color and you begin to smell a delicious, subtle, nutty aroma.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine honey, vanilla & maple syrup.
Bring to a boil then simmer 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix the toasted oats and almonds with the remaining dry ingredients.
Gradually stir in the heated syrup.
Scoop the granola mixture onto a lightly-greased jelly roll pan.
(I use coconut oil for greasing rather than shortening).
This next step is important in order for your granola to stay together and not be as crumbly (yes, it will still crumble a little but not as much. However, you can skip this step if you you're fine with crumbly granola clusters rather than bars).
Place a sheet of parchment paper over top of granola.
Using a cutting board (or a cookbook, tablet, or even your hands), press down firmly so as to pack the granola in tight. Be sure to distribute your weight evenly across the entire pan.
Remove board and paper, and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Once the granola is golden brown, remove from oven and
allow to cool in pan completely.
Once granola has cooled, begin preparing the drizzle.
In a double boiler, melt chocolate and peanut butter together until creamy.
Drizzle over bars.
Cut into squares and enjoy!
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Nurtured by Nature <3
As we grow and age in body and mind, so do our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. For some of us, we are granted the opportunity to help support them as they age, just as they supported us in our youth.
In recent studies over the past few years, we are learning that some of the inventions of the past century have been doing more harm to our bodies than good. This includes some synthetic ingredients as well as childhood vaccinations. Due to the toxins found within these, we have an increasingly higher disease rate in the U.S. than ever before. While research has shown that many childhood cases of autism have been linked to such incidents, there is likewise a growing rate of Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia (ADRD).
In the article, "Therapeutic Use of Self": The Concept of "Action and Reaction" in Dementia Care, the Crisis Prevention Institution (CPI) tells us, “There is tremendous benefit to understanding a simple concept which is "action and reaction" as it relates to interacting with someone who has Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia (ADRD). This concept needs to be fully comprehended and acknowledged by all those who interact with those with ADRD in order to facilitate the best possible outcomes.”
What the CPI refers to as the “therapeutic use of self,” I believe can be summed up in one simple term; patience. It is easy to lose patience with someone suffering ADRD, as you remember how easy it was to communicate with them over the years. The practice of therapeutic use of self reminds us to be patient and respectful. Put yourself in their shoes, they are going through more frustration than you could possibly imagine. Being patient and holding simple “action and reaction” conversations with them will help them to stay in the preset rather than getting lost in the whirlwind of memories and information over-loading their mind.
During my years working in the nursing home, I interacted with many residents suffering from Alzheimer's or a related dementia. The best way I knew how to ease their anxiety and bring them to the present moment was to sit with them and converse. To let them tell me their story again and again, to make them feel appreciated. Many of these residents no longer had families that would visit, so more than anything they were seeking a friend. They may not have remembered me from one day to the next, but for that one conversation a day, I knew I was bringing them a sense of peace, relief and happiness. All it took was a little patience.
For those that have suffered from anxiety, depression, and other mental issues over the years, It's easy for us to get swept away in our daily tasks and commitments, not realizing the reasoning behind our stress and our hard hearts. Once we take the first steps, becoming aware of the feelings within and actively work towards eliminating them from our lives by replacing them with positive attributes, our health and lives will surely improve. I am a living testimony for this, going from the girl that used to have closet fits of rage, throwing objects across the room and kicking and punching walls to someone that is now aware of the benefits of this type of change and willing to share her story with others to encourage personal growth and happiness. The elimination diet is not easy and takes a great deal of hard work and commitment but as you learn to let go of the negative emotions, things WILL get easier. Believe in yourself. You got this.
Good morning! Do you set daily intentions?
[[I apologize in advance for the vibes that may come off from this post.]]
The truth is, I am SO ANNOYED with the number of people in my life claiming to be “dead inside.”
“My heart is cold,”
“I died years ago,”
“There's no fixing me, I'm already dead.”
THIS is how you're going to spend your life?
THIS is what you're going to declare over yourself?
STOP being such a f*cking baby.
(Sorry for the language, mom, there's no better adjective for this topic).
These are the same people asking, “Why are you so sweet?” or
“How are you filled with rainbows and unicorns all the time?”
The truth is, I come off as sweet because that's how I want to present myself to the world.
Life IS hard for everyone.
It's a challenge.
We're meant to learn lessons in order to grow.
I have just as many bad days as you. I have lost just as many people to cancer and disease, have just as much debt, anxiety, worries, plain old bad stuff that happens to me too.
Life is what you make of it.
You create your own reality.
If you want to be dead inside and cut your precious time on this beautiful earth short (it's already short enough) then by all means go on and continue your sad, depressing, “woe-is-me,” negativity, feeding off of your sick-and-tired self.
You can get back on that horse (or bike) and make the decision to change your life for the better.
Be a warrior. Be strong. Be bold. Be courageous.
Release your emotions and open up your heart.
Recognize the potential within yourself.
Believe in yourself.
Make it about you.
(There are people out there willing to help).
Read a book.
Follow an uplifting blog.
Get a hobby.
Color in a coloring book.
Spend time outside in nature.
Get enough sleep.
Let go of all the negative things that happened in your past.
Forgive those that hurt you.
Stop worrying about tomorrow...
There's no need to be anxious for tomorrow or the next day.
Take life a day at a time.
Learn who you are.
Go back to your childhood.
Remember your roots.
Take control of your life.
Allow your heart to grow.
For the love of all things, please stop declaring “death” over your soul.
“Happiness comes from contentment.”
If you are unhappy, the best thing you can do is analyze yourself:
Who you are versus who you intend to be.
What you have versus what you need.
Where you are now versus where you would like to be.
Going back a few years to a darker point in my life, when I was apt to severe anxiety and panic attacks, doubt and depression and an overall state of mental and emotional exhaustion, I knew something had to change. This wasn't me. I am not these negative attributes that one could easily use to describe me. As much as I let this negativity take over the greater portion of my well-being, there was still something deep inside screaming to be released. The better part of me, the self, the consciousness, the soul, the absolute most true version of me, hidden and pushed aside through spiritual neglect, taken over by the cares and worries of every day life.
There came a point when I realized I needed to have a heart to heart with myself to find the root of my unhappiness. I actually began to write a list of “pros” and “cons” in my life. This list included things like being with my wonderful boyfriend to living hundreds of miles from my family; having amazing and supportive friends to having a job that was constantly bringing me down. I proceeded to go through all areas of my life, writing both what made me happy versus what was negatively impacting my life. After writing this list, I held onto it for a good few weeks, referring to it every so often before finally deciding what I was going to do about it.
During these weeks, (because the universe works in mysterious ways), a friend of mine invited me to attend a guided meditation at the local Buddhist meditation center down the street. Being raised in the Christian church, I knew meditation would bring a sense of calm and serenity, but it wasn't until years after leaving the church did I make the correlation between God, the Universe, and my Inner-Self as one in the same. What an amazing experience this guided meditation was, sitting in absolute silence, breathing deep and allowing my mind to finally be still and quiet. I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to return the following week, shortly thereafter making the decision to buy my first yoga mat and yoga DVD geared toward stress relief. Right from the start of my practice, I learned how emotionally intense and healing yoga and meditation can be.
Getting back to my list, it was time to begin eliminating some of the negative aspects of my life. First, I had to realize that not everything could be changed easily or right away. For example, living hundreds of miles from my immediate family, while it made me unhappy, was something that I had to learn to accept by reassuring myself that I am still loved by them no matter the distance and that if needed, they will be there for me anytime I call. What I needed to do was focus on the areas that I could change. For me, the biggest cause of my unhappiness was in my work situation. I realized that I was meant to do more, meant to do something that would make a bigger difference in the lives of others, and that the stress and anxiety caused from this particular job was absolutely holding me back from being the best version of myself that I could be. It was time to let go, to move on and continue on this journey of happiness through life.
After talking with my at-the-time boyfriend (and now amazing husband), the decision to leave my job made the most sense. He saw the absolute worst of my anxiety and knew where the bulk of it stemmed from, and thankfully supported my decision to move on. After following through and leaving my work situation, a huge sense of relief came over me. I knew this was the start of my healing journey and I still had a long way to go. However, sometimes the first steps toward change are the most difficult and I had finally taken mine. From that point on, my life became a whirlwind of change. There have been ups and downs, lessons to be learned, but where I am now and who I intend to be are becoming closer and closer with each day, as I continue to grow stronger mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
If you are going through a severe bout of unhappiness, I would absolutely recommend analyzing your life, making yourself a list to find any negative aspects that you may be able to change, and practicing meditation and/or yoga to calm and strengthen your heart and mind. You were put on this earth with so much potential and your unhappiness may just be your inner-self screaming to you that you need to change something in order to get back on track with your journey, to live the life you are meant to love.
This message was brought to you by Yogi Tea's Detox- Healthy Cleansing Formula, because a healthy body goes hand-in-hand with a healthy mind.
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