Grain-free chocolate chip cookie

Ever ask yourself, “Am I doing enough?”

As the year draws to a close, anxiety begins to stir for many people and truly I think this is in part, why many of us pack on the pounds during the holidays. I mean let’s face it, between financial stress of buying gifts, family obligations and Jingle Bell Rock on repeat, it’s enough to make anyone ask for a little Snoop Dog, a martini and heck even a cookie or two…or ten. But there’s something bigger that happens, we look back and doing so questions our purpose and puts heavy weight on four little words: Am I doing enough?

[Take a deep breath]

Trust me when I say I can relate. In fact the holidays have been my least favourite time of the entire year. It reminds me of starting over countless times, major struggles and hardships. Sure this year has been rocking so far for me with another episode on CTV’s The Social, a feature in FLARE magazine, plus a TED talk, but there certainly have been some bumps as well. In fact it’s forced me to evaluate the idea of connections: with friends, family, love, food and myself. What I realized is that if I lacked in the connection I had with myself at any point of the year, it would make me question my self-worth making me ask, “did I do enough?” Because when we have a disconnect with ourselves, we inevitably question our own value. So here are my steps at rebuilding that connection:

Step 1: Evaluate your connections with others

There is no question that our relationships with others are a mirror to ourselves. So when analyzing your connections with others, see who and what you can let go of that may be weighing you down. When I’ve moved on from a friendship or love interest in the past, I realized that what I wanted to be free of from them was something I had to be free of in myself. Remember that.

 Step 2: Evaluate your connection with your food

You’ve likely had a year of ups and downs and I get it, sometimes we emotionally eat and it’s not always the right way and I’m certainly not here to judge you. However what I will say is if the times that you indulge outweigh the times that you’re eating clean then there’s a disconnect. If you’re always indulging, packing on the pounds, having digestive or hormonal problems then you will inevitably feel a level of anxiety or depression. So before this year ends, do the following to reestablish your connection with your food:

  • Take a good look at your kitchen and start clearing out the old to make way for the new. If you have shit your cupboards, guess what: you’ll eat it.
  • Take a day to plan for the week: without proper planning, you’ll be left with blood sugar imbalances and running for a quick fix like a delivery menu
  • Cook for a tree logging community: Seriously, make extras that way you’ll never be left in a bind and always have something to reinvent the next day
  • Make it beautiful: Set the table with beautiful linen, break out the china and do whatever it takes. By serving your food up on something beautiful will also help to give it meaning
  • Eat mindfully: By doing so you’ll be able to pay attention to chewing (vital to digestion) and the taste of the food so you’ll have a greater appreciation for it.
  • Set yourself a day to indulge: This rewards yourself and provides yourself a day to look forward to so you’re not doing it daily.

So before this year ends, clear out the old and make way for the new. Realize that if you feel you’re not doing enough, then there’s a connection within yourself that needs to be reestablished. For the answers, just look at your connections outside yourself. Take this as a lesson moving into 2014 (I know I have) and damn it, have yourself a cookie:

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dry ingredients
1 ½ cup almond meal
¼ cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
1/8 baking soda
¼ tsp cinnamon
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Couple pinches of sea salt

Wet ingredients
5 tbsp. melted coconut oil
2 tbsp. almond butter
3 tbsp. raw, unpasteurized honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry and wet separately and then combine together. Add little dollops to a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-13 minutes or until cookies are set and slightly toasted.  These will need to set before handling since they’ll appear to be quite soft to the touch when you take them out.

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