Snow, tea and my beloved Josh

I am hanging out with Mom in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I am on Spring Break, but how would you guess because it is a beautifully snowy day. We have gotten about 9 inches of snow. Earlier Dad left for work and Mom and I enjoyed trudging through the fluffy white to wipe off my car and pull it into the cavernous garage. Luckily they live in an apartment, so there is no worry about shoveling.

Right now I want to focus on the moment. Maybe it will help me get out of this funk of irritability. I wanted to hang out and spend time together (with Mom) so I am trying to fight against my anti-social tendencies.

I am enjoying lemon, ginger tea and Josh Groban. And the sound of keys clicking.  I am grateful for the zinginess and tanginess of this tea. Hot (temperature wise) for my frozen fingers (what’s new during the winters of the Midwest), and spicy hot, a hotness none other than ginger can provide. The best of all, it hits my stomach in a comforting way with no added nuisance of heart-stopping, anxiety-inducing caffeine for my sensitive nerves.

I am grateful for Josh Groban’s phenomenally comforting voice. While his older music is as familiar to me as a beloved pair of well-worn socks or as common and delightful as a loved one’s laugh, I am relishing in his newest album my mom just turned on. Each vibrating tone is a new gift to caress my senses. I don’t think there is any other voice in the world quite like his. I wouldn’t be surprised if the angels in heaven sounded like a thousand Josh Grobans all harmonizing sweetly and perfectly; I don’t think there would be anything besides his tenor that could better blind me from the annoying, disturbing and stressful thoughts that constantly crash against each other inside my head. Maybe a hot bath in the dead of icy winter or piece of dark Ghirardelli after a particularly agonizing day at work. But probably not. Josh Groban’s incredibly rich timbre surpasses most things that bring me joy in life.

I hope you are able to find comfort in the smallest things (and biggest things) of life today!

Advertisements

Gluten Free Energy Bars

I have always loved cooking, but baking has always been challenging for me because it seems that you can’t be as creative with baking as with cooking. (I’ve trying “throwing in a little of this and little of that” while baking and … well… it just doesn’t turn out so great.) It is also challenging because not very many baked goods are gluten free, a diet which I try to stick by, (not to mention most sweets are not especially good for you). With these bars, you can get your sugar fix and actually still be eating healthy.

I found this recipe in some Cub Foods pamphlet a few months ago and changed it to suit my dietary needs. It is a healthy variation of “Special K Bars” or what in my family we call “Scotcharoos.” I tried my best to stick by the recipe guidelines and well, they turned out delish! This is what I used:

2 cups Bakery on Main Gluten Free Extreme Fruit & Nut Granola, divided (If you are not gluten intolerant, any fruit and nut granola will do. The original recipe called for Wild Harvest organic Date & Cashew granola)

1/2 c. dried organic apricots (they are not as pretty being black and all, but much better for you :))

1/2 c. dried organic cranberries

1/2 c. Ghirardelli chocolate chips

3 c. Erewhon Organic GF crispy brown rice cereal (again, any “crispy rice” cereal will do)

12 oz. (1 1/2 c.) organic honey

1 c. organic peanut butter

1 t. pure vanilla extract

How to make it:

Combine 1 1/2 c. granola, apricots, cranberries and chocolate chips in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped but not pasty. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. It will be very dark in color and look kind of like moist brown sugar.

Add crispy rice cereal and remaining 1/2 c. granola; mix until well combined. Set aside. (Mine did not mix very well. But it all tastes quite yummy in the end!)

In medium saucepan over low heat, combine honey, peanut butter, and vanilla; stir until well combined and bubbly (about 3 minutes). (Mine did not become bubbly, but it did come close to burning so be careful!)

Pour over cereal mixture and stir with large spoon. Press into a 13 x 9-inch pan. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut into bars.

Now I have something to take with me to my roommate’s parents’ who are hosting me for Easter. Hope everyone has a blessed weekend. I can’t comprehend what my Savior has done for me…but at least I have my whole life ahead of me to try! Blessings to all!

>A New Way to Live

>

As you can see I changed my blog title and “About Me.” More about that later (or maybe you will begin to understand after this entry).

I have been in a weird place lately, physically and spiritually, and consequently, emotionally. Last Saturday at church, I felt God telling me to go up and get prayer which, of course, I was very nervous about doing. After a kind man name Lawrie/Lori prayed for me, I guess I didn’t know what to expect. Sudden restoration?

You may be wondering exactly what it is that is bothering me. Well, overall I am doing pretty well. But there is one thing that I have been obsessed with lately: food. No I don’t overeat or nor am I concerned about my weight. After reading a book called The Food Allergy Cure by Dr. Ellen Cutler and talking with my friend Becca and others with food sensitivities I have determined I am doing something wrong with me eating. I have struggled my entire life with headaches, for almost 10 years with depression, and for many years with other things, so I thought, why not go gluten free? But it has turned into an obsession. (As always, whenever I want to do something potentially good it gets out of control as my thoughts/obsessions become uncontrollable).

Anyway, I am reading this book by Larry Crabb and naturally the title is appealing. My whole life is about pressure, basically due to perfectionism, with which I have a love/hate relationship. I am always trying to do things right at all times. NOw it has to do with food. Well, anyway, Crabb is not necessarily a great writer but his book is simple and to the point. His basic point is “There’s a New Way to live” in which we are not contstantly striving, trying to find all the answers, trying to find causes for everything, trying to be perfect. BUT I am still trying to figure out what the New Way is he talks about (I am little over half way through the book). He basically has said thus far that we need to make Christ our number one priority-easily said, obviously. (Ironically, Crabb seems to present the “answer” to our problems when in the first place, he says we shouldn’t be seeking the answers!)

He talks about how we are taking advantage of Christ when we have an “If/then” mindset, “If I do these things, You will then deliver me out of this problem, give me this blessing, etc.” This all is simply stated and makes sense. But my question is, God is not going to blatantly say, “Brittany, you have these food sensitivities.” I need to to use the brain he gave me to find the answers! Right? I feel this is in my power like I could possibly find the answer to my problems, particularly depression which has created all my other problems, I believe.

Maybe some people reading this might think, Why is she so concerned about all this? I do sound kind of obsessed with myself. But I have come to realize the importance of our bodies and how for me personally, everything I eat contributes to my mood, physical symptoms, etc. But maybe I have taken it too far. Should I just accept my depression as part of life? As I thought I already had. But after reading the Food Allergy book, I thought, “What if…” What if something I have been eating my whole life is causing it? In Crabb’s mind, I maybe should not be searching for the answer.

I think there is some sort of middle ground here. But I am so stuck as always in my black-and-white, all-or-nothing thoughts.

Then there’s the whole gluten-free (or low gluten) I have tried to do for the past few days. I am quite irritated because nothing has really changed. In fact, it may have gotten worse. Yesterday and today I experienced INTENSE sudden fatigue after having gotten good rest the night before. And have been having headaches almost every day for two weeks now. Anyway, I am sure nothing’s wrong, but the GF has not improved anything, plus I can’t afford this diet and I miss bread too much.