Have I died? No, in fact, I am very alive.
We were privileged to host a guest in our house the past two weeks. Between feeding humans, connecting with hearts, keeping my house, garden, and laundry situation semi afloat, making time for writing didn’t make it to the top priority. Although, who am I kidding, my studly husband has done most of the garden work this year. 🙂 Those little green sprouts are popping up all over. Spring never leave me!
Anyways, I find that inspiration comes when I am deeply alone. Ok, to be fair, inspiration is pretty much always there, in quiet and in noise. The processing part is where quiet and solitude are necessary, at least for now. (Maybe sometime, I will be mature enough to process well on the fly.)
I actually find it difficult to engage in many public conversations civilly because of that point. Not having the time to process what I’m feeling, much less speak up about it coherently enough for even myself to understand leaves me feeling constipated and frustrated in a crowd or public conversation. (Unless the conversation is just about the weather or the latest movie.) Listening/ perceiving more than surface communication is an acquired state of being. It’s one I’m learning thoroughly.
I feel so deeply from angles most people overlook or don’t understand, and I often end up feeling like a zombie from another planet because of it. I’m not sure why I’m the only one who feels this way. I‘ll write about it later, and God will explain. Often I opt for silence and solitude, where I can later organize the ideas coming to me. If not, I bust a move and make hairs stand on end with my passion and boldness. 🙂 I love investing in people’s lives and having conversations, but I truly do love “my zone” to process and really, really know something.
When I thought about being a deep processor, this story came to mind:
Jesus’ mother Mary gave birth to a baby by the Holy Spirit. She was told she was carrying a part of God in her. Up until Pentecost, this had never happened before. God talked to people, but he had not inhabited them personally and corporately yet. Can you imagine the amount of processing Mary did during this bizarre experience? It was all amazing and wonderful, but I’m sure also different and crazy. She fully accepted and embraced this experience, but who would believe her? Get the idea?
Scripture says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
Women are nurturers and incubators of life. I get the picture of Mary storing her thoughts, this reality, this truth in her heart, nurturing and incubating them inside, and also quite literally, Jesus Himself!
Anyways, here I am. A book’s worth on my mind, but I’m processing, processing. It’s the incubation stage, folks. 🙂
So about the chocolate cake recipe…
I’m always looking for ways to eat cleaner, but I realize it’s no quick fix journey. People generally care more about the taste of the food than its properties.
It starts in the mind. For me, I had to learn to want to take care of my body more than I wanted the taste I craved. I have to want health or I won’t make any sacrifice or invest in good choices.
Nutritious food is not limited to a carrot in one hand and an apple in the other. Unless you’re vegan, you probably won’t last long. There is a multitude of nutritious food that our bodies are designed to thrive on.
For every man made, toxic concoction, there is a pure sugar or carb that God made well. Carbs and sugars are not the enemy, and simply cutting out sweets does not make one healthy. That is why I started on a journey of learning…learning what nutritious things I can make that still taste good. With an open mind, the possibilities are endless.
There was a time that quick delicious food meant McDonalds, and Denny’s was my choice of evening dining. After I got thrown far out of my comfort zone in my teen years, I learned to love many foods I never dreamed of. Why? Because I started caring.
I remember feeling belittled by health gurus at one time. “Did you make this with butter? I can’t eat that. I’m allergic.” I was pissed, and I didn’t understand, so I stuck to my American eating. Everyone is responsible to make choices for their own body and blood type, etc.I had to figure that out on my own. I had to care. I had to learn.
I never want to make people feel condemned or stupid for their lifestyle choices. I just hope to make people aware, so they begin to care and possibly make healthy lifestyle choices for the amazing body God gave them in the future if they wish. But gosh, it does hurt my heart to see people complain of acid re-flux when they down sodas, spicy foods, unnatural fats, and an excess of processed carbs on a daily basis. 😀 My husband has severe acid re-flux (like heart attack symptom pain) before we changed our diet. I don’t think he has mentioned it since.
When we feed our bodies well, it functions. That doesn’t look the same for everyone. For example, nuts irritate my husband’s stomach, but I can eat granola without a problem. And btw, it wasn’t until we made strict diet changes (including detox) that we realized what had been making him feel bad. Once the body is clean, it will let you know in no uncertain terms what it doesn’t agree with.
I never realized I didn’t feel well until I started intentionally changing. Now, I’m appalled at the things I used to eat regularly. No, my diet is far from 100% clean, but I’m sure learning a ton.
Once on that journey, I learned that healthy food is an acquired taste. (I realize “healthy” is a broad, abused definition, but you get the idea.)
Two years ago, I hated avocados, but only because I had tasted it plain, and it didn’t compare to pizza or a juicy burger, etc. Now I incorporate it into my food on a weekly basis.
I would have never touched spinach when I was younger, but tonight, I sauteed a quick combination of onions, squash, and spinach with a “on the fly” lemon herb sauce. And that was me being desperate and uninspired to spend more than 20 minutes in the kitchen. It’s a conscious choice.
The amount of fresh slop (from fresh, non packaged food) I get rid of daily makes makes me happy. Cooking is not my favorite thing, but knowing I’m not trashing my temple on a regular basis is an amazing thing.
I used to get annoyed at my mom for cutting the sugar measurement in half for chocolate cake. I could taste it! I never thought it was possible to cook good food without refined sugars, flours, etc. It is though! My main baking sweeteners now are honey and maple syrup. (the real stuff) My grease is olive oil or coconut oil. The list of flours is endless. Almond, bean, buckwheat, tapioca, coconut, etc.
And the veggies. They are the main deal. 🙂 Good protein is necessary too. Maybe someday I’ll write about that. Enough for now.
Wow, I didn’t think it would be possible to keep it short and sweet. I was right. But without farther adieu, here is my favorite, flourless black bean, chocolate cake. When I ate it with peaches and milk, it took me right back to mom’s chocolate cake. Guilt free desert. The beans might give you gas, but it will pass. 🙂
I got the recipe here.
- One 15 ounce can (or 15 ounces, cooked) unseasoned black beans*
- OR 1 1/2 cup cooked beans, any color (navy beans, kidney beans, etc) I have done it with black and kidney beans, and both are great
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted organic butter OR 5 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil (Both are good)
- 1/2 cup honey OR 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons Truvia* (I used honey)
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius).
- Spray a 9″ cake pan with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray, or just grease it with a thin layer of butter.
- Dust cocoa all over the inside of the pan, tapping to evenly distribute. (I skip this.)
- Cut a round of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pan, then grease the parchment lightly. (this too. 😛 I just grease pan well, and it turns out fine.)
- Alternatively, you can make cupcakes. If you’d like to bake the batter as cupcakes, line 16 cupcake tins with paper liners.
- Drain and rinse beans in a strainer or colander. Shake off excess water.
- Place beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla, stevia (if using) and salt into blender. (I didn’t use stevia. Plenty sweet without it.)
- Blend on high until beans are completely liquefied. No lumps!
- Whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder.
- In a bowl, use a mixer to cream the butter with sweetener (erythritol or honey) until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the two remaining eggs, beating for a minute after each addition.
- Beat the bean mixture the rest of the batter.
- Finally, stir in cocoa powder and water (if using), and beat the batter on high for one minute, until smooth.
- Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top.
- Grip pan firmly by the edges and rap it on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles.
- If you are baking the cake as a single round layer, bake for 40-45 minutes. If you are baking the batter as cupcakes, bake for 35 minutes. Cake is done when the top springs back when you press on it.
- Remove cake to a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes.
- Turn out cake from pan, and flip over again on to cooling rack. (I skipped this.)
- Let cake cool until it reaches room temperature, then cover in plastic wrap. For BEST flavor, let cake sit overnight! (I skipped this too, and I was still happy with the taste.)
I was going to talk about how I got my long hair chopped off, but this post is already too long. I’m going to hit publish now. My first non-photo post. Happy Thursday.