My first blog post of 2017. Oh, and hey y’all.
So it may seem like I’ve dropped off the face of the planet (it’s been about a month since I’ve last posted… not too bad, right?). But I’m still alive guys, and this blog post is here to prove it. I’ve been hustlin’ and bustlin’ with my fall semester coming to a close, and I just haven’t had it in me to spend time experimenting in the kitchen and then sitting down at my macbook to write about it. On top of that, there were totally stressful things happening that needed my attention. So, yes. I guess life happened.
Don’t want to get into the deets of my complicated life now (nor would anyone really care), but while life was happening, winter break and 2017 just started as well. So I guess my mind was forced to relax just a bit. But, eh. My thoughts will remain. Just hibernating in the crevices of my mind until the warm weather officially sets in. Yippe.
While we’re on the topic, I guess… Can I ask you guys a random question? If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you be doing? What’s your idea of living the good life? What do you want out of this life? I’m just trying to answer these questions. Slowly, but surely.
In this society, it seems as though we’re all prescribed to go to school, work hard, get a good job, save money, buy a house, and live happily ever after. But to put simply, this formula that I grew up with didn’t seem all that great anymore. My parents raised me to be a practical girl: to find and pursue a good job that gives me a steady salary so that I can pay my bills and put food on the table. I was taught to be independent and self-supportive, to never take risks, and to always play it safe than sorry. Did I feel like this formula was broken? I mean, I am going to school to pursue a good career, but why is my mind constantly plagued with doubt, unhappiness and stress? Everything suddenly felt worthless and unsatisfying, and I felt as though I was meant to do something more meaningful. Sigh.
My stress and anxiety were heightened by the increasing uncertainty in my career, the unpredictability of events, and the complicated, fast nature of life, especially over the last few months. And I realized that all this stems from all the analysis and thinking we do, especially as we young folks transform into real grown-ups (ew). We ask ourselves all sorts of questions. I recall countless nights lying awake, entertaining ideas, and wrestling with my soul. I tried so hard to figure out where I would end up that I often felt defeated before I even began.
I used to feel that if only I knew more and experienced more, I would be able to make a better decision about the direction I wanted to take in life. But as I dug deeper trying to get more information, the hole got so deep that I found myself buried. The path I chose for myself didn’t seem right for me anymore. Confused and overwhelmed by so much information and conflicting feelings, I just didn’t know what or whom to believe anymore.
But now, I just want to let go. I want to let go of all evidence and start following my inner voice. I want to stop the overthinking and just do it. Gravitate towards the direction my heart longs for.
I took chances before; I took small steps walking forward in the dark. I stumbled, fell, but got back up and went in a different direction. Then again, and again, and again. As they say, the first step was always the hardest, but I eventually found my way, not because some data point on a career chart showed me which way to go, but because I started to trust my gut.
Sure, it was often wrong, but it got better eventually because I was out there doing and learning—not sitting and waiting.
I still haven’t figured out everything yet. Have you? Are you doing what you feel you’re meant to do? If not, why aren’t you? Do you even know what that is?
Although for some, finding the right direction might require the journey of a lifetime, I do believe there is one direction in which we are all meant to go: forward. By taking small steps each and every day, putting aside overthinking, and realizing that you have everything you need deep within, you can find the right direction in your life. And while it may not be the direction you expected, it will work out just fine.
So that’s why I’m writing this blog post. To give myself the guts again to just let go one more time. To trust myself. To believe in myself. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can do wrong.
Now something I 100% do believe in: Rice Krispie Bars. Healthified. Veganized. Believe it.
I gave this childhood favorite a healthy (vegan) twist (want to skip any guilt trips): the sticky sweetness of traditional marshmallows is replaced with brown rice syrup and organic maple syrup, which makes a perfect substitute. Add to that a few cups of brown rice crisps and puffed kamut, a generous helping of vegan cookie butter and a drop of vanilla. It’s extremely easy to prepare (since it’s also a no-bake dessert) and they’re ready to eat after a few minutes in the refrigerator to set!
Knowing that this isn’t full of processed or refined sugars, it’s really hard to stop at just one. If you’re not a fan of cookie butter (gasp), you can substitute it with peanut butter, sunflower butter, almond butter, or cashew butter! With all that cookie butter lying within its crevices, your taste buds won’t regret it.
- 1½ cup brown rice crisps (any kind of crisps will do fine)
- 1 cup kamut puffs
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 2 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
- 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup vegan cookie butter (I used Biscoff Cookie Butter)
- ½ cup organic maple syrup
- 1 cup brown rice syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cup vegan white chocolate chips
- ½ cup vegan dark chocolate chips for decorating
- Line a 9-inch square cake pan with two pieces of parchment paper (one going each way).
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: brown rice crisps, kamut puffs, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and cinnamon. Mix and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, stir together the wet ingredients: brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and cookie butter until well combined. Cook over medium to high heat until the mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the cookie butter mixture over the rice crisp mixture and mix until all of the cereal are coated in the wet mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spreading it out into an even layer. Lightly wet your hands and press down on the mixture to even it out. Use a spatula to compact the mixture firmly and evenly. This helps the bars hold together better. Press down on the edges with your fingers to even out the mixture.
- Melt the white chocolate and spread even over that bars. Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, and chill for 15 minutes or until firm. After, slice the square into 6 rows and then slice them in half to make 12 bars in total. Drizzle on the melted dark chocolate if desired.