I woke up this morning, and in those few minutes between wake and sleep, I had to remind myself that it was Monday. For some reason, I felt so good, thinking it was still Sunday. Not that I’m opposed to a new week…..on the contrary, I’m looking forward to what this new week will bring me.
I love this weather.
I love knowing that this is the season where nature gives us the space to recess within ourselves to reflect on life.
The summers are full of wide open space, gardens, farmer’s markets, swimming, backyard evening fires with friends and family (small, cov-id-safe groups, of course), and activity.
The fall, that moves into the winter is the natural time for going within….within our own minds to think, to ponder, to heal. We retreat into our homes to get away from the cold, but we also go inside so that we can find quiet.
Whether you’re doing it consciously or not, this time, for a lot of us (please excuse me if you’re in the southern hemisphere….I haven’t forgotten you…I’m even playing my West African mix on Spotify as I’m writing this to keep you all in my heart), gives us the time to retreat. And with the pandemic that we’re experiencing, I feel that it’s one of the ways that we can find peace with where we are.
My therapist gave me ‘permission’ last week to use this term ‘retreat’ for myself. I like that idea. I’m grateful that I have the ability to give myself this time and space to take care of myself like I never have before in my life. And with this time, I’m reading, writing, decluttering, studying, thinking, listening, watching, wondering, enjoying. And, yes, I still worry about the state of the world and what next week, next month and next year will look like in our world. For now, right now, in this very moment, I breathe. I allow the gifts that I’m given.
I’m giving myself space to be. I’m reflecting on who I am and what I’ve been doing and what I’m doing now and how I want to show up in the world.
Can you give yourself that gift? The gift of being with yourself……
Whatever that looks like to you and in whatever environment you’re in.
I know many of us women are at home all day with little ones, trying to keep work and home together, along with managing school and homework. I know there are you older folks who are home alone and not sure when you’ll see their loved ones again. I know that there are those of you out there who are unsure about whether you’ll have work next week. I know. I know. I know, and I feel you, I see you.
Whatever your situation is, you still have sovereignty over your mind. You can give yourself the space, even if it’s for a few minutes once or twice a day. Take a few minutes to stare out your window at the sky or go sit on your front steps or lie in the fallen leaves.
Take this time to love yourself, hold yourself, heal yourself.
….And when you’re ready for some soul food, make some time for baking! This recipe from Terry Walter’s ‘Clean Food’ is one of my all-time favorites. Her ‘Silky Sweet Potato Pie’ is gluten, dairy and sugar-free and oh-so-delicious.
‘Silky Sweet Potato Pie’
Adapted from Terry Walter’s ‘Clean Food’ cookbook
(courtesy of ‘Life-Changing Medical Foods):
Cinnamon is a good sweetener and good for building the bones. Nutmeg is helpful for sleep and relaxation.
For the crust:
1 1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup chickpea (besan) flour
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup, agave or honey
pinch of sea salt
3 medium sweet potatoes, baked ahead of time
1/4 cup maple syrup, agave or honey
1/4 cup alternative milk like almond, soy, oat or coconut
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 teaspoon agar powder
I often times bake my sweet potatoes a day ahead and keep them in the fridge in an airtight container, just as a time-saver. But, if you want to do it all at once, it’s totallly fine. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash your sweet potatoes and stick a couple of holes in them with a knife. Place on foil or baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until you see the juice bubbling out and they’re squishy to the touch. Note: I often-times serve sweet potatoes just like this for a meal. They’re delicious and filling!
Preparing the crust:
Chop the pecans in the food processor until they resemble fine meal. Add chickepea flour and process briefly to combine. Add oil, sweetener, and salt and process to form dough. Lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate with coconut or olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of chickpea flour to prevent sticking. Add dough and press into pie plate to form an even crust, which will be about 1/4 inch thick. Pierce several times with a fork and bake for about 12 minutes. You don’t want it to be TOO baked, as it will bake more later. Remove from oven and set on wire rack to cool.
When sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins and cut into large pieces. Place in the food processor bowl and add sweetener, alternative milk, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, arrowroot, and agar powder. Process until smooth.
Pour filling into cooled pie crust, cover pie edges with foil and bake for about 50 minutes, until browned. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack. Serve at room temperature or cold. Add a dollop of coconut whipped cream or alternative icecream. Honestly, I’ve even had this for breakfast 😉
I hope you and your family enjoy this as much as we do! I’ll be making it tonight to pair with the ‘Pumpkin Canneloni’ for dinner.
Remember to continue:
Sending big hugs to
you, wherever you
are in the world,