There was a time when for me, sugar was like heroin. My whole day would be about when I could next have something sweet. Or at least something made with flour. When I began focusing on my health, sugar was the first thing to go — something I thought would be impossible. When I think back to that time, I remember exactly how I felt as I walked into the health food store. Raw, open, ready. It was deeper than that though. Because I remember feeling reverent. Like it was time to place some meaning in my life. And it was okay to be scared.
I filled my cart with green vegetables I’d never made before. And then came the hard part…walking through the bakery aisle, trying to avoid the bread aisle. It was back then that I developed a kind of trick. I’d make sure I didn’t go into the memory of that food. I’d make sure not to think about it with my body, where I could feel it, taste it and sense it. I’d walk past like a foreigner who hadn’t had that experience.
It worked. I got through the tempting grocery aisles, making it out of the store with my promises intact. I’d carry my sense of wonder and reverence that I could be this new person who didn’t leave with bags of cookies and cake.
Eventually, my taste buds changed, new habits were formed and this new form of grocery shopping became an ingrained habit. Until I saw the chocolate drop cookies.
You know that one food…the one you have a memory of so deep in your body that it knocks you off your game? Apparently, this was it for me.
But I Was Armed With a New Ninja Skill: Reinventing Recipes
Way before anyone heard of gluten-free and before quinoa was the hot superfood, I was learning to wield these ingredients into gut-healing, healthy meals, and desserts. It started out as a survival tool and became a passion.
I went home and made my own chocolate drop cookies. I used almond flour. I sweetened with Medjool dates or honey – and balanced the sweetness with healthy fats, like coconut oil, and sweet-reducing/ gut-balancing spices, like fenugreek, nutmeg, cinnamon, fennel and cardamom. I used raw cacao instead of chocolate.
They were delicious. What made them even better was that encoded within them was balance. So one or two was all I ever needed. No more guilt as I reached for another cookie as cravings took me over. In my body was the language of deep satisfaction and I was certain it came from the ingredients.
They say you are what you eat. I began to really believe this back then. The ingredients I chose to put in my body began to speak their language in my life. Better moods, balanced eating, a healthier gut, more energy, and the best of all…a deep feeling of groundedness I had never experienced. In this way, the ingredients became an affirmation that worked from the inside of my body to the whole of my life.
Much later, I’d meet Louise Hay and we’d learn a shared love of cooking together. I haven’t baked much since she passed. This week, I started baking again. And the first recipe I made were these chocolate drop cookies. My old survival recipe, enhanced with ingredients we chose together and put in our book, The Bone Broth Secret. We added collagen from gelatin and bone broth for strength and to heal the intestinal lining. Louise brought a new kind of reverence back to sitting down to a meal: joy. Every time she ate healthy food that was also delicious, she lit up like a disco ball and bounced in her seat. It used to be that I was afraid of food, but I think it was sharing meals with Lulu that I realized food is love.
May you choose ingredients that speak the language of love in your body and life. You deserve it.
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