If it isn’t enough that the daylight is stretching longer, that Valentine’s Day is this weekend or that Tom Brady has officially cemented his GOAT-hood (as if he hadn’t already), I have three important topics to share with you today. Two that are YAY, and one that offers some food for thought.

 

The Power of Pause

 

Often, in the Soul Food editions of this newsletter, we explore ideas such as balance, generosity and inner quiet. When the news that a colleague is running an online event—Practicing the Pause—crossed my radar, I was excited and just had to share with you.

The pace of our everyday lives offers little support for connection with ourselves. As funny as that might sound, we rarely allow ourselves time to pay attention to our body, or to settle for a bit in a place of inner calm. Yet these are key aspects to living the health and joy we desire. We discover much when we slow down the pace of life for an hour, or a day or a weekend. The Practicing the Pause event is an opportunity to do just that.

Jess Frey is offering this event through Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health from February 19-21, 2021. You can learn more and register HERE and you can go HERE to learn more about Jess and her work. I have no doubt this will be a special event; if I wasn’t already teaching that weekend, I would be there with bells on!

 

The GenZ Technology Trap

 

My recent book, Wild World, Joyful Heart, has a section called “Technology Trap” in which I discuss some of the ways that our use of technology has become a hindrance to our health and joy. This was picked up be a fair number of media outlets and in 2019, I was invited to write an article for a Silicon Valley magazine about Teens and the Technology Trap (I imagine you see the paradox with the article and the location), which published this week. As a Gen X parent with 2 GenY kids and 2 GenZ kids, this article was interesting to write, both personally and professionally.

Technology affords us amazing tools for productivity, connection and business. As with all tools, we humans often grapple with keeping the tools we create as positive opportunity-creators v. tool-use-gone-amuck. We can look at almost any human-created tool (cars, guns, computers, social media, smart phones, pharmaceuticals, submarines, etc.) and find examples of both ends of that spectrum

Technology offers continual opportunities for this grappling: Positive tool v. tool-use-gone-amuck.

In Jan 2020 (right before public speaking became a non-thing due to COVID), I spent a day speaking at a local high school to the DECA students about entrepreneurship. I told each class, from the heart, that I believe they are the generation that will have huge influence on healing some of what humanity has screwed up. We want our GenZ population mentally healthy to do that work, and to live healthy, balanced lives. Their use of technology may be a hindrance to that.

I invite you to give the article a read, and would love to hear your comments and thoughts.

 

Food Sass® at Your Service

 

It’s been a while since I shared a new recipe. You may be excited to learn that today’s recipe is a DESSERT! Yup, you read that right (hard to miss with the shouty capitals). You’ve heard me say for many years that a food lifestyle has to be realistic to be do-able, because if it’s not do-able…well…definitionally, we won’t do it for long.

The Food Sass® Lifestyle is an 80/20 gig. Eighty percent of the time we eat nutrient-dense whole foods and twenty percent of the time we can have pizza or beer or…peanut butter cookies 🙂

I have been working to perfect a peanut butter cookie that doesn’t blow your sugar intake guidelines (about 34 g per day, max, for an adult) and that is actually good for you. A cookie that embodies the 80% side of the 80/20. I succeeded. It even has full approval of my 20-year-old son, who has a pretty solid sweet tooth.

 

Peanut Butter Bliss Cookies

Makes 22 cookies

 

Fixings:

  • 2 Pasture-fed eggs plus 1 yolk
  • ¾ c. Peanut butter (no sugar added, creamy or crunchy)
  • ¼ c. Pastured butter
  • ½ c. Monk fruit sweetener (like THIS)
  • ½ c. Almond flour
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • ½ tsp. Baking soda
  • ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt
  • (optional) Dark chocolate (80-85% Cacao)

Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F, with rack in middle of oven.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add vanilla, baking soda, salt and monk fruit sweetener, whisking well to combine.
  3. Add peanut butter, butter and almond flour, mixing well. (It’s a thick mixture.)
  4. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. You can do the classic peanut-butter cookie crosshatch on the top with a fork before popping them in the oven, if you like. Use a light touch, so they’re still fairly round.
    Note: If you want to increase the moistness of your end product, put the tray in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before baking.
  5. Cook for 11-14 minutes, testing at 10 minutes. Remember that cookies keep cooking after you remove them from the oven, so err on the side of slightly undercooked.
  6. If you’d like to add chocolate, put two small pieces of chocolate on the top of each cookie when they come out of the oven. Press lightly to adhere them to the top.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

Big news: These cookies have ZERO grams of sugar, yet no creepy chemical sweeteners. Monk fruit garners its sweetness from unique antioxidants; you can learn more about monk fruit HERE. Most monk fruit sweeteners are combined with other sweeteners to create a product that provides a 1:1 replacement for sugar, since monk fruit is 200x sweeter than sugar, just like stevia. In the product link provided in the ingredient list, erythritol is the combined sweetener.

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol, which seems to be safe to use in moderation. At extremely high doses, it can cause gastrointestinal (GI) tract upset, since 10% of erythritol remains in our intestines and is not absorbed into the blood stream. Most people would have to eat a bizarre amount of erythritol to create GI upset.

The chocolate only adds 0.5 grams of sugar per cookie. So, even with the dark chocolate, each cookie has less than a gram of sugar! Two great, fair-trade options are Divine and Equal Exchange. You’d use one square of either of those brands on each cookie.

Now, although these cookies are pretty darn GOOD for you—boasting 3.7 grams of protein per cookie and plenty of healthy fats—I suggest still eating them as a treat. The sweetness still triggers the dopamine centers of our brain, which can make us want MORE sweetness.

The intent of creating and sharing this recipe is to offer you a treat that you can feel good about from a health standpoint, that doesn’t trigger your insulin system and that tastes AH-mazing. And, even if you decided to use sugar in this recipe—like rapadura or coconut sugar—there would be less than 4 grams of sugar per cookie. This recipe has you covered!

Enjoy. Power of Pause, and peanut butter cookies you can feel good about. Happy Tuesday, indeed!

With love & dessert,
Laurie

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