Simplify Food Choices: Not So Simple

Simplifying food choices is proving to be not so simple. I was pretty strong until now. I’ve stocked my pantry with rice cakes instead of bread, I hadn’t wanted sugar in days, I don’t even think about dairy anymore… And then Valentine’s Day happened.

My two oldest boys came home from school with a bag full of goodies. Today all 3 boys came home from church with another bag full of candy… and chocolate. I do miss chocolate, y’all. And then I did it. I bypassed my usual routine I do to fight sugar cravings, and I ate a pink heart shortbread cookie. Then I ate a chocolate candy (to which I thought, These aren’t as good as I remember), and then I ate another chocolate candy hoping it would be as good as I remembered. It wasn’t.

chocolate

Then I was mentally beating myself up the rest of the evening. Y’all, I can’t do that anymore! And I’m not talking about the chocolate candy here… I’m talking about beating myself up for eating the chocolate candy. I am not a failure for eating the cookie and candy. I made a poor choice. So what? Move on, sister. By all means, don’t degrade yourself for it!

Why is it so easy for me to criticize myself for making the wrong choices, and yet it’s so difficult to give myself a pat on the back for making the right choices? Geez, I conquered the temptation yesterday of eating all the sweets, I haven’t had a flour tortilla in 17 days (which is a miracle in South Texas. Tortillas are life, y’all), heck even making the choice to eat fruit this morning instead of the cookies that were mocking me. I didn’t give myself a thumbs up for that. I need to do that more often. Focus more on the positives, and less on the negatives.

As I get ready for bed, I am excited for a new day. A new day where I can make one healthy choice after another. That’s how change happens. One step at a time. One choice at a time. One small action at a time. This time I will recognize the change taking place, and I’ll give myself a mental fist pump, high five, or chest bump with each nourishing bite. Because I’m worth it.

Let’s encourage each other. What changes are you taking to better your health?

Chocolate (Avocado) Fruit Dip

So I only had a couple of hours left before my essential oil party. What on earth am I going to make for the party? I still have to go to the store when Nathan comes home… and the bank to cash my check first… Crap! I’m running out of time. This is what I was thinking as Nathan walked in the door. I frantically left to get to the bank before it closed, leaving Nathan behind with our rowdy noise, I mean boys. And dinner. And a messy kitchen. (Sorry, sweetie!)

While I’m at the store, all the fruit looked amazing, so I decided on a chocolate avocado fruit dip that is absolutely delicious and gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. I had made it a couple of times before at different events and it’s always a big hit. Sounds a little too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not! Read on.

I gathered all the ingredients and only slightly sped home. I was able to make the fruit dip, chop up the fruit, and put it all on a tray in 15 minutes. So, not only is this dip healthy, but it’s fast and easy. It’s just plain awesome.

fruitdip

Now, I should say I did not originally come up with this recipe, it was given to me by my friend, Amy (who probably found it somewhere on Pinterest), and I adapted it a little bit. If anyone knows where it originated from, please let me know and I’ll update this post to give them credit and a million thanks for this awesomeness. Here ya go!

Ingredients:
• 2 ripe avocados
• ¼ cup cocoa powder
• ½ cup agave nectar (or honey)
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons soy milk
• 2-5 drops of a citrus essential oil of your choosing (I like Tangerine!)
• Dash of salt

Directions:
1. Combine all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl using an electric mixer, except the essential oil. Mix very well and try to get out as much avocado lumps as humanly possible.
2. Add one drop of essential oil at a time, adjusting to taste.
3. Serve alongside a plate of fruit or simply sneak a spoonful here and there when you want a treat.

Notes:
• The original recipe calls for coconut milk. I don’t usually have coconut milk handy unless I’m making my curry chicken, but that wasn’t on the menu this week. So, you can substitute any milk here: soy, almond, cow’s milk, or I have even replaced it with yogurt.
• You want to mix the avocados really well or else you will have green lumps here and there.
• You can make this dip without essential oils and it still tastes great, but I love it because citrus oils are known to be a mood uplifter.  For more information on the only brand I trust to use internally, email ingo@amandagerber.com.

What other essential oils do you think would go well in this dip? Let me know what ya think!