Happiness

The Weight Watchers 3 Point Bagel Recipe (My Gluten Free & Lactose Free Version)

At my Weight Watchers meeting this week, everybody was raving about the 3 point bagels that have been going around Connect (this is the Weight Watchers’ internal instagram that you have access to through the app.)

I try to follow a gluten and dairy-free diet, so tonight I tried out the recipe with these modifications. I also like making baked things smaller (for less points) because I know I am not going to eat just one!

Anyone who knows me, knows that my baking is complete shit… so imagine my surprise when these turned out AWESOME.  As of right now I’ve polished off half of the pan…so I am going to just be honest and say right now, yes they are only 2 or 3 points, but you wind up definitely eating more than one, so maybe save those weeklies for when you enjoy those crush those bagels.

Here is a gluten free and dairy free version that *does not* use coconut flour. 

As much as I love coconuts I hate the weird caky texture of coconut flour and most gluten free baking.  I’ve found almond flour or oat flour to be the best substitute in my baking.

SET THE OVEN:

To 350 Degrees

 

INGREDIENTS IN ORDER OF USE:

1.) The Bagel:

1 Cup of Low Fat Greek Yogurt

(you can customize here:  you can go full fat *or* dairy-free greek yogurt) 

1.5 Tsp Baking Powder

0.5 Tsp Salt

1 Cup oat flour or Almond Flour (I grind flour in my vitamix, or you can buy it bagged.)

2.) The Egg Wash

1 Egg

3.) The seasoning on top:

Everyone recommends Trader Joe’s “Everything but the bagel” seasoning.

Personally, I used equal parts (0.5 Tsp each) sea salt, onion powder, pepper, poppy seeds, and garlic powder in a bowl.

 

DIRECTIONS:

Mix 1 cup flour (oat or almond work great) in a bowl with 1 cup greek yogurt and 1.5 tsp baking powder.

This will form a dough.

On a surface lightly dusted with your flour, form the dough into balls.

Roll the balls out into “snakes” (can you tell I have toddlers?) and pinch the ends together to form a round bagel.

Important:  The entire recipe is 14 points. 

You can make your bagels as big or as small as you like. 

7 bagels (what I did) will be 2 points each. 

Place on non-stick foil on a baking sheet

Coat the bagels with an egg wash

Sprinkle your seasonings on top of the bagel (my toddlers loved doing this)

 

BAKE:

350 degrees for 23 minutes

500 degrees for 2 minutes for extra browning (in my case, extra burning so I skip this)

 

 

ENJOY!

Try using these as breakfast bagels, as your base for Avocado Toast, or slathered with ghee (lactose free.)  or if you’re into dairy, butter or cream cheese are delicious on these.

 

MY OWN TIPS:

When I tried this recipe the first time, I squished the bagels down a bit too much putting them onto the baking sheet.  You want to keep them as round as possible, as oat and almond flour don’t have the same self-rising effect that mainstream flour does.

Most of the pinterest pictures look *too* pretty.  Mine weren’t particularly glamorous. The taste is what matters 🙂

A powerful blender is one of the best things you can invest in if you are going gluten-free.  For all baking recipes, I simply use almonds or oats and grind them in the vitamix on the highest setting, and substitute that for flour 1:1.

Toddlers *love* the egg wash and seasoning part!  Great kid-friendly recipe!

 

 

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Grounding, Happiness, Personal Development, Spirituality

Becoming Psychic After Having a Baby: Spiritual Development in Your 30s. Part 1

 

I struggled with how to title this post tonight, because it is written for other mamas like me, who are finding themselves more ‘aware’ of things that, to this point, have not been well explained by science.

I also debated the title of this post because I am not 100% sure that my spiritual development was a result of having children.  From what I have experienced and observed in others, the 30s seems to be a powerful time for women in the area of spiritual development, or advancement.

Maybe it is because we are more introspective at this stage? Or maybe it is because after the experience of childbirth and parenting, we are more attuned to the subtler energies of the other side?  My guess is as good as yours! All I know is that as you become curious about psychics, spiritual development and all of those “things” you begin to notice that the universe brings people your way who either help you or advance you.  You will happen to listen to a podcast that talks about exactly what you’ve been thinking about.  You’ll meet someone you are strangely drawn to and somehow the conversation goes the way of spiritual development and you find yourself nodding your head like a madwoman as they explain something that could have been crafted from your own mind.

There’s a second reason I struggled with titling this post tonight, and that is because this is still a topic that is in many ways a private one. It is not as open for discussion as, say, talking to friends about your kids’ potty training!

What brought me to write it tonight aside from it being on my mind EVERY day was the feeling that I need to contribute to the dialogue already out there that has helped me along my own little path, and perhaps it will find someone who is out there googling the same questions I have (you.)  I am glad you found it.  Or, that it found you.

The internet is a double-edged sword, but I can say that it has contributed greatly to my own spiritual journey, and in my post today, I’ll tell you a bit about it, and how you may develop your own spirituality in the very, very early stages.  As an academic by nature who likes research, I find that I tend to disconnect when the language of spiritualists becomes too “woo woo” so I will try very hard to give you an honest account and pragmatic article with links!

Spiritual development is a strange thing because though you develop over time, it is by no means a linear progression.  In the moment, little things happen that all feel like separate dots, but then, 10 years later when you look back, you have the power of hindsight and evidence.  With time, spiritual dots connect to each other and you think “Aaaaaahhh, so that’s what that meant.”

This leads me into my first piece of advice.  If you’d like to develop spiritually, or psychically, please, please get a journal! You won’t remember all of the little things and how they all connect over a long time span if you don’t write them down.

In the moment, when you experience strange things, you cannot explain it – but without fail, time and events come to fruition that explain all of those little events.

Buy something beautiful and keep it somewhere special, and when strange little things happen in your life, even hunches about a friend, dreams, or little tingles, simply record them. No need to explain them or understand them now.  They’ll make sense later.

I personally love Peter Pauper Press and Paper Blanks Journals.  I use the Heart of the Tree Journal for my nature / witchy side where I record special things, intuition, hunches, messages, etc in nature and then the Unicorn Tapestry Journal for all others.

The tapestry journal was started in Grade 12 when I recorded the first psychic reading and palm reading that I went to with my Mum.  Its most recent entry is from only a few nights ago, 17 years later – a brief entry about a vision I had while trying to do a bed-time meditation.

Other things I have in this journal are some of the tarot cards I’ve pulled, strange moments in nature, dreams, my gut sense on things, any intuition I get about people, and messages that come in meditations or visions I have.

Flipping back a few pages here, I have an entry about seeing white wings in my mind’s eye during another yoga nidra meditation a few nights ago (meditation is a crazy way to start seeing and feeling things) as well as a hunch I have about a friend (I am super curious if it will come to fruition.)

Don’t forget to date the journal as well, because you will be surprised how the years pass quickly and how things will take on meaning later down the road.

I believe strongly that each message you get, or unusual thing you experience, is a special little gift.  It’s like a little clue that is offered to you on a giant, lifelong scavenger hunt. Even if it makes no sense at the time, it deserves to be recorded somewhere special for when you’ve gathered enough knowledge and life experience for it to make sense.

Over the next few posts I’ll open parts of my most private journal, and I suspect that my experience is like so many of yours. I write this in the hope that you’ll reach out in the comments. I’d love to hear your own spiritual development story or things that are making you go “hmmm, this is something I need to investigate a bit more because I can’t explain it.”

My first post is going to be a few stories from my early life, and some suggestions of the best places to start this journey. I am by no means far along or an expert, but maybe by sharing the ways I’ve developed it will inspire you on your own path.

~ The Mediums, The Healers, The Psychics ~ 

Though we live in 2018, and there is so much openness and progression in the world, it seems like the metaphysical / spiritual / psychic world is still a bit of an underground community.

It still seems to be a topic that is not openly discussed around a table – or if it is, it is in hushed tones – or perhaps preceded by an apology along the lines of “I’m sorry, I’m going to go a bit woo-woo here” or something similar.  But, that’s why we have the internet 🙂 The internet is alive and well with communities, articles, forums, and groups, and this I will be eternally thankful for because my random googling has led me to books, people and sources of knowledge that I’ll be eternally thankful for.

The spiritual development world is a private one.  It occurs within the vast depths of our internal world, which is 90% of who we are.

The 10% that the external world sees (and what we allow the world to see) is just the surface.

I grew up in a family where the females, in hushed tones around the kitchen table, admitted to having psychic gifts.  Over several generations in my maternal family tree, there have been witches, mediums, spiritualists and healers.  Their external world was like any other:  They were career women, home makers, mothers, but their internal world ran deep.  They all had this entire other side to them that was only revealed to me in snippets of conversation, or strange incidences. I was never privy to their rituals or spiritualist meetings and only heard about it on occasion.

It was never a topic that was open for discussion, and it was just quietly held as “silent wisdom” and “knowing nods” amongst each other or attributed to “woman’s intuition.”  However, on the rare occasion, it would become blatantly obvious.  My mum, despite being the most private of all on this topic, would sometimes let the cat out of the bag.  More than a few times, I missed big multi vehicle accidents thanks to a phone call from my mum asking me not to drive down a particular road at a particular time.  But more than a few times, I was betrayed by a friend even though my mum would warn me that they did not have good energy.

If my Mum was still alive now, I’d love to sit her down, give her some gin and tonics and try to pry out some of that knowledge that she kept so close to her heart and private, but I often get the message from her that she “always thought I’d learn it myself through experience anyways.”

Or as they say, re-learn it all.  Once you begin to immerse yourself in the metaphysical world you realize that most of what you read and “learn” seems strangely familiar.  It’s like you knew it somehow on a deep level.  When you start googling and reading about the properties of a crystal, or maybe the meaning of an orb, or dive into a book by a spiritual change maker like Eckhart Tolle, you find yourself nodding and agreeing with everyting they are saying.  Why?  Because you already knew. 

I’ll share some of my own beliefs in these posts. One of them is that we all born into this earthly life with our knowledge intact – I believe we forget a lot of it as we learn the ways of this lifetime, and the society we are born into. The beauty is there are some things you can quickly relearn, or that you may still have some residual knowledge of.  I’ll start with one of the most common:

~Crystals~

Yes, crystals.  Why are they in such abundance in “spiritual” stores and places? Why do “those types” always wear them?

It comes down to the “energy” or “vibe” of crystals. All objects have an energy field, including us. Energy either attracts or repels. This is straight up science, no woo woo.

We will find ourselves drawn to other energy fields, or repelled.  Have you ever felt a strange attraction to a person you’ve just met? Or have you ever felt totally repulsed?  This is what I mean.  It happens with magnets. Even essential oils.  It also happens with gemstones.  Gemstones have different energies and different “personalities.”

Anyone can walk into a store, find a gemstone they can’t help but be drawn to, and they cannot explain why.  That’s the stuff I’m talking about.  We’ll have a scientific explanation one day, I think we are close with energy and physics research, but for now, it’s just beyond the grasp of science.

Crystals are a great metaphor for spiritual development.  They are definitely a case of “you know it’s there but you can’t really explain or understand it yet.”

From an early age I was collecting crystals and drawn to them. I remember so clearly a little wooden box filled with curiosities, trinkets and crystals that I kept in my room.

I couldn’t stop picking up and playing with amethyst, and then tigers eye, then a long love affair with hematite. I’d pick them up, handle them, and then clean them with a toothbrush to a sparkle. Then I’d meticulously wrap them in tissues and place them carefully back in the box.  As a child, I did not know the meaning behind these crystals, or even that I was absorbing their properties… to me, they were just something I was into collecting. But later in life, I began to connect the dots.

Hematite was a stone I played with often during tumultuous times of change, especially the year I turned 11 (moving countries, parents separating, anxiety, shyness, etc.) and later on, (we are talking 24 years) it made sense.  Only a few weeks ago during a Pinterest session, I began reading about gemstones because I’ve been making bracelets with stones I am drawn to. I figured I should learn about their properties if I was going to write about them on instagram.  The adjectives associated with hematite are: Strength. Courage. Calm.  Protective.   Makes sense why it was so attractive during my toughest years as a child.

Here’s a great developmental activity to do. This is the first place you can begin, with some googling. You do not even have to have a crystal in front of you or one that you have interacted with.  You can do this by looking at pictures of crystals, or colours.  What are you drawn to?  What are their properties.  Why are you drawn to them? What dots connect between their energy and your own life story?

~Natural Phenomena~

Nature has played a huge role in my life and I spent a great deal of time in the dark, lush woods of England in the company of my mother, who had an incredible bond with animals and a hand in strange natural phenomena.  Seemingly out of nowhere, we would have profound interactions with wild animals – most often these would happen in our walks in the woods, but sometimes in our home as well.  We regularly had a hawk visit our home in the suburbs in my 20s, and sit in our living room window, watching us inside.  My mum would laugh light-heartedly and say that she was a witch in past lives, and would delight in strange (often extreme) weather events or animal interactions.

In fact, significant natural phenomena always seemed to coincide with big moments in her life.  She never openly talked to me about it, but she always gave me a knowing smile.  Her last knowing smile I felt from the other side.  It occurred on a June morning here in Calgary, when a cloud unlike any I have ever seen, stretched across the sky. I pulled over on the shoulder of Deerfoot Trail, a high-speed highway to watch it, tears rolling down my cheek and chills running down my back.

My mum had taken her last breath only a few hours before, and I was on my final drive home from Rosedale hospice, over which the eery cloud slowly rolled.  I’ll never forget that morning.

 

I spent my childhood playing in the dark forests of southwestern England, running in the evening light up and down the banks of an iron-age hill fort.

Cadbury Camp was rumoured to be the ruins of Camelot and local folklore held that King Arthur and his Knights would ride out on Midsummer’s eve.  I was always transfixed when I heard that story in the local pub.  I’d often dig up ancient coins and arrowheads and come home with them in one hand, wildflowers in the other, and to this day wear one of these coins on a necklace as a courage talisman.

I tell these stories, because one of the most important pieces of advice to those who are on the path of spiritual development, is to look back to your own childhood and re-immerse yourself in the things that captured you as a pure, open child who was still able to naturally pick up on the energy of people, places and things.  Even music.

You will find that looking backward in time to childhood and what you were inexplicably drawn to, will offer so many hints as to how you *will* develop your psychic skills and spiritual side.  Time is not something that exists in the metaphysical world, so the things you experienced in the past (childhood) seamlessly merge with the things you will experience in your future. The same themes and connections run throughout your life when it comes to the field of energy and metaphysics. There is no timeline.

If you are having trouble thinking of what you were drawn to, there are a few cool things you can do, or questions you can ask yourself.  What are your most profound memories of nature. Was it rocks, maybe a river? What natural elements are you drawn to?   Or if you drew a picture of your childhood home, what did you find yourself wanting to draw first in the picture.  The rooms?  The neighbourhood? The garden?  The people you drew?   Or maybe think about topics you learnt about in school, or books that you loved. What did you love reading about? What scenes still come to your imagination.  Or, what do you dream about?  Now?  Then?

There are many ways to be psychic, and many ways to get there, and the best thing is to write down all of those early fascinations and connection.  The things, people, places that captured your attention early in life. Pay special attention to those ones where you say “I don’t know what it was about it, I just was drawn to it.”  List them down somewhere, preferably your journal 🙂

I hope this has your inner world swirling and your spidey senses tingling.

Next post, I’ll share some of the books that advanced my knowledge and the unspoken things that all psychic people seem to know about and “get.”

 

 

Book Club, Happiness, Life Hacks, Nutrition, Sleep

Bulletproof Coffee for Moms – How to Manage New Parent Sleep Deprivation and Brain Fog.

Bulletproof coffee has revolutionized mornings for this tired mama of three.  But what on earth is it? It sounds rather rugged and hardcore, doesn’t it?  Don’t be intimidated.

It is quite simply a way of preparing your coffee with a few extra products and a blender.  It has changed my morning game completely.  I am also finding it a wonderful tool as I follow weight watchers and shed the weight from my babies, particularly on days where I intermittently fast (12-16 hours between dinner and breakfast.)

Here on my third maternity leave in 4 years, I am well acquainted with the trenches of sleep deprivation and rough nights. I hear you mama!  Currently I have a 4, 2 and six month old in the house.

With each successive baby, the odds have become increasingly low that I will get a full night sleep, or even go into the restorative deep cycles of sleep, because my senses are on full alert for any sniffle the baby makes.

I’ve always loved coffee but after reading the books Bulletproof and Headstrong by Dave Asprey, a successful tech entrepreneur who then went on a years-long quest to optimize his energy, focus and cognitive ability (as well as lose weight and gain vitality.) He is the ultimate example of self-experimentation and because of this, his book is full of candid anecdotes, the latest research and little gems of information to optimize ones energy.

These are the books on Amazon where you can choose paperback (or) kindle.

Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 10.26.00 AM   Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 10.25.35 AM

One of the biggest things I took from his books was upgrading my morning coffee, to a Bulletproof Coffee and I absolutely mean it, this has completely changed my morning game as a busy mama of little crazy ones.

Preparing my coffee as a bulletproof coffee solves the following problems:

  • Remove the caffeine jitters and anxiety that comes with (lots) of cups
  • Prolong the sweet, sweet feeling of energy and feeling alert / awake
  • Rebuild my connective tissue and heal my gut
  • Provide the ability to intermittent fast with maximum results
  • Removes the need to have breakfast (linked with the above bullet)
  • Maximize ketones in the blood for fat burning

It is no secret that coffee is a bit of a crutch in this temporary exhausting stage of life, but the best part is that, like wine, coffee is one of the great pleasures of life and zero fucks are given when you are in the midst of it with little ones.

We are really lucky in our household, that my husband micro-roasts organic coffee (if you are curious, his website is Five’21 Roasters) so we always have it on hand.

I first heard about Bulletproof coffee in the CrossFit community, but I didn’t have a clear understanding of it, and thought it was a passing trend 5 years ago – until relatively recently when I finally downloaded Headstrong to my Kindle.  I read the book after getting sick (and tired) after childbirth and was really getting frustrated with my post partum brain fog.

Following the protocols in the book has helped me a ton in the areas it promises to.

So anyways, read it, it’s a solid read.   Highly recommended.

So now, let’s get into Bulletproof coffees.

What is a bulletproof coffee?  There are two answers which is why it is confusing at first glance on the interwebs.

1.) It is a way of preparing your regular cup of coffee that releases the maximum benefits of coffee and adds a few “super powers” to it (see bullets above.)

2.) It is also the name of a brand, started by Dave Asprey, who wrote the book “Bulletproof” that espoused the benefits of a Bulletproof coffee.  I use these products and love them.

Personally, I prepare my coffee in the bulletproof way, but also use the bulletproof products.  

What goes into a Bulletproof coffee?
1.)  Coffee
2.) Grass-fed Butter OR Ghee OR if like me you prefer non-dairy, I use a chunk of Cocoa Butter – I like the Bulletproof one best.
*I put upgraded collagen protein in as well, but this is optional additional product.
Budget note:  It is expensive to buy all of these products (they last ages though) so if you have to get one thing, just get the brain octane oil and then grassfed butter from your local grocery store!
How do you make a Bulletproof Coffee?
Put it ALL into a blender. That’s it!  You’ll get a creamy, frothy, satisfying coffee.
We use a Vitamix, but any blender works great.  As a side note though, Vitamix next to my coffee machine and instapot is one of the best things we ever, ever spent money on.
Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 11.00.56 AM
Where do you buy Bulletproof Products? 
Here in Calgary, I first found  (and bought) them at Community Natural Foods, and some cafes do them now, my favourite being the Bulletproof at Wild + Raw Superfood and Juice Bar in Kensington, but the best prices for these products is definitely on Amazon.
Here are the products on Amazon, if you happen to purchase them through these links, I earn a small commission that goes directly to this blog 🙂
Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 10.54.16 AM
Brain Octane (MCT Oil)
Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 10.51.40 AM
 Cacao Butter (non dairy)
Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 10.57.02 AM
Upgraded Collagen
 + Any grassfed high quality butter from your grocery store.
 SUMMARY OF THIS POST:  
Your regular ‘ol cup of coffee does this:
  • Wakes you the f*ck up

Basically, a bulletproof coffee does this:

  • Wakes you the f*ck up
  • Helps fix the gut lining (butyrate in butter)
  • Maximize antioxidants (coffee is a rich source of polyphenols) 
  • Prolongs the caffeine alertness & prevents fatigue (Brain octane oil)
  • Helps energy & vitality ( Brain octane oil is a fantastic fuel for your brain & the mitochondria)
  • Helps feed the cells lining the gut and the cells that make up your connective tissues (collagen)
  • Staves off hunger (protein in the collagen and fat in the butter / cocoabutter / brain octane) 
  • May help fat loss (if used as part of an intermittent fasting protocol, the MCT oil in the bulletproof can help release more ketones into your blood, promoting fat burning as an energy source.)
 I borrowed an infographic from my husband’s coffee store that explains the benefits of bulletproof really well and breaks down what each ingredient does.