The space between the refrigerator and the stove


Gluten Free, Dairy Free Banana Pecan Bread

I have had four bananas getting more ripe as each day passes.  Each morning I silently tell myself to make banana bread before they are too far gone.  My reluctance has been my inability to find my favorite recipe and the ordeal that I know could make this activity incredibly frustrating.  I am still working with limited kitchen counter space and honestly, I find making food in my little kitchen more frustrating than not.  That is just no fun for me! Additionally, I still have many of my kitchen supplies in storage due to my lack of space.

Once I decided to take this task on, I was determined to keep a positive attitude and looked at it as somewhat of an adventure.  I was not going to let my lack of kitchen supplies bring me down so I bought a disposable bread loaf tin.  I decided I would just make up a recipe, feeling confident I could pull off a decent bread.  I have been studying up on the best gluten free flours to use together to create most desirable end result.  Wow, I sure got this one right!

I  managed to get my bread in the oven after a lot of maneuvering.  Gosh, it really should not be so difficult!  I look forward to the ease a kitchen island will bring to me once I find just the perfect one for me.  I was so impressed with my banana bread I am glad I had the determination and patience to give this a try.  I think you should too.  It is a fantastic bread.  In fact, I must say this is one of the best sweet breads I have made.   The texture and  consistency is spot on and the flavor is perfect.  Not too sweet, very banana like with the perfect crunch of the pecans.  It has been a lovely morning snack with my tea.  And, it was an excellent choice for travelling food as I discovered when I packed it with me for my Boston trip.  Stay tuned for my next blog where I share all about Boston gluten free and dairy free eats!!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Banana Pecan Bread

1 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1 Tbsp xantham gum

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup raw can sugar (this could have been omitted. The bananas make it sweet!)

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup applesauce

1/3 cup sunflower seed oil

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp pure vanilla

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Measure all dry ingredients into one bowl and whisk to incorporate.  Measure all the wet ingredients into another bowl and mix to incorporate.  Add mashed bananas, mix well. Pour mixed wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just blended, add chopped pecans and fold into batter.  Pour batter into greased loaf pan.  Bake for 50-65 mins.

Makes one large loaf.


Boston Bonanza

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It's a Portland thing

It’s a Portland thing

I recently returned from a whirlwind mini vacation to Boston where I spent time visiting my daughter and seeing as many sights as we could jam in to my short stay.  It was so much fun!!!  I love Boston and I especially love the T subway system.  That transit system is fabulous, in my opinion!  It allowed us to see all the amazing places my daughter had planned for me to experience.  I enjoyed seeing nearly every neighborhood I wanted to meander, as well as a trip to the beach; all on the T!!  The weather was gorgeous and I always have such a great time hanging out with my kid.

We had casually talked about a trip to see her, but I didn’t think it was the right time to travel across the country considering my recent circumstances.  It just felt too stressful. However, as things smoothed out for me and with now stable housing that would keep me in Portland, my daughter took the chance and booked the ticket.  She wanted to give me a break from everyday life with all I have gone through and you know what?  She was so right!!  Being distracted in the best kind of way was exactly what I needed.  I am so grateful to my girl, who has become quite an amazing young woman.  She has an incredibly generous spirit and a big heart for her mama, which makes me feel so happy.  Considering some tumultuous adolescent and young adult years, we have developed a close bond of mutual respect and admiration.  I am deeply proud of the woman my daughter has become and I relish our time together.

Knowing I wanted a good food experience during my stay, my daughter had a list of reviewed places that offered gluten free, dairy free dishes.  We were regularly dashing off to various restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs to peruse their menus, always excited to try an impressive new dish.

There are so many wonderful places to eat gluten free and dairy free in Boston.  It certainly is not as prevalent as Portland, and there is a bit more planning involved to find the establishments that cater to my dietary preferences.  Some of my favorite places to eat that offered the easiest menu for me or were willing to customize an order for me are worth a mention here.  They are all on my “must visit” list each time I go to Boston.  Besides offering my kind of food, generally the staff and overall environment of each of these businesses is an awesome in it’s own way.

Thinking Cup, Day 1 The Theater District Location

Thinking Cup, Day 2 North End location

Thinking Cup, Day 2
North End location

Thinking Cup deserved two visits.  This trip I got to try out a new location in the Theater District.  Both locations offered to customize my breakfast sandwich and both were equally amazing.  I had smoked salmon with an egg on gluten free toast, one had arugula.  What really makes this a must visit place is their absolutely heavenly hazelnut lattes.  They are the first shop in the Downtown Boston area to offer Portland originated Stumptown Coffee; my personal favorite.  They make their own roasted hazelnut paste to use in these lattes and I have to say, it’s simply fantastic.



Avana Sushi is a tiny hole in the wall place in Boston’s Chinatown.  By appearance, it is one of those places that I would not consider without the high recommendation of someone who has already been there.  It sits in a tight corner of a space that is also occupied by other equally small, squeezed in businesses.  There are just four tables and 5 counter stools.  One of the tables sits at the edge of their kitchen.  It’s an experience!  I wouldn’t recommend this place to someone who experiences claustrophobia because this space is small!  What they manage to prepare and plate is simply amazing.  This is some delicious and fresh sushi for a fantastic price.  The line that develops into the lobby and spills out onto the street is proof this place is worth a visit.

Sweet Lavender coconut based frozen dessert on top of a gluten free cone!! My first ever!!!

Sweet Lavender coconut based frozen dessert on top of a gluten free cone!! My first ever!!!

Fomu (premium alternative ice cream) has totally got it right.  This ice cream is d.i.v.i.n.e. !!!  After my happy dance subsided about my first gluten free cone, my first taste of this creamy goodness made me stop walking because all my concentration had to be with my palate.  Seriously, so good.  Boston has one up on Portland, where there is no exclusive vegan ice cream shop.  I fantasized a kick starter business for a while on this idea!  We are missing out here in P-town. I will crave this delicious dessert until the next time I can satisfy it in Boston.  This place is definitely worth a visit.  Additionally, the staff are lovely to watch at their skill and will happily share their knowledge.  It is a fun place that takes me right back to childhood ice cream memories!!

Life Alive

Life Alive

This place is fantastic!  It was my first visit to this place located in the Cambridge area.  My daughter was really excited to take me here.  Their menu boasts some unique and tantalizing dishes that are organic, therapeutic and nurturing for the body and soul.

whole food goodness!

whole food goodness!

I wish I  could remember the name of this delicious salad I had, but as you can see from the picture, it is filled with some whole food goodness. We enjoyed this lunch outdoors on a warm, sunny Boston day.  It was a perfect afternoon!

Other establishments worth mentioning is Ula Cafe in my daughter’s neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.  Sadly, I have no pictures of the most incredible gluten free coconut macaroon I have ever tasted.  We walked to this cafe’ for a morning cup of coffee and I discovered them in a display case while waiting in line.  They were so moist and full of coconut flavor goodness.  The edges were perfectly caramelized crispy and chewy.  It was ridiculously good.  When we walked back on my last day in Boston to get one more, we learned they were all gone.  It was a specialty item for Passover.  I am so glad I got to enjoy one before they disappeared!

Fresh and colorful!

Fresh and colorful! Canary Square offered a pretty amazing and tasty beet salad dish that was beautifully plated.

The Friendly Toast is worth the trip to the Cambridge area strictly for the eclectic experience you will have.  People will wait for over an hour to enjoy dining here.  They have huge portions of comfort classics and I must admit, their classic egg breakfast is pretty heavenly. IMG_3211

kitchy eclectic decor!

kitchy eclectic decor!

My trip to Boston was outstanding.  It was the break I needed.  I came home with such a completely different perspective on my situation.  I feel more solid in my future and I am a lot calmer; more accepting.  My daughter and I both got exciting news while I was visiting.  She will begin working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one of the leading research institutes in the country.  My daughter will be working among some of the top scientists and I am so proud of her!  My news is still developing, but I can definitely say it will be life changing!  Stay tuned!

Life is moving on and I am feeling good.  Everything happens for a reason and I am finding mine moment by moment.  Crazy how life works, isn’t it??

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Somewhere Over The Rainbow There Is Strawberry Water

In the early morning hours this past Saturday, one of my sweet kitty companions moved to the other side of the rainbow.  Her time came without warning and from all I could decipher, was quick.  She looked as if she was still peacefully resting when I discovered she was not breathing,

Amelia, more affectionately known as Mama (or fatty, the beast, perfect princess, mama-son) was my “grandchild” cat.  Originally my daughters cat, Amelia and I had tumultuous beginnings.  I often looked in on her when my daughter traveled. Mama was not keen to change and she battled with my attempts at affection and attention when she was in my care.  This cat was like a guard dog watching over my daughters house and I got attacked for having dared enter.  I tried to like her, despite my “battle wounds” for my attempts at sharing some love.  When my daughter traveled to New Zealand, Mama came to live with me for five months.  During this time Mama decided I wasn’t so bad, though like any “child” she certainly tested my patience often enough.  Our relationship developed and I discovered the sweet, incredibly loving side of Mama.  I spent most of her life being “grandmother” like; looking in on her, occasionally housing her, giving her attention when I would come to visit.

Mama came to live with me full time when my daughter was preparing to move to Boston.  She was my constant companion for nearly three years.  By that time she was accustomed to change and still despised it.  She had grown to trust me and the transition was not as rough as past moves for her.  She enjoyed my affections immensely.  Her aggressive head butts and persistence in making sure she got her share of attention was as endearing as it was annoying.  I developed such a love for this cat, who had one of the quirkiest personalities and could display the most “human like” expressions of any cat I have known.  I always knew what Mama was thinking and feeling.  Despite her shortcomings, I think she was absolutely the best cat with the most pure heart; like that of an old soul.  I am so grateful for our time together over her twelve years, but especially in these last years when she was with me.  I find comfort with thoughts of Mama’s last months.  I am sad she had to endure one last traumatizing move.  She did however, adjust quickly to the freedom of roaming where she wanted without a young, sassy “little sister” (M’s cat) ready to pounce on her around every corner.  She had a beautiful and spacious outdoor area where she loved to spend time feeling the sun’s rays.  She adored being able to cuddle up next to me in bed and even found a new level of acceptance with Boy, my other cat.  They actually had begun to interact in a playful way, chasing each other around the apartment.  I marveled at her unusual frisky behavior.  She actually let loose recently and l enjoyed watching her amazing “cat dance” play with a tiny piece of carpet thread-until she saw me watching her.  She then quickly regained her regal like stance and pretended none of that nonsense had just happened.  She was such a hilarious cat!  She gave me so much happiness and I believe that our move brought out her fun loving nature.  I found her endlessly entertaining.  Mama always cheered me up, whether it was watching her antics or getting loved up on when I was feeling down.  Mama reached in to the recesses of my heart and attached herself to me.  I totally adored her and I miss her immensely.

One of Mama’s quirky behaviors was her obsession with water.  Where there was running water, there was Mama frantically crying out for some drizzles of water to drink from.  It truly was a little fanatical at times.  I am pretty sure nothing made “the beast” happier than to drink the water I slowly poured into her bowl at just the right angle for her to sip from, with the exact amount of drizzle to please the “perfect princess”.  She would vibrate her tail with excitement at her favorite activity.

She also had an obsession with fruit.  Not all fruit, but apples and strawberries made Mama very happy.  If I was preparing either of these, she was there begging, curious, making sure I knew she should be involved in what I was doing.  If I was eating them, she was pawing at my hand to get at the fruit.  She would nuzzle her nose into the fuzzy green stem of the strawberry as if she enjoyed the tickle then slowly nibble away at the strawberry.  It was so silly and cute.

This “recipe” which isn’t really much of one, is dedicated to my sweet mama-son, my fatty, my princess.  In honor of the best cat ever- I made strawberry water.  I can think of no better way to say thank you for accepting me into your world, for loving me, for showing me patience, grace and presence.  Cheers to life and love with two of Mama’s favorite things.

There are some great benefits to strawberry water.  I recommend making an entire pitcher to store in your refrigerator.  I made mine in a single glass because unfortunately, I don’t have the room in my tiny fridge to give up space for a pitcher of fruit water.

Fresh strawberries are packed with Vitamin C, rich in potassium, folic acid and fiber.  Strawberry water, or most any fruit water, is excellent for overall body detoxing.  Enjoy a simply made glass, or make enough to enjoy for days.

Mama loved sunbathing

Mama loved sunbathing


In memory of Mama


Water with ice in it is grand!

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Very Veggie Stir Fry

I got the pleasure of dog/house sitting recently. ‘Red dog’ is one of my favorite four-legged friends.  What made this visit more exciting for me this time was that I had access to some good kitchen space and a large skillet. It made me so excited!  I do have to say I love my new little studio and I am grateful every day for this sweet arrangement I have.  But, I have not had the resources to make my tiny kitchen space more functional for me, which also means I am living with the bare essentials of my kitchen supplies.  This has definitely been a lesson in how often I use certain kitchen items and I realize that I do use most of what I own regularly.  I have been missing some of my most used supplies quite often!  We will be back together soon enough!  For now, I am doing the best I can until I can get a kitchen island and my favorite supplies from storage.  I make it work because it is what I have now. But, for me, there is nothing better than a spacious kitchen with all the good gadgets and kitchen tools I need to create something fantastic.

The home owners always offer up any fresh produce and foods in house, and sometimes I will eat something that looks like it won’t last, but mostly I have always planned my own foods to bring.  I am living with slim financial resources these days and I just couldn’t plan my foods in the way I have in the past.  This time I welcomed the offer and used some of the veggies to create a delicious stir-fry.  I brought my own brown basmati rice and made some of that, too. I love a big pile of perfectly stir fried veggies over a bed of rice.
I have been craving vegetables!  Variety!  I regularly keep greens of some kind and carrots, but I just don’t have the space I used to for fridge storage so storing multiple types of produce just doesn’t happen.  I keep it to my daily favorites.  Not only did I get to enjoy one of my daily favorites in this dish, I enjoyed parsnips, red onion, zucchini and turnips. Someone recently said it would be good for me to eat some grounding root vegetables to help me feel more settled and secure.  I think this dish accomplishes that. As well, these vegetables provide a winning combination of vitamins, nutrients and trace minerals. My stress levels will remain low and my spirits high.  Can’t ask for better in a tasty meal.  Give this a try.  Let yourself feel good!  Enjoy!

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In a large skillet preheated on the stove top, add 1-1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, dark sesame oil or combination of both. Add onions to pan and cook until translucent. Add roughly chopped, bite sized veggies of your choice, beginning with hardest veggies first. Add remaining veggies as the harder ones begin to cook. I added a few splashes of Tamari, a dime sized drop of oyster sauce and a generous sprinkling of thyme.  Veggies stir-fried to al dente style is the most tasty!

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Stress Busting Raspberry Scones

I am stretched in many directions these days so I like to be prepared with ready to go foods that offer me the nutrients I need. My stress has been high and I have been busy. There was a bag of frozen raspberries from our garden harvest last season in the freezer at the other house and I took it with me to my new place. However, it was a gallon size bag and my freezer is a tiny ‘ice box’ size freezer so this was taking up too much room. Raspberries just happen to be filled with vitamin C, stress busting anti-oxidants, and are one of the world’s healthiest foods. Lucky me!  Not only would I empty my freezer, I would be giving my body the necessary nutrients for stress relief in the most delicious way!  I remembered the raspberry scones I made for my road trip last summer that I really enjoyed, but all my recipes are packed away in storage so I just decided I would make it up!  I was feeling motivated and I just bought a new baking sheet that I was eager to try out!

I think they turned out great.  The texture was dense but not doughy.  My scones turned out to be a delicious grab and go food.  I am happy to have an empty freezer (to fill with blueberries!), my body is happy to have nutritious food, I am happy to have convenience at my fingertips and the best part–so much less stress!!  These scones will make your world happy.  Give them a try!

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Stress Busting Raspberry Scones

1 cup of sorghum flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1 Tbslp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp pink himalayan sea salt

1/2 c coconut oil (not melted)

3 Tbsp agave (or maple syrup)

3 Tbsp raw cane sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup coconut milk (from a carton, not can)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups of raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Place all the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and whisk until incorporated.

Cut in the coconut oil with a pastry cutter until the ingredients resemble coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, combine all the wet ingredients using a whisk.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.  Fold in raspberries with wooden spoon.  Do not over mix as it will create a less than satisfactory end result.

Drop large spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.  I use my fingers to shape each spoonful into a scone-like shape. Bake for 15-18 mins.  Remove from oven and place scones on cooling rack.  Try to let them cool before devouring!  Enjoy!

Makes about 10 scones







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In The Beginning I Was Me

I have been asked by a few people recently when I planned to post my next blog.  It has been difficult for me to get my thoughts in writing; wanting to keep the integrity of my blog and my story by telling it with love and a whole heart.  I have needed some time to reflect on how my recent experience will shape my future posts.  In my previous post titled Dip. Dip. Depression, I shared what has been happening in my life.

I feel like I have come full circle with my recent trauma and a new path on my journey is being paved.  My focus is more clear and I am relaxing back in to life a little more each day.  When this “saga” began, my plan was to head toward the east side of the country to be closer to my kids.  It wasn’t long before opportunities were placed in my path that signaled to me Portland is still the place I need to be right now.  What began as temporary housing has become the place I can call home for a while.  This solidified my decision to stay put.  My living arrangement is pretty fantastic and I cannot pass up this amazing opportunity.  Additionally, I have met some incredible people recently who have been pivotal in my new direction.  I am eager to pursue fresh ideas with some inspiring people.

As I recreate my life and move toward a place of healing, I am acutely aware of the fact that I must find my own closure in this ordeal.  It is becoming painfully clear that M’s refusal to talk with me will continue and we will not come to a healthy resolve together.  I have to be comfortable in not knowing.  I am not there yet.  I work on it every day, however.  I am also reminded on a daily basis in some way to be grateful for the place I am now.  Had we followed through with our plans together, that would have involved buying property.  I am so deeply glad that did not happen.  If “M’ is capable of this level of cruelty, I do not even want to imagine how much worse it could have been being entangled any deeper, financially.

What I think about most often is, what happened to the person I knew to be a kind, loving and caring human being? What happened to suddenly create a shift?  Why would “M” choose to be so hateful?  Are the people close to “M” concerned about this sudden change? Everyone in my life is certainly shocked. What happened to my sweetie, my quirky, fun-loving adventure partner? What happened?  What happened??  It’s an endless and unanswerable question in my mind.  Every time I go down that road, I come back completely baffled. Honestly, it’s mind boggling.  I don’t understand why “M” was so fearful of simply expressing feelings.  Why didn’t “M” just say, “let’s talk.”  Two words.  It could have changed everything.  It certainly could have created a much nicer outcome with a lot less hurt even if the end of this story were the same.

I had my feet so solidly planted in what I thought was a committed, long term relationship with the person I loved.  I truly believed, that even though we had our issues that needed addressing, our emotional ups and downs; especially with me going through grief, that we would work together like couples do because we wanted a life–together.  Nothing, absolutely nothing was so terrible in our relationship that it deserved this end.  I did not deserve this treatment.

I am beginning to accept the new direction my life is taking.  I am discovering a new and more thoughtful way to live.  I have tried to make my new and very small kitchen in my new space work for me the best I can with the resources I have right now.  I am doing all right.  I have managed to get some decent meals prepared and eaten, albeit a lot more planning must take place to get to a delicious end result.  Portable kitchen islands are on my radar.  It will help my kitchen be more functional for me.  Food storage and kitchen storage in general, is another issue.  I have had many frustrating moments, fits of anger and sobbing outbursts.  And, despite all the forced upon me hardships, I am doing all right.

I process as I cook; I breath through the pain and let go a little more each day.  I am surrounded by a loving group of friends who support me and encourage me toward my new beginnings.  I am grateful for the abundant opportunities and lovely people that have so perfectly timed themselves into my world.  I try to keep my focus on my wonderful new path that develops a little more each day, keeping me curious, excited and motivated.  I will be all right.  I certainly enjoy feeling more like me again; authentic me.  There is that saying, “hindsight is 20/20″; I see things now that I could not before.  What I see is that I am much better off.  Right here.  Right now. I feel happy again despite the pain of betrayal.  I am happy to be me.

I have no delicious food pictures at this time, nor do I have recipes to share.  I think I really needed to keep this post about expression of feelings.  I can sense my blog will take a new direction that will mirror my new life direction.  So this feels like the perfect blog ending and beginning.  I do hope you will continue along with me on my next journey.



Dip. Dip. Depression.

I really enjoy a good dip.  I define that as one containing protein, veggies and is substantial enough (for me) to sustain me like a meal with the addition of raw veggies and/or rice crackers.  I tend to forget to eat, under eat or eat the wrong foods for my body when things get hectic.  As I’ve shared in some recent posts, my life has become crazy hectic.  I have been coping with plenty of chaos these days as I adjust to my surprising life changes.

I do admit some of that chaos happens in my head.  However, I do not want to minimize the difficulties and stress I’m experiencing and I want to acknowledge that sometimes, well….I just need to breath because it will be okay.  I am up against some huge challenges and frenzied thoughts zoom through my mind when I think about the senseless cruelty of it all.  I am working to calm the crazies in my mind by staying connected to people and keeping focused in the present.

I have debated how much I want to share about what is going on to cause me so much stress these days.  I realize that I have already shared such a deep part of my life in telling the story of my mom’s illness and death.  I decided this is no different.  What I am currently experiencing is much like a sudden death.  It came as such a shock and complete surprise.  I am grieving plenty right now.  Just a few days after Christmas my sweetie, who I will now refer to as M, told me to move out then refused to have any conversation about what caused such an extreme action for no apparent reason.  There had been nothing negative between us of any significance that would result in this bizarre behavior.  I have been completely ignored since that day with the exception of one robotic, unemotional email that honestly just felt like an additional “slap”.  There have been just a few texts about practical things and that is it.  It is truly surreal.  My sweetie has abruptly become a complete stranger.

I left what could have been a career job just a few months ago to stay home and explore some creative endeavors while seeking work in my degree field.  This was a difficult and serious decision for me that involved many weeks of discussion with M.  Never did it include anything about unhappiness in our relationship or suggestions of any trouble; only complete support and encouragement for my decision.  This, adding to the bizarre behavior that was yet to come.  I am currently employed very part time at a local kitchen store at just above minimum wage.  I have little savings since I had just contributed most of it toward our household.  I don’t use credit cards.  You can imagine why I have chaos in my mind, I’m sure.  It’s enough to cause anyone some depression.

As I chopped the veggies and whipped up this dip in my food processor, depression was the very topic I was processing in my mind.  I had such an incredible realization the other morning so significant it has created a lot of churning thoughts.  The feeling is so profound I cannot ignore it.  I have spent months thinking that the death of my mom had triggered a depression in me so deep I was considering seeing a doctor to discuss prescription anti-depressants; something I never have considered at any point in my life regardless of the circumstances I faced.  I take a holistic and natural approach to everything I do.  I know there are plenty of options that are just as effective and much healthier for me than anti-depressant drugs.  Yet, I was feeling stuck in a depression I had never experienced before and all my usual “go-to’s” for feeling better rarely worked their usual magic.  I just felt so heavy and engulfed in angst.  What I have to say about that now is, I am so glad I was having issues with my new health coverage, keeping me from finding a new doctor to make an appointment with.  Because that profound feeling I woke up to just recently was the feeling of enlightenment that I am not depressed.  It was such an incredible feeling so penetrating I laid in bed, relishing it for a while. I felt so light.  I felt like me again. I am sad and I am struggling with the loss of my relationship and my home.  I am devastated that the person who said they loved me and wanted to share in life with me could treat me so horribly.  I am still sad about the loss of my mom, but I am not depressed.

I am very sensitive to peoples’ energies and I know that statement raises a questioning eyebrow for some, but to those who know what I mean, you understand what this feels like.  There is a general apathy about my sweetie, who is prone to inertia.  By M’s own admission, it is more comfortable to sit in misery than to work on moving out of it to a better feeling place.  I have lived under the roof of a home filled with darkness and I did not realize it until I was forced out.  For me, it is like a dark cloud that has been hanging over me suddenly dissipated and I see the light.  I find it interesting that the house had so many avenues for light with great windows, including skylights yet the house always felt so dark to me.  My physical and emotional energy was being consumed by M’s general despondency toward life.  I realize now that most of my time spent living under the same roof has been while my mom was sick and dying.  In my own grief I did not grasp the severity of what M was experiencing.

I had no idea how much this was bringing me down.  To date, this is my most significant realization.  I am deeply grateful for this and if it took this tragedy to come to my realization I will (eventually) accept it.  Even in the midst of all this mess, one would think I am depressed.  I am struggling with circumstances beyond my control and that creates a lot of feelings, but I am not depressed. It feels really great to say that.  I move through each day now with a feeling of hope that I thought was lost in me.

I am grateful that I am able to find the strength and resilience I need to take care of my physical and emotional health.  I actively work on my thoughts and emotions every day.  I use the tools I have to create joy daily.  I am gaining a deeper understanding of enjoying each moment.  I definitely get stuck and I sometimes make unhealthy choices.  I can somehow find the courage I need to pull myself from my own dark places.  Part of doing that is taking the time to make food that nourishes me and helps me feel my best.  When my body feels good, my mind feels good. This bean dip will help keep me on my path to the healthiest me I can be, in all ways.  I hope you will find it delicious and satisfying, too.  Enjoy with your favorite vegetables or crackers.

Cumin Lime Black Bean Dip

1 15 oz can black beans

1/2 diced yellow onion

1 Tblsp cumin

1 tsp garlic/salt

juice of one lime

1/4 c cilantro

1 large carrot

process all in food processor.  serve with veggies or crackers

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