15 Feb 2015


These are happy cupcakes. 

The ingredients are good for you in every way. They are healthy, wholesome, delicious and easy to make. They are lovely to look at, and fun to share. They are a mini celebrations of all that is good in this world! 

You might think I am giving them too much credit, but I have to tell you something: when you're as happy about life as I am right now, they really do seem this great. The past couple weeks I have been focusing much of my time to meditation, being outdoors, and most importantly, enjoying the little things and living in the moment as it happens. Of course I know meditation is important, and that when I am outside with my music is when I am happiest and feel the most fulfilled. But knowing that and maintaining it are two different things. When you have a ton of other responsibilities to take care of every day - no matter what they are - you tend to put your "me-time" on the back burner, and that's a huge mistake. I am pretty sure we all do this, right? 

So a couple weeks ago I basically had a melt down because I felt so stressed and anxious about aaall the things I think are so important that I need to get done. School work (essays, readings, exams, presentations), blog stuff (recipe creation, photography, social media sharing), and another project I am working on that may or may not a be a cookbook about savoury vegan recipes. On top of that there are the endless little tasks of simply maintaining a social existence (meeting up with friends, being polite, loving my partner). I am not saying I do not enjoy school, "work", friends, family or Jack. But I am saying all these responsibilities add up to a whole lotta pressure to be perfect and please others. I think most of us spend the majority of our days (and thus our lives) working to make other people happy, in ways that often don't really matter. For example, yes I have a paper this semester that is worth 40% of my grade, and in some ways it's important I do it and get a good grade so I can graduate with a decent GPA aaaand of course writing the paper will open my eyes to a whole story I didn't know existed (I think I'm gonna write about the history of abortion in Canada). But REALLY, does it matter? Even in the worst case scenario all that will happen is I fail the course. But I will still be healthy, loved, comfortable, able-bodied, able-minded, self-aware, and alive in this amazing world! 

I don't know how much sense I am making. What I am trying to say is that I think so many of us  - namely middle/upper class people in developed countries with access to stuff we take for granted like food, internet, human rights, fridges, mattresses and Netflix - let ourselves become perpetually stressed about shit that doesn't actually have anything to do with us being happy. We worry way too much about deadlines for papers and numbers instead of saying "Hey, I am alive today and that feels pretty great." Stress is a catalyst for virtually every lifestyle disease. Let's throw it out. Let's be grateful for what we HAVE and who we ARE. Let's look at the sky, stars, moon or sun and recognize and that we are merely fragments of energy in an organic multi-verse of scientific amazement and spiritual connectedness, here for a moment until our cells are once again recycled into the elegant, magnificent cosmos. Does that report due on Friday REALLY matter? It's time to ask yourself if you are truly happy. If not, find a way to be happy. 

For me that means no job in a cubicle, and not living in an environment based on capitalism and exploitation. I need to be around trees, sunshine, mountains, rivers, gardens and people who inspire me. I need to focus a large part of my days to MYSELF, breathing deeply and letting anxiety fall away. Some of you might be saying "Easy for you to say, you already have your dream job and are young and don't have to do a job you dislike. I need to keep doing what makes me unhappy because I can't afford to do anything else." Stop right there! Let go of the excuses and find out HOW you can finally live the life you know you deserve. Work towards your goal, be thankful for what you already have, and you will succeed.

My goal? Travel the world and then settle down in the interior of BC, buying my own patch of property and building an off-the-grid home. Sounds pretty unrealistic, but I'm gonna make it happen. You'd be surprised at how affordable land can be in certain spots. You'd also be surprised at how inexpensive homes can be to build. For inspiration, look no further than this. You don't HAVE to stay in a job you hate, you don't HAVE to keep paying rent or a mortgage, you don't HAVE to be in this never-ending state of stress and irritability. You can live simply, happily and peacefully as soon as you want to. Enjoy the things in life that actually matter. For me that's being with people I love, hiking to the tops of mountains, eating baked yams, dancing like no one's watching, and improving my own self every day with meditation and yoga. There is no reason you cannot have the life you want. Go for it! And on the way, try out this cupcake recipe.

Makes 5 big cupcakes; 5-10 servings (with leftover frosting) 

1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dried coconut meat
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons carob powder

Use this recipe

Coconut powder:
1/2 cup dried coconut meat

To make the cupcakes: stir the chia seeds into 1/4 cup water and let them sit for 5-10 minutes so they puff up. Grind the oats and coconut into a fine powder and set that aside in a bowl. Blend the dates with 1/2 cup water and the carob powder until smooth, mix this into the oat/coconut powder by hand and then mix in the puffed up chia mixture as well, until it’s all well combined and like a dense, slightly wet chocolate dough. If it’s too crumbly, add a little more water. Press into cupcake papers and let them sit in the fridge until set (I let them sit overnight, covered with a cloth). 

To make the coconut powder: grind into powder in a high speed blender. 

Frost with the buttercream, then sprinkle with your powdered coconut, and enjoy! 

SUBSTITUTIONS: use buckwheat, almond, coconut or quinoa flour instead of rolled oats and/or coconut; use cocoa or cacao instead of carob. 

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