Heyooo. I'm back with another recipe, and some thoughts on self-compassion. 

Went on my first little bicycle tour this week, returned home on Friday: I biked to Salt Spring Island - the occupied territories of Saanich, Cowichan and Chemainus First Nations - camped for two nights, and pedalled all the way back again. There were some beautiful moments (hiking through the woods as golden sun beams shone through branches and leaves, sitting mere metres from a family of deer while they nibbled on berries, making a new friend and spotting a sea lion on the ferry, feeling the satisfaction of having biked up steep incline after steep incline...) and yet, I have to say, I was in a depressed, anxious, dissatisfied mood most of the time. 

All I actually wanted was to be wrapped in a blanket, by myself, watching Netflix and drinking tea in a dark, cool room. On my ride home I kept trying to resist that desire; I took a lot of breaks in parks and on beaches to meditate, deep breathe and practice gratitude in order to get out of the emotional slump. I was misusing to use these tools to try and change my state instead of gracefully accepting it. Finally, at a park very close to my house, I admitted to myself: It is extremely uncomfortable being in your body this week and you are experiencing a really intense degree of anxiety. Attempting to make that discomfort go away, or sit with it, is only making it worse for you. Sometimes you can alleviate the discomfort with meditation and openness, but in this case, you've gotta zone out until this stress leaves your body. Let your mind wander elsewhere for awhile so it can calm down and you can be in a place where meditation and gratitude are possible again.

Once I biked home, I turned off my phone, showered and put on clean clothes, made myself a glorious meal involving lots of carbs, vegan cheese and roasted veggies. Then I watched The Office for like 3 hours, and went to bed. This helped because I knew it's what I needed, I was calmed down big time and thankfully out of those spiralling negative thought patterns and other anxious symptoms. The next day I was able to gently return to a more regular spiritually-present care routine. Meditation, gratitude and breath work are amazingly powerful sources for healing and processing. I love them and practice them daily. However, for those of us who are not neuro-typical, or who are perhaps moving through a rough time or anxiety attack, trying to be even more present may be overwhelming and exacerbate discomfort. Occasionally I simply have to wait the mood out, until I am ready to process it mindfully (or not). I am grateful I am able to understand this about my own coping and healing needs, and be kind and COMPASSIONATE with myself about addressing those needs as they make themselves clear. Besides, in a way, honouring my needs - whatever they may be, regardless of how that looks - is a form of spiritual awareness, gratitude and nourishment in itself.

Sometimes coping with my anxiety looks like drinking adaptogenic tonics, running a rose bath, practicing yoga or going for a walk, talking about my feelings with friends, meditating and writing a gratitude journal. Sometimes, it looks like me hiding out under a pile of blankets watching comedy shows with a bowl of pasta, then falling into bed when I am finally so tired I can't be as physically anxious anymore. THIS IS ALL OKAY. IT IS ALL VALID. You know, intuitively, what your needs are. Don't judge those needs, don't resist them, honour them. 

P.S. this pancake recipe is woooonderful, mom-approved, best friend-approved, super quick and easy to make, and very satisfying. I would recommend adding a little more coconut sugar if you want a more decadent meal. I made this for breakfast three or four days in a row last week and still want more. The blueberry sauce + pancake combo is inspired by a breakfast my new partner and I have made a couple times; it feels like such a treat to sit down with yourself to a meal like this. You deserve it, of course. 


Serves 2-3

Blueberry sauce:
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch powder
2 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil, or more as needed
3/4 cup coconut milk, or more as needed
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2-3 tablespoons coconut sugar, as desired
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

To make the blueberry sauce: Bring the blueberries, orange juice and coconut sugar to a simmer in a small pot on medium-high heat. In a separate bowl whisk the cornstarch into the water and add this mixture to the pot; stir occasionally for another 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken and is slightly less thick than you want (it will continue thickening after you take it off the heat). Stir or whisk in the rest of the ingredients. then let this sit and cool while you make the pancakes.

To make the pancakes: Blend all the ingredients together, except the oil. Let the batter sit for a few minutes while you heat the oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat. Pour the batter into the pan, sizing your pancakes as you like. They should begin to sizzle once you pour the batter on, otherwise your pan is not hot enough. Turn the heat down to medium-low, or low, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they begin to brown.

Serve: Pour the blueberry sauce over your pancakes and garnish with cacao nibs, walnuts, tahini, maple syrup, fruit, and whatever else you desire!

NOTES: You want the pancake batter to be thick enough to mostly hold it's own shape, but thin enough you can pour it with the help of a spatula. If the pancake batter is too thick, add 1/4 cup more coconut milk. If it's too thin, add 1 teaspoon more chia seeds and let it sit for a moment to thicken. If you'd like it sweeter, add more coconut sugar. I recommend washing the blender ASAP because the oats dry like glue. You may use fresh or frozen blueberries in the sauce.