These past few weeks have left me re-examining my life in terms of my attitudes, desires and intentions. I’ve come to realize that in some aspects I’m right on track but in others, oy vey, I’m lost in a sea of tracks without a map. And it’s so easy to get derailed when you think you’re chugging along at an optimal level. Things are going well so you keep adding coal to the fire, naively thinking, “what’s one more opportunity?” For me, when life is running smoothly it’s actually best to step back, continuously re-examine and then only add when another area of life is complete.
Recently I found myself going down a Wonderland rabbit hole with a new opportunity – I wonder what would happen if I did this…I wonder if I could succeed at this… and my soul rebelled. My soul cried out that this “opportunity” was not what my life needed at this time. Within one week I found myself over-committed, burdened, stressed and preoccupied, and it showed in how I related to my friends and family. I had to step back and ask myself, “is this opportunity what my soul craves or what my pride craves?,” and it didn’t take long before I knew my answer.
During this same time, I had an opportunity to share my life story with a group of trusted friends. I was completely exposed and emotional throughout because my story is not like most. Mine is full of pain, regret and fear imposed on me that has lingered for longer than I care to admit. My friends were more than encouraging and loving and I’m forever grateful for our friendships. But in that process my mind shifted and brought forth the realization that I had been coasting for a while and it was time to return back to a life of intention.
Now, everyone’s intentions will be different, but for me it requires a continuation of my long process of healing and forgiveness of myself. It also required me to stop living a life of expectations. Big slap in the face: my expectations come only from me, based on what I see everyone else doing. But I don’t blame society. It’s my decision to place those expectations on myself. And they certainly don’t come from my husband, the second most important opinion I have in my life after God…and to be honest, they don’t come from God either. He isn’t burdening me or disappointed with me. He’s only loving and encouraging my faith walk.
So, in addition to the previously mentioned “opportunity”, another area I have let go of expectations is my morning exercise routine. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am NOT a fan of exercise, but I know that my body needs it. And I felt like it was a waste of time if it only lasted 10-15 mins a day. But that’s all I can do right now. Yes, there may be others out there that say that’s not enough time but it’s enough for me and that’s all that matters. I will not NOT do it just because I can’t put 30-60 mins/day into my exercise routine.
I’m also learning to go against tradition and stop living my life based on the church’s expectations: what to wear, listen to, say, do, act, think, etc. For so long I’ve lived a set of unwritten “shoulds” my religion has imposed but from now on I’m going to live in and to love. And that alone is incredibly freeing for me.
And I’m learning all of this while I struggle through some health issues. For those of us that eat Paleo because we have to, many of us still fight a battle with our bodies. Our health will probably never improve 100% but we use the percentage we have seen results and use that as a platform for advocating for the diet. We’ve felt and seen positive results after changing our diet this way. And in spite of my health setbacks, I’m also learning to forgive my body for what it does to me. I’m trying to learn to rest in the bad days and not spend the good days worrying about what’s around the corner.
So, to celebrate my renewal process, I decided to follow my desire and eat a cookie for breakfast.
Not just any cookie, though. The Hazelnut Nutella Sandwich Cookie – a warm, chewy, hazelnut cookie that will take your breath away. I’ve been eyeing hazelnut flour from Vitacost.comfor the past few weeks and finally caved. Soft in texture, it creates baked goods that are chewier and tastier than any wheat flour, hands down. And why stop with the hazelnut flour? So I added hazelnut spread in the middle, reminiscent of my Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cookies because I can never say no to a cookie sandwich, even during the days when Little Debbie was all we had.
I guarantee you’ll like these Hazelnut Nutella Sandwich Cookies for dessert or snack (or breakfast) and would love to hear if you make them! Easy to make and soooo worth it, too!
- [i]For the cookie:[/i]
- 2 cups [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MFC5EUC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&linkCode=as2″ target=”_blank”]hazelnut flour[/url]
- 1 cup [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QSL500/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000QSL500&linkCode=as2&tag=refitast-20&linkId=MUCNEDR5Y4DIT6F4″ target=”_blank”]almond flour[/url]
- 3 eggs
- 4 Tbs water
- 1/2 grass-fed butter or ghee, softened
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- [i]For the homemade nutella:[/i]
- 1 1/2 cups roasted hazelnuts
- 1/3 cup [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VK5VTO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000VK5VTO&linkCode=as2&tag=refitast-20&linkId=K65LU7ZC3QSYDFLC” target=”_blank”]dairy-free chocolate chips[/url]
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp Celtic Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all cookie ingredients in a bowl and stir until incorporated.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place spoonfuls of the cookie dough on the paper and smoosh down with a spoon to flatten to a cookie shape.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. When done, take out of the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.
- Keep oven on at 350 degrees. Place hazelnuts on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and the nuts sit for a few minutes to cool. Once cool, place a handful of nuts in a kitchen towel and rub until the skins come off. (They don’t have to be perfect)
- Add the skinned hazelnuts to a food processor and mix on low until a butter is formed – it took me about 2 minutes – scraping down the sides, if necessary.
- To melt the chocolate chips, place in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until creamy.
- Add the chocolate, vanilla and salt to the hazelnut mixture and blend again until incorporated.
- Spread the yummy, delicious hazelnut goodness in between two cookies and enjoy.
Hazelnut Cookie Recipe adapted from Honeyville
Homemade Nutella Recipe from Minimalist Baker
Looking for more recipe inspiration? Follow me on Pinterest where I regularly pin new and exciting Paleo (or easily modified-to-Paleo recipes)!
Let me know what you think! What did you like? Dislike? Any recipes you’re looking for? I’d be happy to do the research for you (and maybe even try it out in my own kitchen)!