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Food For Life

Fri, Feb 15th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Spring is coming

It’s February, and I feel like I am slowly coming out of the winter hole I have been in. Spring arriving feels like waking up slowly, and I never realize how asleep I was until it’s here. In winter we do the basic things; we go into automatic pilot. We do the minimum required to get through the day. I am not alone in being lazy in the winter. After working all day during these cold months, it’s hard to want to do anything at night but sit under a blanket and watch TV.

But I feel more energy coming on. I have been getting more things done around the house that have been neglected, more organizing and major cleaning that usually gets put aside. I notice that it’s still light out at 5 p.m. and a giddy energy fills me. It’s a shifting, a change in the air, more sunlight to soak in, more life. When warmer weather comes, I will feel like cleaning with the windows open and music playing (always music, I can’t do anything without music playing), and the kids and I will walk on the trail again and see wildlife and birds. I will feel more like getting together with friends and socializing instead of hiding out in my living room. It’s amazing what the sunlight does for us.

Sunlight increases our vitamin D levels, and Vitamin D is hard to get. There are foods that are fortified with it, but sunlight is the best place. In this part of the world, that means most of us are deficient. I take a supplement because my levels are pretty low. Lack of Vitamin D can cause depression, carbohydrate cravings, and fatigue. It also affects your immune system, which is why many people think we tend to get sick more often in the winter.

I don’t mind any snow or cold that comes now, because I know if will be over soon. Time flies by faster than I would like it to, so I try not to eagerly long for the future and just enjoy the present. It will come soon enough.

It’s also hard not to binge on lots of carbs and sugar this time of year. Oh, who am I kidding? Any time of year really. But while it’s hard to control cravings, we need to remember and recognize just how good our bodies feel when we fuel them with clean, whole nutritious foods, compared to how sluggish and gross we feel after eating a great big brownie. It’s just that it tastes so good…

This is a recipe for cookies, and there is sugar, but it is better for you than a brownie or cake, and definitely cleaner than processed store-bought cookies. They are filled with some of the most wonderful things, all thrown together into one rich cookie that will satisfy your carb cravings. My usual disclaimer: just don’t eat all of them. Take them to work and share them. Eat a couple, and then let the kids have at them. But take the time to enjoy the goodness.

I found this recipe online a long time ago, and I can’t remember where. It’s now on a stained and worn-our recipe card in my kitchen.

Super Charge Me Cookies

1 cup quick oats

2/3 cup oat flour (or any kind of flour)

¼ tsp sea salt

¼- ½ tsp cinnamon

1/8 -1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1/3 cup raisins or other dried fruit

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup ground flax seeds (flax meal)

½ cup maple syrup

4 Tbsp chocolate chips

3 Tbsp almond butter

1 ½ tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 350. Combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, and chocolate chips. Sift in the baking powder and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, mix flax, syrup, almond butter, and vanilla. Stir in oil. Add wet to dry; do not over mix. Spoon batter onto baking sheet and lightly flatten. Bake for 13 minutes. Let cool on sheet for one minute, then transfer to cooling rack.

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