It’s almost a week into 2014. By now some (most?) of us have given up on some of our new years resolutions (NYRs). It’s ok. Change can take time and sometimes a few awkward attempts before we really get our groove on. I have a few new year’s resolutions that I’m aspiring to and I’ve already fallen off the wagon more than once. (Case in point: Starting my morning with a mug of hot water with lemon and cayenne is taking some adjusting to. It’s soo good for me though! Ugh.) But all in all, I’m feeling really excited and hopeful about what’s in store for me in 2014. The most important goal I’ve set for myself for 2014 is to Get Stuff Done Like a Boss! I’m only into lesson 2, but I’ve already learned some valuable tips. So, in an effort to help support us all in reaching our goals, I’ve developed a list of things that I think will be helpful to keep in mind when the going gets tough.
1. I often recall these wise words from Gretchen Rubin who wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. I’m paraphrasing here, but she said something like, “if it only takes you a few minutes to do something, just do it.” In other words, don’t put off tasks that don’t take much time. Her point, I think, is that you’ll feel happier because you will get more done and that it will also free up free up more space (mental, physical, emotional) for the things that really matter, like our new year’s resolutions. So,if it takes a few minutes to cut up some veggies to throw into your lunch, throw your shoes into your gym bag, or make your dang lemon water, then do it. You’ll be better off for it.2. Try not to get discouraged. We all fail sometimes. (Um, yeah.) That’s ok. If you fall, just get back up, take a breath, remind yourself why you wanted to do what it is you want to do, and start again. Plus isn’t there some research around the idea that it takes 30 plus days to create a habit?? Cut yourself some slack! And I mean that in the nicest possible way.
3. Breathe. Seriously. Take a few minutes each morning (more if you can—or work your way up slowly) to just notice your breath. Your mind might wander to your to-do list, or to what you should have for breakfast. It’s totally normal. When you notice it wandering, just make a mental note that it’s wandering and bring your focus back to your breath. You will be amazed at how much more capable you are at attending to your life when you incorporate mindfulness. I am living proof of this.4. Make a commitment for one month to eliminate negative self-talk. For example, if your shit-talk is about your body, why not just try for one month to not say anything bad about your body? It might sound hard or even impossible. But remember, if you slip-up, just gently remind yourself that you don’t really want to do that. Re-evaluate how you feel at the end of the month. Does it feel better to not say those things? If so, maybe you wanna continue. No pressure, just give it a try.
5. Remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. It’s great to have goals, but if we feel badly about ourselves for not achieving these goals that were supposed to make us happier, healthier, etc., it defeats the purpose. And I can bet that adding more stress into your life was not your NYR list!
6. Eat well. (Maybe this is even one of your resolutions.) Nourishing your body well means that you’ll have more energy and focus to continue working toward those new year’s resolutions. While you’re at it, you can start with this Winter Fruit Superfoods Parfait. It will blow your mind and you’ll be that much closer to achieving the health goals your have in mind.
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 1 - 2 medjool dates
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
- For the Layers
- Grain: I used dehydrated, raw buckwheat groats (instructions below), but you can use toasted oats, oatmeal, overnight oats, puffed cereal, any cooked grain you like (i.e. brown rice, quinoa, sorghum, etc.), soaked then blended buckwheat groats, or whatever you like! Depending on what you use, your prep time could change.
- Fruit: Whatever colourful, in-season fruit. I used clementines, cut into rounds so that they could be easily layered in, and fresh pomegranate arils. Pears would also be nice right now. And if you can still get persimmon, ooh man!
- Seeds and Nuts: I used pumpkin seeds (for the colour) and later threw on some toasted sliced almonds. You can use any nut or seed you like. Toasted hazelnuts or walnuts would be great in here.
- Unsweetened Dehydrated Coconut Flakes: I mainly used these for garnish, but tucked inside would be delightful.
- Raw and/or Dehydrated Buckwheat Groats
- If you're going to make them, you need 1 cup of raw buckwheat groats (not kasha) and a dehydrator. Alternatively, you can blend them up. See below.
- Chocolate Chia Pudding
- Place the chia seeds and milk in a bowl and whisk together. Place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, or until it becomes thicker. Whisk to incorporate.
- Place the chia mixture, along with the date(s) and cocoa powder into a blender and blend until combined. Set aside.
- Dehydrated Buckwheat Groats
- Place the raw buckwheat groats in 3-4 cups filtered water, then let them soak for 8 hours, or overnight.
- Strain the groats and rinse off the groat water, which will have gotten slimy overnight. (This is normal.)
- To dehydrate: Lay the groats in an even layer on a Teflex or parchment-lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate it at 115º for 7-10 hours, or until they're dry and crispy.
- If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can still follow all of the same instructions, but instead of dehydrating, add them to a blender with a little bit of liquid of your choice and blend until smooth. Dehydrating the groats will obviously add to your prep time.
- To assemble, layer the ingredients one by one in a small glass. Opt for variance in colour and texture as you arrange it.
- The truth is, although the parfait looks stunning layered up like this, it actually tastes much better when it's mixed together. I recommend serving it up like this and then telling people to mix if they want to.