I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year's Goals and Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

One of the first recipes I tried out this year was a "pumpkin pie smoothie," which unfortunately turned out awful!  I thought it sounded so good, but I was wrong.  First, it was a little too thick to really be a smoothie-it had more the consistency of oatmeal.  And it wasn't sweet enough, so I tried adding honey, but that did not work-it still tasted too bland.  Then I tried adding my favorite oatmeal and then even chocolate chips!

It looks pretty, but it did not taste pretty.  So after eating the bits with granola and chocolate chips, I still had a lot leftover and then I had the bright idea to use it as a base for pumpkin steel cut oatmeal.  Fortunately, the oatmeal turned out fabulously and I have been eating it every morning this week.  Just add a little brown sugar before eating.  

I got the recipe from the blog, "Rachel Cooks."

INGREDIENTS:

  • (I added one cup of Greek vanilla yogurt)
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • extra milk for topping, optional
  • brown sugar for topping, optional
  • extra pumpkin pie spice for topping, optional
  • toasted pecans for topping, optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large (6 quart) slow cooker and cook on warm overnight or at least 8 hours
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I recommend putting aluminum foil on the bottom of your crock pot, so that you have less to clean.  I used the smoothie as the base and just added a little bit more of the pumpkin pie spice.  Of course, add some sort of topping before eating.  It is really creamy and sweet, letting me get my pumpkin pie fix first thing in the morning!

I am sharing this recipe because the trial and error approach sort of reminded me of my new year's goals.  (I prefer calling them goals instead of resolutions, as I feel that term carries less pressure.)

This year, I am going to try to be more reliable in responding to people on time, and to continue walking more often. There are some people in my life that I would like to get to know better. I want to spend more time being productive than being lazy on the couch. I want to get back into letter writing and to read more. I want to start volunteering at the nursing home again, because I really enjoyed it when I was there. I want to start building a business as a DBT coach.
Whew!  That's a lot!  Fortunately, some of them are just to continue the good work that I am already doing, like continuing to walk and read.  They are simply goals set with good intentions not meant to be a bat to beat myself up with if I don't fulfill some of them. If I go through a period of depression where I am not able to be productive, so be it. I know the negative feelings won't last forever and I am looking at these goals as a long-term venture and not something to achieve or fail at in one day.
In fact, I fully expect myself to fail at accomplishing these goals sometimes.  I will not walk every day or magically turn into the most reliable person on the planet in one day.  No, just like the oatmeal, first I will have to fail before I will have the desired outcome.  My goal is to be the best person that I can be, but that does not mean that I will be the best out of everyone or even be my personal best at all times.  That is totally normal.  
When I was in the throes of my eating disorder, my goal was to be perfect and perfection meant being unhealthily skinny and having people give me attention.  Now I crave foods that give me energy and an outlook on life that gives me energy and motivation too.  A goal of perfection is unreasonable, stressful, and sets myself up for major failure, while the goal of slow progress and becoming my better self is actually achievable.
One of my major goals this year is to start a business as a DBT coach.  I will not be a therapist, but a person who can help someone remember what skills to use when they are stuck.  I am working on the website now.  I know that starting a new business will be tough, especially since I am an introvert and I expect it to go slowly and perhaps feel like a failure at times and that's okay.  I have many people who are supporting me and will keep me grounded.  I am confidant that some good will come out of the venture, even though I will not have a clue what that good will really look like until after I have started working, which is life.
I am so glad that I embrace failure, stumbling blocks, and even anxiety now. Since I now know how to be mindful and use the DBT skills and supportive people in my life to help get me unstuck, I no longer suffer in paralyzing fear about the future anymore.  It is fear that holds us down and hinders our progress-today I choose love and acceptance.
Link Love:

BY MEGHAN HOLOHAN

Even worse, re-stigmatizing people through lazy labeling may scare some folks away from getting needed help, Reynolds said: "The terms denote disorders of the brain … that frequently have good treatment and can lead to good recovery."

BattyMamzelle - For Feminists Who Resort To Racism When Slut Shaming Is Not Enough

when the simple fact is that Beyoncé's feminism is not FOR white girls. It's not going to work for you because it's not supposed to. That you might benefit from it is incidental and completely tangential to the point.


I genuinely think that this is the way Suzanne's mother saw her; as a black body from whom difficulties were to be expected and endured.
Most of our congregations were designed in an age when hierarchical, corporate structures brought order and stability to our institutions. Today, we live in a networked, adaptive world where we’ve got outdated structures that are now destroying those congregations. Try simplifying some of your bylaws, bureaucracies, and committees in 2015. Free your people to be in ministry, not management.

Rebecca Hains - LEGO  Friends Comic  Goes  Viral: An Interview with Illustrator  Maritsa  Patrinos

I actually don’t have a problem with the content—I know there’s absolutely nothing wrong with playing with juice bars or shopping malls. I just don’t know if those things should be associated with gender. I thought about the girls who don’t like those things, and the boys who do like those things, and wondered if they felt alienated at all.
I’m sure LEGO’s heart was in the right place and I’m sure they’ve done tons of research to pick their content. But when I saw the men in this documentary talk about how to connect with girls, it sounded a little like they were trying to decipher how to make contact with an alien species.

Scott Dannemiller - The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying


The problem? Nowhere in scripture are we promised worldly ease in return for our pledge of faith. In fact, the most devout saints from the Bible usually died penniless, receiving a one-way ticket to prison or death by torture.

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