How To Nurture Your Soul, And A Recipe For Soul Nurturing: Gluten Free Date Bars!
By Leigh Reagan Smith
Feeling nourished and joyful connects you to the universal energy that surrounds and fills us all. Creating a rich and abundant life is virtually dependent upon feeling fulfilled in the present moment. We attract whatever we feel.
Often we tell ourselves…I can’t eat that, I can’t do that, I have to work out, I need to do this…on and on and on, it’s a constant mental parade of should have, needs, and wants. If you find yourself milling over the past and/or hyper focusing on the future, then you are in a state of deprivation.
The other day I was walking my dog and my mind wandered to the often familiar and comfortable resting place of berating myself over a past construed mistake or bad decision. I just stopped and thought, “Why do I always do this? I actually did what was best for me and all others at the time.” I chose instead to give myself needed encouragement, I did not have to believe or play this tired and negative radio station in my brain any longer. In that moment, I allowed myself to be content in the present moment and it was a needed relief.
We are fortunate that our soul connects us to our body during this time on this beautiful planet. Nurturing ourselves is like giving our soul a big THANK YOU. It is saying to yourself, that you appreciate all your wise, heartfelt, and electric-like energy.
When was the last time you really nurtured yourself?
Here are a few ways you can begin to nurture yourself:
Due to my digestive issues, I eat a very clean diet of mostly protein, vegetables, fruit, and gluten free fibrous foods. My strict diet may not sound soul nurturing but I feel so much better when I eliminate the foods which cause me inflammation. I don’t focus on what I cannot eat, but rather on all the delicious and healthy foods that I can eat. When I cook recipes that are yummy, my taste buds are happy and my body feels great. There are lots of recipes for healthy and nurturing meals and snacks. The book “Peace of Cake: THE SECRET TO AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET” by Jenny Carr is a favorite of mine.
If I make and eat sweet treats that aren’t filled with sugar cane (my nemesis), I no longer feel deprived and crave sugary sweets. I feel satiated and fulfilled. My favorite item to bake with is dates. Dates are sweet as sugar and are filled with fiber, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, iron, vitamin B6, disease fighting antioxidants, and they help regulate blood sugar. Making a date puree or paste is so easy, just blend dates and water in a blender. A rule of thumb is to replace sugar with date paste at a 1:1 ratio.
Date bars are a great grab on the go energy treat. Check out this delicious recipe:
Recipe for Soul Nurturing Gluten Free Date Bars
3/4 Cup GF oats, ground into flour
1 Cup H2O
3/4 Cup dates
1/2 Cup chia seeds
1/4 Cup sunflower seeds
14 Cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 Cup raisins
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
Preheat over to 325 and line square pan with parchment paper. Blend oats in blender until a fine flour forms. Pour flour into bowl. Blend dates and water in blender. Allow dates to soak in water for 30 mins. before blending. Blend until smooth. All all ingredients in bowl and stir. Smooth mixture in pan evenly. Bake for 25-30 mins., cool, and slice. Feel free to experiment and add shredded coconut on top.
From building neurotransmitters, to quieting mind chatter, to lowering depression, increasing intuition and creativity, and bringing us into the present moment, a daily meditation practice of just 5-10 minutes a day is essential. There are so many ways to meditate, pick what works best for you. Meditation apps are great place to begin, I really like Headspace.
Supportive Wide-Legged Forward Bend
This yoga pose calms the nervous system, stretches the body and relaxes the mind. Sit up straight and bring legs wide apart. You can use a folded blanket underneath the buttocks to support the back. Lower and round your upper body as far forward as you can while maintaining a passive stance. Being relaxed and using more props is better than holding in a maximum stretch. Allow your body to surrender versus effort. Hold 2-4 minutes.
My wish for you is to be kind to yourself and nurture yourself so you may bring in greater abundance. Here is a list of several other ways to Nurture your Soul:
Walk a dog
Listen to music
Declutter your closet
Play with kids
Make peace with yourself
Say YES to a new adventure
Connect with a friend or life partner
Get a massage
Play an instrument
Do a random act of kindness
Listen to music
Read a good book
Visit a gallery
Spend time in nature
Engage in a creative pursuit like making a scrapbook
Drop the need to or have to - to I love and thank you