It’s been a little over a year since I’ve been “back” and blogging. In the year prior, I had spent my time resting a tired and weary body, one which was riddled with Tick-borne infection and needed a level of care that I wasn’t able to give without giving something up. Sadly, that something was maintaining this website. There were definite moments when I thought of giving it up entirely. In fact, during my year off, I operated with the assumption that my blogging days were over. I was too tired — too exhausted, really — to even think about getting back to a place where I could fathom putting in the work required to create recipes, take photos and write up posts.
But something compelled me to come back. The realist in me thinks it was just that I was feeling better and needed an outlet for my new-found — albeit sporadic and fleeting — bursts of energy. But the spiritualist in me knows that there was more to it than that. I missed what this blog meant for me on a deeper level. I missed having a voice that I believed resonated with those seeking a healthier, more fulfilled and compassionate existence through their food choices. At the time, I didn’t really know if what I was sharing resonated with anyone, or whether my voice was missed. But I did know that if what I believed and was compelled to share, through food, resonated in my own heart, it was bound to reach someone else as well.
What I’ve never mentioned, or admitted, is that this blog has also become a personal tool for my spiritual growth. Selfishly, I know that no matter what, by sharing my words here, I am doing something important for me — which is, simply, “putting myself out there”. When I first had the idea to start a blog, I quickly brushed it off as a ridiculous notion. Who would really want to see what I had to share, or what I had to say? Who was I, really? There are thousands of food bloggers on the planet, many with more beautiful photos or fancier web designs than my own. The idea of throwing myself into the pool, with the strong risk of facing rejection (read: no one giving a crap) scared the bejeebers out of me.
And I should mention that for most of my life, I’ve been intensely afraid of rejection and failure. I know I’m not alone, though it seems that there are those who are born blessed with the innate gift of being impervious to the judgment of others. I was not one of those people. I’ve always envied those who’ve been able to live their truth without worrying what other people think, or whether anyone else cared. For me, my sense of importance has long been intricately tied with how I’m perceived. Or, put more simply, I just want to be liked. It’s this faulty metric of self-worth that has landed me in fits of inner doubt and worry about whether I said the wrong thing at a party (will that person still like me?) and has caused me to typically be the person to back away in a relationship first, out of fear of later rejection and heartbreak (thankfully, I met an amazing man who wasn’t willing to let me go that easily. I married him).
In that sense, starting this blog was an intensely cathartic yet painful process — one that forced me to confront my fear of rejection and to just be me, whether anyone liked it or not. Those same fears were reinforced every time I expanded my social media presence. I worried about not having any followers or likes, as if that would somehow relate to the world that all this time I’d been a fraud, a failure. While some people would probably benefit from cutting back on social media and all that comes with it, for me, I view these things as extensions of something I intrinsically felt was important to me when starting this blog: to confront my fear of rejection or of being disliked — essentially, of feeling unworthy.
In this process, I’m grateful to have arrived at a place where I am aware that who I am and what I believe isn’t less worthy just because someone doesn’t like it, or doesn’t like me. It’s an understanding that I still struggle with every day. But at least it’s a struggle. Without that struggle, there’s no learning and no growth.
And after all this time, I have learned a thing or two. One is this: in an age when our worth seems to be judged by how much money we make, how many Twitter followers we have or how many likes we get on Facebook, it’s easy to forget that these things do not measure success — nor do they mark failure if we don’t live up to some lofty ideal we’ve set for ourselves, usually by measuring ourselves against others. I now know that if you do something that makes you happy and offer that to the world, you have already not failed. It’s in hiding that thing and keeping it to yourself that you fail, never having the chance to succeed at all.
So, for being a part of my own growth and journey, I wanted to say to you, whoever is reading this, THANK YOU. Thank you for giving me an outlet to be me. Thank you for offering your feedback, good or bad. Thank you for simply being out there. Whether you’re reading this or not, knowing that you’re there has been all a part of this journey for me, as I learn to get comfortable with sharing my voice — my spirit — with the world.
And as a special “thank you”, I wanted to share these amazing Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. Hard to describe in just a few words, I would say that they’re definitely soft and chewy, as the title conveys, but also rich, just a tad cakey, and perhaps even brownie-like. Whatever they are, they are delicious. I mean, seriously, I might just give up making any other cookie recipe and just make these from now on to satisfy all of my deepest chocolate cravings. Like most desserts made with coconut oil, the texture will also change depending on how they’re stored. Refrigerated, they will harden up a bit (but still remain chewy and good to snack on), while they will be soft and cakey when left at room temperature. When they’re still slightly warm out of the oven, they are so chewy and gooey that you will wonder if someone slipped gluten and butter in the batter when you weren’t looking.
Once the weather gets warmer, I plan on making these again and serving them warm with some vegan ice cream on top for an especially decadent treat.
Vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, nut free, soy free.
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice Flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar/crystals
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground chia seed
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (mine was solid when measuring)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup Lily's Premium Dark Baking Chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together arrowroot, brown rice flour, cocoa powder, coconut crystals, baking powder and salt.
- In a small ramekin or bowl, stir together chia seed and water. Let sit for a few minutes until it forms a gel.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat together (using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer) coconut oil, vanilla and chia gel (chia seed + water) until smooth. Beat in dry ingredients until crumbles form. Add applesauce and beat on low for a few more seconds to incorporate, then knead the mixture with hands until dough forms together (will not come together with mixer alone). Add chocolate chips and fold into dough until evenly distributed.
- Roll heaping tablespoon-sized amounts of dough in your hands to form balls, then lay on parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten gently with your palm. Dough will be slightly sticky but you should easily be able to mold it with your hands.
- Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12-13 minutes. Cookies should lift easily off of baking sheet. They will harden more as they cool off. After the cookies have been out of the oven for a few minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.