I is for Ice Cream

Little pleasures, like a fresh bowl of ice cream, are a nice way to unwind after a long summer day at work. Not only does making ice cream give you a way to focus on something fun, but it also–of course–results in a delicious treat.

This classic chocolate from David Lebovitz is my favourite. The result is rich and creamy, it lasts (if you can resist it) in the freezer without becoming over hard or developing too many ice crystals.

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H is for Holding Space

Holding space is deceptively simple. Holding space means being present with someone without judgment, letting arise what needs to, and just observing. Holding space involves deep compassion for others, and opening your heart to them. Often when we think of the heart and working with the heart, we think of actions and expressions. Holding space is an actionless action which takes up only description. It is being there.

For me, as a Reiki practitioner, I think of holding space as intentionally clearing a space in which I can whole heartedly, compassionately, be present with another as they open and work through what arises.  I am out of the way–so to speak–in order to let them fully experience the vitality of their own energy.

E is for Eating

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Creme brûlée, Portuguese custard tarts, and eggs Benedict: three old favourites that I long for. I can’t eat wheat, nor can I eat eggs. My body aches for days, and my mind gets mushy ( yup, brain fog isn’t just a term) after just one serving. Swollen lips? You bet. And, after years of cheating on my dietary needs myself, I committed to being good to myself and only eating what I know is good for my body–even if it means paying extra.

I used to envy bloggers like the Gluten free girl who seemed to effortlessly transition into a new way of eating. Sometimes not being able to eat everything means you can’t share appetizers with friends, or need to read menus before getting a table, or say no to free samples. Having a food allergy can make social situations awkward. It made dating terribly awkward ( just how may times can one describe where gluten resides in the wheat sheaf?). But, the bodily harm far out weighs the awkwardness and minor social discomfort.

Eating for your body begins with focusing on the foods that you can enjoy, and politely passing on others.

D is for dessert

I’m a big fan of dairy. Huge. So, when my bowl of fresh berries was looking a little dull, I whipped up some left over heavy cream with vanilla sugar. It’s really that easy. No measuring, just pouring and whipping.

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B is for Birthday and Bunting

It may not be so ‘on trend’ anymore, but I’m still a fan of bunting. And, I’m really a fan of no bake gluten free birthday cheesecakes.

To make this crust I sprinkled coconut in a pie plate, then blended together a handful of dates with almond crumbs, 1tbs of coconut oil, ginger and a little squeeze of agave. I rarely follow a recipe (sorry!). But, really, it should look thick and resemble pebbly gravel. Just press this into the pie plate using plastic wrap (I know, I hate waste too.. But oiling your hands just really isn’t enough with dates) and let it relax in the fridge while you make the filing.

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A is for amaranth

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A visit to the Dufferin Grove farmer’s market brought this lovely leaf into my life: amaranth. A robust crunch that mixes well into salad and doesn’t get too squishy over hot pasta.