On Wednesday I turned 49, which means I am barreling towards a landmark age at sonic speed. The idea of reaching the half-century mark feels as unfathomable to me as the solicitations I’ve begun receiving for burial plots. I’m sure my introductory AARP magazine with Brooke Shields on the cover is on its way, cementing that I, along with the icons of my youth, are getting old. Neither Brooke nor I are wearing tight Jordache Jeans anymore.
Aging can be emotionally challenging, and while it’d be nice to look 30, I wouldn’t want to be 30. My life now is an exciting, magical ride, that allows me to experience every single thing my younger self dreamed of. What I once yearned to achieve, I now have; the adventure, love, and the personal and professional fulfillment I enjoy, I could never have manifested in my 30’s.
I was a mess back then. Fueling myself on coffee, ice cream, and Taco Bell, I ate to bury unhappiness and anxiety I felt about spending my life as a practicing pharmacist in an incomplete marriage. I saw no way out, so I ate. The more I ate, the worse I felt.
The decision to change course came swiftly and definitively as I pondered the bleakness of my future at the bottom of another pint of Chocolate-Peanut Butter Haagen Dazs. Envisioning my overweight 50-year old self on various medications to manage weight-related illnesses, taking two vacations a year to Florida because I would be too physically compromised to do anything other than lay on a beach, I felt sudden despair. The vision was so clear, it scared the crap out of me. It was so far from what I wanted. While I knew I had to eventually change careers and get out of my marriage, both seemed far away and scary. So I took control over the one thing I could right away: I began eating for health.
Till then, my food choices were entirely dictated by my weight. I was either “on” or “off” a diet. It didn’t matter that Sweet and Low could give me cancer, or that I was losing hair by cutting fat from my diet. If it promised thinness, I wanted in. Until I couldn’t sustain it , and then I’d go nuts on junk food. It was a horrible cycle. I didn’t realize it then, but my dysfunctional relationship to my diet, health, and body, mirrored my engagement with my life.
When I began nourishing myself, amazing things happened. The most profound change was that I felt better. My mood and anxiety levels balanced out, while my energy soared! My confidence grew. I soon saw that I could take my career in a new direction by getting my Master’s Degree in Nutrition and starting my own practice. That decision gave me autonomy and the ability to take as many vacations as I wanted. And because I was fit, and my body was in shape to do so, I could climb mountains on my holidays. I also lost weight, and never struggled with my body again.
Fifteen years since the day when in my despair I changed my diet to change my life, I can say the results have far surpassed anything I imagined. My life now is an endless adventure. Even work is fun because I love it, making it feel as though I don’t work at all.
So while I may be the age that as I child I considered old, I’ve never felt better, or younger, or more hopeful. And besides, I still have a whole year before 50 and there’s a lot to do!
Building upon the foundation of my health, fortified by daily green drinks, homemade food and exercise, I plan to make the coming year spectacular. Along with the completion of my book, I will be writing more for the Huffington Post, Inc.com and some other venues that are in the works.
I’ll be trekking the Spanish Pyrenees as well as taking walks in the English countryside and the west coast of Ireland with Fozzy, who is a perfect companion. From our diets, interests and emotional intelligence, we are on the exact same page. We go together like, well, peanut butter and chocolate!
I’ll also make time to learn how to play my purple Passionflower Luna guitar. I’d always wanted to play, and when I saw it I felt as though the universe made it just for me. It’s my birthday gift to myself.
With solid lifestyle habits, engaging plans for my future, and the “miracle eye cream” that I slather on every day, I hope to feel and look as healthy and vibrant as I possibly can in the years to come. Life is a wonderful game. If you can approach it as one you want to win, it can feel like magic sometimes, bringing around people and events that feel divinely guided. But in order for the universe to deliver, it needs your participation.
To create a life that excites you requires energy and engagement. It’s not an accidental journey, but instead an intentional daily practice. You need to know where you want to go, and then every day take a step in the direction of your dreams.
Nourishing yourself will go a long way towards helping you get there. By eating whole foods that promote health, energy and vitality, you are giving yourself the gift of life. When you feel healthy and alive, you can then more readily engage in the creation of a life that suits your soul.
What is YOUR greatest wish? What do you most want to create in your life? I’d love to hear in the comments below. And with it, can you think of one nutritional goal that you can use to help you pave the way? There is a synergy that happens when you pair your nutritional goals to your life goals and I’d love for you to be able to experience that for yourself.
Wishing you all a happy and exciting week!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
I still think that there’s no better flavor combination than chocolate and peanut butter. Typically, I satisfy this craving with a piece of dark chocolate and a dollop of peanut butter. This time I decided to experiment in the kitchen and come up with something more befitting a birthday celebration. Made with almond and coconut flours and sweetened with honey, these cupcakes are moist, delicious and perfect for a healthy celebratory treat! Enjoy!
Ingredients for Batter
Makes 6 cupcakes
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix together all dry ingredients in a bowl making sure to break up any chunks of flour so that it is well blended.
- In a larger mixing bowl mix together all wet ingredients until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ones and mix well until it forms a uniform batter.
- Spoon out the batter into lined cupcake tray.
- Bake at 325 for 30 to 35 minutes or until done.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool in tray for about 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack and allow to completely cool before frosting.
Ingredients for Frosting
- ½ cup Wild Friends chocolate, coconut, peanut butter spread
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip together in food processor until it’s the consistency of frosting and easy to spread. Spread evenly over each cupcake. Sprinkle with coconut flakes if you so wish. Enjoy!