Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Twenty-three Things

It was a glorious birthday weekend. I rock climbed and made primal-friendly brownies. I had a 1920s/Prohibition themed birthday party with mead making, classy friends, and laughter. I walked around with Daddy-O after a light lunch and returned with a Belgian waffle maker in tow. And now, with primal eating and my body in a love-not love relationship at the moment, I am taking it easy by writing this post, my birthday spirit still intact.

On Friday the 16th I turned twenty-three. I’ve heard people give up on the birthday magic after a certain age (most notably in the U.S., becoming legal to drink alcohol on your twenty-first), but not me. Turning twenty-three was awesome, because I feel my age in the most positive of aspects. I may not know what life has in store for me this year, but I have learned a lot thus far.
  1. Living safely is not the same as living smartly.
  2. I stopped aiming for perfection, and started living for progression.
  3. Community is not only something you find; it’s something you make.
  4. It’s okay to not be everything at once, and it’s okay to not be everything at once at twenty-three.
  5. It is never too late to learn something, and it is never too late to start something new.
  6. When asked “What is the point of life?”, this was my response: “I think there really is no one single answer to this question. My meaning is not your meaning, and your meaning isn't mine. Some people spend their entire lives looking for it, while others run into it one random November day. It may take seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, years, decades, and lifetimes to figure it out, but you won't know unless you put yourself out there for the Universe to show you what it offers. Sometimes dreams and goals take time, even grunt work and sh*t work that you may not like. Ask yourself ‘Is it worth it?’ for each and every dream and goal you have. If the answer is ‘no’, then move on to something that is.”
  7. Observe without judgment; behind every action is a need.
  8. There is no such thing as one perfect body, fitness regimen, or dietary lifestyle. (More on the this after Thanksgiving.)
  9. The language your body speaks to you with is possibly one of the hardest and easiest languages you could learn.
  10. How do you start to become great at something? By deciding you’re great at it.
  11. When in doubt, make belief.
  12.  I’m like a chess piece playing the best game I can with the squares I have accessible to the rules of the board.
  13. You don’t have to be “on” all the time to be productive.
  14. Being genuine has gotten me further than being nice.
  15. I strive for community service that is for more than just humanity.
  16. My progress is my progress, and it is still progression regardless of the time it takes.
  17. Bettering yourself (looks, diet, fitness, education, work, life, etc…) just to prove to someone else what your are worth will never give you the satisfaction you think you’ll get from it.
  18. If you treat your body like it’s something to control and fix, it will always be in constant rebellion.
  19. Comparing myself to others is a disservice to both parties.
  20. I am not my condition.
  21. Living in optimism does not mean living with unrealistic expectations.
  22. What climbing and yoga have taught me is to reach even with the fear of falling, to be flexible and self-aware, to breathe with purpose, to accept the not-today’s and celebrate the little wins, and to always keep trying.
  23. Life is the biggest science experiment there is.

Primal Birthday Brownies (inspired by this recipe)

180 g Coconut oil, solid and at room temperature
125 g Cocoa powder
240 ml Whole milk
100 g Honey
3 Large eggs
240 g Almond meal
1/2 tsp. Sea salt
1/2 tsp. Bourbon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Place the coconut oil and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix well.
Add the coconut milk, honey, eggs, almond meal, and spices and blend until combined.
Pour the brownie mixture into a greased 8x8” pan* and smooth the surface of the mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes, then remove and allow it to cool before cutting into individual servings.

Makes 20 servings.

*I was able to make two batches with this recipe, though I do believe the thicker the brownie layer, the gooier and less cake-like it will be.

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