Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rough Times Ahead!

Rough times ahead for everyone. I don't believe there is any way around it. I don't know anyone that is not struggling in at least one area of their lives, and many feel their lives are in complete chaos. How do we find a safe harbor?

It seems we have an inability to cope with our difficult circumstances. More and more people are using prescription medications to help them deal with the stress of everyday life. The non-legal coping mechanisms continue to thrive as well and are out of control. Is that what our Creator had in mind when He sent us to earth? Was life here on earth so difficult that the only way through it was to be numbed?

I personally spent a lot of years numbing myself with food. When I hurt, I ate. When I didn't want to think about something, I ate. When I didn't want to think about coping in a different way, I ate so I wouldn't have to think about it. (I can still remember having panic attacks everytime I watched The Biggest Loser. I would literally eat myself into an oblivion while watching the show. I guess I was worrying about what my life would be like without the foods they taught needed to be eliminated.)

I have known I was a compulsive overeater for many years. In fact, I attended a 12 step program in the early 80's and was successful in overcoming some of my problems. After moving back here however, I let my program slip. (I have lots of good excuses for why, but I digress...) It wasn't long before I was using the food again to help me forget my "pain". (I say it that way because I, unlike many others, have not had a horrible life that has given me difficult things to bear. In fact, I have had a wonderful life with a wonderful family. I suppose I am just a wimp in that I cannot cope with the stress of day-to-day life without using my drug of choice.)

When we discovered the lifesyle of eating mostly living foods could help us maintain a level of health previously unknown, we were unprepared for the emotional impact this would have on each of us. No longer would we have our crutches that had served us so willingly for so many years. We were forced to actually deal with the pain of everyday living. We found we did not know how to do this. All of my life, I had "used" so that I didn't have to do this. I didn't even know what really feeling my emotions would be like.

Actually where we see this the most is with our grandchildren. Because they live with us, they adopted our lifestyle choices along with us. I can see in them how difficult this change is. As little people who do not have a strong emotional base anyway, they are totally unable to deal with their feelings in constructive ways. Because they have had difficult things happen in their lives, they have a lot to deal with, a lot more than I have ever had. I really don't know how they do it without a crutch especially since they don't have the tools to which adults have access.

While thinking of this, I found myself asking this question: If we were not supposed to have to be numbed while living here, what tools do we have exactly that can help us climb that mountain? Being a religious person, I found comfort in several examples in the scriptures of people who moved ahead and even endured to the end. I also found comfort in knowing that the Savior had endured all pains and had taken all my burdens upon Him. Why then did I have to hurt?

I remember something my youngest son told me when I was struggling. How could we hope to have anything great in this life or the next if we did not have to pay any kind of price for it? Personal growth does not come in being perfect - it comes in the effort to be perfect. Once perfect we would stop growing. How grateful we should be for the challenge then!

I had to find the exact quote from my son(it's from Neal A. Maxwell):
“How can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!” (Ensign, May 1991, 88).

Time to find out what kind of cloth I really am cut from. I am always telling others, "It is never as bad as we think it is going to be." You'd think I'd believe it as many times as I've said it. We just build it up so much in our mind that it seems insurmountable. Well, it's not. There's nothing we can't handle one step at a time. It's when we quit moving ahead that we falter.

Here's our beast box scores for last week (not too many items make it to the top that are not desserts!):

tomato chewies 5.50
marshmallow cream cheese (fruit dip) 5.14
Caesar salad 5.00
honey almond butter 5.00
All Am Veggie Burger 4.71
rawky road 4.64
creamy spinach soup 4.57
zucchini nests (for pizza) 4.43
veggie crisps 4.43
macadamia ricotta 4.33
Alfredo sauce 4.14
tangy coleslaw 4.14
sweet potato chips 3.86
living taco fixins 3.57

We were pleased with these scores (none lower than a 3.5). Once again, it is a lot of fun experimenting with recipes we have been collecting and thinking about but have not had much time or room in the fridge for.

Recipe this week - the smoothie base from last week was a big hit, and here's the recipe:

4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoon lecithin
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 pinches sea salt
2 cups cacao nibs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups agave nectar
1 almond mylk recipe

Mix well. Blend 1 cup of this base with 2 frozen bananas.

Almond Mylk

2 cups almonds, soaked 4 - 6 hours
8 cups water

Blend well and strain.

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