I didn’t even realize it, but a guiding force behind my New Year intentions was the desire to experience and recognize the small, sacred moments in daily life. The moments that honor simple joys, the ones that make the overall experience of life a happy one. So, so far this has led to a year with quite a few games of Scrabble and quite a few snacks (with creative beverages in hand). It’s also seen hundreds of pages of the books I always wanted to read but never have.
I just finished reading First Bite: How We Learn to Eat, by Bee Wilson. It is a must-read for anyone who eats. In earnest this book would do every parent, spouse, friend, E.D. survivor, and diet-change newbie a world of good. It isn’t forceful or pretentious; it’s the insight and friend in a world where food, a basic necessity, has been so complex and so dividing that the idea of food as fuel is miles from sight. Something that I keep turning over is her reminder that food isn’t morals: no food is sinful, no food is virtuous and that we must find other ways to show each other love and attention other than food.
I love the idea of eating more nuts, a little bit more than in reality actually eating more nuts. They have the fats and protein to satiate for long periods, they have little fuss or potential allergy contamination (unless your allergy is to nuts, then this post is entirely irrelevant and I recognize your frustration), and they travel well. But their heaviness and dryness has consistently turned me off, until now. I found that making my own trail mixes was a great gateway to nuts, and to cutting out more processed purchase. These mixes take that concept to the next level.
In the world of this blog, the food-allergy community, food can be downright scary. Strangers and loved ones alike can hurt us unintentionally, even those who know our needs best, with accidental contamination or simple ignorance. But it’s also a hopeful, creative world, where we have more freedom (often, because we have to) to recreate our culture’s food norms. This is something this space will keep coming back to. How can we use our needs to our advantage and to share new hope with those around us?
Who knew snacks could be such a big deal??
Seriously – how does this relate to spicy cashews and vanilla coconut almonds? Supplying yourself and those you love with nutritious foods, especially on the occasions where every norm calls for dinner-plate sized cookies and heavy pasta-bakes, contributes to a new norm: where sugar doesn’t mean emotional support and “comfort-food” doesn’t mean carbohydrates. A basket of the spicy mix, fresh fruit, and a scented candle makes a great alternative to the go-to bakery box when a friend is going through a tough time, a jar of the coconut-almond blend and map of the near by bike paths would be a welcome change from the classic new neighbor supply of sugar-laden muffins.
These are just my thoughts, not advice or dogma. I hope these feed you and nourish you, and those you love.
Notes: I tolerate duck eggs just fine, despite a chicken egg allergy. This may be you too, if it isn’t I have a suspicion a binder like ground flax would work out here due to the baking element, but I have not tested it. If you do, let us know! Also the spice proportions are to my preference, if you want to kick up the heat or turn it down – make your own modifications!
*These recipes were inspired by the Cinilla nut mix in 21 Day Sugar Detox, and David Lebovitz’s Cocktail mix.