Personal growth.

It’s what’s happening right now.

And you may think I’m a bit nuts.

I thought this was a perfect post to share with all of you after Christmas, partially because it’s almost the New Year and partially because some of you may find this post a little well, nutty..hence, the ‘Cinnamon Spiced Nuts.’

Ever feel like things are just a bit out of alignment?

Not in a bad way….but just a bit off? Like there is something out there telling you to do all these new things for yourself and to grow. But you’re not sure if it’s the right thing to do.

Well, I was there the past few months. I’ve been working on making changes. Great Changes. And I’m happy.

My dad and I hit a rough patch this past summer and it shattered me- completely shattered me. To the point that I don’t think I smiled for two weeks straight- the entire time I was traveling for business in Portland and Seattle. But now I look back on it and we needed that break to bring us back together. Closer than we’ve ever been. And it’s pretty great; my father and I are on a completely different level than we have been the last twenty nine years and it’s pretty great. Again, this is nuts.

I’ve left a group project that I had been working on and launched for over a year and a half. It was tough to say good-bye but was just what I needed to get myself on my own. It felt empowering. I felt growth- right away. I never had doubts. I never second guessed myself. I never regretted it. Because each decision I make happens for a reason and I love watching my work soar.

When I worked in corporate America, I felt like a gerbil in a cage. Day in n’ day out it was the same thing. I knew better than to just sit back and let the years go by.  I knew I was put on this Earth to make an impact and to help people.

A great life is one journey after the other. And I’m just gettin’ started.

I’m shedding like a snake and cleaning my life. Not that I need much ‘cleaning up’ to do, but I am starting to add new activities into my lifestyle.  One is meditating, another is journaling, and intuitive eating. I’ve already cleaned up my food- now it’s time to clean up the mind and start to enjoy downtime and self love.

Now I’m onto me, my body, my true self. With a lot more grace, a lot more flow. A lot more self love.

Because even though I am the happiest person and love my work and my life, it recently dawned on me that I don’t have much self love. I don’t think I’m worth getting a manicure n’ pedicure, I don’t think I’m worth a $20 yoga class, I don’t think I’m worth treating myself to a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant. And why is that? Why do I feel this way?

Maybe it’s because I grew up with the “save, save, save” mindset and to not spend money or maybe it’s because I’m scared to spend money.

And so I’ve started a spiritual practice.

Meditating, journaling, showing up in the face of fear. It’s about knowing we are always going to have opportunities to grow.  It’s about living in the moment and creating joy each and every day without looking to extrinsic goals such as money and a fancy car or a huge house and instead focusing on intrinsic goals which are about deep meaning and being connected to yourself. Because the reality is those extrinsic goals don’t predict happiness.

You are never going to get rid of fear. Your goal is to embrace fear and use it as fuel.

It’s about being of service and there is no arrival point. It’s all about living your optimum life and choosing to show up and embrace every moment.

We’re always going to have highs and lows but if you start meditating, your highs will be higher and your lows will be lower because you are present and aware. It’s hard to have a bad day when you are doing these practices.

It becomes liberating. Believe me, if you had told me a few months ago to start meditating I would have laughed. When I was sick, my integrative medicine doctor and yoga teachers always told me to meditate. But I just didn’t know how. I didn’t know where to start. Or what to say. Or what to do. Or where to turn. Meditate? I didn’t have time for that….but now I do. And I’m a new woman. No, really I AM.

This fall I met Deepak Chopra and he has become such an inspiration to me; I took part in his 21 Day Meditation everyday. I told myself to turn off my computer 30 minutes earlier each night, light my candle, turn out my lights, get cozy on my couch and listen. And meditate. And then pamper myself with self love. Maybe the self love was a piece of dark chocolate or a face mask or a foot soak, or curling up in bed with a good book. This changed my nightly routine and it’s exactly what I needed.

Prior to this change, I’d be on my computer all day, turn it off at midnight and get right into bed. I never saw anything wrong with this until recently. When I started that launch project I spoke about earlier in this post, I dedicated my life to it. I didn’t take care of Amie. Yes, I was eating right, yes I was sleeping 8 hours a night, yes I was happy. But there was something missing. Something was off. I would push, push, push and never gave myself or my body proper down time. Of course I’d go out for tea with friends or spend the day cooking with my clients, but there was something still off. It wasn’t until I started meditating and asking myself to clarify what I desired and what was blocking my desires- that a light bulb went off in my head.

It was nuts.

How did I do it? How can you do it, too? You have to meet the moment and be more aware of your cycle and identify the aspects of your life you have control over (not the economy or the weather or your boss’s mood) but focus on the number one thing you can start doing in your life that will have the most benefit in your life.  Commit to it.

Then ask yourself, what is the one thing that is not helping me that I can stop doing today. And do it. Give it up and feel good about it.  Maybe it’s internet time or phone time. Take the time to observe your addictive moments and try to give them up. Maybe it’s gossip or criticism. Maybe it’s overeating. Maybe it’s not listening to others when they talk to you. Maybe it’s procrastinating and wasting time.

For me, there was a lot I wanted to give up. For my clients, there was even more they wanted to give up.

So we did it together.

And so here you have it. A lot of nutty things but honest, true messages about life, self love and personal growth.

I leave you now with my roasted nut recipe- it was a huge hit for the holidays and I’m making another batch tomorrow to serve on New Year’s Eve.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying some relaxing time with your family and friends. Toss in a few roasted nuts this weekend and have fun!


Have any of you had similar experiences with meditation, self love or personal growth?

Cinnamon Spiced Nuts
Serves: 6
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Vegan
Author: Amie Valpone
Recipe type: Entree



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place all nuts on a cookie sheet and roast 8 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine stevia with spices and orange zest; mix well to combine.
  4. Remove toasted nuts from the oven and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and spice mixture; gently toss to combine.
  5. Transfer nuts to a serving dish.
  6. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
Cinnamon Spiced Nuts
Amount Per Serving (6 g)
Calories 732 Calories from Fat 630
% Daily Value*
Fat 70g108%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Sodium 91mg4%
Potassium 602mg17%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 140IU3%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 120mg12%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


#1 Best-Selling Cookbook

Over 200 vegetarian recipes free of gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, eggs, peanuts, corn and other inflammatory foods.

Order Your Copy
Previous Post Chocolate Candy Cane Dipped Pears...
Next Post Pumpkin Coconut Sugar Cookies...
  • Share


  1. 5 stars
    These look delicious!! Perfect snack to warm me up this winter! Off to the store to get more nuts and get started 🙂

  2. I feel you Amie, so much. May we continue the search and the journey with more full heartedness, more self love each day. May we live in light!

  3. Hi Amie!

    I stumbled upon this site after seeing this gorgeous recipe (I LOVE nuts) and wanted to express how much I enjoyed reading such a thoughtful, honest post. I look forward to more to come and will definitely be making this recipe soon!

    Cheers, Rebecca

  4. I was searching for ‘gluten free sweet potato bread’ and ended up here. I’ve been reading My Thoughts, (or rather, YOUR thoughts) and recipe pages (looking forward to many new kitchen escapades). I have to say, you have a way with words, it’s really quite inspirational reading your posts. I’ve certainly favourited this page and after reading this post, I’ve realised I am far overdue for a little self-love and am so excited to try out some calming new routines 🙂 Thank you, from a fellow gluten, soy, oil, alcohol and dairy challenged girl.

  5. This is a wonderful post. I, too, have spent the majority of my life seeing and treating myself as worthless. Taking steps to change that is so important.

    And nuts are always, always delicious.

  6. So lovely, Amie! And I’m so glad for you. Your post really makes me realize how much I miss meditating. I meditated every day when I was in nutrition school, but somehow the times seems to slip by these days and I don’t get to it. Time to take that extra half hour or 45 minutes and do it.

    Hope you had a great New Year! It sounds like 2013 is off to a fabulous start. xo

  7. Such a thoughtful and thought provoking post, Amie! Though I put my phone down an hour before bed and always take time for myself, through exercise or a good movie or reading a book, I have been feeling a bit off lately. I think the pressure of trying to succeed and failing often is getting to me. Perhaps I’ll give meditation a try. I need something to help.

    1. Thanks Laura; I hope this helps! Try to focus just on your work and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing and try not to compare yourself- you are not failing! You have an amazing blog! oxoox Happy New Year!

  8. I stumbled across this site looking for places that sell roasted pecans.
    What a wonderful find! I am not disappointed at all that there is no sale
    here. You have given me inspiration! Thank you for words of wisdom.
    Interesting how the universe supplies when you’re not really looking.

  9. HI AMIE,


  10. Wow wow wow…so much to say but not enough time or words. Was this the digital mag? Loved this post and your strength and honesty. I hope Ican get there one day. If you ever need to talk, let me know 🙂