I want to tell you all about these delicious almond cookies, but first, let’s chat. It wasn’t until I reached my glorious 30s that I started to focus on my emotional health and starting diving into what may refer to as ‘How to Find Yourself’. I learned how to shut out all the noise in my head, in Manhattan, and around me. In my 20s, I remember selling myself short, selling myself out and focusing on everything else except for ME. No wonder I couldn’t heal in my 20s. My mind was everywhere else but where it needed to be.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m probably one of the most positive and happiest people you’ll ever meet (I hope we meet!) but once I found my authentic self, I started to love myself even more and be even happier. I know how to thrive and always look on the bright side. You’ll catch me with my iPod dancing down Park Avenue or singing to myself in the aisles of Whole Foods Market or munching on these vegan almond cookies in the park… pure joy, happiness and self-love fill me daily. It’s not to say I don’t have some bad days when I’m not feeling so hot but I try to keep myself rested and relaxed on those days without pushing myself so I can get a little more self- love comin’ my way. Catch my drift?
In my 20s, it was easier to give into expectations set by my parents, my jobs, my friends, and so on… and I found myself a bit lost in terms of being true to myself. Getting really honest with myself came after I struggled for a decade of being sick, hundreds of doctors, hospitals, tests, etc. You know what sets you on fire and what dims your light bulb – and you know what fires me up now too.
I don’t know everything, obviously, but I wanted to share a few of my thoughts and what I’ve learned the last few years that have helped me live my most authentic life. Jot these babies down on a piece of paper, add them to your computer’s calendar, post ’em in your car, add them to your fridge or in your journal. Wherever you post ’em, you’ll be happy you did. Sometimes we just need these little, teeny reminders to keep us true to ourselves.
How do you live your most authentic life?
Jot it Down.
Every time you find yourself inspired, happy and full of energy, jot down what made you smile, what’s going on in your life, who you’re with and what you’re thinking about… keep notes on this so you can look back on what excites you!
Allow Yourself to Do What YOU Want.
It’s okay to be a yoga teacher. Or a banker. Or a personal shopper. Does it make you happy? GOOD. Then do it. Pretending that we don’t want something doesn’t change what we really what… it just separates us from our dreams. Do what you love. Life’s too freaking short. I’m living proof.
Give yourself permission to listen to yourself and do what you’re curious about. Like nature walks and hate yoga? Good. Stop doing yoga and walk. Like tennis and hate golf? Stop impressing people with pretending you love golf and trade your tennis racket for your clubs. Let your curiosity lead you.
Daydream. Night dream. Just do it. It’s fun and I love it. I was always yelled at as a kid for daydreaming but I’m an adult now, so guess what? I’m gunna daydream while I’m snacking on these almond cookies, and I’m gunna enjoy it. It inspires me to fantasize about living in Italy and cooking in Tuscany or becoming an Integrative Medicine Doctor… dream more. You’ll love it, too.
Fall in LOVE with Self-Love and Self-Care.
Give yourself a hug every time you take time for YOU. You need a time out from life, friends, lovers, cooking, baking, washing dishes, cleaning, shopping, etc. Stop a few times a week – don’t feel guilty about it and fall in love with your life and taking good care of yourself whether that’s a nap, a bath, a massage or meditation…
Toss the Idea of What You ‘Should Do’.
Stop using the word SHOULD. You shouldn’t DO anything. Got it? No more. You’re not allowed to use that word. You don’t need to be president of your PTO group, you don’t need to salvage every relationship, you don’t need to feel the need to do, do, do or feel guilty about not doing. Do what you want, not what you THINK you should want or do. Quit your PTO group, spend time with your loved ones, read a good book, relax in the sunshine, take care of yourself with a nap or get to bed early instead of should-ing yourself to death and stressing yourself out trying to be a perfect human. Sorry but we’re not perfect and being the president of your PTO or having every friend love you isn’t going to make you perfect either!
Write a Letter To Your 5 Year Old Self.
I had an interesting childhood; I love my parents dearly but I was pushed into doing everything I didn’t want to do and was never able to quit or rest or relax. I’ve forgiven them because holding onto that stuff and those memories doesn’t do us any good but now at the age of 32 that I realize this – I’ve started to think about Amie at age 5. Full of energy (and gluten — OY!), stomach aches, happiness but feeling so much pressure… comes along with being the oldest child but sometimes you’ve gotta release that little girl inside of you and tell her how fabulous she is. I was funny, smart, energetic, athletic and much more.
Once I started writing to Amie age 5 I started to realize so many things I was at that age – I still am today. When you think of yourself as that little girl, you end up treating yourself nicer, kinder, more gentle. Whether you had a gentle childhood or not, it’s something that has helped many of my clients who now picture themselves as a young child before they start to beat themselves up inside for something or saying, “I’m stupid… I’m dumb, I’m not good at this, etc.” You’ll start to talk more gently to yourself and doing so will bring in more self-love to your day.
Start by treating yourself to these delicious vegan, grain-free almond cookies!
Try to buy all of the ingredients you need for these almond cookies in their organic varieties. Here’s why: The Benefits of Eating Organic.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two large, rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, ground flaxseeds, baking soda, sea salt and a pinch of black pepper until well combined. Add maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract; mix well until combined and mixture forms a dough. Add cinnamon and sesame seeds; mix well again until combined.
Transfer tablespoon sized scoops of dough onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and not doughy.
Remove from oven; set aside to cool before serving.