After a couple month hiatus, I went back to yoga today. I seriously love yoga. Don’t turn away yet- this isn’t going to be a long diatribe about yoga! I just wanted to talk about healthy living.
I’ve been working really hard since the New Year to have a more healthful life. I’ve been working out about five times a week and have been making conscious, good choices about the food I eat. I sleep amazing and I never get tired during the day anymore, where I used to need a nap around 2pm. But I took a little break from yoga.
Yoga is expensive if you go to a studio like I do, but I need that studio space to focus and be present. Otherwise I’m fending of cats and waiting for videos to load and getting distracted by dirty dishes and emails. So off to the studio I go, usually with a friend in tow.
Today we went and encountered a new instructor, which was pretty jarring. She had a different approach and style and we were not feelin’ it at all. We missed the calm, focused yoga we used to do with our usual instructor, so we walked out of yoga a bit more tense than we walked in. But this instructor did make a good point. It’s your practice. She said it about 1000 times so it really got hammered into our heads, but I’m trying to use that phrase to help me feel good about our yoga experience by choosing to feel good about it. Healthy living is all about a healthy mindset. Letting negativity and grumpiness to edge its way in, that’s how you’ll feel all day, thinking about that experience with a frown. We’ll probably go to this new instructor’s class again, and maybe we’ll enjoy it more next time. But for today, I’m going to choose to feel good about my choice to go to yoga and further my yoga practice and strengthen my body, letting that choice influence the rest of my choices today.
To continue to nourish my body and keep a healthy mindset, I made these nutrition-packed bars. If you don’t have time to work out today or do something good for yourself, maybe you can make these little treats instead. Fruit and nut bars don’t sound good at all, even to me, but trust me. I have a major sweet tooth that consumes my life; so if I can eat these and feel like I’m eating a treat, I think you will too.
These are essentially Lara bars. If you’ve never had one, it’s a mix of nuts and dates, with one or two other ingredients to give it a flavor. Today we’re doing a brownie version. People comment often on the high sugar count in these bars, but I don’t feel bad about it since I’m getting fiber and nutrients from the fruit and good healthy fats from the nuts. It’s like yummy trail mix in a tasty bar.
The ingredients are simple: dates, almonds, walnuts, a couple tablespoons of chocolate chips and cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. But it tastes like a fudgey chocolatey treat.
You can eat these as an afternoon pick-me-up, after a workout for a bit of energy, or even for dessert. I really love this bar and I hope you do to! They’re gluten and dairy free (make sure to grab dairy-free chips if need be), and infinitely adaptable – there are tons of recipes and ideas online, so if you like this one, go explore and experiment with others.
Fudge Brownie Fruit and Nut Bars
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 cup packed whole dates
3 tablespoons chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
few sprinkles sea salt
Method: Line a loaf pan with some lightly greased parchment paper. Soak the fruit in a cup of warm water for about 10 min, unless your fruit is very soft.
Add your nuts to your food processor, and process until nuts are very fine, but before they become a paste. Add in the remaining ingredients, processing until mixture comes together into a thick lump (mm…lumps.) This only took me a few minutes, but it could take your processor longer to combine everything.
Spread mixture into prepared pan with a greased rubber spatula, making it as evenly spread as possible. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Remove from pan and cut into 6 bars.
Wrap bars tightly in plastic wrap; will keep at room temperature for a few days, and in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Recipe adapted from Leite’s Culinaria