Sometimes it’s hard to transfer my swirling brain into the written word. Eric has this funny gesture that he does when he’s poking fun of my overactive mind. Picture him making buzzing noises as he motions electricity coming out of his head. He knows all too well that I’m often unable to quiet my mind. Writing has been challenging lately because life has changed so much and it’s been hard to focus with so many things going on. Then there is the sleep deprivation which isn’t always conducive to making coherent sentences. I always ask Eric what I can write about and he always says, write about how you can’t think of anything to write about. God, he’s so logical…ha.
Creative writing was always my favourite thing in school, next to gym class. My mom often digs up stories I wrote as a child and sends them to me. My writing was so free and filled with zany, creative tales. I never worried if I was saying the “right” thing or if others would like it. I owned that shit. In highschool, I eagerly signed up for a creative writing class with my awesome English teacher, Mr. Pierce. We each made our own creative writing journal. Mine was a huge coiled notebook (I think I splurged on the “fancy” Five Star notebook!) filled with random scraps of inspirational words pasted onto the pages and stories confessing the things I had been struggling with or triumphing over. I wrote about love and heartbreak, a cross country move with my mom, missing my best friend, and starting my last year of highschool in a new school. I wrote about my anxiety and struggles with body image. I wrote and wrote and wrote my little heart out; the words came easily because I knew that my teacher would be the only one reading. It was like therapy. Each week, his encouraging comments scribbled below each entry lifted me up. Sometimes he would ask us to share a bit of what we wrote with our classmates and I would freeze up, rarely ever volunteering, even though I could see him glancing my way out of the corner of my eye. Writing freely for yourself is one thing, but being vulnerable and sharing it with others takes guts. Heck, even writing honestly for your own eyes takes guts.
Even after 6 years of blogging and consistent daily writing, I still struggle with the debilitating feeling that my words don’t matter or what I have to say isn’t worth sharing. Isn’t it funny how we can defeat ourselves before even trying? Brain, stop that! I miss the freedom with writing that I felt so many years ago in my creative writing class.
When I started this blog I wrote as if I was writing in my journal. After all, no one was reading so I didn’t think about it much. As the blog grew, I started to overthink every word I wrote because I felt eyes looking over my shoulder as I typed. Would this offend someone…does this sound preachy…will I inadvertently destroy a young and impressionable human being? I’m being dramatic, but you get the idea. This type of thinking stifles every creative bone in the body. It’s definitely a good thing to be aware of others, but it’s a fine line and it’s easy to lose yourself. I think we’ve all been there whether it’s with writing or in real life situations. It’s funny though, since writing my pregnancy and baby blog posts, I’ve actually felt a renewed freedom in my writing again and I’ve even had readers take notice and comment on it. I love writing those weekly posts mostly because I feel like I’m writing in my journal again. It’s helped me bring back the me in my writing.
So. I’ve decided that I want to write more freely and in spite of fear. I don’t think that fear when sharing personal writing will ever go away (sharing takes guts, and always will), but I do think I can forge ahead anyway. I love connecting with YOU; it’s what ignited my passion for blogging in the first place (way back in 2008). What helped me write this post was just sitting down at the computer one night and letting my thoughts hit the paper (err…keyboard). No censoring myself, just writing freely. It felt good!
Having a daughter has made me think a lot about the lessons I want to teach her some day (gulp!), and encouraging Adriana to speak her truth is high on my list. I want her to be BRAVE and raise her hand and share her stories! And not just share her stories, but to feel like her words are worth sharing. That is so, so huge. To know that you are worth it. But I know that I have to practice what I preach and show her there is strength in vulnerability, in taking risks, and being true to who you are.
This raw, completely natural, no-sugar-added banana cacao almond butter pudding will make your heart skip a beat! It won't give you a sugar crash either. I expect that kids will love this recipe too. If you don't have raw cacao powder you can try using unsweetened cocoa powder, although you will likely have to adjust the amount to taste. I recommend adding it 1 tablespoon at a time and taste testing as you go. Roasted almond butter would also work lovely. And because I will probably be asked - the banana flavour does come through quite a bit in this pudding. Recipe adapted from Green Kitchen Stories, which was adapted from the Kernesund Familie cookbook.
For the pudding:
- 3 medium bananas, peeled (see note)
- 1/2 medium avocado, pitted (see note)
- 1/4 cup smooth raw almond butter
- 4-5 tablespoons raw cacao powder, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of pink Himalayan salt or fine sea salt
- Coconut Whipped Cream (recipe linked in notes below)
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- Raspberry chia seed jam (recipe linked in notes below)
- Pomegranate arils
- Add all pudding ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. I like to let the machine run for a couple minutes to get it super smooth.
- Portion the pudding into a container and chill in the fridge for an hour or so. Or you can serve it right away with the recommended toppings. Best enjoyed within 12-24 hours or so.
Tips: 1) You want to avoid using overly ripe, brown bananas in this recipe or the banana flavour will overwhelm. Yellow with a few spots is best. 2) If you want an "instant" cold pudding, refrigerate the bananas and avocado prior to making this pudding. 3) For the coconut whipped cream recipe, see here. 4) For toasted hazelnuts, roast the nuts at 300F for 10-14 minutes until the skins start to fall off the nuts. Place toasted nuts in an old tea towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. 5) For my Raspberry Chia Seed Jam recipe, see here. 6) I don't recommend using an avocado that is bruised as it will be bitter. A soft, but still green, avocado is perfect for this recipe.