fall in (self) love part 1 : almond joy brownies

“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by my self.” ~Brian Andreas

how beautiful and fitting is this quote about self love as the season changes. with any change of season, a fresh start is possible and there will never a better or more important time to begin loving yourself, your body and taking care of yourself than NOW.

in this 4 part series i plan to provide 4 new fall recipes – as well as a personal experience/tips regarding self care, self love, acceptance, mindful living and “kalein it.” every saturday for the next 4 weeks i challenge you to reflect on the ways you show yourself love + what changes you want to make to benefit your health + happiness.

it’s so easy to put off our needs for the needs of others. to wait for a new years resolution to begin a healthy diet, or simply believe we don’t deserve to think highly of ourselves. i promise that as soon as you start practicing self love, it enriches other relationships as a result. it brings you peace of mind, a confidence that is contagious + the tools to prepare for life’s little surprises.

so for part 1 i wanted to begin with some action.

so let’s start with self care. a form of self love, self care is something i now cherish and proudly practice often. however, it took a while to feel comfortable doing nothing or selflessly doing what my mind and body needed me to do. throughout recovery from an eating disorder and battling my depression/anxieties i was told how deserving i was of self care. believing it was the difficult part.  i had to think of it less like wasted time and more like small deposits to my well-being bank account. it can be a large or small act, but each time you care for yourself it adds a bit of wealth to your mental and physical health, making you feel really great.

there are technically no rules for “how to self care”, but if i were to create some guidelines they would look like this….

keep it non-judgemental: refrain from judging yourself. don’t judge the lack of productivity or the slow pace. don’t judge that it is causing other priorities to fall behind. (your health + happiness are serious priorities). don’t judge what you enjoy + most certainly don’t judge yourself for needing something to help cope with emotions + difficult times.

stick with personal preference: bubble baths are a go-to form of self care. they are the bread + butter of the self-care world. it definitely sounds relaxing. but i don’t really like bubble baths . i just never have + that’s ok. refer to rule number one above + stop telling yourself what you should be enjoying.

how to self care:

do something that makes you feel really happy. 

do something your body is asking for- exercise, sleep, prepare a healthy meal, receive/give a hug. 

relish in the feelings of comfort, joy and clarity this action brings. 

repeat often.

 i totally self-cared on thursday.

i slept in. i went to yoga. i listened to rain. i listened to my favorite band. i pet my dog (a lot). i hugged my boyfriend. i laughed with a close girlfriend. i made brownies (below is recipe, don’t worry).

looking at the above description of my day, i really didn’t do much. yet it left me feeling emotionally full in the best way.  it prepared me for the following day, left me recharged and refreshed. i remembered that i have every right to comfort myself when i start to feel it is needed.

not that i endorse food being comfort, however there are these brownies….

almond joy vegan brownies kaleinit

almond joy vegan brownies

almond joy vegan brownies

i got this recipe originally from an account i follow on instagram –  @thecolorfulkitchen – Ilene is absolutely amazing both with her original recipes and food photography.

i made a few edits based on what i had on hand. (my self-caring-self wasn’t running to a grocery store in the rain that day).

// what you’ll need //

1 tbs. ground flax seed + 3 tbs. warm water for flax egg

1.5 cups of whole wheat flour (can sub gluten free)

1/2 cup of raw cacao powder (use cocoa powder if you want a more sweet flavor)

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup of dairy free chocolate chips

1/3 cup of coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup of almond milk (or any dairy free alternative)

additional 1/4 cup of chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped almonds

coconut flakes – roughly 1/4 cup

// here’s how //

prepare the flax egg. stir the water + flax together. set aside.

preheat oven to 350 degrees + grease 9″ x 9″ baking dish.

in a large bowl whisk together flour, cacao, salt + baking soda.

in a saucepan on low, heat the chocolate chips + coconut oil until liquid.

transfer melted chocolate to bowl and add in the flax egg, vanilla, coconut sugar, and milk. stir.

add this to the dry mixture.

fold in almonds and remaining chocolate chips.

bake for 20-25 minutes. halfway through baking- sprinkle the coconut flakes on the top of the brownie batter. allow them to toast/brown a bit, but should not burn.

let brownies cool completely. and to garnish, melt chocolate and a bit of coconut oil then drizzle over brownies.

yum! now enjoy with no regrets! it is about balance. realistically if we never had brownies, we just wouldn’t be human. since they are dairy-free, egg-free, whole wheat, blah blah blah blah, have yourself two. it’s self-care-saturday after all….


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