Recently I told Jesse that I am so happy I found someone to be crazy and do adventures with. I do a lot of things many people consider to be insane, ideas such as wanting to live in a tiny house, becoming vegan, or making all my food from scratch. I like to live my values, even if conventional wisdom says that I should not be able to do so. My brain also doesn’t recognize certain physical limitations, and my latest adventure ideas include Jesse and I riding our bikes 70 miles from Oakland to Napa, and randomly showing up at cross fit gyms on Memorial Day to do The Murph.
(For those who don’t know what the Murph is, it is a timed exercise routine consisting of 2 separate 1 mile runs, 100 pushups, 200 pushups, and 300 air squats.)
Jesse not only says yes and helps me plan out many of these ideas, but he comes up with plenty of his own. This is how I found myself naked in a sensory deprivation chamber for 1.5 hours yesterday, followed by watching Jesse and his father get their very first pedicures. Both were quite nice.
It is funny listening to others react to our adventurous ways. “Oh I could never do that,” is pretty common, as well as “why would you ever do that?” My favorite is “I would be vegan/exercise/travel if I could but….” Often we try to take others along with us, and receive a lot of resistance to any new experience. The pedicures and sensory deprivation chamber things are good examples, given that Jesse’s family was reluctant about attending both as part of their Mother’s Day extravaganza. Turns out, everyone had a great time! New and unknown does not always equal bad.
When we are children, we are always learning. However, as we age we get set in our ways, and we find change or the prospect of doing something different (that we might not be good at! Oh my!) scary. Because of this, we tend to avoid new and difficult things, a tendency that can lead to both dementia and Alzheimer’s. In terms of our brains, according to psychology today, it is use it or lose it, and the best way to use it is through new experiences and exercise. Thus, acting on all those random good ideas in your head, or actually doing one of those things you always wanted to do, may not only lead to tons of adventures, but a much healthier brain.
And truly, why just be content watching incredible things and adventures on TV? Why look longingly at others and tell yourself that the only reason they are happier, more fit, healthier, more free, is because they are better than you? Why not make the commitment, do some research, and go forth and do them yourself? Life is all about priorities. Why not make adventure, new experiences, and living an intentional life one of those priorities? You are stronger, smarter, and more brave than you know.
Just saying. Just do it.
This Week in Updates: A week of Jesse
For the first time in over two years, I am in Portland for an extended period of time and NOT during the referee season. World of wonders. Jesse and I are treating it as a full blown test run, complete with me actually unpacking things from my suitcase. Neither of us has EVER done that before. UNREAL!
The Recipe: Vegan banana date cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
It’s taken me about 4 months to come up with this recipe, and is not just good, it’s GREAT! And check out those whole ingredients! No processed vegan mock butter here, or weird chemically altered palm oil. I love the dates and molasses, as they give a complex sweetness to the cupcakes. And the vegan cream cheese frosting? Non vegans can’t tell. It is truly magic!
The only downside is these are not cheap cupcakes to make. This is a you want amazing vegan food you can’t get anywhere else and you are willing to spend about $15 to make it. That almond flour and dates? Not cheap.
Makes about 16-20 cupcakes.
- 1 ½ cup mashed ripe bananas
- 1 ¾ cup non dairy milk
- 1 ½ cup chopped date pieces (the ones with oat flour, not the straight dates)
- 2 tbs molasses
- 2 tbs ground flax seed
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1/2 tbs baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup crushed walnuts (for topping)
- For the frosting:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup cold coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350.
- Mix the wet ingredients together in one bowl, and the dry in another. Let them all sit for about 5 minutes to let the vinegar start reacting.
- Mix and pour into a well-greased cupcake sheet immediately.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes, until edges begin to brown and a fork comes out almost completely clean (these are soft cupcakes).
- For the frosting, once the cupcakes are cool, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend. Frost immediately, because the frosting will take on a more ganache type consistency in the fridge.
- If for some reason you have to frost the cupcakes at a later moment, you may need to warm the frosting slightly in the microwave. CAREFUL! If you overheat the coconut oil will melt and the ingredients will separate. You will have to refrigerate completely and re blend to get your frosting back.
- Top the cupcakes with the crushed walnuts, and enjoy!