For some reason, I started drinking a lot
more coffee since moving to Seattle. It was almost instant - as soon as we crossed into the county line - I started craving coffee. I'd get large to-go cups of 20 ounces of more when I was out running errands. I got a fancy new coffee pot that grinds fresh beans, in the loudest manner possible, in the earliest hours of the morning. I also lay in bed watching Frasier re-runs every night, secretly wishing there actually was a Dr. Frasier Crane, on a KACL radio station, and an actual Cafe Nervosa to go to in the mornings. On the one hand, at least I do not have a cup of coffee in one hand and
a cigarette in the other, like everyone else in this town seems to have. But the coffee addiction is out of control. And it's not just coffee anymore! Now it's espresso too! I've developed this routine in the afternoon where I go for an afternoon walk to get an Americano around 2:00. Then, I sip on my Americano and listen to... Neil Diamond and shout the lyrics to "Cracklin' Rosie" until I feel happy enough to continue on my day. I don't get it either, I've never listened to Neil Diamond on a consistent basis before. But whatever makes us happy, right? And happiness is needed.
It's no secret that I'm not really, well,
our time in Seattle. But instead of going off on a tangent about what I feel is stinky about this area, perhaps I should just work on the stinkiest thing of all: my attitude. Truthfully, it's quite exhausting
being miserable. So I'm trying to change my attitude right now. And if Neil Diamond and copious amounts of coffee are going to assist in the process, then so be it. Every day, I count my blessings for the multitude of positive things I have, the health I have, and the people I am most grateful for. But I've had difficulty translating this to my general outlook and approach at life. Granted, I've never been one of those people with the brightest or sunniest demeanor. But I really need to focus on transitioning this gratitude-fueled energy to my outer well-being.
In addition to drinking coffee and Neil Diamond, I've also been finding happiness from these energy bars! This recipe come from my favorite Exercise TV motivator, Chris Freytag
, a Minnesota native and serious exercise fanatic. Her workouts are kicking my butt, making me feel stronger, and I'm hoping that her workouts will transition me into wedding shape. These bars aren't free of sugar. (I might cut back next time.) But they are free of things that I don't like eating. They are adaptable (I'm thinking more seeds, or nuts, or raisins, or pretzels!), incredible, and delicious. They actually taste exactly like a Snickers or a Cliff MoJo bar. I've been using these to fuel on training runs for an upcoming marathon and they are definitely doing the trick and putting the pep in my step. Or is that the caffeine doing that? Whatever it is, try these next time you think about buying another PowerBar! An added bonus? They store easily! Wrap individual bars in wax paper and store in the freezer. Take them as you leave the house, let them dethaw for a few minutes, then enjoy!
from Chris Freytag
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 1/2 cups puffed wheat cereal
- 1/2 cup almond slivers
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Combine oats, puffed cereal, almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and chocolate chips in a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan, combine butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, salt, and agave nectar. Bring mixture to boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour mixture quickly over the dry ingredients (similar to Rice Krispie treats). Stir to combine. Note: the chocolate chips will melt.
- With wet fingers, wax paper, or the back of a spatula, press mixture VERY FIRMLY into a 9x13 pan lined with wax paper. Let harden. (Put in freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden quickly before cutting.)
- Cut into approximately 24 pieces.