I hope you have been enjoying a summer filled with love, happiness and wellness.
While in the midst of rainstorms, high humidity and fluctuating temperatures my family and I have been settling into our new home and finding new ways to balance this beautiful life.
We have recently relocated into a lovely home in a quiet neighbourhood in one of my absolute favourite cities, Toronto. With the flurry of activity in a new neighbourhood, comforting old patterns tend to fall away to reveal new, often more exciting ones that admittedly require some adjustment.
It is summer here and I am feeling extremely grateful that the often fleeting summer season offers a period of relaxed adjustment, free from tension and anxiety without the need to settle into new patterns too quickly. I will be honest with you, I do not respond well to the urgent pace normally required with moving anymore. Instead we carefully plan our days embracing the importance of balance in a relaxed environment, enjoying a few indulgences once and while of course. Summer presents the perfect opportunity to rebalance both our physical and emotional selves regardless of which state of flux we in in life.
Kellie Elmore said “I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket” and she was definitely onto something. Inevitably summer emotionally takes me to a time in my childhood when the days lingered on in a dreamy haze, warm summer rains spattered with never ending rainbows, flip flops, daydreams under wistful cotton like clouds in the perfect baby blue sky and BFF’S, when for some of us anxiety did not exist. The truth is I love new beginnings but in all honesty I also feel anxious about them. I worry about almost everything. And in my worrisome state I take comfort in establishing new routines quickly, while honouring the ones that still bring me comfort.
The days are longer, bringing with them more opportunities for exercise, an already existing routine for me in whatever form of movement that day. I must tell you there are days when I am only up to 10 minutes and that really is ok. Of course my goal remains at 30-45 mins but for the days it seems like an impossible feat I know the body will always feel better and respond with even with just a little bit of movement. I nap, oh how I love my naps, work on my passion projects and spending spontaneous time that requires very little planning with my friends and family. In short, Replenish, Restore, Nurture and Nourish. One of the many ways I like to nourish and bask in the season’s glow is by taking full advantage of our local farmer’s market offerings. I know that by doing this I am nourishing my body with fresh nutritious whole food options and for all of us, not just those of us living with chronic pain and illness nutrient dense food is what our cells long for to replenish and restore the vital nutrients we need to feel our best each and every day.
And while the temperament of Mother Nature in the summer may not always be in our favour, this much I know. The food we put into our bodies, where it comes from and how it is prepared, directly affects how we live, how we function and we feel. Shopping with integrity by shopping your local farmer’s markets, buying organic when affordable, preparing food with as much love as possible and sharing your meals with loved ones is a great place to start.
So with that I will tell you that I have been taking full advantage of our local framer’s market bounty and with peak season for zucchini being June through late August, I thought it was a great time to share this delicious recipe. Abundant in plant based nourishing ingredients this loaf has just the right amount of sweetness, depth and texture. The dates and walnuts nestle and weave throughout, treating your taste buds to a divinely delicious nutty caramel flavour that invites the feeling of comfort and the coziness of home.
1 3/4 Cup Gluten Free Flour
1/2 Tsp Xanthum Gum
3 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
3/4 Tsp Salt
3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Coconut Yogurt
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil or Sunflower Oil
1 Cup Grated Zucchini
1/4 Cup Almond Mylk or Coconut Mylk Even though a little heavier Soy Mylk would work here too
2 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Chopped Dates
1/4 Cup Walnut or Pecans
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Line loaf wit parchment paper or Coconut oil.
- Very carefully sift the dry ingredients together as gluten free flours are very delicate.
- In a separate bowl whisk the wet ingredients together.
- Using a spatula gently fold the wet ingredients with the dry, followed by the Walnuts and Dates.
- Bake for 45 mins or until a fork comes out clean.
The ingredients are as always plant based with me, as I believe that clean organic plant based foods are generous in and will provide you with much needed antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, improves your mood, your quality of sleep, deliver much needed fibre and assist the body with pain management.
We love this recipe in our home and make it almost weekly! Have fun with it, add dark bittersweet chocolate chips (the whole food kind of course) use raisins and pecans instead of dates and walnuts, the options are endless.
Nutritious, filled full of summer and guilt free, I promise you this loaf will not disappoint!
Wishing you endless daydreams filled with sunshine and beautiful memories.