Tag Archives: 4th of July

What would you like to declare independence from?

photo credit: Stars and Stripes, US Flag via photopin (license)

What will you declare your independence from?   photo credit: Stars and Stripes, US Flag via photopin (license)

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July!

The 4th of July celebrates America’s Independence from the British and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and as I was preparing my blog posts for this month, the holiday got me thinking about all the things that we do to ourselves that keep us perpetually in a state of oppression or at war with ourselves – physically, emotionally or mentally. Huh? Hear me out. The American colonists reached a point of oppression from the British (taxes) that they deemed unacceptable before they were willing to take actions that would forever change the course of this country. As an analogy, we have to reach a certain level of unhappiness, frustration or health issues before we are willing to make changes to our lives and that turning point is reached because we can no longer tolerate our own self-oppression.

When I talk about self-oppression – I’m talking about how we have a tendency to suppress and control who we are, our deepest desires, urges and needs, all for usually not great reasons! Neverending diets, restrictions, negative thinking, painful judgements, punishments, withholding permission etc around any area of our lives. When we go to war with ourselves – no one wins. This summer, I urge you to come up with a list of actions or thoughts you will stop doing and then take time each day to work on them.

What are you doing in your life that is not serving you? That you will declare your independence from?

5 Things I’m declaring independence from:

1. I Declare Independence from Body Shame. This summer, I will enjoy being at the beach, at the pool or on vacation in a swimsuit without spending precious energy judging my body. No one is paying all that much attention to what I or you look like anyhow (despite what we think!) because they’re focused on their own body issues. The amount of joy I receive from doing “summer” things just like everyone else in a bathing suit far outweighs silly thoughts about my physical form.

2. I Declare Independence from Food Guilt. This summer, I will enjoy summer foods like ice cream, cheeseburgers and potato salad on occasion without feeling bad about it. There is room in every “diet” plan for life and if there isn’t, then we are setting ourselves up for failure. No one blows their weight loss goals by having one ice cream sundae. And no one succeeds in their goals by attacking themselves. If I eat foods that aren’t great for me, I will only do it because I really want to eat them and I will eat them slowly and savor every bite. I will not eat in secret.

3. I Declare Independence from Judging Others Bodies. This summer, I will let passing thoughts of judgement about other people’s looks go on by.  When we make judgements about someone else’s body or lifestyle based on how they look, it’s not really about them – it’s really about how we feel about ourselves. Why would you want to feel anything but good about yourself? Give yourself the freedom to stop knocking others down – instead look for good things in others (which will help you see them in yourself).

4. I Declare Independence from Other People’s Standards. This summer, I will not worry about whether or not I look how others would like me to look. I will never be a size 0. But I know I can be strong, healthy and beautiful at any size. It has nothing to do with the amount of physical space my body takes up on this earth or what size appears on my clothing tag. I can meet my own standards by taking care of my body through eating high quality food the majority of the time, getting lots of sleep, laughing often, being gentle with myself and others and moving my body in supportive ways every day.

5. I Declare Independence from Limiting Beliefs. This summer, I will work on not limiting myself with beliefs that are carved in stone. I acknowledge that believing that I can’t do things (lose weight, stop eating junk, get that promotion, climb that mountain etc) only serves to prevent me from doing them and holds me back from living the life I want to have. I will practice being open to an “I can do this” mindset because the actions I will take are a direct result of my thinking. The difference between what we can and can’t accomplish is all in what we believe! (And if you don’t believe that – it’s a limiting belief!) 🙂

Those are the things I’m working on freeing myself from. Not just this summer, but always. Can you come up with some of your own? What would you like to Declare your Independence from?  What is something that is holding you back, making you feel stifled, making you feel crushed and preventing you from taking the actions you know you need to take? Write it down! Declare your independence from it! You are the master of your own life – no one else! Please, share with me your declaration of independence, either by leaving a comment here or by shooting me an email! I’d love to chat!

Red White and Blue Popsicles

Strawberry, Coconut & Blueberry Popsicles

My ugly but delicious dairy free popsicles!

My ugly but delicious dairy free popsicles!

No one is ever going to tell you I make pretty food.  I make tasty food that is usually pretty good for you but it usually looks like a train wreck.  But that’s ok with me if it’s ok with you.  Don’t judge my ugly 4th of July popsicles by their outer appearance.  It’s what’s on the inside that counts.  And if you make these yourself you won’t have to go dig up some change when you hear the ice cream man’s music come rolling through the neighborhood. The best part about these popsicles is that you don’t need to worry about gross ingredients like food coloring and high fructose corn syrup and since they contain real fruit you are giving your kids (and yourself) a treat that you can feel good about.  Have you ever looked at the ingredient list of most store popsicles?  They’re usually not even food. I’m looking forward to trying these with other fruits – I’m thinking mango & lime juice would be good too! This made 6 good sized popsicles out of small solo cups.  Despite using small solo cups they were still pretty large popsicles.  I think if you are using molds you’ll get a few more out of the mixture. It’s strawberry season right now in NH so by all means, use fresh if you can get them!

3/4 can full fat Coconut Milk
8 – 10oz organic fresh or frozen strawberries
8 – 10oz organic fresh or frozen blueberries
4 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt

If your honey is very thick or crystallized, you’ll want to melt it first.  You can do this by heating it in the microwave but I prefer to put it in a glass measuring cup and then setting the measuring cup in a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes.  Once the honey is melted, blend the strawberries with 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of honey, plus a dash of vanilla and a tiny bit of salt.  Once they are well blended, scrape the blender out and set the strawberry mixture aside.  Rinse the blender and then do the same with the blueberries (+ honey, vanilla and salt) and again with the coconut milk, setting each one aside in a separate container.   Once all have been blended, spoon a heaping tbsp of the strawberry mixture into each popsicle mold, then a couple of spoonfuls of coconut milk, then a heaping tbsp of the blueberry mixture and so on until you run out of the mixtures.  Freeze for at least 4 hours before eating.

Freaking out because you don’t have popsicle molds? If you don’t have popsicle molds (I certainly don’t!), you can use small plastic or paper cups instead!  The popsicles won’t look as fancy and they may be a little awkward shaped but it will do. You just pour the mixtures in then cover with plastic wrap and make a small hole for a popsicle stick or plastic fork/spoon, then insert one into each hole.  The plastic wrap will keep the stick in place.  Pop into the freezer and wait patiently.  When the popsicles are frozen you may need to run the sides of each cup under warm water for a few seconds to release the popsicle from the plastic cup.  If you use paper cups you can probably just peel them off.  We used plastic forks in ours in place of popsicle sticks (since we didn’t have those either) and the cool thing about that was as your popsicle starts to melt you can just stick it back in the cup and eat it with the fork that has been acting as your stick.  So fancy.

You don't need popsicle molds to make your own popsicles.  Look around your kitchen, you'll find something that you can use.

You don’t need popsicle molds to make your own popsicles. Take a good look around your kitchen and I’m sure you probably have stuff you can use in a pinch!

I will totally be having one of these tonight! Yum!

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