The gifts you gave. There are many. I don’t know where to start.
After your birth, I had breasts that ached to feed a child and a soft and cuddly stomach perfect for nursing a little one. Without you in my arms this body felt foreign to me. I had two choices, I could fight it and consequently set my mind to making changes, or I could accept it. I could embrace it. I could see this as a reflection of the transformed person I am since letting you go.
Surprisingly, to both myself and those around me, I chose the latter. Or it chose me. Somewhere, on some subconscious level, I decided to be perfectly happy with my imperfect self. I realised that where I am right now, how I look and how I feel, is exactly where I need to be. That keeping my body as it is, is almost like keeping a piece of you. That the constant striving, the constant belief that I need to change, that I can be better, has dissolved.
I feel that years have passed in the mere months we shared. That the internal transformation I have experienced since you came and since you left could not have possibly happened in such a short period. I am unable to convey the depth of the changes within me. When I pause, when I stop to think, to concentrate on exactly how to express what you have given to me, the only words that come out are self-acceptance. You have taught me how to love myself exactly as I am. With all of my faults, all of my flaws and all of my imperfections. You have taught me that despite all of these I am still ok. Exactly as I am, I am ok.
I will make mistakes, I will hurt, I will experience negative emotions. There will be others who will not like me, who may not like what I do, who may not believe in me. There will be frustration, anger, indecision and still I will be ok.
I will live with love. I will aspire to give more and take less, to be patient, to be calm, to be present. To do unto others as I would have them do to me. Often I will fail, and still I will be ok.
Carrot and Raisin Loaf
- 1 cup raisins
- juice of one orange (the orange I used in the above image weighed 200 grams)
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped (the carrots I used in the image above weighed 300 grams in total)
- 40 grams of butter or coconut oil (2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
- 3 cups almond meal
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- Preheat your oven to 175°C or 350°F
- Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper over hanging the sides for easy removal (My tin measures 19.5cm x 9.5cm).
- Place the raisins and orange juice into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling remove from the heat and leave it to sit, covered, while you prepare the remainder of the ingredients.
- Place the carrots and butter / oil into your food processor. Pulse until the carrots are ‘grated’. Add the cinnamon, salt and vanilla, combine. Add the almond meal, combine. Add the eggs, combine.
- Stir the bicarb into the raisin mixture. Combine the two mixtures and spoon the batter into your prepared tin. Smooth over the top. Drizzle the maple syrup over the loaf. Sprinkle generously with the sunflower seeds, pressing them lightly into the batter. Bake for 1 hour. You can check your loaf after 45 – 50 minutes, if you are worried it may burn cover the loaf with foil for the remainder of the cooking time.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before gently moving to a cooling rack. Allow to cool a little further prior to cutting. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.