It’s just plain cool how life works if you create space for a little quiet.
For most of my life, I was a workaholic in the city. Then I left Chicago and moved to the country to force myself to slow down. Access to some seriously beautiful nature has helped a lot, but habits follow you no matter where you go. I knew that going in, although honestly, I was hoping it didn’t apply to me. [shakes head]
When I wrote YumUniverse the book, I literally poured every waking moment into its creation at the expense of my own health at times—I didn’t think there was any other way to do it. When I was done, I was a proud mama, but there was no way I was writing another book. Then, after time had dulled the edges a bit, I had an idea for a second book, and with it more ideas for how I could write one in a smarter, more balanced way.
I’m using book 2 as an opportunity to build some important new habits for my own life. For example, before I did any work on the book each day I went outside for a 3-to-4-mile walk, run, or walk-run. No worky until I took care of me first. For the first few weeks it was a challenge because my gotta-get-it-done-anxiety brain pushed back hard, but eventually, I craved this time, how it made me feel, and then nothing got in my way. I also took breaks throughout the day and most importantly, I stopped working every night by 9–9:30pm and created a little sleep ritual for myself.
- Leave the phone in the kitchen to charge—don’t bring it upstairs
- Take an epsom salt bath
- No devices in bed—read a book or close your eyes
These simple guidelines have been a game-changer and they’ve eradicated the stress tornado I usually operate in. The clarity! What a gift. I was able to make efficient decisions about the book the entire time. I was able to be succinct, cut things—let them go instead of holding on so tightly (ex: the recipe below).
I sent in my manuscript last week, and the very next day woke up, had my walk, and then threw a bunch of clothes in a suitcase and drove for the shore. I arrived just in time for my favorite timeframe on the beach—4pm-ish to sunset. I unloaded the car, grabbed a chair and sat in the sand to just be still.
Some of you know I’ve been working through some feels about YumUniverse for a while now, but some healthy ideas for the future have been galvanizing these past few weeks. Here’s what I know:
- I’ve been craving real connection with YU—the kind that goes beyond a mutual love of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies or kale. I have cool stuff, inspo, and ideas to share in addition to tasty new recipes.
- I’m going to spend more time cutting through the noise, the overwhelm, and the time-sucking to-dos and write to you directly each week. I want more back and forth with like-minded peeps, so my efforts are going to focus on the newsletter. I’m going to share the weekly things that touch my heart, make my tastebuds sing, and the amazing tools that help me find health and happiness in my own life. I hope they will do the same for you because health and happiness are not mutually exclusive. Sign up here if this sounds good to you.
How will it all unfold? We’ll see. I have some projects to complete and some exciting new ones to start. I’m just going to follow my curiosity, tell fear to zip its mouth, and go from there.
During my break from things, I’ve received some very supportive letters from YU. I’ve also received a few nasty ones. I thank you all for taking the time to share your feelings with me because I read it all.
Here are the facts: I had to take a break. This site and what and how I plan to share moving forward is going to be better for it.
In honor of the good feedback and the not-so good feedback, I’m sharing a recipe that I’ve decided to cut from the book for the very same reason. I personally LOVE this recipe and the name :). And while some of my recipe testers loved these flavors, some others? Not so much.
I’m curious what YU think—give it a try. And know that if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can aerate by blending an extra minute or two, then simply freeze.
Miso Nice Cream Ingredients:
1 vanilla bean pod (how to open, or 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract)
3 cups canned coconut milk
½ cup Sucanat (or coconut sugar)
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch/flour
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Azuki Bean miso (or any other miso you like), to taste
1 teaspoon fresh, minced ginger
A pinch of fine-ground sea salt
Let’s get started.
Lightly press vanilla bean pod so it lays flat on a cutting board. Then, carefully slice all the way down its length with a sharp knife and open. Use the back of the knife or the back of a spoon to scrape out the caviar-like seeds and tap them into the blender.
To the blender, add remaining ingredients and blend for 1 minute. Transfer to a large pot and heat to medium-high. Continuously whisk together remaining ingredients until velvety smooth and starting to simmer. Remove from heat and chill ice cream for 2–3 hours in the fridge until thoroughly cooled.
Pour mixture into the ice cream maker and process until firm, but scoopable—serve now! Or freeze, thaw, and serve later.
I’m curious what team you’ll be on. #TeamMisoNiceCream or not so much?
What do you think of this recipe?
Tell me with a comment below and show me a pic! #yumuniverse
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