Well, I survived the holidays. I was very nervous about it, as it was the first holiday season after the death of my sister. Tears were shed, but there was also lots of laughter. My parents and I are trying to navigate our way through the messiness of grief. Now, spending time with my family and my sister’s friends feels like getting an IV drip – a very simple yet essential input for me to continue living.
I am battling with insomnia again. It might just be the seasonal blues that always hit me over the head in January, but it can be brutal. Sometimes, it only has a mild effect on me and I don’t feel the overwhelming exhaustion of not getting enough sleep. But yesterday wasn’t one of those days. I woke up at 4 a.m. I knew it was going to be a long day when, at 7 a.m., I was hit with a powerful fatigue and my brain became foggy. When this happens, I tend to panic and visualize a non-productive day laid out before me. What’s more, I crave sugar and carbs when I am bone-tired. There must be some biological reason for this, but it doesn’t help me in any way. Luckily, I have enough experience with insomnia that I know how to navigate my way through it. I did a decent job of exerting enough energy to get me through the day without having a meltdown, and I ate fairly healthy. I did have a brief crying spell in the afternoon, but I think it was necessary; I felt calmer and more clearheaded afterwards.
My husband and I watched Patton Oswalt’s latest Netflix special a few months ago. Towards the end of his set, he shares a story about his wife who died recently. She had a simple mantra, “It’s chaos. Be kind”. It has stuck with me ever since. There are no guarantees in this life, and even if it is just all random chaos, genuine kindness is one of the most powerful acts human beings can provide to one another. There is profound meaning in that. Let’s all try to be kinder as we navigate through our lives.
Have you tried substituting cauliflower rice for your favorite carb yet? I’ve tried a few things, but my favorite is using it as a healthier pizza crust alternative. There are endless cauliflower crust recipes out there, but I like this one the best because it is dairy-free. It makes an easy weeknight dinner!
Cauliflower Crust Pizza w/ Spinach, Mushrooms and Sausage
Adapted from PaleoLeap
Yield: 8-10 slices
1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup almond flour (whole-wheat flour works just fine)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup marinara sauce
8 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, chopped and lightly sautéed
1/2 cup cooked spinach
3 chicken sausages, thinly sliced
1.5 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Place the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until finely shredded (you may want to do this in different batches).
- *Steam the shredded cauliflower for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well, let cool, and strain any excess water using a towel.
- In a bowl, combine the cauliflower, eggs, oregano, garlic powder, almond flour, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything thoroughly.
- Transfer to a pizza pan or baking sheet and shape into a pizza crust shape.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes.
- Spread marinara sauce on top of the crust. Add mushrooms, spinach, sausage, and cheese, and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until toppings are nicely cooked.
*This is a VERY important step. Do not skip or you will have a soggy crust.