Yup it’s that time of year again. Card factory is rammed full of the typical demographic – panicked men who rush to get a last minute 79p card and some cheesy ‘best girlfriend ever’ teddy bear or mug that gets stored in a drawer for a year before makeing it to the loft to serve it’s death row sentence when it gets chucked into the boot fair pile and sold for 10p to 10 year old Alfie who has a crush on little Alice sitting next to him in class. Ah don’t we love it!? 🙂
Why do we partake in such commercialised shenanigans!? It’s actually quite oxymoronic don’t you think? Millennial minded youths will raise their arms in outrage at companies only thinking about squeezing every last penny out of consumers to boost profit margins. ‘Shouldn’t we appreciate our loved ones everyday of the year? I don’t need chocolates or flowers to confirm my selfworth’. Or so you think…
Unfortunately, Disney fairytales and Hollywood hits have made us a little tooo ambitious. We all long for that happily ever after, the Prince charming to sweep us off our feet. This ideal combined and packaged with a boom in consumer spending has led to materialistic artefacts.
Let’s take a step back, what we long for, that romantic ending to that Oscar hit, is that moment, to feel special, to feel loved, to feel like nothing else matters than the two of you under the street lamp, under the fake snow machine with the magical kiss and that leg raised up.
Have you actually ever seen that happen in real life? And what would you think if you did see it? Err PDA alarm bells would be ringing – get a room!
You can get all of the above, everyday, without spending a penny. Wholesome love comes in many forms but starts with the basic three forms: love yourself, love wholly, love with your head and heart.
Ok so this is afterall a food and fitness blog and I could write posts upon posts on the steps to take to love yourself but in a nutshell – how can you expect someone to love you if you don’t love yourself? Or equally, how can you love someone else if you don’t love yourself? This has been one of the biggest journeys of my life so far, reaching a point where I can truly begin to accept the things I perhaps dislike about myself and truly appreciate my attributes. I say begin as it is an ongoing struggle.
Everyday I go to bed listing 5 things I am grateful for. This really helps me to stay grounded and makes me appreciate myself, my life and take steps to loving even my hamster cheeks 😉
This always reminds me of the Bastille song ‘Flaws’ – ‘you have always worn your faults upon your sleeve…’. Don’t swipe right and accept the guy who conveniently lives a few roads down from you, is in a well respected job and earns a decent income to take you out for dinner but who you also invest so much time in trying to morph him into who you want or think you want. Love unconditionally, accept the whole person.
I don’t actually agree with the expression ‘no one is perfect’. This implies that perfection exists when it doesn’t. It is an idealised construct. Who gets to decide what’s perfect and what isn’t? If you take a step back and focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t, you will figure out you have so much more than you think. Likewise take a step back and appreciate the petrol station flowers – it was so thoughtful!
Love with your head and heart
We all have a rational and irrational part to our brain. Some call the irrational part the chimp brain or the chatterbox. In layman’s terms sometimes we let passion, lust, emotions in their rawest form take over without rationalising the situation. All humans are selfish we think about numero 1 first and foremostly. We don’t think about the wider picture. I like to use the following example to picture this:
Your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t buy your that bag/those shoes/that ring/that <insert materialistic good> and you think he never listens to you as he didn’t ‘pick up the hints’ CHIMP BRAIN. In their shoes you have mentioned it so much that they wanted to get you a surprise and not something you asked for.
You get the picture right… the good old saying put yourself in someone else’s shoes is so true and we don’t spend enough time doing it. There are always 2 sides to every story.
This post has turned out a lot longer than I was anticipating 😉 sorry about that! But now onto the recipe for today! Lovely Raspberry Oat Breakfast Bars. They are wholesomely scrummy and can be whipped up in minutes. So for your act of love for Valentine’s this year why don’t you show you care by bringing them breakfast in bed 😉 (again totally not an idealised construct right!? 😉 I mean crumbs in bed!?)
Lovely Raspberry Oat Breakfast Bars.
- 200g Rolled Oats
- 2 Mashed Bananas
- Dash of soya milk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp of vanilla powder/extract
- 400g Fresh Raspberries
- 6 tbsps of chia seeds
- Flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4
- Place raspberries and chia seeds together in a saucepan over medium heat. Use a spoon to mash up the raspberries and leave for 5-10minutes stirring occasionally until the raspberries have broken down and the chia seeds have plumped up.
- Whilst the raspberries and chia seeds are over the hob, mash up the bananas in a bowl and then stir in the oats, baking powder, plant-based milk and vanilla powder.
- Press this mixture into a lined baking tin.
- Once the jam is ready layer this on top, sprinkle more oats over the jam and sprinkle flaked almonds on also.
- Bake in the oven for 20mins.
p.s. Apologies for the previous draft submission of this post- technical issues 🙁