Stress Buckets & The MindBody Connection
Let’s chat about stress buckets. Because I often find it’s all too easy for a person’s stress bucket to get dangerously close to tipping over…. if it’s not tipped over already.
And I find that weight too often comes from internal mental stress – feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, self-doubt, constantly questioning your every decision, etc. (at least for me!)
On the other end of the spectrum, lies the body. And with the percentage of people today that suffer from leaky gut, there’s usually a few gallons of intestinal inflammation feeding the stress bucket too.
The two go hand in hand. Toxic thoughts can cause inflammation. Intestinal turmoil can cause inflammation. They feed each other. And stress is usually at the root of it all.
Ways to Unload Stress & Reload with Nourishment
So as part of my creative outlet, I like to provide simple suggestions to help others unload their stress bucket, while at the same time, load it back up with ideas for using “food as medicine” and “thoughts as medicine.”
Thus was born these chia pudding chocolate muffin cups made with ingredients that serve a specific purpose: Body & Mind Nourishment.
So please bare with a bit of my cheesiness here because as I was creating this recipe, I couldn’t help but notice that the chocolate muffin cups quite resembled little buckets. Which was funny, because I was creating them to help unload my personal stress bucket (by channeling my stress into creativity, which is a wonderful way to de-stress!) So I’m running with the metaphor here – think of these chia pudding chocolate muffin cups as a representation of transforming your stress bucket into a nourishment bucket. The chocolate muffin cups represent a way to nourish the body and the creamy chia pudding filling represents a way to nourish the mind.
To nourish the body, I chose two ingredients for the chocolate cup:
Eucommia to support a strong body and core. Think whole-body flexibility, strength, and connective tissue health. This herb gives me energy and makes my body feel good.
Cacao (high quality!) for its positive effect on my gut microbiome, helping me rebalance my digestive health. The friendly bacteria in my gut can use the cacao powder to make compounds known to help reduce inflammation. Annnnnnd it’s delicious and makes me happy, so that’s reason enough!
To nourish the mind, I chose the herb:
So please enjoy this tasty nourishment and feel good physically so that you can perhaps work on transforming your internal mind stress to a state of peace & happiness.
Perhaps enjoy muffins while doing something that brings you true joy and happiness. And as you do so, intentionally choose to sit with those pleasurable moments and absorb the enjoyable experience. Too often, we rush away from these moments as our mind drifts to that “never-ending to-do list” or narrows in on all the problems in life. But the more you focus on the happy moments, the more your brain will store those away, and the more resilient you'll be in the face of life's challenges.
And please remember you have such a unique set of gifts that were given to you to serve the world and others in such a special way. No one else can do them the way you do. Please don’t let a stress bucket filled with self-doubt and pain get in the way of realizing your inherent greatness.
Chia Pudding Chocolate Muffin Cups (vegan/paleo)
“a.k.a. mindbody muffins”
(chocolate muffin cups)
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/3 cup favorite chocolate protein powder or tigernut/almond flour would work too (I used Clean Lean Digestive Support Protein from Nuzest, created by Bethany Ugarte from @lilsipper.)
1/3 cup cacao
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. celtic salt
1 tsp. Sun Potion Eucommia
4-5 tbsp. of non-dairy milk (add until you reach the desired consistency – should be quite thick and mold-able as shown in the video)
Sweeten to taste with favorite sweetener. *
*Suggested sweetener: 2 tbsp coconut sugar
If you prefer sugar free - Birch Xylitol or Monk Fruit if those sit well on your stomach
If you use tigernut flour instead of a sweetened protein powder, adjust for sweetness
If you use a liquid sweetener such as maple syrup, adjust the nondairy milk ratio in equal proportions
Don’t worry, this recipe is quite easy to work with, so just make sure you have a firm texture to mold in the muffin pans
(chocolate muffin cups)
Turn on the oven to 350 F
Mix all your dry ingredients together and then add the cashew butter and nondairy milk
Spoon batter into a well greased muffin tray to fill about 6 cups (I greased with coconut oil)
Use your fingers to mold the batter up on the sides of the muffin cup, creating a hollow space in the middle. (This is where your chia pudding will go)
Pop in the oven for 20- 25 minutes and move on to make your chia pudding
(chia pudding filling)
1/2 cup nondairy milk
3 tbsp. chia seeds
heaping 1/2 cup coconut yogurt
Sweeten if desired
(chia pudding filling)
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl
Optional: Throw everything into a blender if you like a smoother consistency. Or skip the whole process and just use yogurt for the center, which I often do
Take the chocolate muffin cups out of the oven and allow them to cool completely
Once cooled completely, spoon your chia pudding into the cup
Add on your favorite toppings*
*Time to get creative by adding your own favorite toppings! In the video, I used cacao nibs, sunflower seed butter, and papaya.