The Myth of “Going it alone”

I so enjoy Brene Browns‘ work on wholehearted living. I feel she speaks to that deep place inside of us that wants very much to share but is often too afraid to show up.  In her book Daring Greatly she talks about being vulnerable and the myths surrounding it.

Here’s the myth that spoke the loudest to me today:

“We can go it alone.”

She writes, “Going it alone is a value we hold in high esteem in our culture, ironically even when it comes to cultivating connection.”

I remember feeling this way years ago when my husband and I decided to move to Arizona even though our families lived on the coast.

Sure, we had friends in our neighborhood and I was involved in my community to some extent (mostly related to work), but I didn’t realize how incredibly important community was until I gave birth to our daughter Drew.   I was a “professional”, already a doctor for several years, so I thought how difficult could having a baby be?  Boy, was I in for a suprise!

My belief that I could “go it alone” left me feeling isolated and miserable and made me realize that the term “it takes a village to raise a child” is no trite saying.

It took a lot of courage, and a bit of time (perhaps a little too much time),  to let others know how I was feeling, but taking the risk to be vulnerable made all the difference and showed me how important it is to to be connected to others.

Community is so important -  even more so now in our digitally filled days!

Come be part of the community at Community Chocolate, join us for a class or an event, you never know what you may learn or who you will strike up a conversation with.

Community Chocolate…connection is sweet.

 

Dark Chocolate-Dipped Date-Nut Truffles

 

Chocolate covered datesWho would think that you could make a healthy chocolate indulgence with so few ingredients and no refined sugar?  Dates stand in for refined sugar and dairy products in these truffle-like creations made by Chef Rachel Albert, The Healthy Cooking Coach.

Enjoy these delicious Dark Chocolate-Dipped Date-Nut Truffles for a sweet treat!

Prep: 30 minutes/ Yield:  12 to 16 servings

FYI: Look for Date-Coconut Rolls in natural foods stores or over the Internet. They’re made from dried, pitted dates put through a grinder twice, rolled in sulfite-free, unsweetened coconut, and shaped into logs. Different brands vary in their moisture content, size, and sweetness. Experiment to find your favorite source.

To make your own date-coconut rolls: Pulverize soft pitted (dried) dates in a food processor, adding warm water a tablespoon at a time as needed to create a cookie dough texture. Add 1/2 cup unsweetened sulfite-free coconut per half pound of pitted dates. Omit coconut if you’re allergic. Form into 1-ounce logs. Cut them in half to make two pieces.

If you use walnuts or hazelnuts, after toasting, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and roll the towel back and forth to loosen the bitter skins. Remove the nuts and leave the bitter skins behind.

Ingredients:

4-ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate bar (e.g., Hershey’s, Ghirardelli, Guittard, Valrhona, or Sharffen Berger), broken or chopped into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces

1 pound of Date-Coconut Rolls

1 cup unsweetened, sulfite free shredded coconut

1 cup dry toasted or roasted shelled, unsalted pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, or hazelnuts (you might want to use 2 or 3 different kinds)

 

1.Line one or more rimmed baking sheets with foil wrappings from the chocolate, unbleached parchment paper or a nonstick bake liner.

2.Melt chocolate in a double boiler over hot––but not boiling––water, or in a small saucepan over very low heat. If using a gas range and a saucepan, slip a heat deflector under the pan to keep the heat low. When mostly melted turn heat to warm.

3.Arrange whole or crushed nuts and coconut in small bowls. Cut date rolls in half. Roll each half into a ball or shape into 2 small squares.

4.Add 4 to 6 date squares or balls to the melted chocolate. Using 2 spoons, turn the pieces in the chocolate one at a time to coat. Drip excess chocolate back into the pan.

For square pieces: Transfer a chocolate-coated date square to the prepared sheet. Press a whole nut or nut half on top or sprinkle with several pine nuts.

For round pieces: Transfer a chocolate-coated date ball to a small bowl of coarsely chopped, toasted nuts or unsweetened, flaked coconut. Using 2 clean spoons, lift the nut meal or coconut over the ball and turn to coat. Transfer to the prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining date-coconut pieces.

5.Refrigerate or freeze until firm before serving. Cover when cooled and refrigerate or freeze for 4 months. (They might keep longer there.) Freeze for at least 48 hours before packing for gift giving. Transport to parties and events in a cooler with ice packs.

1 serving (2 pieces): 139 calories, 2 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate (3 g fiber), 6 g fat, 8 mg calcium, 3 mg sodium

Source: The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook Rachel Albert & Don Matesz. Recipe also featured in The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten-Free Cookies, Compotes & Sauces by Rachel Albert.

 Community Chocolate…connection is sweet.

The Richness of Vunerability

I am always inspired by Brene Brown’s work on whole hearted living and vulnerability. Recently I came across this quote in her book Daring Greatly. In her book she debunks several myths about why being vulnerable is not the same as being weak.

She writes, “Yes, we are totally exposed when we are vulnerable. Yes, we are in the torture chamber that we call uncertainty. And, yes, we’re taking a huge emotional risk when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.  But there’s no equation where taking risks, braving uncertainty, and opening ourselves up to emotional exposure equals weakness.”

quotes-success-courage-brene-brown-480x480Some of the most profound experiences, richest relationships and deepest lessons I’ve learned were all a result of being willing to be vulnerable.

Sure there was some fear and risk (to my ego) involved, but whether it was being willing to admit that I made a mistake, or showing up wholeheartedly as a parent even when I am not sure of all the answers, or something as bold as taking the risk of opening a woman’s community center based around inspired learning and authentic connection (gulp!)…being vulnerable has helped me grow and become a stronger person.

It can feel uncomfortable when we risk stepping out of our comfort zone to try something new. I know at times that has certainly has been the case for me. But what allows me to continue taking those risks is the understanding that most often on the other side is a very rich and fulfilling experience.

Community Chocolate…connection is sweet.

 

Share in the sweetness!

Image 1What better excuse to eat chocolate than to share it with a friend…or potential friend.

When it came time to decide what type of delicious chocolate to serve at Community Chocolate there was a feeling of delight as well as a little apprehension.  The choices of chocolate products seemed to be endless! Seriously confused I asked my family “How are we ever going to decide what to offer?”

My 9 year old daughter’s sage advice was to  “just try them all!”

That seemed to me to be a very respectable answer, so we brought home dozens of bars, bags, drops, and pieces of delicious, sweet, melt in your mouth, chocolate that made our mouths sing and our hearts happy.

Which was to be expected.  After all, there’s plenty of evidence to support the physical and emotional health benefits of chocolate.

What we didn’t expect however, was just how much fun we would have sitting around the table with friends and family sampling and comparing all the chocolate together.  It wasn’t just the taste of the chocolate (which, lets face it, is pretty amazing eaten alone) but rather it was the comradery and connection we had doing it together.

Turns out chocolate tastes even better when we share in the sweetness!

Join the community.

Community Chocolate…connection is sweet.

This Weeks Top 5

Chocolate Quotes

#5  All you need is love but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t  hurt.

#4  Chocolate is the answer, who cares what the question is.

#3  When coffee dreams, it dreams of chocolate.

#2  Money cant buy happiness…but it can buy chocolate, which is kind of the same thing.

 

and this weeks  #1 Chocolate Quote is…

Behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of chocolate

 

Community Chocolate…connection is sweet.