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  • The Ultimate Energy Cookie

The Ultimate Energy Cookie

The Ultimate Energy Cookie (and it’s vegan and gluten free, too) Loaded with all things nutritious and delicious, this power cookie is terrific for breakfast, post workout, hiking, or any time of day ‘pick me up’. Make a batch, wrap individually, and toss in the freezer to grab and go (so yummy when they’re still cold from the freezer, too). Energy cookie ingredients This recipe has been triple tweaked and tested to bring you a healthy cookie that tastes great, too, but leaves lots of room for your own modifications and creative touches. Let us know how it goes and share your thoughts and ideas with us! 1. Place the following wet ingredients in a bowl for minimum 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to reduce clumping: 1/3 cup chia seeds 1 ½ cups almond milk 2/3 cup maple syrup 1tsp. vanilla (optional) 2. Place the following dry ingredients in a separate large bowl and mix with a fork: 2 ½ cups almond meal (ground whole raw almonds in food processor until very fine) 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut 1 cup gluten free oatmeal 2/3 cup hemp hearts 1 ½ tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 3. Stir the following into the wet ingredient mixture at the top: ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted 4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold in with spatula until well combined. 5. Fold in the following: ¾ cup dried blueberries ¾ cup raw pumpkin seeds Cookie to go 6. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. 7. Time to bake those cookies. Form into size of choice (I use an ice cream scoop) but don’t go too large because this cookie dough is soft. Place on buttered cookie sheet or parchment paper (non buttered, of course) and press down to flatten (I use a plastic pancake flipper with ridges). 8. Bake at 375 º F for approximately 18 minutes, depending on size of cookie and how well done you like them. You may choose to do a quick broil at the end for extra browning. After removing from oven let sit for about five minutes then move to cooling racks for a nice long time before covering or freezing. Makes about 14 medium sized cookies. Recipe by Donna Sales at www.hopecafe.net

  • The Power of Love

Hope Works

How often have we said, “Enough is enough, when does it end?”, after more bad news from doctors.  Is Hope elusive? It can seem that way as the struggle for answers takes place yet Hope is just what we need. For four years the fight goes on to find the end of the road for surgeries and pain. ‘Stage 4 cancer’, heartbreaking words […]

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  • IMG_0170

Why Love Is Always the Answer

We all need Love and we all have Love to give. Love exists in many forms and is expressed in countless ways. It’s the fuel, sustenance and nourishment we need to thrive in this world. Every act of kindness is love in action. As is each prayer, meditation, and positive thought you have. Feeling overwhelmed by all the problems in the world and wondering what you can do? Give a stranger a huge smile. Imagine how many strangers you can love in just one day with that incredible smile. Then there’s romantic Love, of course, the kind that gets us into trouble but keeps us coming back for more. When it works it’s smashing, isn’t it?  What’s the cure for a broken heart? Love, of course, but maybe a different kind of Love this time around. The tender, loving kind of self Love that helps to mend aching hearts. Sometimes it feels like life is constantly asking something of us and it’s overwhelming at times. Choices to make, dilemmas to figure out, decisions to face. When the question is “What do I do?” the answer is “Do the most loving thing.” Most of us have experienced loneliness in life and know how hard this can be. The cure for loneliness is Love. Not only ‘relationship love’ either, for some of the loneliest people on earth are in relationships. Sometimes we don’t open ourselves up or reach out because we feel vulnerable and are trying to protect our hearts. Yet we ache for connection because people need people. We can form all kinds of connections with all kinds of people with all kinds of closeness and intimacy. Many of us thrive with other connections, too, including with nature, pets, and a higher power. Sometimes in life we start to feel disheartened with all the struggles that come our way and hope starts to fade. If Hope starts to fade it’s time to surrender to Love. Literally imagine leaning into Love and it will carry you through. Be open to Love and Love openly. The world needs your Love, never underestimate how much or how powerful that can be. Donna Sales Founder of Hope Cafe For more posts from the Inspiration Station click here.          Donna Sales is a Registered Psychologist and writer living in Calgary, Canada. Her website is www.donnasales.ca. She is the founder of Hope Café.

Inspiration Station|
  • Holiday Stress Busters

Holiday Stress Busters

The holidays. Such a wonderful time of year, right? A little louder, I can’t hear you. Parties, gifts, Christmas music and lights. Eating, drinking, decorating, and family get- togethers. This time of year offers a smorgasbord of opportunity for fun, comfort and delight. Yet there’s something else that’s bustling out there, and that’s counselling offices. This time of year is prime breeding ground for stress and this stress can trigger a series of chemical reactions in the brain that leads to all kinds of emotional and physical symptoms. It turns out that stress can be the biggest Scrooge of all, zapping the joy out of the season and leaving us feeling depleted, even empty. The good news is that there are many things within our control we can do to help make the holidays a pleasant, relaxing time of year. Holiday Stress Buster #1 Realistic Expectations Is ‘wonderful’ too much to strive for? Or is it enough to have a ‘nice’ or ‘pleasant’ holiday? Realistic expectations can help to take the pressure off, leaving less room for disappointment in ourselves and others. Holiday Stress Buster #2 Prioritize Which gatherings are most important to attend? Who must you buy presents for? How much baking is really necessary? How many people would you like to have over? Which charities or organizations do you want to donate your time or money to right now? Remember we have all year to make time for important people in our lives, get busy in the kitchen and be kind and giving. Holiday Stress Buster #3 Enjoying Family The family gathering is one of those rare events that brings a very different group of people together with the expectation that everyone will not only get along but have a wonderful (there’s that word again) time. Family gatherings can be nice. But they can also stir up not so nice feelings. In preparation, it can help to stay focused on the present moment while visiting with family, getting caught up, listening to their stories, sharing your own, and enjoying their company. Holiday Stress Buster # 4 Careful with the Dough Spending within our means significantly helps to minimize stress during the holidays. We can be our own worst enemy, thinking we have to spend more than we can afford to make other people happy with gifts. How would you feel if you knew someone spent more money on you than they can comfortably afford? How many gifts do kids need to find under the tree to have a good Christmas? What message are we giving them if we go overboard? Advertisements can mislead us into thinking we must purchase things but we have total control over what we choose to buy or not buy and how we view it. Holiday Stress Buster # 5 Say “ha, ha, ha” Laughing helps to relieve stress, lighten things up and enjoy the moment. It’s contagious, too! Humour can be found in almost any situation. Holiday Stress Buster # 6 Go with the Flow Accepting that everything won’t go as planned will help to avoid disappointment and adapt to new situations as they arise. Being gentle with ourselves and others will also help. Holiday Stress Buster # 7 Be Part of the Community Spirit Fill a thermos with hot chocolate and find the best Christmas light displays in town. Strap on some ice skates. Get outside for a nice long walk. Attend community events that look like fun. Participating in these kinds of activities can help us to feel grounded and relaxed over the holidays. Holiday Stress Buster # 8 Practice Self Care Even with all the challenges on time and energy (especially with all the challenges on time and energy) at this time of year, getting enough sleep, eating regular nourishing meals and exercising are important. So is taking breaks and making time to relax and do nothing. Holiday Stress Buster # 9 Give Give. Pay it forward. Buy coffee for the person behind you in the Tim Horton’s drive through. Buy lunch for a homeless person. Sponsor a family. Donate to a charity. Volunteer your time. Shovel your neighbour’s driveway. Leave an anonymous gift on a doorstep. Hope you enjoy the holidays! Donna Sales          Donna Sales is a Registered Psychologist and writer living in Calgary, Canada. Her website is www.donnasales.ca. She is the founder of Hope Café.

  • Coffee Love

When Love Trumps Fear

When love trumps fear the heart opens to let the light shine in. When the light shines in we see the beauty in all living things. When we see the beauty in all living things we feel connected. When we feel connected we grow to understand each other. When we understand each other we care about each other. When we care about each other we are kind to one another. When we are kind to one another there is peace on earth. And it all started with love. Donna Sales For more posts from the Inspiration Station click here.          Donna Sales is a Registered Psychologist and writer living in Calgary, Canada. Her website is www.donnasales.ca. She is the founder of Hope Café.

Inspiration Station|

Video: A Van That Delivers Human Kindness

Kindness in Motion. The delight of giving is at the heart of retirement for couple Peter Grazier and Nance Cheifetz. They sold their Lexus and converted a 1990 Volkswagon into a kindness van in the streets of San Francisco.

Tidbits|
  • Spinach Phyllo Rolls

Spinach Phyllo Rolls

SO delicious and super nutritious, too. These amazing rolls make for a terrific snack, lunch, side dish or appetizer. If you haven’t worked with phyllo much and are a little hesitant, don’t be, it’s much easier than you think and a short video has been included to show how they are rolled up.  Have fun and enjoy. Getting Ready to Make Spinach Phyllo Rolls Ingredients: One package phyllo dough thawed to room temperature (16 ounces/454 grams) 600 grams of fresh spinach (approximately), coarsely chopped 5 green onions, finely chopped 1 small white onion, finely chopped 1 cup fresh mint, finely chopped (or 2 Tbsp. dried) 300 grams feta cheese, crumbled ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup lemon juice 2 tsp. salt 1. Preheat oven to 400° F. 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 3. Combine all ingredients thoroughly (except phyllo dough, of course) 4. Fold one sheet of phyllo in half. Place a large spoonful of the mixture at one end. Fold both sides in and roll up. Place on baking sheet and brush generously with melted butter. 5. Bake on lowest rack for 10 – 15 minutes, until the bottom of the rolls are brown and a little crispy. Broil the tops if needed to a golden brown colour. 6. Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes and use a spatula to lift the rolls to a cooling rack. 7. These are so good when enjoyed hot from the oven. But are also yummy at room temperature or directly from the fridge, too. *meat free *can be dairy free if the feta cheese is eliminated or substituted Recipe by Donna Sales from the Hope Café Kitchen.  Let us know what you think of this recipe by sharing your comments below. Share this recipe with friends! See options below.

  • When was the last time you played like your dog does?

Things We Can Learn From a Dog

🐶  Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. 🐶  Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. Holly asking for a walk. Can't say 'no' to that face. 🐶  When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. 🐶  Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. 🐶  If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. 🐶  Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy. 🐶  Be loyal. 🐶  Run, romp and play daily. 🐶  When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently. 🐶  Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. 🐶  When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body. 🐶  No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout…run right back and make friends. 🐶  When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience. 🐶  Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory. 🐶  Take naps and stretch before rising. 🐶  Never pretend to be something you’re not. 🐶  Thrive on attention and let people touch you. 🐶  On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree. Author Unknown

Tidbits|
  • Daisy is a Rescue Dog (she rescued me) submitted by Ian Whitehead.

Daisy is a Rescue Dog (she rescued me)

Daisy is a rescue dog. Daisy is one of my best friends. I fell in love with her from the very first moment we met. She makes me laugh and she makes me cry. She listens to my troubles. she runs, plays and jumps with me. Her heart is pure and she has an old soul. Daisy is a rescue dog; she rescued me. Ian Whitehead Calgary, AB

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  • Laguna Sunset sent in by Katelyn South

Laguna Sunset

I love sunsets but don't often have the time to simply enjoy them. I took this photo on a recent trip to Laguna Beach, CA. Special moments like these are so easily missed because of the business consuming our lives. This photo reminds me to stop every now and then to appreciate the natural beauty in the world. Katelyn South, Calgary, AB

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