Taking a break

I was given a helpful piece of advice that I hold close to me daily from back in my early days as an autism parent  'take breaks, take care of myself, stay healthy and strong mentally and physically because this journey will be a marathon and not a race'.  In a deluge of seemingly negative and depressing recommendations this one sentiment has held up to be true and so very helpful to me over the years.  

It is  easy to become consumed by your love for your child and exhaust yourself trying to help them and ease their suffering.  I am guilty of this, but I always comeback to that one piece of advice and remind myself to take a break, sleep, eat well and have compassion for myself. If I fall apart how much help will I be for my child, how will I advocate for them and support them with their daily struggles.  Go easy on yourself, that is the only way to have the stamina and fortitude to get up everyday and fight through the challenges of breakfast with a picky eater.  To manage to stay calm trying to brush the teeth of child that can't stand being touched or get socks on a child that screams from the texture.  Go easy on yourself so that when the school calls and says your child is melting down or has hit themselves or someone else, you will have strength to advocate for them.  

Something as simple as just walking away and taking quiet time in a bedroom or bathroom, wherever you can get it really is a good reset.  Do not feel bad that you cannot always engage or manage.  I have found that baking helps me relax, it's rather meditative for me.  So today I bake, bake meditate, bake-itate?  Yes, that is a thing. Give yourself permission to enjoy something just for you, it builds your spirit and will keep you healthy and strong.  Today was a tough, emotional day for my child, struggling to navigate the complexity of social interactions, a day like so many others. Today I need remember to go slow and  to be kind to myself so that I can support my child effectively.  Like the advice given to me years ago,  this is a marathon. So today I bake!

It's getting cold outside and the sky is that great Canadian grey, if it were a paint swatch it would be called 'long john grey'.  It makes me think of fresh baked cookies, warm, sweet and spicy.  Today I pass this advice onto you, keep it close to you. Take breaks, take care of yourself, stay healthy and strong mentally and physically because this journey will be a marathon and not a race.

Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

  • ½ cup lucuma monk fruit sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 large egg or flax egg (3 tsp ground flax, 2 tbsp. water)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons natural vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon gluten free baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ¾ cup old-fashioned gluten free oats
  • ⅓ cup gluten free oat flour
  • ⅓ cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup dairy free margarine or solid coconut oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease them.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the butter, coconut sugar and cane sugar. With a hand-held electric mixer or by hand, beat them together until they are fully incorporated and lighter in color.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and blend until combined.
  4. Lastly, add the oats, oat flour and rice flour. Blend on low speed until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, and mix briefly to be sure it’s evenly blended.
  5. With a cookie dough scoop or two spoons, scoop about 1 tablespoon of dough at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches of space around each cookie.
  6. Bake the cookies for 12 to 13 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown with slightly darker edges. 
  7. Remove the cookies from the oven, place the pan on a cooling rack, and let the cookies cool completely on the pan before handling (these cookies are delicate when warm).