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Three weeks ago today I went into labor. I spent most of that day in denial. In between contractions I would convince myself that this was all in my head. Then each increasingly intense contraction hit, knocking the wind out of me as I struggled to find my internal strength.  It wasn’t until twelve hours into labor that I accepted my reality, allowed myself the excitement I had been reserving for this moment, and prepared myself (mentally) to deliver a baby. 

Baby Nash joined us December 17, 2013, three weeks ago. Both so long ago and yet, just yesterday. The last three weeks have been precious. With Jason home from work we quickly created a little cocoon around our family of four and each of us began learning how to adapt to the new roles we had come into. Friends and family have graciously kept us fed (and sane) bringing us meals and extra arms. And our outings are minimal allowing us to focus inward and live presently during this time – this precious, fleeting time. 

On Wednesday Jason goes back to work. I return to The Sweet Life and together we resume ordinary routines (whatever that will look like). Our cocoon will break open and we will re-engage life.  I am both excited and terrified. 

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Re-engaging life means a lot of things: returning to our community, returning to Eden’s playdates and my baking sessions, returning to chores, errands, stresses, etc.. For me it also means focusing on health and working towards getting back in shape after the two pregnancies over the past three years. Each pregnancy has taken it’s toll and I eagerly look forward to regaining energy and strength as well as fitting into my old jeans once again.  

As a breastfeeding Mama I am aware I need to keep myself well fed and I have been in search for healthy, energy-boosting snacks to eat before I feel the shakes come on. These (4-ingredient!) Larabars do the trick! Not only do they give me the protein and healthy fats from the cashews and peanuts, the dates and chocolate bits satisfy my oh-so-needy sweet tooth.  

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These bars can be made in minutes and the flavor varieties are endless. I will definitely be keeping a good stock on hand over the next couple of months. 

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabars
makes 12 bars
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates, packed
  2. 1 cup roasted peanuts, unsalted
  3. 1/2 cup raw cashews
  4. pinch of sea salt
  5. 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a food processor blend dates, peanuts, cashews, and salt until nuts are broken into tiny pieces and the dough sticks together when pressed.
  2. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in chocolate chips.
  3. Place dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and roll smooth to about 1/2 inch thick, straightening the sides as you roll to form approximately a 8x8 square.
  4. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Cut into 12 equal bars. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. Depending on the moistness of your dates, you may need to add a little water to get the mixture to the right consistency. Add 1 teaspoon at a time until it sticks together when pressed.
My Darling Vegan http://mydarlingvegan.com/
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To help me transition into this new baby thing, I have asked some of my favorite bloggers to stop by and share recipes with you all. For the next couple months, each Wednesday I’ll be sharing The Sweet Life with the wonderful blogging community I have found and I couldn’t be more thrilled or thankful for their help.  Make sure to check in this Wednesday for my first guest blogger.

 

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