Pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds are a very underappreciated seed among the others. Chia and flax seeds get a lot of attention, but pepitas are higher in protein and other vitamins/minerals (Phosphorus, Manganese, Iron, etc.). They are the only alkaline forming seed, which makes them a balancing choice among the predominantly acidic foods we eat day-to-day. These little pepita seeds help fight against parasites, and can even combat depression. Happy day!
Final fun fact: The protein content of pumpkin seeds increase the more time passes.
An Uplifting Story
And speaking of happy days, I wanted to share this story because I know I’m not alone in this. What started out as a rather disheartening week where a coworker mockingly shoved pizza in front my face with an immature 2nd grader “Ha! Ha! You can’t have this. Neener neener neener!” attitude, quickly turned itself around with the comments from one amazing friend.
This particular gem is my best friend from high school who single-handedly made me feel like I wasn’t going to be miserable for the rest of my life, single, and friendless because my food allergies have people running for the hills. (Because that’s ridiculous….no pity parties with this theme are allowed in my house anymore.)
Sometimes food restrictions suck.
There’s no sugar coating it. It’s frustrating. It’s hard work. It takes extra time. It’s inconvenient. It usually claims your free time and paycheck. People rarely understand it…..You get the picture.
Well, the last few weeks that type of negativity reeeeally started to catch up with me. And the pizza-in-the-face was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
It’s easy to get caught up in food, even if you’re not a balls-to-the-wall food blogger like me. Eating is a very social activity, so not having the freedom to eat anywhere, any time poses a challenge.
But that’s all it is: a challenge!
Just like needing to wear glasses, having an ankle injury, or needing to clean your wooden floors with a special cleaner. It’s not as convenient as having the ideal situation, but it isn’t a good reason to be upset. Additionally, it isn’t a reason for people to look down on you, berate you, or refuse a friendship.
Your value is not in the sum of your food restrictions (or lack thereof)
And the bottom line is, if uncontrollable food restrictions are cause for someone to treat you with anything less than the utmost decency and respect (after they have been patiently educated on your situation), they are not someone you want in your life. Period.
Let me repeat that:
If someone finds uncontrollable food restrictions to be a reason to make you feel less than cherished, valued, and loved, they are NOT someone you want in your life.
Imagine someone saying, “I can’t be friends with you. You have glasses and, that’s really inconvenient for me.” Or, “You’re impossible! That broken ankle is just too much of a problem for me to be around you.” Well, that’s just Coo Coo for Coco Puffs. If anyone said that, you’d be understandably appalled and probably never speak to them again. It’s no different with food allergies. (Whether it’s spoken or implied.)
“There’s more to you than food allergies.”
That’s a thought I don’t consider often enough. I forget that there’s so much more that makes me, ME when so much energy and focus funnels into how to deal with food restrictions normally. I find it hard to admit that I have other talents and traits that make me unique and, well, valuable. Photography, dance, cooking, writing, health knowledge, flexibility, stamina, determination, encouragement, acts of kindness, optimism, creativity, design/arts, vocabulary, generosity, organization, drive to succeed, on and on and on….. And I know for an absolute fact that your list would looks just like that, unique to you.
Take some time and write down your talents and strengths.
Hang that list somewhere you’ll pass it every single day and read it every single time you see it until you agree with it. For a few months, I had “You Are Beautiful No Matter What You See In The Mirror” written on my bathroom mirror. I was finding myself thinking negatively about my physical appearance, and hyper fixating on it the more time I spent looking. It was super weird at first, but I started saying that out loud every time I would think those thoughts. I’d look myself in the eye, smile, and then walk away. The last image I’d have of myself is what I look like smiling.
Set yourself up for success. I believe in you. 🙂 And since the small, but mighty pepita helps fight the blues, try this recipe out if you’re having a gloomy day. Or if you’re having a good one, it’s yummm.
Guajillo Pepita Butter
- 2-5 Guajillo Peppers (soaked overnight if dried; adjust amount for spice preference 2 for mild, 5 or more for extra spicy)
- 1.5 c. pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds - raw, unsalted)
- 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole bulb's worth roasted garlic cloves
- 2 Tbs. roasted turmeric root (fresh)
- 1/2 c. + 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 c. purified water
- 1 tsp. sea salt (more to taste)
- For dried peppers, soak in purified water overnight to rehydrate.
- On the day of preparation, roast peeled garlic cloves and coarsely chopped turmeric root with 1 Tbs. olive oil until lightly browned. (I use a toaster oven on “dark” for one “toast” cycle, watching carefully. You can also use the oven on broil for a few minutes, taking care not to burn.)
- Remove stems from guajillo peppers and blend them with all other ingredients until completely smooth. You may need to coax the mixture with a spatula to blend completely. Try adding 1 Tbs. water at a time if it needs help.
- Can be served warm or chilled with vegetables or your favorite chips
*I don't count calories. My recommendations on calorie counting and nutrition can be found here