“Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose) + Gone Banana Cookies= Heart

    For many years I used to look at anything cookie-like as an indulgence, something that was not part of the “diet” plan. Now I know that part of living is enjoying LIFE, and that is where balance and moderation come in. When I look at sweets now instead of thinking “how many calories does this have?”, or “is this really “good” for me?” I think “is this nourishing and fueling my body, and giving me the energy to live my life to the fullest?” Over the years I have had so much fun experimenting with natural and whole ingredients, and have come up with recipes that are nourishing and still taste super Yummy. This past weekend I came up with a cookie that warmed my heart, literally :). After combining some fun and yummy ingredients together, (recipe below), I came up with a delicious and nourishing cookie that I called nothing other than Gone Banana Cookies.

    When I was deciding which Yoga pose would go best with these euphoric cookies, the pose that first came to mind was wheel. Wheel, (Follow link for detailed description on proper alignment)** is part of the back-bending series in most Yoga classes. In addition to wheel being an extremely beneficial pose physically, it also has amazing emotional and mental benefits. It is known as a heart opening pose. A pose where we begin to experience the heaviness dissolve and the lightness pour in. Wheel will always be one of those poses that is close to my heart (no pun intended :)). I remember I had only been practicing Yoga for about 6 months and anytime we would go into wheel I would automatically switch into fear, telling myself a story that wheel pose was not for me. That is until one day… The teacher (my beautiful friend Kelly Heath) cued wheel and I comfortably came into bridge, the modified version of wheel. I noticed Kelly walking over to me and without the opportunity to think she said “grab onto my feet.” Without really knowing what exactly was happening I grabbed her feet and lifted up into this beautiful back-bend. In that moment I felt a spreading across my chest and a freedom I had never experienced in my body before. As I came back to the floor, tears streamed down my face; yet they were tears of joy, of truth, of letting go of old heaviness and burden. Wheel is and always will be one of those poses that connects me back to my center and the amazing potential and possibilities that I have to live my most authentic life. The sensations I got in my body from eating those cookies reminded me of my experience with wheel, a truthful, wholesome, and yummy moment. May you live this week from your truth and allow your heart to open up to new possibilities (You can start by making these cookies :)!)

    Enjoy with Much Love,

    Melanie

    **Please use mindfulness if deciding to try Wheel, as wheel is a challenging Yoga Pose. My suggestion if you have never tried it before is try it’s friend the bridge first and progress from there. Also if you are interested, checking out a Yoga class in your hometown would be a great option to start to incorporate Yoga more regularly into your life.

    Recipe:
    Gone Banana Cookies:

    What you will need:
    Food Processor, baking sheet or dehydrator, and measuring utensils.

    Ingredients:
    Approximately 1 1/2-2 cups of Medjool Dates
    1 1/2-2 bananas (more banana will give you a moister cookie)
    2/3 cup of Raw Walnuts
    2/3 cup of Almond Meal
    2/3 cup of Oats
    1-2 tbsps. of Cinnamon
    1 tbsp of non-alcohol vanilla
    pinch of salt

    Preparation:
    Take the raw walnuts and place them in the food processor and grind them up until they have a coarse consistency. From there de-pit the dates and add to the walnut mixture. (NOTE: definitely make sure you de-pit dates or else you may not love what you bite into :)). Once the Dates are paste like with the walnuts begin to slowly add in all the other ingredients in no particular order. Although I did add the bananas after the dates and walnuts just to give the dry ingredients more to hold onto.

    Cooking or Un-cooking:
    In regards to baking or not baking, I didn’t have a dehydrator at the time I made up this recipe so I baked the cookies at 175 in my oven for about an hour (Flipping them at least twice). If you do have a dehydrator, dehydrate the cookies at 90 degrees until they reach desired consistency, approx 12 hours.

    Either way scoop mixture onto a lightly greased baking sheet or dehydrator sheet into small cookie shapes (get creative make hearts, circles, squares), just make sure to not make the cookies too thick or else it will take a lot longer to bake/dehydrate. Once baked or dehydrated, allow to cool and set before eating (about 10-15 mins).

    Last step:
    EAT and ENJOY!

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    1. Woo hoo Melanie! I’m going “bananas” over your first Yogalicious post! Super Yummy combination of lots of heart and creativity! Love the photos too 🙂 YaY for you!

    2. You’re awesome Melanie. Love the connection between the Gone Banana Cookies and the Wheel pose – super creative and look yummy (both you and the cookies!). Excited to try out the recipe. <3