Among other things, one of my neuroses is a propensity towards a pre-emptive nostalgia for events not yet finished, and in some cases, not yet begun. Case in point: my behavior around the holidays. Beginning Thanksgiving morning, I play carols obsessively, write Christmas notes, daydream about the perfect gifts for loved ones in my life, whip through a lineup of tried and true holiday flicks (from the rather obscure Holiday Inn to White Christmas, Home Alone, The Grinch, and Love Actually), and express gratitude in the bubbly, natural way that seems to escape me at other more curmudgeonly times of the year. However, beginning somewhere around the 23rd, that itchy, niggling thought that “Christmas will soon be over” begins to erode my holiday cheer. I frown when I see the “After Christmas Sale” advertisement; I berate my husband when he dares to mention “getting back to the regular routine” or some other nonsense; and I shudder when people start talking about after holiday detoxes. By the time Christmas eve rolls around, I’ve basically degenerated into a pouting mess. Rather than join in for a round of Christmas carols, I lament the end of goodwill and good cheer. Christmas morning, I don a black dress and moodily sip at my coffee. Depression sets in. The joyful anticipation that I felt for Christmas is replaced by a sad nostalgia for cozy Christmases come and gone. This is no way to live, people.
So, here I sit about six months out from my 30th birthday, and I’m determined not to spend the next several months (and years after that) in a nostalgic haze about lost youth a la Blanche DuBois. No, siree. I will not tell the paperboy that he resembles an “Arabian Prince” in a desperate act of flirtation.* I will not scrutinize my crow’s feet and invest hundreds of dollars in anti-aging creams. I will not contemplate a calorie restricted diet for longevity. I will not measure the success of a date night by whether I’ve been carded or not. Instead of grieving the loss of youth, I’m aiming to do more of the things** that make me feel happy and bright, including treating my body right by eating nourishing, grown up foods.
Enter the protein pancake. It’s a super simple and filling breakfast that feels decadent without sending blood sugar soaring.
Ingredients for one delicious and filling pancake:
1 banana (this is the only sweetener, so the riper, the better)
2 tbs almond flour
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maca powder (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Using a mug or small bowl, mash the banana and egg together. I find it helpful to squish the banana a bit in its peel. It sounds gross, yes, but it works. Add in the almond flour, vanilla, maca, and cinnamon. Heat a lightly buttered frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Pour the batter into the skillet, and cook until lightly brown on each side.
I like to serve mine with a little drizzle of Grade B maple syrup. The eggs and nuts help keep me full until lunchtime, and the banana and cinnamon (which helps regulate blood sugar, by the way) add just enough sweetness to the meal. The maca contributes a subtle nuttiness and makes me feel great. A Peruvian superfood, it supposedly helps regulate the endocrine system and reproductive hormones. Eek hormones. You know, now that I’m almost thirty, I have to start worrying about those. Or not.
*See A Streetcar Named Desire, Scene V.
** A whole post coming!