Sometimes unforeseeable circumstances really force us to take stock of what is really important. It is so unfortunate that these tough times often have to occur for us to see what’s right in front of our shortsighted eyes. I really try to live my life with constant and unbending gratitude, but that can be really hard, and it doesn’t mean that I am perfect or always grateful. What I’ve learned recently is just how important family and health is. I know, I know. Most people know this as well. But do we really know it? Do we live it?
Spending nearly a full week in the hospital at the worst of it, watching as my new family was turned upside down, and then right side up, over and over forced me to come to grips with the undying truth that life is short. Extremely short. But, how do we be realistic and also heed the advice that you should live every day as if it were your last? How many people truly do this? I’m ashamed to admit that I do not. There are some days (today is one) where I stay in the house, all day, with my computer and my current book of choice and VEG. I love it. But it is certainly not living my life to the fullest. I’m not even sure if I have the energy for that.
One thing I can do is to continue to practice gratitude every day and to live in the present, practicing mindfulness, as much as possible. Just sitting and being aware of my surroundings, the sensations I feel, and the thoughts that come and go is not only healthy emotionally, but physically as well. I’m pretty sure we weren’t designed to be as busy and stressed as most of us are. Many of us find that our bodies are buckling under the pressure. But, if we continue to focus on the simple things in life, and less on the non-essentials (the things that go out the window when tragedy strikes), I think we will be living closer to the authentic and healthy life that we were meant to live. So, maybe that’s the trick: finding happiness, health, and peace every day, in any way we can—no matter what it looks like. It often looks like chocolate, and that’s perfectly fine.
Decadently Simple Vegan Mocha Mousse
Serves 2 (you can absolutely double this recipe!)
1 can coconut crème (not milk—I get mine from Trader Joe’s!)
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon Hershey’s cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-3 tablespoons powdered sugar (I use 3)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
Coconut whipped cream
Dark chocolate covered espresso beans
When you are at the store, try to find a can that doesn’t slosh around too much when you shake it. You want it thick! Put the can in the fridge overnight and then DO NOT SHAKE IT ANYMORE! If you shake it while or after it’s chilling, it won’t work.
Remove the chilled can and scoop out the very thick crème into a bowl (discard the watery parts). Mix in the other ingredients with a fork until combined.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use—it gets even thicker—at least 1 hour. Or, you can put it in the containers you wish to serve it in for a prettier look. Enjoy!
-add whatever extracts you would like! Peppermint, orange, almond, or hazelnut would be great.
-leave out the coffee for a regular chocolate mousse (it’s JUST as yummy!)
-add whatever toppings sound good: nuts, raspberries, chocolate chunks, caramel, marshmallows, graham crackers, etc.