Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yerba Mate Energy Bars (GF! Bake or No Bake!) & Perseverance

This has been one of the longest weeks of my life, and the highs and lows are a veritable roller coaster ride.  One week ago today, I was told I have a blood clots deep in my right bicep, and under my clavicle.  The clots I have are known as DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis).  I must admit I was in total shock.  I certainly had the symptoms, with a unexplained swollen arm, and weird circulation issues, but I had thought it was a pinched nerve maybe?  ...from a crazy workout or something(?) and was seeing my physiotherapist!  But after three weeks, my arm still felt...not right. 
My family Doctor sent me for both an x-ray, and and ultrasound, and the ultrasound technician picked up on the thrombosis straight away.  I then had to go to Emergency, where I waited for 5 hours to be seen, and then was told that it is indeed DVT, and administered an injection of blood thinners, as well as prescribed Warfarin tablets.
I now need to get blood taken every other day to monitor my INR (International Normalized Ratio), and need to administer my own injections daily, and will continue to take the Warfarin for about the next 6 months(!) or so. 
Warfarin, is a CRAZY drug!  It has so many interactions to other commonly used medications, and herbal supplements, and green leafy vegetables, or anything high in Vitamin K!!  These are all my favorite things!  I eat spinach, and kale, and broccoli, and consume green tea, almost on a daily basis!  How many times do you hear of people being asked to limit their intake of green leafy vegetables??!!  Seriously.  
During all this health scare craziness, my city is in a state of emergency.  On Thursday, while I was trying to rock away my medical blues seeing Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, during the Sled Island Music Festival, Calgary's river's crest their banks and flooded the city.  
Photo from :
After days of hard rain so many rivers in the province of Alberta were no longer able to contain themselves, and many towns were in this state of emergency, with loss of buildings, and highways, and homes.  Almost the whole of Calgary's downtown, and low lying areas were evacuated, with 100,000 people displaced!   

An absolutely heart breaking and surreal situation.  I'm on sick leave from work for a week or so for my body to accustomed to my new medications, and am feeling rather helpless.  Wish I could be out there helping with a the clean up, and volunteering opportunities.  But I did make these yummy Yerba Mate energy bars, and was working out the kinks before sharing the recipe with you, but because of the Warfarin medication I have been prescribed, I can no longer consume Yerba Mate, so I brought these into the Library for my co-workers.  They will certainly need the energy, as the leisure centre that our branch is located in is an evacuation centre.  The library will be only open to the city's evacuees, and they will doing it all the old fashioned way, as the servers are underwater at the Central Library.   No phones, no computers, hand written book checkouts.  But as most Calgarians are doing, we band together with a humbling show of support for complete strangers, or family and friends alike, in the aftermath of this act of nature, and we will persevere!

Yerba Mate Energy Bars (GF!  Bake or NoBake!)

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 Tablespoons honey or agave
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oats
1/3 cup oat or coconut flour
1/4 cup almond meal
3 Tablespoons yerba mate
1/4 cup ground flax
1 cup rice krispies
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup carob or chocolate chips
(1/2 teaspoon baking soda, if you are baking the bars)

This as extremely simple recipe, and can be mixed together in minutes! 
Simply cream together the peanut butter, melted coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla.  And then add the dry ingredients: oats, almond meal, coconut or oat flour, yerba mate, carob or chocolate chips, flax, salt, and finally fold in the rice krispies last to retain their crunch!  Line a 8x8 dish with parchment paper, spread out as best as you're able and put in the fridge to firm up.
When I experimented with baking these, I added the baking soda,  shaped them into bars, and cooked them as I would a cookie; at 350 F, for about 10 mins or so.  
The cooking of this recipe makes them more portable, and they would be great to take on a hike, or eat on the go on the way to the gym, as they don't need to remain refrigerated after baking.  The baking also enhances the flavour of the Yerba Mate, so if that's something you enjoy, give it a try!  They are delicious, filling, and energizing either way.



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