Eat Well, Food, Live Well, Overcoming Perfectionism, Popcorn Chocolate Almond Butter Granola Bars, Snacks

Popcorn Almond Butter Chocolate Granola Bars + Perfectionism

So… today I want to talk about something that I have been struggling with for the past 10 years or so. It’s something that has considerably dialed down over the past couple of years as I recovered from my eating disorder and workaholic tendencies (another post to reflect and talk about on its own, perhaps in the near future). However, I still do struggle with it from time to time and it resurfaced when I was making these Popcorn Almond Butter Chocolate Granola Bars.

bars 5

bars stack 5

 

If there was such a thing called Perfectionists Anonymous, I think I would be a member in it.

Perfectionism. The word itself is daunting.

I remember heavily how I used to slave over it. Just for the sake of attaining the ‘perfect’ something. If there was really such a thing. I have come to learn that it doesn’t exist. and that’s really comforting.

There was this one time in high school, when I was making this colored pencil art work. I spent maybe around 3 hours coloring, and fixing this little space in one corner. There was another time, when I had obsessed over this one sentence in an essay that just. didn’t. read. well. I spent maybe a good hour reshuffling the words around, until it seemed to read (hopefully) perfectly. Even after an hour of fixing it, I wasn’t sure.

It permeated across all areas of my life. There was one time I had gone to get a good friend of mine a birthday present. When it came time to wrap the present, I had just enough paper to cover it, barely, and there was this one section of the box that was slightly peeking through. It drove me crazy. My thoughts went into overdrive, ‘What if she doesn’t like the present? What if she knows what the present is before she opens it? What if it ruins her birthday?’

Silly thoughts. Really.

That’s how bad it was though. If anyone had looked at the essay, the artwork, the gift, no one would have suspected the torturous thoughts that were going inside my mind. My perfectionism almost killed me. I had anxiety, panic attacks over it. I lost sleep, skipped meals, my well-being. It was one of the reasons it pushed me to lose even more weight in my anorexia, even when I was already skin and bones, and barely alive.

Every time I went to create something, or go through something, my own thoughts were against me. It kept on repeating the same three words. not good enough. The worst part to it all was that my definition of good did not have a ceiling. When I thought I had achieved that ‘good’ the good had already elevated to another level. It kept in a continual cycle of striving, trying, attaining, and never being to get to be ‘perfect.’

In my recovery, I learned that my perfectionism was a safety net. Fear was driving it. My mind had somehow wired in it the thoughts that if ‘I didn’t do everything in my power for everything to be ‘perfect,’ I might get hurt again.’ That understanding didn’t come after I had made the choice of emotionally healing from my childhood traumas of going through physical and verbal abuse.

In reality, I wasn’t going to get hurt in the present. A part of my mind was still living in the past, because I didn’t take the time to really meet up with my emotions and get closure in the events I went through.

*if you would like to read on how I recovered from my traumatic childhood, see these two posts: Miracle Mind I & Miracle Mind II. I share the 5 step process of healing, and rewiring out bad negative thoughts, and rewiring in good, healthy thoughts that are essential to our well-being.

So slowly, over time. I stopped trying to be more than who I was really was learned to embraced who I am. I learned to embrace what it is and stopped trying to make something ‘perfect’, because I understand that it doesn’t exist. We all have flaws. We will make mistakes. and that’s okay, it’s a part of being human and living this beautiful thing called life. Over time, I learned to forgive myself whenever I feel the need to make something ‘perfect.’

It’s okay to have typos, because what ultimately matters is the message that comes through.

It’s okay to have the thing that we expect, not turn out how it is exactly that we envisioned it. Life does not work out to who we think it’s supposed to look out because life doesn’t work according to only our own expectations. That’s okay. Life is shared with others. What matters is the connections that we make and engender throughout our life time. What matters is the lessons we learn from our experiences.

I’ve also learned there’s a difference between  trying our best and trying to be perfect. When we are trying our best, we are not obsessive. We do not get into that energy of trying to ‘fix’ things. We are able to step back and say, ‘Okay, I’ve done all I can in  the time that I had, and now I can let it go, and I trust that it was good.’ When we try to be perfect, we may be trying to hide or cover up something. Sometimes when we feel guilty, we may try to overcompensate in some areas. It is the feeling of guilt that needs to be addressed, because the striving to get something perfect, will not get the guilty feeling away.

So confession time.

When I was making these Popcorn Bars, there was a moment when I had poured the chocolate over the bars and it didn’t cover the bars evenly. Especially on the sides. There was still some granola or popcorn that was sticking out. For some time I obsessively tried to cover it up with more chocolate. As soon as I felt that energy, I reminded myself that it’s okay. Some bars will have more chocolate than others and that is okay. So I stepped back and instead of obsessing trying to make the bars perfect, I was able to say to myself that I did a good job of having fun and creating these delicious Popcorn Almond Butter Chocolate Granola Bars.

 

choco bars 3

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

For the BARS

Dry

2 cups of oats

3/4 cups of roughly chopped nuts

2 handfuls of popcorn

2 Tbsp of dessicated coconut

A pinch of salt

A few chopped medjool dates

Zest of an orange (use 3/4 and another 1/4 to sprinkle over the chocolate coating)

 

Wet

Juice of one orange (I used a blood orange because at the moment I cannot get enough of their sweet sour refreshing zingy taste)

1 cap / tsp of vanilla essence

1/2 cup of almond butter

4 Tbsp of coconut oil (melted)

4 – 5 Tbsp of maple syrup

 

For the CHOCOLATE COATING

Choose either:

Melting your favorite chocolate bar (I like to use the espresso dark chocolate bar from Green & Blacks)

A pinch of salt

or

5 Tbsp of coconut oil

3 Tbsp of cacao powder

3 Tbsp of maple syrup (or more depending on your preference of sweetness)

A pinch of salt

A few Tbsp of freshly brewed coffee (this is optional, but I think the coffee brings out the chocolate taste stronger)

*if you like a thicker chocolate coating, feel free to double the batch.

 

Instructions

For the BARS

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

2. Line a baking pan (I used a 22 cm x 18 cm pan) with baking paper. It makes it easier to lift the bars out to slice it later on.

3. Press the bar mixture firmly into the pan.

 

For the CHOCOLATE COATING

1. Choose either melting a chocolate bar or the coconut oil cacao mixture.

2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan filled with hot water over a small fire.

3. Pour the chocolate over the bars. Spread it across.

4. Sprinkle the leftover orange zest over the chocolate coating.

5. Store the bars in the freezer for a couple of hours or so for the chocolate to set. Then slice it into approximately 9 bars. I like to eat it when it has been out of the fridge for a few moments and that it is slightly thawed but chilled. Be careful, you might get chocolatey fingers when you do!

choco drip 2

choco drip 1

 

close up bar bars with popcorn 1

I hope you like this recipe! Feel free to customize the filling with your favorite nuts, and nut butter. Let me know of the various options if you do try different ones! Tag me @wellnesstogo and #wellnesstogo if you decide  to make these bars.

Do you struggle with perfectionist syndrome? If you do, share with me in the comments below how and what you struggle with. Is being perfect a cover up for something else? I would love to connect with you!  I hope the post reminds you that being as you are is enough. And that you don’t need to keep on trying, striving, or thinking that you need to be ‘perfect’ to be happy or secure. You are beautiful just as you are!

 

Much love,
Gaby

bars faded4

popcorn bars 4

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Popcorn Almond Butter Granola Bars + Perfectionism
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
No bake, healthy, vegan Popcorn Chocolate Almond Butter Granola Bars. Perfect for a quick breakfast on the go, or as a sweet snack!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast on the go, snack
Serves: 9 bars
Ingredients
  • For the BARS
  • Dry
  • 2 cups of oats
  • ¾ cups of roughly chopped nuts
  • 2 handfuls of popcorn
  • 2 Tbsp of dessicated coconut
  • A pinch of salt
  • A few chopped medjool dates
  • Zest of an orange (use ¾ and another ¼ to sprinkle over the chocolate coating)
  • Wet
  • Juice of one orange (I used a blood orange because at the moment I cannot get enough of their sweet sour refreshing zingy taste)
  • 1 cap / tsp of vanilla essence
  • ½ cup of almond butter
  • 4 Tbsp of coconut oil (melted)
  • 4 - 5 Tbsp of maple syrup
  • For the CHOCOLATE COATING
  • Choose either:
  • Melting your favorite chocolate bar (I like to use the espresso dark chocolate bar from Green & Blacks)
  • A pinch of salt
  • or
  • 5 Tbsp of coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp of cacao powder
  • 3 Tbsp of maple syrup (or more depending on your preference of sweetness)
  • A pinch of salt
  • A few Tbsp of freshly brewed coffee (this is optional, but I think the coffee brings out the chocolate taste stronger)
  • *if you like a thicker chocolate coating, feel free to double the batch.
Instructions
  1. For the BARS
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  3. Line a baking pan (I used a 22 cm x 18 cm pan) with baking paper. It makes it easier to lift the bars out to slice it later on.
  4. Press the bar mixture firmly into the pan.
  5. For the CHOCOLATE COATING
  6. Choose either melting a chocolate bar or the coconut oil cacao mixture.
  7. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan filled with hot water over a small fire.
  8. Pour the chocolate over the bars. Spread it across.
  9. Sprinkle the leftover orange zest over the chocolate coating.
  10. Store the bars in the freezer for a couple of hours or so for the chocolate to set. Then slice it into approximately 9 bars. I like to eat it when it has been out of the fridge for a few moments and that it is slightly thawed but chilled. Be careful, you might get chocolatey fingers when you do!

6 Comments

  1. etsukodane@gmx.net'

    You really make it appear so easy together with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think
    I’d never understand. It kind of feels too complex and very broad for
    me. I am looking forward for your next publish, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    • Thank you for your honesty! My perfectionism wasn’t easy to recover though, at times i still find myself struggling with it. I hope you find the next post easier to understand! The post is just up, I talk about how to de-stress in stressful times. Also a recipe on Coconut Macaroons dipped in Chocolate 🙂

  2. Berta.karaim@gmail.com'
    Berta says

    Reading this post, I felt as though it was written for me! As I read your posts, it surprises me how much we have in common, and this gives me hope that I can overcome the challenges I face at the moment.
    I’m a terrible perfectionist. A very, very terrible one. And I have an all-or-nothing attitude too. However, lately I’ve realised how destructive and counterproductive it is, so I’ve been trying to overcome it.
    If I was making those bars (which I hope I will), I would certainly have the same initial reaction to the chocolate not being enough as you!
    Thank you for this post!
    P.S. I would love to read a post about workaholic tendencies 🙂

    • Hi Berta! I’m so happy that you can relate to to what I’ve written 🙂 It took me a while for me to overcome my perfectionist tendencies and all or nothing attitude too. but that’s because I refused to acknowledge that I had an issue in the first place. The awareness that you have is a really good place to start in overcoming it! <3 Tell me if you make the bars, I would love to know how it turns out. I will be writing up a post on overcoming the cycle of being tied to your work soon!

  3. nmelara@yahoo.com'
    Nancy says

    It is lovely to read about this topic. One can find hope when sharing similar struggles. My healing began when I decided to accept my innate ‘perfection’. I was given the perfect body, the perfect mind and the perfect spirit at birth! They are unique, ideal and in perfect harmony with my universe. They provide identity, self awareness and well-being. Keep embracing and accepting who you were made to be. Do not deprive life of your awesomeness by trying to fulfill other’s ideas of perfection. I’m grateful to read about you. 🙂

    • Hi Nancy, thank you for stopping by and reading 🙂 Yes! That is so true!, we are given the perfect body, mind, and spirit at birth. Perfection is indeed ‘innate,’ and when we realize this we can be comfortable with ourselves and not worry too much about outside perfection. We can then focus more on our well-being. I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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