“Sleep is like the unicorn- it is rumored to exist, but I doubt I will see any”. I read this quote once and I had to laugh, because it (sadly) fits me perfectly. As far as I can remember, sleeping has always been quite a challenge for me, even as a kid. Back then, my guess is that I always wanted to stay up so I wouldn’t miss a thing. Now, however, my problem is a little different.
Now the challenge is that I can’t seem to be able to turn off my brain. I literally cannot stop thinking. And I’ve tried everything single thing I know to keep that from happening: meditation, breathing, soothing music, homeopathic remedies… I even tried having a little drink, as someone suggested, before going to bed. But not even my dad’s finest scotch can get the job done.
Apparently all I have left to do is either find a way to install an on/off switch on the side of my head or just find someone willing to hit me over the head with a frying pan every night. Both highly unlikely, I know. It’s so frustrating.
And if that wasn’t enough, you know what else keeps my brain occupied at night? Dreams. Weird ones usually. Not that there is anything wrong with dreaming. I find dreams to be really cool actually, but I wish I knew how to interpret them. So I wouldn’t have to wake up in the morning, tired and sleepy AND wondering what the heck was going on.
The one dream that has been “hunting” me lately though, is the elevator dream. I’m sure some of you have had one of those before, right?
For me, it’s always the same. Every single time. I’m back home in Barcelona. I get stuck in the elevator in my parent’s apartment building. And then, all of the sudden, it starts to fall down, super fast. But it never hits the ground. Or at least I never find out, because I always wake up before it happens. And I know for sure it has some kind of meaning, but I haven’t figured it out yet. There goes another thing to keep me up at night.*Sigh…
Now, after hearing about all my sleeping woes, do you wonder how I function in the morning? Well, so do I at times. But thankfully, I have a couple of secret weapons that work… most of the time: a) (lots of) coffee, obviously. And b) a good breakfast.
I’m sure you all know how to make coffee. So here’ a power breakfast for ya. Hearty, filling and a little different. And insomniac approved 😉
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Ingredients (makes 6-1 cup servings):
- 4 cups sweetened vanilla soy, coconut or almond milk (we used Silk Pure Almond)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups freekeh*
- 2/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp raw agave nectar (we used Wholesome Sweeteners)
- Fresh berries for garnish
*Freekeh is green wheat that has been roasted and cracked. It’s high in fiber and protein and it compares nutritionally to other grains like quinoa. It is native to Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.
- In a large sauce pan, combine “milk”, brown sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil
- Add freekeh, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 12-15 minutes, until it starts to soften
- Off the heat, add vanilla, agave, almonds, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. Stir it all well together
- Return to heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes
- Serve hot or cold, garnished with fresh berries
- ENJOY! From May I have that recipe
*NOTE: This is the cooking time we used to make the freekeh “al dente”, slightly chewy. For a softer consistency, increase the amount of milk by approximately 1/4 cup and the cooking time until you reach the desired consistency.