Let’s just jump right into this, because I am too tired to come up with some fancy superfluous introduction. Have you ever given any thought to what a spirit animal is, or why it’s important?
I think because of subtle Native American influence throughout my life, I’ve paid more attention to it than the average person. Only until more recently did it start to make more frequent appearances, and I have to tell you — it’s more than just coming across a great meme on Instagram or talking about how Cardi B is your spirit animal because she’s a chatterbox who don’t curr about nothin’. A spirit animal is essentially Mother Nature’s driving force of what embodies you as a cultivated spiritual being, or what supports you as someone in need a spiritual fine-tuning.
Let’s use me an example. I’ve always known my spirit animal was a horse. I’ve loved them and ridden since I was very young, and I’ve always been a “horse girl”. What does a horse actually represent, though? Those of you who know me, I’m sure you know me quite well — I’m the most unintentionally transparent person alive. Apparently, so is a horse. So, the horse… the horse is known for pride, highly charged emotions, and a very driven instinct. Horses are powerful — not in that they are nature’s predators, but they are powerful in such a way where they know there’s strength in numbers and strength in endurance and perseverance. Horses, like any earthly being, are also not perfect. If given the option between fight or flight, a horse will choose flight 99% of the time. However — a horse is not defenseless. they are quick, and bold if need be.
The interesting thing about the representation of a spirit animal is that — no matter how domesticated, the instinct of an animal remains pure. Animals are born with imprints that can be subdued, but they cannot be stopped. A horse has the innate capability of horsey ways that stay with them for life. The same can be said for someone’s spirituality — you can live your life any way you choose and make any decision you want… but ultimately, one way or another, we are all drawn to the same thing, which is compassion, self-acceptance and growth. When situations come up where I know I need to take a step back, ground myself and really understand the situation, it truly does help to envision what qualities a wild horse possesses, what could apply to this situation and how I could channel that into my own perspective.
Not to get too “woo-woo” — you can interpret your spirit animal any way you choose. While mine is a horse, maybe I keep seeing a fox while out driving, walking or riding (a horse… lol..). Perhaps, for that time, I need to bring more fox-like energy into my life by way of my thoughts, my actions, or my reactions. I think we’re drawn to certain animals in certain times of our lives, and I don’t think it’s simply because nature is around us and it happens as coincidence. embrace your inner wild side!
Onto other fun things… like food! I’m not sure where you are in the world right now, but in the Mid-Atlantic US, it’s HOT. Like, stop-wearing-make-up hot. Like, could-I-really-fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk-today hot. Cool down with this fun delicious peppermint patty chia pudding parfait!
Peppermint Patty Pudding Parfait (Paleo, Vegan)
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: n/a
For the chia pudding
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 heaping tbsp smooth almond butter
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, or 6-8 drops of food-grade peppermint essential oil (use sparingly)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
For the parfait
- 10 oz almond milk Greek yogurt, such as Kite Hill or Silk
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
mint leaves, for garnish
- In a blender or food processor, mix together almond milk, almond butter, peppermint, vanilla, maple syrup and cocoa powder, until smooth.
- Once mixed, add to an airtight container and stir in chia seeds thoroughly. Place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 2-3 hours.
- Once ready to serve, mix together your yogurt ingredients – the Greek yogurt, honey and vanilla.
- Here’s where you can get creative if you want – layer your pudding, and then your yogurt. Add your cacao nibs, and garnish with your mint leaves. Best served chilled – if you want to put it back in the fridge, feel free to do so for a few minutes!
Serve and enjoy 🙂