How to Make Date Paste for a sugar substitute


How To Make Date Paste (video and the recipe here differ slightly)

This recipe yields roughly 2 cups of Date Paste. If you think this may be too much then you can freeze half of the batch.

Step 1: Prepping your Dates:

Soak 40 Medjool Dates in Warm Water until your Dates are tender/soft.
Remove your Dates from the soaking water
Remove the seeds by hand – make sure to get all of them!

Step 2: Making your Date Paste

1. Combine the following into your food processor:

All of the Dates from Step 1
2 Tbsp Water
2. Puree!

Depending on how large your food processor is, you may need to stop processing in intervals to scrape down the sides to remove it all – don’t let this discourage you. You can also use a high powered blender.

Puree your Dates until they have become a thick whipped and creamy texture. Place your date paste in an air tight container and store in the fridge or freezer.


Harder Than It Looks


Harder Than It Looks

We spend a lot of time thinking about the future—as much as one hour out of every eight—and yet we do a poor job of acting to achieve the future we desire. For starters, we’re overly optimistic about what’s to come. Rutgers psychology professor Neil Weinstein found that college students expected to stay healthier, have longer marriages, and travel to Europe more often than any studies of population trends would predict. In another study, young women reported that they expected to be assertive and outspoken in upcoming job interview situations. When put to the test, however, they were actually much more reserved than they predicted.

“We expect that when the future shows up, our best self will show up,” says Peg Streep, author of Mastering the Art of Quitting. Instead, we get our typical everyday self, struggling with the same traits—fear, laziness, procrastination—that consistently hold us back today.

Not only do we overestimate our ability to achieve change, we underestimate the effort it requires and the toll it will take. When we think about the executive position we plan to land, we don’t foresee the unrelenting stress. We imagine cuddling a cooing baby, but don’t factor in the sleepless nights. Or we daydream about our documentary being acclaimed at Sundance without considering the toil of producing it. We all dream of victory celebrations. Few of us fantasize about practicing.

To ward off these pitfalls as you launch your own reinvention, seek out people who have already achieved the dream to which you aspire, suggests Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert in his book Stumbling on Happiness. These successful achievers can share the reality with you—both good and bad. Sit down with the owners of a few seaside bed-and-breakfasts before you start scouting properties. Talk to a few Masters swimmers about the challenges and rewards before you commit to a training program.

It’s difficult to anticipate accurately the effect reinvention will have on our world, in part because among our other future-focusing flaws, we’re generally poor at what’s known as affective forecasting. “We’re really crummy at predicting how we’ll feel in the future,” Streep says. It is well-documented that we assume achievements and successes will make us happier than they actually will because we adapt to life changes, even major ones, fairly quickly and then tend to revert to our usual happiness baseline. The flip side is that when terrible things happen to us, we tend not to be as devastated as we would expect: We end up landing back near our pre-setback happiness level.

To make the best decisions for your future self, you need to stop imagining that person as a stranger and instead see that it’s you. Hal Hershfield, an NYU marketing professor, conducted studies showing that people who could identify more closely with their future selves made decisions that were better for them, like saving more for retirement.

To sway people toward more productive future-focused behavior, Hershfield’s team asked subjects to look at virtual images of their future selves. “It’s an imagination aid,” he says. “We think it gets people to think about their future self and step into his or her shoes.”

Caring more about our future selves can also help us counter the tendency to discount future rewards, which makes so many of us embrace immediate gratification instead of long-term payoffs. Picturing your future self as a mom, a world traveler, or a retiree who climbs mountains might be just what you need to opt for the salad and an hour at the gym instead of a burger and fries and five rounds of Candy Crush.

Set Real Goals, Take Real Action

As you’re planning your reinvention, be as coldly realistic as possible. “You don’t want to be overly optimistic in the deliberative phase, because you might pick the wrong goal,” says Peter Gollwitzer, a professor of psychology at NYU who has researched identity goals.

You also need to factor in the reality that learning, or process, goals are more realistic and achievable than performance, or outcome, goals. Decide, then, that “I’m going to learn to cook well,” rather than “I’m going to become a Michelin-star chef.”

At age 36, Robert Ziltzer, of Scottsdale, Arizona, found himself progressively gaining weight and sought a way out. “My waist had gone up four or five inches and I’d sequentially needed to buy new pants,” he says. As a weight-loss physician with a family history of heart disease who wanted to be a positive role model for patients, he was eager for reinvention and decided to try to achieve it through something that had long been on his bucket list: running a marathon.

How would the busy doctor, husband, and father of two young children make the time to train? He started by avoiding an assumption that keeps many strivers from ever getting out of the starting blocks. Instead of underestimating the support he’d get from his family and their tolerance for the disruption his efforts at self-improvement might cause, he did something too few of us do: He asked them. “I said to my wife, ‘I’m thinking about doing this, but I’m concerned that it will take too much time away from the family,'” Ziltzer says. “She said, ‘Don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine. Go do it.'”

Ziltzer made it just a few hundred yards before getting winded his first time on the road. “I was really discouraged,” he says. But he learned to slow his pace and gradually worked up to one mile, then two, then three, and now 20. His biggest problem now, he says, is boredom during his long runs.

“There’s an early period of volatility when you’re changing your behavior,” Markman says. “It takes a lot of mental energy and planning and playing around with your schedule.” That’s one reason he advises going after just one major goal at a time. “If you’re trying to do this on several fronts at once, you’re going to end up doing a bad job at all of them,” he says.


Reinvent Yourself

44The Ever-Shifting Self

Many of us dream of a future that’s very different from our present. We’ll live in Hawaii instead of Hackensack; abandon singlehood for family life; or paint murals for a living. But getting from here to there is hard, largely because some powerful psychological forces align against reinvention.

It’s in our nature, for example, to spend our energy primarily on today’s immediate concerns, to hold a distorted perception of our future, or, even if we’re future-focused, to keep chasing after what turn out to be the wrong dreams. Too often, we give up just when we need to push harder, and persist when we actually should quit. Yet without a more clear-eyed assessment of our present and our future, and a more effective approach to setting, pursuing, and achieving goals, we can end up with a future we really don’t want—in which we are sick, broke, lonely, or just plain unfulfilled.

So what’s a dreamer to do?

“We have to modify our identities as we go through life,” says Ravenna Helson, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She directed the Mills Study, which followed some 120 women over 50 years, examining personality traits, social influence, and personal development and proving in the process that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. “Even at 60,” Helson says, “people can resolve to make themselves more the people they would like to become. In the Mills Study, about a dozen women showed substantial positive personality change from ages 60 to 70.”

But of course it’s wise to get an earlier start. “You can’t accomplish the difficult things in a day or even a week or, in my case, even in 12 and a half years,” says Art Markman, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Smart Change. More than a decade ago, Markman set out to learn to play the saxophone well enough to join a band. “You have to give yourself enough time to actually accomplish your goal,” he says.

If you don’t have long-term goals, Markman warns, you run the risk of doing lots of little things every day—cleaning the house, sending emails, catching up on TV—without ever making a contribution to your future. That can leave you feeling restless and unfulfilled. “It’s the big picture things that give life meaning,” he says, “like parenting or becoming an expert at something.”

How do you know what you should be striving for? “Project yourself deep into the future and ask: What will I regret not having done?” Markman suggests, and then work backward to avoid that end. “Use that as a way of planning your life.