When It Matters Most

Paying your bills.
One-on-one time with kids.
Saying sorry.

There is one similarity between these things: they all matter. Sure, we can delay these things, but sometimes timing is everything. If your kid comes crying home from school, stopping to listen and comfort her is crucial at that very moment, when it matters most. If you wait 15 minutes the moment would pass, and she may change her mind about sharing her feelings.

Let’s apply this to food. What I eat for lunch during the week is what I call a “non-eventful meal”.  This usually consists of eating with my kids, which means making sandwiches….but without the crust…unless it is for Leanne…then it is with the crust…but without the cheese. LOTS of distractions. You get the picture 😉 I choose to eat salad, a protein shake, or something light, so I can utilize my “extra” calories for moments that matter more, such as later in the evening when my husband decides to cook one of his savory meals. Saving my calories for a meal I am anticipating–good food, relaxing atmosphere, cherishing every bite, fun conversation–that matters most to me.

There are numerous decisions and actions we need to accomplish each day. Many of them can be more meaningful if we are strategic about the value and time we place on them. What moments matter most to you?

Is it being fully present when your loved one comes home from work?
Is it putting your phone in the trunk of the car so you can be free from distraction when driving?
Is it exercising first thing in the morning so you feel better about yourself all day long?
Is it setting the DVR to record your favorite show so you can fast-forward through the advertisements, utilizing that extra time with family?

What moments matter most to you? How are you utilizing those moments? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Your Lara

Want to read more? Here’s another recent post. Click here!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Craving pancakes but looking for a healthy alternative? Or a pancake that won’t leave you starving an hour later? Try these Cottage Cheese Pancakes! I usually make a big batch, freeze them, and warm them in the microwave for a quick and easy meal/snack. They are kind of sweet on their own, but you could always add syrup, honey, or a topping of your choice! Enjoy 🙂CottageC

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

(makes about 15-20 pancakes)

• 3 eggs
• 1 cup cottage cheese
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons honey or agave
• 1/2 cup flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• butter, oil or oil spray

1. Place the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
2. In a separate bowl whisk the dry ingredients.
3. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir until just combined.
4. Heat a large sauté pan or griddle over medium heat, lightly coat with oil or butter and pour about 1 tbsp of the mixture onto the griddle for each pancake.
5. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are set and golden. Serve with pure maple syrup, honey or preserves.
*To Freeze: Let pancakes come to room temperature, place in a ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 3 months.

For more recipe options, click here.

Your Lara

Get Busy, Get Happy

When I quit my job as a teacher and became a stay-at-home mom I thought my life was finally going to be everything I wanted it to be.  I could wear pajamas all day if I wanted to, didn’t have to keep track of time, and be present for every second of my daughter’s childhood.  Sounds like a pretty gReAt LiFe, right?

Don’t get me wrong, it has been great, but I quickly learned something after being at home all the time. If I go many days where I’m not being productive or focusing on something that makes me excited (not counting my children), I experience tHe FuNk.  This resulted in days, maybe even weeks where I felt like I was stuck.  I lacked MoTiVaTiOn to do anything, I wasn’t excited about much, and I found myself spending more time focusing on all the flaws and negative things going on in my life.  This, of course, resulted in being a harder wife to live with and a mom that isn’t wasn’t very peppy.  There is so much truth to “Happy Wife, Happy Life!”

The same applies to kids! Encourage activities they can value and see the “fruits” of their labor 🙂

Even though staying busy makes your life a little more hectic, it can keep your mind from dwelling on the bad.  I always tell Doug that I currently work harder than I ever have but I’m also happier than I’ve ever been.  If I keep my mind busy on things that satisfy me, I am less likely to struggle with self-confidence issues, negative thoughts about others, and things that bother me.  This of course results in being a better and happier mom, wife, ChRiStIaN, friend, etc.

Sound familiar?  If so, pick yourself up by finding the quickest way to turn around your day.  Whether it is taking a bubble bath or painting your toenails a crazy color, do something to reverse the funk and change your way of thinking. If your outfit makes you feel sluggish, then go put on your favorite one!  If your house feels dirty start by burning your favorite candle. Maybe you should give yourself a few minutes to jot down a list of “bucket list” items–things you have always wanted to accomplish–and write out an action plan for the one you want to start pursuing first. Or if your mind is getting the best of you, and you can’t kick a bad thought, go turn on a fun song, have a talk with God, or do something to distract your thoughts for a while.  You know the drill—get busy, get happy–and from there it should become contagious!

Your Lara

Whole Wheat Carrot Applesauce Muffins

I’m excited to share these with you today! This is a new favorite in our house. I don’t love to cook so I usually double this recipe, which lasts us a couple weeks. After the muffins cool, I freeze them on a cookie sheet, then store in a ziploc bag. Whenever I am hungry I take one out of the freezer, microwave it for about 20 seconds and Viola! A healthy treat right at my fingertips!

I like this healthy option because it satisfies my carb craving whenever I have one. I have found it to be extremely helpful to have a variety of healthy snack options–ranging from snacks with chocolate, salty, fruity, hot, cold, etc so I can pick and choose depending on my mood and cravings.

**NOTE: If you are easing in to “healthier” recipes, I would encourage you to try this with normal white flour (if that is what you normally use) and I would not substitute 1/2 of the butter with an avocado. I would also use sweetened applesauce if that is all you have on hand. This will allow you to ease into the healthy recipe. I started by using ingredients I had in the kitchen. Over time I eventually started swapping the white flour for whole wheat, and added an avocado. But I only did this when I was ready to make them a little bit healthier. Remember, you don’t have to follow healthy recipes to a T. If you are more likely to eat a healthier muffin because it has chocolate chips in it then by all means tweak the recipe to your liking! The key is to make small changes so it is a healthier alternative than what you are already eating. If you added chocolate to these, for example, they still have much more nutrition than a donut. Baby steps 🙂

Carrot Muffins2

Whole Wheat Carrot Applesauce Muffins

(makes 12 oversized muffins)

  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional–the ginger was a little strong for me so I decrease or omit the amount and increased the cinnamon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened (but not melted) OR 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup carrot shreds (I used a cheese grater or you can use pre shredded)

*For first time “healthy” cookers out there–consider using white flour, butter (no avocado) and sweetened applesauce. Then next time, swap one of these with the healthier alternative and ease into it.
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper, foil, or silicone liners, and set aside.
2) In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
3) In a large bowl fitted with an electric whisk (or beaters), mix the butter, honey, egg and vanilla together on medium speed. Turn the speed down and slowly add in the flour mixture until well combined. The batter will be fairly thick at this point.
4) Using a spatula, carefully fold in the applesauce and carrots. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes or until a toothpick comes and muffins are beginning to turn golden brown on top. (I actually undercook mine a little bit, setting the timer around 18-20 minutes because I like the tops to be a little gooey.) Enjoy!

*I let mine cool, then place on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once frozen I store in a ziploc bag and microwave each muffin when I need a quick snack. It can be a great breakfast option too!

Your Lara

Find Your Anchor

What's Your AnchorI’ll admit it.  Life at times can throw me for a loop.  There are times when I enter choppy waters and it’s a challenge to keep my head above the waters.

It’s in times like this that I am grateful for the anchors that keep me steady.  After all, being steady and consistent is what helps us reach our goals.

What are your anchors?  What helps keep you steady?  The answer will vary for us all.  As with everything, there is no one size fits all which is why knowing our selves is so vitally important.

My anchors include having a clean and organized space, spending time in quiet reflection, my posse, and my faith.  Those are some of my anchors.

What helps you stay centered and focused?  What will help you weather the storm?

What anchors you?

Your Robynn


Take-Home Message:  Choppy waters are inevitable, but you can be prepared and have hope that when they do come, you’ll be ready, steady, and secure.

Independence Day

Festive and colorful fireworks display

Happy July 4th!!

Today I will be celebrating this favorite holiday with a parade, fireworks, and family & friends.

Of course, food will be a part of this celebration, as well.  And although there will be time to enjoy the classic 4th of July foods, more importantly, I will also be celebrating my Independence Day from food’s tyranny.  I know exactly that date because I actually signed a contract with myself.

It was April 24, 2012.

Although Lara and I had been talking Peace with Food for about a year on that date, April 24th is the date that we made it “official” by committing to ourselves and each other that we would never diet again.

And here we are, over three years later.  Living in greater levels of freedom and peace than we ever dreamed possible.  I say degrees, because that is what the Peace with Food journey is all about, taking little steps, growing in peace and freedom, one step, one degree at a time.

Slow?  At times, yes.

Worth it?  We wouldn’t go back for anything.

And the feedback we are getting from folks taking the Peace with Food journey is incredible.  Not only are people losing weight they never thought possible, peace is filtering into other areas of their life, because, as one of our friends taking this journey with us has stated, “It really is that powerful.”

So this 4th of July, if you’re tired of food being a dictator in your life, and desperately want to make Peace with Food won’t you join us?

Why not make it “official”?  Let today be your Peace with Food Independence Day!

Your Robynn


Take-Home Message:  Make it “official”.  Today can be your Independence Day living a life of Peace with Food!