Food School: a 31 day Day Course

I love a challenge don’t you?

October 2013 brings a new challenge.  Each year 1000’s of bloggers write for 31 days–on one topic, or if you are like me you have the best of intentions to begin with a great idea and end the month in a totally different way.  Last year I stumbled into the 31 days challenge and it was the best thing for me.  It challenged me in an incredible way to live in my truth.

I can honestly say that during those 31 days I began to take a look at my life as a whole–not just chunks of life–being single, looking for love, healing wounds, getting married, parents dying, getting married, miscarriages, births, gray hair and not having that rock star body I once had.  In an amazing way that never came across in the blog posts, I shifted as a person.  I began to live my mantra of gentle, loving, kind, respectful and a blessing to all I meet.  To use a cooking metaphor, I took the ingredients of life experience and created something beautiful–a life that explodes each day with new and wonderful adventures.  (For the record and adventure might be just getting us all in the car without drama!)

For the first time in my life I chose a word for the year.  Have you ever done that?  A wise friend who was helping me go through my hoard of sewing, yarn, craft supplies told me about it.  I did some checking around and it seems like quite a few people do this–sort of a mantra for the year.  Some of the words my friends have used are focused, professional, mindful–you get the idea.  My 2013 word is INTENTIONAL and that was a direct result of my 31 days of being honest from last year.  Once I began to shed some light on the darker parts of my life . . . it was obvious what I needed to change.

Are you asking your self, “What the haywire is she rambling about?  This has nothing to do with food!”

Well this post in an intro on how last years 31 days changed my thinking about myself, then I chose the word intentional–living a life of intentionality has made it painfully clear to me that I have not been living in the moment, I’ve not been honest with myself or those I love and I have  fallen into a life that requires a color coded schedule to get everything done.

I think a lot of us Mom do this–we go into this survival mode.  We lose touch with anything that can’t fit in a one inch calendar square.  I didn’t want a life so small that it fit into a daily inch!

When I realized this I knew in my heart that I wanted to make a change.  I wanted to make a difference.  I want to be the change.  I began writing more trying to find my niche, my voice, my tribe.  I kept up with my families calendar and spent the wee hours of the morning and my hot flash induced insomnia, reading, writing, researching.  I was searching.  I felt a stirring within me but couldn’t quite figure it all out.

I began a regular meditation practice.  Each day I would sit for 15 minutes in silence.  The kids had to sit in silence too!  During this time of quiet, I began to open up to the possibility that I did have something to offer the world and make a change.  Then opportunities followed.  My exploration of different breathing techniques and guided meditations provided the calm and peace that I needed to begin to think again.  I had been on autopilot for so long, I forgot what it was like to think big thoughts.

I began to be intentional in each and every hour of my day.

One result from listening to my intentional voice is I’m writing a cook book Blessed by Breakfast–the idea for this book was a direct result in not wanting to buy organic milk because it is SO expensive.  (Remember this, it is an important part of the bigger story.)

Another result would be the opportunity that I was given to create meals/menus for our church homeless shelter.  Last year I created 10 meals that certainly fed mouths–but this year I want to create meals that are nutrient dense, affordable, healthy meals that the women who work with me can prepare easily.  I’m compiling these recipes in a book called Loaves and Fishes.  (one of my favorite miracles!)

The hardest part of being intentional was how I had to own up to not feeding my family as well as I had when I had years earlier.  When my family was just my husband, I would cook elaborate meals with the finest meats and freshest vegetables.  My cooking was/is an extension of my love for him.  Then baby makes three.  My son had all homemade baby food.  Then came baby #2 and less homemade baby food . . . buy the time I had baby #4, the choices I made for my family were on the not good to horrible side.  

In just 5 years my family grew by 4 and I gradually lost my cooking mojo.

Then came food allergies, a slew of doctors and specialist and in all of this I found an awesome holistic University of Michigan trained physician.  It was a blessing.  He is the one who suggested meditation.  He is the one who put me back on track with figuring all of our food sensitivities.  We began our elimination diets to figure out what worked for each child and what didn’t.  

“Stop eating crap!” were his words one day in the office–a renovated purple Victorian home complete with laboratory and natural products store.  On that day I listened.  On that day I heard not a doctor but a man who cared about my family–his spirit spoke to my spirit.

I stopped eating crap and feeding it to my family.  I began shopping little by little at the Whole Foods I passed a couple of times a day!  The answers were all right there–I just didn’t listen.  

The journey of getting back on track began over 6 years ago.  Over the next 31 days I will begin to share my passion with food:  eating local, choosing healthy homemade, offering the best information to assist in helping you be your best, figuring out what sustainable really means and what all the food jargon really means.  

I invite you to ask questions or share your own stories in the comments.  

Be Blessed.

To receive a free copy of my Blessed by Breakfast cookbook, please go to http://blessedbybreakfast.com and sign up! I send updates that include; family tested and approved recipes, video tutorials, tips and tricks on how to begin your day with the blessing of food.

cookbook coming soon

Books I suggest: The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat,

Young Readers Edition The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet

Some of my friends have also joined the 31 day challenge:  Coming soon–because a few of us are still working out the kinks :-)

I’m linking up to these blogs.

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Sweet Potaotes Food School: a 31 day course

 I love fall foods and sweet potatoes are one of my absolute favorites.  My family eats them mashed, in a puree over pasta, muffins and cubed in soup.  

[yumprint-recipe id='1']To receive a free copy of my Blessed by Breakfast cookbook, please go to http://blessedbybreakfast.com and sign up! I send updates that include; family tested and approved recipes, video tutorials, tips and tricks on how to begin your day with the blessing of food.

cookbook coming soon

Books I suggest: The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat,

Young Readers Edition The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet

Some of my friends have also joined the 31 day challenge:  Coming soon!

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Happy? Bryan to the Rescue!

Have you ever met someone and it just clicked?

I had that experience with Bryan Hutchinson.  What I find so refreshing about Bryan is that he is the real deal–like–really the real deal, I’m not just saying that.  I know I tend to lean towards hyperbole but not this time.  Bryan wrote  HAPPY EVERY DAY – Simple, Effective Ways to Better Days and I just want to say–it has been a huge blessing to me.  First of all, I don’t read a lot of books–I HAVE a lot of books but having them and reading them are two different things!  Bryan’s book I actually read, enjoyed and started using the strategies BEFORE I even finished reading the book.

Happy Every Day is great for parents who want to help their kids see the joy in the everyday.   Bryan has great suggestions that can be modified for any kid, any age, and level of understanding–an awesome tool for parents. I interviewed Bryan about HAPPY EVERY DAY – Simple, Effective Ways to Better Days and he gave honest, humble answers–just like I knew he would!

1. What prompted you to write a book about being happy?
I lived most of my life unhappy and unable to live up to my potential. People often commented that I took 3 steps forward only to take 5 steps backwards. I think too many of us suffer in this way quietly, sadly. Most people do not realize happiness is something we can create for ourselves. I had to learn this truth the hard way. I wrote this book to give others an insight into the strategies I used to become happy and stay happy every day. There’s no reason to wait until some day. Readers do not need to be where I was to benefit from this book, simply the desire to be happy is enough of a reason to read “Happy Every Day”.
2. What makes you happy? are you really happy everyday?
I have become a happy person by knowing today is the most important day ever. It really is, and for everyone else it is too. Think about it. What if you didn’t have today? Being happy every day is about knowing even if today isn’t the best day ever, tomorrow has the potential to be better.
3. Why do you think some people are happier than others?
Circumstances play a huge role in happiness, but the reality is our circumstances play too large of a role. Too often we let things out of our control put us in a bad mood, or cause us to be unhappy. People who are happy on a regular basis know a secret and that is, unhappiness isn’t worth it. Some are naturally happy, but I believe most, like me, have to work at it. And that’s where the strategies in my book come in and can help.
4. What is your favorite strategy from the book?
Keeping a daily journal about the good things that happen every day. Good things do happen every day, and if we look for them, they are there just waiting to be acknowledged. It’s very important to acknowledge them, because too often we only acknowledge the bad things. We’ve become our own headline news, and when have you read something positive in the headlines? It’s time to change that.
5. Where can I read more of your awesome writing?
Readers can find me at http://www.positivewriter.com/ where I will keep them up to date on future releases.

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