Moving on…

This post is not something I imagined myself writing here, ever. When I started this blog in September of 2014, I didn’t have big plans. I just wanted to share my passion for healthy, wholesome food in the way that I do best: through my writing. But as the months went on, Healthy Little Changes grew into something bigger, something that filled my mind with potential and my soul with a sense of purpose. I believed I had found my calling in life, and I lovingly curated this blog with a sense of fulfilling my destiny. And I have been fulfilled.

But lately, I have felt something new — a feeling of coming to an end. At first this scared me for many reasons. First, because I truly believed that spreading the message of health and happiness through whole foods was my mission, and if I were to discover that it isn’t, then what would be left? Second, because I have put so much into this blog over the past year — not just time and effort but emotional energy, and all my hopes and dreams for the future. The thought of ending it all made me feel that what I believed to be my predestined path was nothing more than a detour, a phase, a passing fancy.

With all these reasons you may wonder why I even considered putting an end to Healthy Little Changes, especially when I’ve gained so much momentum and learned so much. The truth is, I’m not ending anything. I feel called to begin anew.

You see, for the past year, I’ve not only learned to nourish my body, I’ve begun to explore what I need to nourish my soul. In much the same way my healthy eating journey began, I started down this path with a question: What can I do to give my spirit all it needs to flourish and grow? Many of the answers I knew already but I have been too proud or distracted to accept them. But so many, many more have surprised and delighted me and truly enlightened my soul.

My friends, the truth is, these past few months I’ve undergone a remarkable spiritual transformation. I have learned things that turned my world around and filled my soul with unfathomable light. I have experienced a miraculous healing of the psyche, but I didn’t stop there. I’ve built on that fresh clean start I was granted and have discovered a wide array of tools, exercises, and daily practices to keep my soul uplifted. I have learned to quiet my fears, push past the ego, and let my spirit guide me and inspire me to action. And that’s what I’m doing now.

I have been inspired to begin a new project, one that will teach others to push past the darkness and follow their own light. I feel called to use my God-given writing and speaking talents to teach women in particular how to listen to and honor their needs so that they are not only able to take care of those that depend on them, but so they may gain the strength and power to become who they were put on this earth to be.

And so I’m choosing to end my Healthy Little Changes journey so that I may fully focus on this new mission ahead. It is not with sadness that I do so, but with immense joy and anticipation. Because I have learned that when you follow your inner guidance, there is nothing to fear and everything to gain.

Thank you, dear friends, for welcoming me into your lives and allowing me to be part of your own personal journeys. I have learned much from you and it is my sincere hope that you have learned much from me. And I do hope that when my new project launches, you will join me on that journey too.

Sending you love, peace, and joy in the new year.

Lindsay

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Recipe: Southwestern Veggie Burgers with Pineapple Slaw

Since deciding to eat more plant-based I’ve tried my fair share of veggie burgers, with mixed results. With some the flavor was outstanding but the texture was a bit unappealing. With others, it was just the opposite. After making a handful of recipes I got the method down fairly easily and decided to try making my own, taking what I had on hand and adding in my favorite flavors. And WOW. These southwestern veggie quinoa burgers were phenomenal, if I say so myself. The sweetness of the corn and sweet potato perfectly balance the almost bitter flavor of the quinoa; the spicy barbecue sauce counterbalances the sweetness and adds a depth of flavor; and the fresh cilantro adds a brightness to it and makes this a perfectly balanced, well-rounded, complex bite.

Email BoxWhen I first made these burgers  I did a small batch, making only about three patties. I served myself one and gave the other two to my twins (I didn’t bother with my 4-year-old; I knew he’d give me grief so why cast your pearls before swine, y’know what I mean?). My girls gobbled them up immediately, making yummy sounds all the way. When it was finally my turn to sit down and eat (because mom is always the last to enjoy what she’s served to everyone else), I regretted sharing them with my babies. I wanted more.

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How to store fresh herbs

There’s nothing like fresh herbs in a dish. They add a brightness and bring another dimension of flavor to a dish that just can’t be replicated. Even if you don’t have your own herb garden, you can still get fresh herbs from the grocery store (or from a generous friend — ask around!). The trouble is, it’s very easy for freshly-cut herbs to wilt in a hurry once you’ve brought them home.

There are a few tricks you can use to get the most of your herbs. Here are two ways to store your herbs so they stay fresher longer and you can enjoy every last bit.

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A blog award! Plus, my 10 favorites

What a pleasant surprise I got today: I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog award by Kim Humphrey of Learn to Love Food.

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Kim is a new reader, and I recently discovered her blog, as well — a must-read for parents struggling to get their children to love food. She is a speech therapist specializing in pediatric feeding therapy and she not only knows her stuff, she presents it in a fun and casual yet impactful way. Even if you don’t have children with food aversions, you’ve just got to check out her whimsical and delicious-looking edible creations. Thank you for the nomination, Kim, and I’m excited to keep the tradition rolling forward. Continue reading

Tips for keeping your grocery budget under control

How much do you spend on groceries each month?

It’s a question that’s being discussed right now in several Facebook groups I’m in, and the answers are as varied as they come. Most families with four or more children make it on anywhere from $500 to $1,000 a month, but some smaller families even exceed that.

One thing that is consistent: Everyone wishes they could spend a little less.

In 2011 I quit my job to become a full-time mom to my then-9-month-old son, taking our family from two full-time incomes to one. So being able to spend a little less on groceries was not just a nice skill to have, it was a matter of survival.

Fast-forward to today, and I’ve got grocery shopping down to a science. For our family of 5, I spend between $40 and $60 each week, but no more than $200 a month on groceries. Like a BOSS.

Here’s what I picked up today from my Winco store in Utah for $51.26:

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Processed food is killing you, and food makers don’t care

In 1999, a secret meeting was held by the CEOs of 11 major American food companies — big names like Kraft, Nabisco, Coca-Cola, and General Mills. The meeting was called by a Pillsbury executive, a former food scientist who was instrumental in creating some of the industry’s best-loved packaged foods like microwaved popcorn. He had grown concerned by the rising levels of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and other health problems in the country — in particular, in children. So he and a handful of others called the meeting to warn their fellow executives and CEOs that they may have gone too far, that their products — and accompanying marketing tactics — were posing such an enormous risk to the public, leading to a national health crisis.

The meeting, as you may have guessed, did not go as planned. Continue reading

Recipe: Quick banana pancakes with coconut whipped cream

Nothing sets the tone for the day quite like a scrumptious breakfast. I’m a full-time mom to three little ones, so none of us have to rush out the door quickly in the mornings — but that doesn’t mean I have all the time in the world to fuss over breakfast, either. I’m steadily finding that happy medium, though: I’ve built a repertoire of quick, healthy, and utterly delicious breakfast recipes to get the day started off right, fast.

Today I’m sharing my recipe for quick banana pancakes, which are naturally sugar-free, require just four ingredients, and are speedily made in the blender. Seriously, these are lightning-fast to make. The only real waiting time is while they’re on the griddle. But the real bonus for me is that these banana pancakes are wonderfully healthy and can be made with any type of flour you like, whether whole wheat, white, or something gluten-free. You can even make them without flour, if you choose, but I find that they take longer to cook without the flour and the pancakes end up a bit rubbery. The addition of just a 1/4 cup of flour gives these the light, fluffy texture we all love in a pancake.

I’m also including the recipe for my new all-time favorite topping: coconut whipped cream. Now that I’ve discovered it, I don’t think I can live without it. I use it to top all my breakfast goods — waffles, German pancakes, oatmeal, you name it — and it goes great with dessert. It has all the creamy fluffiness of traditional whipped cream with just a light coconut flavor that’s not the least overpowering. It’s a vegan favorite, and since it’s dairy-free, sugar-free, and packed with the essentials fats our brains need to function, that means it’s good for you and guilt-free. A total win!

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Want to be skinny? Don’t bother with the gym

Each January my social media feed blows up with health challenges, gym selfies, links to healthy recipes, and passionate vows to give up carbs or sugar or Diet Coke … followed by diatribes of self-loathing when the vows have been broken and goals quickly abandoned. It’s almost as exhausting as actually hitting the gym — which, by the way, is chock full of newcomers desperate to make good on their New Year’s Resolutions.

Yikes. I’m so glad I’m not one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like healthy recipes, and I’m more or less off sugar and have never had more than a sip of Diet Coke (in my day I preferred the hard stuff, straight up). And, I actually really like going to the gym. Really. I’m not an endorphin junkie or training for anything in particular; there’s a lot more to it than that, but that’s for another post.

But this does bring up the one point I must make clear: I don’t go to the gym to be skinny. And neither should you. Continue reading

Who do you want to be?

I have spent a significant portion of my life being unhappy. When I say “significant,” I mean nearly a third of my existence. And when I say “unhappy,” I mean living in a sadness so profound that I felt consumed, suffocated, engulfed by black swampy waters that held me paralyzed until I could barely breathe, let alone fight back.

I am what doctors would call “mentally ill.” Or at least I was, but I’ll get to that part. I was formally diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 15, but my first bout with the illness was around age 9. I cycled in and out of depressed episodes for more than a decade until I suffered a complete nervous breakdown at age 21, just a few months before I was set to graduate from college. The collapse was so complete that it took me nearly two years to climb out of it. Continue reading