Meatless Monday | a hashtag and a journey

Hey there,

So I’m not much of a “food blogger” or a foodie, for that matter, but I’ve been on a food journey of sorts since I was 18. Now, fifteen years later, I am still navigating the wide world of food and health, while stumbling to never lose sight of what is best for my body, while honoring what might be best for yours.

I recently shared over on Instagram that I’ve been slowly making my way towards a plant-based diet. If you had asked me even a year ago if I’d consider becoming a vegetarian (or even anything remotely close to it) I would’ve laughed in your face. But God is insanely patient, and has continued to gently guide me towards that end, regardless of my constant kicking and screaming.

I like meat. The world likes meat. Keto, Paleo, Caveman. All of the things involve all of the meat, and as of the last several years, all of the fat, too. But it turns out, after a few years of trying to do the new right thing, fat isn’t exactly the best for my body. I had to learn this the hard way when my gallbladder gave out on me and I had to get her removed.

Man I was mad at all the people and their fat-filled diet plans.

It feels unfair that there’s such confidence behind their voices, claiming that THIS IS THE BEST THING YOU WILL EVER DO FOR YOURSELF!

It might not be.

What I’ve learned (and I’m going to be careful not to do the soap box thing and say this is the exact thing you should eat or not eat, or do and not do) is that the absolute BEST thing you can do for yourself is take. the. time. to discover how God made your unique body, and do exactly what it needs.

I’ve got so many more things I want to share. It’s funny because I’ve never really written much about this, mostly because who am I to talk health and wellness, and I’m finding that maybe all of my trial and error could help someone else get a little healthier, and past the obsession with food and diet and on to all of the other things we get the joy of experiencing in this one life we live.

  • I’ve been learning about extremes and how self-control is the ultimate one-way ticket to health

  • I’ve been learning about weighing food, and how portions are actually something really important to be mindful of [insert self-control, again]

  • I’ve been learning about my body and how I’ve actually never really taken the time to get to know what is best for it, but rather tried to do for my body the things that might be best for someone else’s.

  • And I’ve been learning how to explore new foods and recipes that I would’ve never cooked in a million years. This is when the Pinterest-lover in me actually serves me well.

So over the next, however long, I hope to encourage you with my own journey towards taking care of what God has given me, learning about stewardship and how it looks different on everyone, and some fun favorites along the way. This will definitely NOT be a place where you will find the trick to your own health, but rather a place where you will, Lord willing, find hope to continue on your own journey.

Here’s to finding health amongst the noisy world of “healthy living”!

“You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God!” | 1 Corinthians 6:20 (TPT)

My Morning Bread

Okay, it's not my morning bread, I do believe I found the recipe while stumbling through StumbleUpon. It has been one of our favorites ever since. I've found over the past few years that baking is one of my happy places. I will never say mine is the best, and I will often tell you of things I've done wrong or substituted due to inaccurate ingredients in my pantry, but as imperfect as it may often be, baking brings me such joy. Keeping homemade things in our home, trying to perfect my favorite cookie recipe, being elbow deep in bread dough with sore palms and wrists... these are the heavenly things. Where my heart feels warm and fuzzy and you will often find a smile across my face (and possibly some remnants of multiple taste tests). I've baked a few times since arriving in Minnesota, and it didn't take long for me to break out this recipe. It's very basic and very delicious and can be altered to fit your families preferences. Often I like to enjoy a slice of something with my eggs or omelette and this is definitely a step up from toasted sandwich bread. For me, slightly warmed up with a little spread of butter or coconut oil is just right. Hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as we do!

Good For You Breakfast Loaf

1 Cup Rolled Oats 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour 2 tsp Baking Powder 1/2 tsp Sea Salt 1 1/2 tbsp Honey, Maple Syrup or Agave 1 tbsp Canola Oil (I use coconut oil) 1 Cup Milk (They say 1% or Skim, but I'm currently of the belief that milk fat is good fat. We all need some fat sometimes. If you're going to consume it, consume the good kind.)

Preheat oven to 450°

Grind oatmeal in a food processor (or do like me and use a Magic Bullet because that's all you have). In a large bowl combine oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl mix honey with canola oil, dissolve. Then stir in the milk. (If using coconut oil, be sure to warm up the milk to room temperature so as to keep the coconut oil from hardening and therefore separating). Combine both mixtures and stir until a soft dough is formed. Pour into a loaf pan (I usually line mine with parchment). Sprinkle some oats on top and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

This bread is at it's absolute best right after it's cooled. It would also work well to use mini-loaf pans so you could just pull one out of the freezer when you want to enjoy it. As I said, butter or coconut oil are my go-to spreads but a nice honey spread (Trader Joe's is our favorite) or some conserves would be great too.

Laura's Phone 200

My favorite favorite favorite jam is Strawberry Orange Freezer Jam. There's not necessarily a recipe, which makes for a slightly different jam each time, but boy is it good. I know recipes usually call for freezer pectine when making freezer jam but I leave it out.

I take a small container of berries and cut them into smaller chunks. Then I blend them up really well in the bullet and pour them into a medium sauce pan. Turning the heat on medium, I let them boil for probably about 15 minutes, allowing them to thicken a little bit. In the mean time I take an orange and zest a bit of the peel into the boiling berries. For me, I usually zest a little less than half of the peel. You could do as much or little as you'd like. Keep in mind that the zest really gives a punch so be careful not to overdo it. To sweeten the pot you could use cane sugar, however I tend to use Truvia's baking blend. I try to keep the sugar as low as possible and let the fruit do the talking. So I'd say for that size batch you'd want to add about 3 tablespoons of Truvia's baking blend, or else 3/4 cup of cane sugar. But really you could add whatever sweetener you preferred. I've done it with honey, which tasted great but did make for a bit runnier of a jam. Once it's boiled for 15-20 minutes I then just pour it into smaller jars that I hang on to (my favorite is an old baking yeast jar) and let them cool, putting them in the freezer once they're no longer hot. This jam is wonderfully delicious added to plain greek yogurt too. Adds the flavor without all the sugar. Added bonus, your house will smell ridiculously delicious for the better part of the day.


Let me know if you try either of these two out. I always like to know if others share our love of the Breakfast Loaf, especially because I generally make this for people who are in need of food (i.e. had babies, are sick, are too pregnant to cook, etc).

This weekend I'm making a carrot cake with browned butter cream cheese frosting. I'll let you know how that one goes. I can tell you right now, it's going to go well.