Life’s Recipes

I was cleaning out my bookcase full of cookbooks (Three shelves down to 1 shelf) and found a recipe that I had printed off and saved tucked into one of the books. I had to really do some thinking as to where I got this recipe. I must have had it for at least 25 years. It could have possibly been given to me shortly after my mom passed away (it was tucked into one of her cookbooks) or something I found which made me think that it would be advice that she would have given me if she were still alive.

I figured I would share it here.

Image result for granola bar image

Life’s Granola Bars

¾ cup OATS ~  the “bulk”, used to keep things moving (and not just your digestive system!)    Make sure you have good communication to keep the relationship moving forward.

¼ cup ground FLAX SEEDS ~ As you grow together, start some new traditions that are just yours! (if you don’t have flax seed just use extra wheat germ)
2 T WHEAT GERM ~ As your start your new life together, keep some old traditions from childhood to remember where you came from

½ cup FLOUR ~ Remember your “knead” each other. (I use whole wheat)
¼ cup NUTS ~ do silly things together!  There is a time to be serious, but don’t be afraid to go nuts and get crazy every now and then. (walnuts)
½ cup DATES ~ go on them!  Do special things for each other to keep your relationship sweet! (or dried fruit)
Pinch of salt ~ Just a little will do. Don’t get overwhelmed with the small things. Put your trust in God.
½ T CINNAMON ~ …but don’t be afraid to spice things up a bit, and find new ways to keep your relationship colorful!

1 T VANILLA ~ the old standby…simple, everyday experiences together can add lots of flavor and meaning to your relationship…
1 EGG ~ Cast your cares and worries on Christ.  “Take my ‘yoke’ upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29
½ cup MAPLE SYRUP ~  Keep your focus on God – that’s the glue that will hold all the other ingredients together! (honey or molasses would work well also)


1.Preheat oven to 350 and line a 8 x 8 (the half size casserole dish) w/foil (the foil just makes it easier to pop out…) spray pam or lightly grease the foil.
2.While you gather your ingredients and the oven is preheating, toast the nuts and oats in the oven for 5-10 minutes (DO NOT skip this step…I did once and they came out really dry and hard)
3.In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together
4.Then add liquid ingredients, and stir together until you have a big wet clump
5.Spread mixture into the baking dish, and make sure to press down nice and hard to get everything compact.
6.Bake for 25 minutes or until done.

****Do some experimenting with different nuts and dried fruit. Some good combos are walnuts/dates, Almond/cranberry, and Cashews/Chocolate Chips. Enjoy!

Then I read a post written by Dillan DiGiovanni  titled “Relationships are Like Food: Rethink What Feeds You” in the Somerville Beat. (Somerville, MA) Full link is here.

In this article he describes friends as being in one of three categories: chips, carrots or granola bars.

Image result for chips image line drawing

CHIPS: Your chip friends are the ones who leave you feeling hungry, even after you’ve spent time with them. There’s very little substance to your interactions with them. You’re drawn to the temptation of what you might get from spending time with them but are often left feeling depleted and craving something more fulfilling. Chip friends are often focused on keeping up appearances and/or their own inner lives/drama and personal concerns. They can be negative or take from you more than they give. They don’t leave you feeling very good about yourself in some way or another. They might be the life of the party but don’t really deliver when you need it most.

Image result for granola bar image line drawing

GRANOLA BARS: Your granola bar friends are a combination of good and not-so-good things, much like actual granola bars. They’re a combination of whole nuts and seeds but they also usually have a ton of sugar in them. Granola bar friends have some aspects that make them attractive to you or others, but might have some qualities that leave you feeling a little uncomfortable or unsatisfied. Unlike chip friends, granola bar friends DO meet some of your needs in a relationship but might not fully fit the bill. Granola bar friends are fair-weather friends, doling out what they want when it’s convenient but might disappear when the going gets tough. Granola bar friends provide some of what you need and some of what you don’t.

Image result for carrots image line drawing

CARROTS: Carrot friends feed you fully with no side effects. You crave connecting with them because you feel healthier after spending time together. You can be your true self and express what you need and want and they show up the same way, giving and taking and making adjustments as needed. You feel full from the density and completeness of their presence and support. Carrot friends are honest, authentic, reliable and willing to be responsible for their imperfections. When you are around your carrot pals, you feel centered, confident and calm. They inspire and encourage your health and growth as well as their own.

People are imperfect beings and we are all works in progress, sometimes shifting in and out of all three of these categories on a daily basis. As adults, we get to choose how we fill our lives and our time. We can make space for people to be themselves, working through the challenges of life, just as we are. We can also choose to feed ourselves with relationships and surround ourselves with people who match who we are and what we need most.

I did a quick Google search on food and human relationships…… Tons of information out there from the basic “we are what we eat” to “food is a substitute for intimacy”. It seems almost anything we do can be related to what we eat….. oysters and chocolate can increase our libido; oatmeal, salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3s, leafy greens, and berries can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The list goes on….. After 2 hours of being bombarded with all the advice I read, I have decided that food is a very necessary part of our life. If it helps you to use food analogies in your life, go right ahead and do it. For me, I will use food to support my body and my heart/mind to support my relationships.




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