Love The One Who Lifts You Up

September 21, 2014

This past Saturday I married by best friend. It was hands down the most monumental day of my life. Looking back I feel grateful that the day felt like a real expression of my life. The importance for me came from having my closest family and friends together in one place. The enjoyment came from sharing in each other’s presence, expressing our love for one another and forgetting the other worries from our every day lives. I have never felt more cherished. 

Many of us search for a deep meaning in our lives. We set out to find a reason for why certain things happen and why other outcomes never come to fruition. I have believed for a long time that life is what you make it to be. You get to choose the way you view the world and what you would like to create out of your life.

Peaceful people live in a peaceful world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. It’s the same world.

One of the main immediate attractions I had to my husband (Gah! Crazy to say that!) was his ability to see the world differently than anyone I had ever met. His view is one of possibility, adventure and strength. He is passionate, lives in the moment and has an infectious energy. I just wanted to be around him and his electric personality.

We met in our early 20’s and as I have written about in the past, our relationship has not been roses and butterflies all the time. It has taken teamwork, patience, understanding and support for one another.

If I could go back to the early days of our relationship, I would say to myself: 

“It will never be perfect, but it is so damn worth it.”

“Sharing your life with someone who is committed to growth, adventure, and passion is a challenging, exciting and worthwhile endeavor.”

“Love the one who lifts you up.”

Every once in awhile a person comes into our life and changes our whole world. They bring out the best in us and challenge us to rise up in our lowest moments. They help us to create the life we dream of through teamwork and a shared vision. Today I feel very thankful for all our life’s experiences and where they have brought us.

On the days leading up to our wedding day, I reflected a lot on my relationship with my man over the years. While I have expressed that teamwork is certainly important to us, I do believe that personal strength and responsibility for ourselves has made a huge difference in our love and respect for one another.

During my brother’s ‘toast to the bride’ on Saturday evening, he shared his favourite quote: 

“The people we love should make us laugh, they should make us cry, but most importantly, they should make us think.”

 

My bridesmaids and 'Man of Honour' this past Saturday. 

No relationship worth having will ever be perfect. There will be tears, there will be laughter and there will certainly be thinking. Thinking about owning our own stories, thinking about the insecurities we can leave behind and thinking about how we can share our lives with another person who truly brings out the best in us.

Like I said on Saturday, Manny you have my whole heart, for my whole life.

Love,

Lana

Lemon Coconut Pancakes

September 21, 2014

These are moist, somewhat dense and filling pancakes. I love the lemon and coconut flavours together!

Ingredients:

2 eggs

3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1tbsp unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp lemon juice

Freshly grated lemon zest

1/4 cup Liberte Greek Coconut Yogurt

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine all ingredients into a blender and combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side. Serve with fresh berries. This recipe serves two. 

How To Deal With Someone Else's Truth

September 14, 2014

A family friend and veteran mediator once said, there are three truths to every story; your truth, someone else’s truth, and the real truth. I love this statement because it allows us to take a broad perspective on all disagreements. Each of us have unique points of view based on our life experiences, values, beliefs and motives. When we consider that there are two sides to every story, we can find a workable solution to any conflict.

Conjure up a challenging time in your life where you felt personally hurt or ‘wronged’ by someone else. Perhaps it was a friend, co-worker, roommate, family member or significant other. A large amount of your frustration likely came from not understanding or agreeing with the actions of another individual.

Even more challenging can be when a loved one or family member is caught in a disagreement with someone else. Do you intervene and bring your perspective into the discussion, or do you let them handle it on their own?

Regardless of the specifics of the challenging time you are dealing with, have dealt with in your past or will deal with in your future, here are a few solutions to get through with kindness, respect and clarity. 

 

Choose a mantra

"Rise above."

This is one of my favourite phrases to repeat to myself during challenging times. It helps me to avoid getting dragged into petty disagreements and to take the high road.

"Life’s tough in the fast lane, kid."

This is something my Dad used to say to me when I would make a stink about not getting my way. I repeat it to myself all the time when I need a kick in the pants to keep on going. You are faced with a challenge you can step up, grow, change and move on or wither. 

 

Give yourself some lovin’

During times of challenge, eating healthy and taking care of yourself can fall by the wayside. What do you love to do that just feels good? This could be your favourite cycle class, a hot bath, a massage, journalling or chatting with a close friend. Treat yourself well to feel well.

 

 

The Bottom Line

You can’t beat crazy. From time to time you may deal with a very irrational individual. It can be challenging not to defend and justify yourself against their claims. The best practice in this scenario is to let them sink their own ship. Do not enter into a fight that is not worth fighting, stick to your truth and rise above.

Above all, make the choice not to shy away from crucial confrontation. By respecting another person’s truth, staying true to your own views and working together to find compromise you can create peace on all fronts. It takes patience, putting your ego aside and showing up authentically.

Yours in peace,

Lana

Brussels Sprouts & Prosciutto

September 14, 2014

I get it, you either love Brussels sprouts or you hate them. The only thing that could convince a hater would be to add prosciutto or bacon to these baby cabbages! (note: they are not actually baby cabbages, but they sure look like them) Get your fill of this healthy and fibre-rich vegetable that is high in anti-cancer phytochemicals and vitamins. 

Ingredients:

5-6 cups Brussels sprouts

3 strips prosciutto

1 tsp olive oil 

Fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Wash sprouts, trim bases, chop in half and take off any brown leaves. Toss in olive oil in a rectangular baking dish, top with bite-sized chopped prosciutto. Roast for 35-40 minutes, turning over one to two times.

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

September 06, 2014

The initial title of this post was Death By Chocolate Zucchini Loaf - because it is deadly. So moist and full of rich chocolate. Earlier this week I attempted a chocolate zucchini muffin recipe and it fell short on chocolate taste. I had the brilliant idea of melting an entire 70% cacao chocolate bar to avoid missing the mark! 

Ingredients

2 eggs

2 cups shredded zucchini

1.5 cups ground almonds

1 - 70% chocolate bar (I used Lindt which is ... grams for one bar)

1/4 cup almond butter

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 375. To remove excess water from shredded zucchini, use a paper towel to squeeze and absorb. Beat 2 eggs, add zucchini and stir until combined. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and let cool slightly, stir almond butter into chocolate. Add to egg mixture and stir. Blend dry ingredients in a separate bowl and slowly add to wet ingredients. Add vanilla and honey, blend until combined.

The key to the moist super chocolatey taste is the melted chocolate, this one is dark and decadent:

Bake in a greased loaf pan for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, slice and serve.

Note: This recipe is not very sweet! I do not love super sweet baking and wanted to use this as a healthy snack so you may add more honey if you desire a sweeter option.