A few weeks ago, I read this great post on the Zen Habits website entitled “Our Everloving Quest to Control Our Lives”. What stuck with me from this post was the concept that just when we think we have achieved “control” over our lives, something happens to show us just how little control we have, which in turn can be quite disappointing . . .
Since the start of this blog and the start of the new school year, I have been working through this concept of letting go of (some) control and just letting the universe take over. Ironically, it has been by implementing some set routines (I’m not ready to give up all my control yet . . .) that I’ve been able to do this. Little things like menu planning, packing the kids snacks before I go to bed, packing all the activity bags on the weekend . . . all help to free up time so that I can spend the time I have with the kids, the Husband, myself in the best way possible.
That being said, I still face my daily struggles . . . especially in the mornings. As I’ve said before, my kids wake up early. Like 5am early. And the Husband is up at 4:30 to go to the gym. Which means, as a mom, I’m “on duty” before I’ve had any time to get myself organized. With my re-newed focus on my nutrition, one area that needed attention was my breakfast. In the hustle and bustle of having 2 kids up so early, getting their breakfast on the table, lunches (for me and the Husband) made, and everything else that goes on in a house in the early hours of the morning, my breakfast often gets put on the back burner (literally) until 7:30 (which, says the Coach isn’t exactly ideal).
Every morning for the last few weeks, I vow to get my breakfast first thing and then deal with everything else after. And every morning, I get caught up in doing other things, and end up not eating until far too late.
As is so often the case, a phrase that I needed to hear came up several times over the last week: “What’s in the way is the way”. Turns out this quote is actually the title of a book by Mary O’Malley that is reputed to be life changing (yup, I’ve added it to my reading list). While I haven’t read the book, in reading about it, I found this excerpt from it:
“To open to the way things actually are, rather than always trying to make Life be what you think it should be, is the most courageous and healing thing you can do.”
I’ve always worked under the premise that the kids should be happy and occupied doing something before I set to work on the things I need to do. But after thinking about this quote, I realized, I can have my cake (or at least breakfast) and eat it too . . .
This is the scene in our house in the mornings now. No more kids off in the family room playing (aka asking for help from me every 2 minutes and preventing me from getting stuff done). Instead they’re with me. They love to peel, chop and portion out fruits and veggies. So why not engage them in something they like doing that is simultaneously useful??? While they’re doing that, I have time to make my breakfast. And then we can all sit down and eat together!
I’m not naive though. I understand that just like everything, this won’t be the scene every morning. BUT, as long as I’m prepared, I can roll with it and make things work.
And one of the ways I do that is by having lots of breakfast alternatives at the ready so if need be, I can forgo my usual eggs and veggies and grab something that I can get ready in just a few seconds. Which brings me to my latest recipe . . . nut butter and oatmeal bars. These work great as bars, or crumbled up and served with greek yogurt. The Husband even likes these and has been known to snack on them (which is pretty high praise)!
Nut Butter & Oatmeal Bars
1 500g jar of a nut butter of your choosing (I used crunchy peanut butter)
1/2 cup of raw honey
4 cups of organic oats
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the peanut butter and the honey, stirring to combine.
- Measure the oats into a bigger bowl.
- Prepare a 9×18″ pan by lining it with parchment paper.
- Once the peanut butter and honey mixture is melted and well mixed, add it to the bowl with the oats and stir well so all the oats are coated in the mixture.
- Press the oat mixture into the pan using the back of a spoon or the bottom of a glass to really pack it in well.
- Put the pan in the fridge so the mixture hardens up.
- Store in the fridge – either cut into bars, or crumble up and store in a container to use in a pinch. This makes a lot, so you may want to freeze some of it!