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    • Allow me to introduce myself....

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    •  2/28/2014 3:31:29 PM

      Hi, I'm Charity (aka Maintenance Mommy).


      It's crazy to think that we started this website back in 2009 and for all of these years I have made certain to never post a picture of myself.


      I was always excited to share so many things - recipes, books, articles, etc - but the one thing I was not too eager to share was a silly little picture. 


      There was only one reason - BODY IMAGE  :(


      Some of you know me and some of you are strangers, but there are very few people in my life that know much I have struggled in the past with my weight and my body image.  I have never been obese, and truthfully never more than 15 pounds overweight (after 3 babies).  And yet for almost 2 decades I would say that weight loss/body weight was one of my greatest challenges.  Even at a healthy weight, I often struggle with just being happy with my body.


      My story I'm sure is no different than so many others out there.  There wasn't necessarily a single event that began my insecurity with weight.  There were times in my life when it wasn't that big of a deal and there were other times when it felt debilitating.  I remember when I was selected by to become a Food For Life Instructor here in Utah.  I came home from the training in D.C. and I cried.  Not tears of joy for finally being able to do something that I had dreamed of doing.  Tears of failure and self-doubt.  I remember convincing myself that I could never teach people about healthy eating since I wasn't a size 4.  I remember feeling so ashamed that for all of my knowledge about health and nutrition I just wasn't skinny "enough" to teach others.


      Luckily I was able to battle through those feelings (though it was hard and it took a while) and I am so blessed that I have been able to teach thousands of people since then about the importance of eating a healthy diet.


      Over the past  few years I have really tried to start LETTING GO of these weight issues.  Letting go of all the fears, letting go of the negativity, letting go of the desire to just be skinny.  (In fact I use an essential oil almost everyday called "Letting Go", just as a reminder that life, and vitality, and vibrancy are my goals.)


      There is such a fine line between healthy eating and weight loss.  There are plenty of weight loss programs that do NOT promote a healthy lifestyle (I should know since I tried almost all of them in my twenties). And sometimes I cross that line. Every now and then I falter in my thinking and revert back to wanting to be skinny (rather than healthy). 


      And then I get clarity of thought and I remember. 


      I remember that I am no longer defined by my scale.  I am defined by my character and that has nothing to do with what I look like.  I remember that I want to be healthy until I am 100.  I remember the example that I want to set for my 2 daughters and any other young women that I may have a role in influencing.  I remember that kind and compassionate and nurturing is beautiful.  I remember that being loved is so much more important than being skinny.  And oh how lucky I am to be loved....and to be in love.


      And then I remember all of the other women (and men) out there who have the same struggles and I want to put my arms around them and tell them that I know how they feel.  And to tell them that they are beautiful.  And to convince them that feeling healthy and alive is one of the greatest gifts they can give themselves.  And to let them know that the greatest battle they must fight first is in their head.  And to tell them that they CAN do it. 


      SO I guess that a bit of my story.  But like I said, that isn't who I am, and that's not my whole story.


      Here's who I really am.

      Taken last year. Me and my fam (heart heart heart)


      I was born and raised in Canada with an awesome family.  I moved to Utah when I was 18 to go to school at BYU - which is where I met my husband.  I was married at 20 and had 4 kids by 28.  Fast forward to today :)


      I am 38.  I love people.  I love to cook.  I have been lucky enough to be a stay at home mom all of these years.  I can finally say that I love to workout - it just makes my days go better.  I no loner get on the scale everyday (which was a critical step in 'letting go'). I love to read but don't get to do it as much as I wish I could (mostly because I do it before bed and only get few a couple of pages before my eyes start drooping).  I like watching football but I can't stand watching baseball.  My husband has never made me feel anything but beautiful.  I love having people over to my house. I like to stay busy (which is sometimes a downfall). Sadly, patience is not my strongest suit.  I have a very small cooking segment on the news each month.  I love LOVE to travel (thank goodness for skymiles).  I am very left brained but am working on expanding to the other side.  Teaching Cancer Project cooking classes is one of my favorite things - especially having my 2 daughters as my sous-chefs. I have wonderful friends.  Sugar is my narcotic of choice (don't drink or smoke). I am an early riser and can barely hold a conversation past 9:30 pm.  I love God....I REALLY love God - he is a huge part of my life.  I am happiest when I remember how lucky I am in life.


      And so I guess that's me in a nutshell.  I would love to know who you are.  Lately I've been posting a lot on Instagram (@wholefoodmommies) which feeds to our Facebook Page.  Stop by sometime and say hi - it will put a HUGE smile on my face!



      Taken 2 years ago (on the news so yup - fake hair and fake lashes in this one)


      Taken last week

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    • Raw noodle bowl

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    •  2/23/2014 8:30:48 AM

      I can't wait to try this simple recipe that I found on

      I've been trying to detox a little lately by adding more raw meals into my diet.  Spiralized zucchini noodles are some of my favorite!

      Tangy noodle salad 3 zucchinis

      1 pack cherry tomatoes .

      use a Spiralizer or vegetable peeler to create long thing strips.

      Chop tomatoes & add to your bowl✅ .

      1/2 mango 2 avocados

      1 inch of peeled ginger

      Juice of 2 limes

      Pinch sea salt & cayenne pepper

      ✅ blend all ingredients until smooth. Mix into your noodles then place in fridge for 20 minutes for the noodles to soak up the sauce✅ Serves 4

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    • Leeks, Artichokes, and White Beans

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    •  2/15/2014 10:14:46 PM

    • If you are looking for the perfect side dish to compliment your meal then look no further!


      This is such an incredibly simple dish that is packed full of flavor.  It's loaded with cancer-fighting compounds, is low in fat and high in fiber (the perfect combination for a meal)!  And did I mention that it's SO simple!  If you have never cooked with leek before, then this is a MUST try recipe.  Besides you can find leeks anywhere these days (I actually bought these ones at Wal-Mart).  Just remember to use the white part and discard the green tops (so buy the ones that have the most whites).



      Leek, Artichoke and White Beans


      2 leeks, washed and finely chopped

      2 TBS olive oil

      1 15oz can of white beans, rinsed and drained

      1 12oz jar of artichoke hearts, drained

      1 tsp of dried dill

      In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium heat and sautee the leeks for about 5-7 minutes (until they are soft).  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for another minute or two.  Serve warm or cold.


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    • Powerhouse Breakfast Parfait

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    •  2/8/2014 10:13:49 AM
    • Find even more recipes like this by following us on Instragram @wholefoodmommies or on Facebook!


      If you are looking for a fantastic breakfast (or snack :) that is full of nutrients and that will keep you full, then look no further.  This baby is a perfect post workout breakfast and is just the right amount for one hungry person (although I suppose 2 could share it!)

      Powerhouse Parfait

      1/2 cup thick cut oats

      2 TBS chia seeds

      1 TBS hemp seeds

      1 TBS ground flax seed

      1 cup unsweetened almond milk

      Simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and allow it to sit for about an hour (or overnight).  Then find your favorite class and add your favorite fruit.  I can't go a day without a banana!




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    • Peanut Butter Granola Bars

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    •  1/31/2014 6:34:16 PM

    • If you are looking for a SUPER easy recipe for the kiddos to make (and to enjoy), then look no further.


      These are fantastic!  My kids have been asking me for a while to buy them granola bars.  I must say that after reading the ingredients or about 7 different brands I was sorely disappointed.  Even a popular organic brand was loaded with sugar.  So I figured I might as well make my own!


      Peanut Butter Granola Bars

      4 cups rolled oats

      1/2 cup honey

      2 tablespoons chia seeds (these are optional, I just love the texture they give)

      1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

      1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

      3/4 cup peanut butter (preferably one withOUT any hydrogenated oils)

      2 TBS ground flax seed

      2 other things I threw in that are optional:

      1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


      1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped into little pieces


      Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly (it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if the kids wanted to use their hands :).

      Press the mixture into a greased  9 x 13 baking dish.  The harder you press the better the bars will stay together.

      Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

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