The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

guest post: Daily Benchmarks Through Food

The Creative Mama would like to welcome Marla Meridith of Family Fresh Cooking.  I asked Marla to share with us a bit about how she eats.  Her philosophy and outlook on food is inspiring.  Please head on over to her beautiful blog and take a look around.  You and your body will be thankful that you did.

marla meredith

When life hands you apples – eat ’em! Or make applesauce – that’s how we view life over here. Above is a recipe for Chai Tea Earl Grey Applesauce.

Recently I wrote a post on my blog Family Fresh Cooking about not making New Year’s resolutions. There is nothing more annoying then creating a list of ideas that vanish into thin air once the reality of day to day life settles in. Most folks kick off a new year with great expectations & then by the end of January the resolutions have been put out to pasture.  Instead of once a year resolutions I opt for daily benchmarks. That means 365 days a year I welcome new beginnings and opportunities to get things right. By living within my means & formulating mini plans and goals each day life is less intimidating & more fun.

marla meredith

My mission on Family Fresh Cooking is to inspire families to get into their kitchens & cook delicious meals using whole food ingredients. I keep things simple, healthy, quick & fun. Real food tastes great & is better for your body, mind & soul. Nutrients derived from whole foods increase our energy, happiness and outlook on life. Here are a few of my daily benchmarks visualized through my recipes. Pictured above is my Sweet Potato Crisp. Try it for breakfast or snacks, it’s great for the lunch box too!

marla meredith

We teach our children to respect others & we need to practice that ourselves and within our communities too. Treating others with love and kindness pays off in a big way. Even when I am in a bad mood I try to smile at a stranger – that act alone makes me feel much better. When we respect ourselves and others then happiness is the message that prevails. My recipe for Maple Apple Pie Oat Bars above offers a nutrient filled breakfast, snack or dessert that respects the daily goals of health & great taste.

marla meredith

Each meal we eat & every encounter we have should be approached mindfully. When we eat whole foods without deprivation our taste buds & bodies will thank us. Food should nourish us & make us feel great. Over eating & indulging in processed foods leaves us feeling thick, heavy, grumpy & confused. Mindful portion sizes & natural ingredients are essential daily benchmarks that make make life a lot more fun. The great thing about small portions at each meal – you then have more meals to look forward to each day. I munch 6 meals a day and each of them are filled with high energy ingredients like this Banana Almond Snack Cake recipe. Eating mini meals throughout the day keeps our blood sugar stable and helps prevent energy dips and crashes.

marla meredith

Being creative set me free and it is something we should all attempt to do daily. I encourage my kids to be whimsical, dream, sing, dance & smile. Perhaps your thing is knitting, exercise, painting, skiing, cooking or scrap booking. It does not matter. Do what makes you happy and unleash all of that creative power & energy. Get immersed in projects that bring you joy. A recipe to inspire creativity is my Strawberry Mozzarella Stuffed French Toast. A great way to kick off a creative and inspired day.

What are some of your daily benchmarks? How do you encourage your kids, parents, friends, strangers etc to live life to it’s fullest?
Please visit me on my blog too –  I love making new friends over there where we share daily inspirations together.

All recipes, photos & food styling by Marla Meridith

Marla Meridith believes in a combination of healthy eating and daily exercise to stay mentally sharp and physically fit. She loves whole foods that are full of flavor. She lets organic, natural ingredients speak for themselves. Her goal is to motivate families to get in the kitchen and create meals filled with flavor. This mom of two small kids has been compared to the “Energizer Bunny.” Marla is proudly labeled as a high energy healthy lifestyle cheerleader. Her blog is called Family Fresh Cooking. She can also be found Stumbling, Tweeting (@MarlaMeridith) and her updating Facebook page regularly.

About Bree

Bree is the founder and writer of, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband and 3 children.

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  • dalia

    I am so happy to discover your blog!! I just printed a dozen recipes that I cannot wait to try!!

  • Anita Menon

    Excellent Article Marla! Enjoyed reading it. I following your blog regularly and try to keep up with eating healthy.
    I loved the way you juxtaposed the beautiful qualities such as respect , mindfulness etc with good wholesome food.

  • Clair

    I needed this now too! Thank you!

  • AmyC

    Great post! Just when I needed it :)

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  • Amanda

    Seriously… every parent should read this! Great insights and ideas Marla… and STUNNING photography as usual. What a beautiful post!

  • Molly Chester

    Wow… that cobbler looks beautiful.

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  • marla

    Thanks so much for inviting me to do this guest post – I love the way my photos look on your site :) It was so fun to write this post for you.