by Holly on February 5, 2013

in giveaway,gluten-free,goals,recipes,seriousness,vegetarian

There’s nothing like change to make you well…change.


I floated rather resistantly in a state of frazzled transition in 2012. I went back to school. I began a new relationship. I quit my job. I ran a marathon. I started freelancing. Good friends moved away. Good friends got married. Freelancing wasn’t covering my living expenses while in school full-time, so I got a new job. I switched to school part-time. I moved twice. I kept freelancing. I traveled to Nashville, BostonNew York City and Argentina. And I about lost my mind.

Last year took every preconceived notion I had about success and threw it in the garbage disposal with me watching as each belief whirred and spun, vanquishing into the dark stainless steel abyss. All that remained was exhaustion and the damp stench of used coffee grounds, which has become impossible to remove from my sink. The ground kept ceaselessly shaking underneath my feet, testing whether I would be able to bend deeply and earnestly to embrace the small quakes or lock my knees, refusing to adapt. And refusing to embrace the changes that were inevitably coming.


This year, I’m defining success much, much differently. My personal success is going to be measured by my ability to adapt to change. To welcome change. To accept my circumstances as they are and not how I would like them to be. To keep my inner happiness unbroken even when sadness, anger and frustration try to force their conniving, gnarled hands on me. I think that may be the hardest part about change – how do I remain happy even when the tough stuff is just too much, too hard?***

So…I am going to invite change into my modest studio apartment, tell it to take a seat on my bed (sorry, no room for a couch) and stay for a cup of coffee. I am going to feed it a simple, wholesome tart, because who and what doesn’t get cranky when they get hungry? It’s going to be gluten-free, which is a change from my usual eating patterns, but I’m embracing it.

Embracing change by feeding change with change?  Just go with it.


I am not going to kick change out or tell it to go, but rather, let it take it’s precious ol’ time, sit as long as it likes and be okay with this strange thing in my bed. I’ll let it leave when it wants to leave and welcome it back with more coffee and tarts when it returns. It will help me practice my hostess skills. In fact, call it my healthy 2013 resolutions: embrace change and become a better hostess.

Because wasn’t it Sam Cooke who sang, “A Change Is Gonna Come?”

I’d like to argue Mr. Cooke, that change is always gonna come.

*** If you’re interested, I am reading the book The Untethered Soul, and it touches perfectly on cultivating this skill.


Gluten-Free Apple Cheddar Tart
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 10 to 15 minutes

Gluten-Free Tart Crust

2 T olive oil or butter
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium apple, thinly sliced
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 T minced fresh rosemary
salt + pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Wisconsin cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare gluten-free tart crust in a 9-inch tart pan or an 8×8-inch square pan. Set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, saute onions and olive oil. Stir occasionally, letting onions slowly caramelize until they are light brown in color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add apples and garlic. Continue cooking for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until apples are soft. Add rosemary and salt + pepper, and mix to coat evenly. Pour caramelized onion-apple mixture atop the tart crust. Top with an even layer of cheddar cheese.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and edges are lightly browned.

Makes 9 squares

[This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Quaker. I received product in conjunction with this post. The opinions and text are all mine.]


Ann February 5, 2013 at 12:49 am

This post just makes me want to send an Internet hug your way. That’s a lot of big change for one year. Especially all that moving. I hope you’re settled and happy. And I hope it’s just the rough patch before epic awesomeness.

I don’t have small changes. I’m at the point where conscious big behavior changes are pretty much the only effective option. So my change for this year is trying to get back in shape. Never, never let yourself get out of shape if you can help it. I’m trying Rushfit because 1) provides schedule for easier discipline. There are calenders. I’m thinking about breaking out stickers. 2) Focus on core strength, because apparently I’ve lost all of it. And it’s so important. 3.) It provides for different levels and is modifiable. I’m hoping it will be a good kick in the ass to get back in the fitness habit.

Eve February 5, 2013 at 12:55 am

Great post Holly. Here’s me delurking from the abyss, and telling you I really do know where you’re coming from. Me and Mr/Mrs Change have always had a funny relationship. Sometimes I’m very welcoming and other times all I want is to avoid it. I feel that last year I finally got the differences between change we want and control, and change we do not control. Learned to let go of the things I can’t change and embrace what I can change.
In 2013, I am overcoming an injury and I’m going to be moving more. I also painfully decided to let the good ol’ java go, for health reasons.

Susie February 5, 2013 at 12:59 am

I’m working on procrastinating less (although not terribly successfully) and seeing things through; saying yes more frequently and no when necessary; being present in the now; making the best of all the lasts; and seeing the glass for what it is (neither half empty nor half full).

Danielle February 5, 2013 at 2:14 am

Healthy in 2013: embracing possibilities of the future, forgiving myself for imperfections, being kinder to others, drinking less alcohol, stretching before bed.

Sending you hugs, darling. Frankly, change sucks. And yet it’s completely necessary to clear the way for new opportunity. You’ve got this :).

Rebecca @ Pavlova's Dog February 5, 2013 at 2:22 am

Hi Holly,

Thanks for posting this with so much honesty and sincerity. My 2012 was similarly one of change – finally graduating from a master’s course I had picked out of cowardice and endured with the disillusion that success meant a big paycheck rewarded for selling my soul to a business consultancy. Then I interned for three months and found myself unhappy and dissatisfied in the work that was being done. So then I took time off and found myself in further freefall, uncertain how to conquer so many unstructured days.

I think that perhaps this is the plight of the creative. We know there’s a niche for us out there, but there’s no vocational route to it and lots of niches look comfy enough until we wedge ourselves in and see if it fits. Doing what you’ve done is so incredibly brave, and your tenacity of spirit makes me really, really, really hope you find what it is soon. And in the meantime, there’s pie. :).

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance February 5, 2013 at 4:21 am

So happy to see a post from you!!! Here, here to change! Hope 2013 is off to a good start and that you might be more active on your blog in the future. :)

Katie February 5, 2013 at 7:55 am

Way to go Holly, change is hard! My 2012 was full of change as well, I left my job, went back to school full time, moved to a new city, and also started a new relationship. I think my biggest challenge is to not expect myself to be perfect. I’ve been struggling with this my whole life but I feel like each year I make a little more progress :). So for 2013, my 5 things are: continue to embrace my imperfections, packing my lunch at least 4 days a week, focusing on the present, embracing challenges for their opportunity to learn and grow, and finally to cook a real meal once a week.

Kait February 5, 2013 at 8:18 am

I really admire this post and all you have done over the year! Life can be scary but it helps to read things such as these.

1. Worry less 2. Go to church 3. Bed by 11 4. Recognize my hunger and stop mindless eating 5. Sign up for a half marathon in the fall

Megan February 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

I’m working on: reading more, sweating more, laughing more, trusting my instincts more often, and hopefully by doing all of that, stressing less!!

Lauren C February 5, 2013 at 9:45 am

Impressive list of accomplishments for 2012! This year I’m committing to less computer time, more people time. I can be quite the introvert, and sometimes find myself feeling lonely. I’ve said ‘no’ too many times when I should’ve been saying ‘yes’. It’s time to put myself out there more. Making friends post-college is hard! It seems like everyone’s already got their inner circle, but there’s always room for more, right? (…right?) I’ve cleaned up my Google Reader/Twitter feed, am joining a new running team, and considering volunteering and CrossFit. PLUS! Training for my first Marathon. Eep!

Marleena @ The Flex Foodie February 5, 2013 at 10:05 am

Such a great post Holly! Change is never easy even if we sometimes think it may be. Embracing it with open arms is scary, but I think it aids in not setting ourselves up for failure in the long run. In the past year I’ve had two jobs, moved across the country, started grad school, and maintained a long distance relationship. My 5 things are: to accept change with open arms, learning to love working out as a lifestyle change, eating clean the majority of the week, challenging myself in trying new things out, and taking on a manageable workload.

Addy @ Six-Kick Switch February 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm

As always, I am so happy to see a new post from you, Holly! The tart looks delish, and I happen to have some almond flour in need of using up.

As for the changes, I think your perspective is the right one. It’s going to come whether we like it or not and (employing a yoga mentality here) the only thing we can control is our attitude towards it! And when all else fails, I always remember that little maxim: “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape”. Hang in there, girl!

elizabeth February 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

That tart looks AMAZING and I love that it’s GF! :)

You know I’m in a similar boat! This year I plan to commit to the long-term process (both failure and success) towards reaching my goals. I also want to put myself out there more and stop being afraid of what others might think. We have to fail in order to succeed, right?!

Uncle Tommie Timbertoes February 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Another good subject Ms. Holly.

If you don’t choose to change you are going to have a rough time and quite likely the world will force you to change anyway. It’s like being on an escalator where the hand rail moves at a different speed than the stairs. If you refuse to adjust your hand and/or feet positions you will become stretched to a point where you will be forced to adjust or fall flat on your face.

It’s change that allows you to know you’re alive! and to taste those wunnerfull tarts!

Samantha C. February 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Drinking more water, exercising smarter, taking deep breaths, the typical things! I would love to win $1000 (duh!), it would definitely come in handy for this recent grad who is looking for a job!

Laura February 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I really appreciate your perspective. I think you have taken a wonderful approach to all of this. And of course good food always helps. Simple:)

Andrea@WellnessNotes February 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Change can be so hard, but it’s definitely a lot easier if you accept that things change… :)

My 5 steps toward a healthier me:
– start every day with lemon water
– stopped my caffeine addiction
– walk at least 10,000 steps each day
– make some “me” time every day
– be grateful every day for all I have

Hillary February 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

As someone who hates change more than pretty much anything in life, I can relate to this reluctance/fear/frustration that you felt/are feeling. I think your approach is a good one, though. At some point you have to realize that change is constant, and it will be a lot easier to absorb if you go with it instead of fighting it.

Five healthy steps:
1. Less sugar. This is going to be a hard one, but I think it’s finally time to start cracking down to, I don’t know, dessert once a day instead of…multiple times a day.
2. Switch up my exercise routine. I’m a little bit bored, and there’s so much I haven’t even tried!
3. Allow myself some “me” time. It’ll be hard in a year full of wedding planning and thesis writing, but if I don’t take it, I might implode.
4. Surround myself with positive people. It’s something I’ve been working on for nearly two years, and I swear it makes a bigger difference than anything else. Negative people suck the life out of you.

Julie / Bound February 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

I’ll echo the commenter who wanted to send you a hug, but I also think your reframing of your situation is really impressive. What you’re describing is about the hardest possible thing to do, but (I think) only good can come of it. Same with this tart: holy mother. I’m paleo, and I’m a little bit in love with you right now.

Floey February 6, 2013 at 3:25 am

1) be more positive 2) count my blessings 3) spend time with family and boyfriend 4) be patient 5) eat healthy

Gretchen February 6, 2013 at 9:21 am

As usual, it’s always good to see a post from you pop up in my blog reader!

I plan to 1) really pursue the career that makes me happiest (teaching!) in my new state (have already put in notice at my job so I can start subbing and making connections), 2) run outside more, 3) be more active with my fiancé, 4) eat more veggies, and 5) learn how to calm down and stop stressing out so much.

joelle (on a pink typewriter) February 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

I’m with you, lady. I feel like I keep hearing that song EVERYWHERE lately (the Sam Cooke one), and it’s basically my anthem right now. ‘Cept maybe it was more my anthem last year and I didn’t realize it, because now change is already here and I’m dealing with it and thinking through next steps. Ironically I’m about to write a post on my blog that is similar to this haha great (slightly frazzled) minds think alike?

PS. I’m going to check out that book.

natalie@thesweetslife February 8, 2013 at 10:18 am

beautifully written–and a good mantra for me too!

olviya@servingsisters.com February 11, 2013 at 11:28 am

I dabbled with trying a gluten free diet late last year, and failed.:) Although I’m not going to cut it out completely, I would like to stop eating as much gluten this year. This post/recipe is a perfect way to start! ;)

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: