Sifting Season

You should be proud of the people around you.

— Life is a Recipe

The feeling was similar to tasting something rancid. Recently, I was grabbing coffee with a friend and the conversation turned to our social group. The woman I was chatting with “jokingly” made an insulting comment about someone we both know. In the moment, I brushed it off because I am not a person that enjoys conflict. But on the drive home and in my mind I couldn’t shake the echo of her comment.

The more I thought about my friend’s rude remarks, the more that examples of her mean-spiritedness started to jump to mind. I recalled little comments here and there. I remembered the back-handed compliments. Even when I began my journey with this site I remember her saying something like, “Wow you’re so busy. Are you really going to have time to put your all into a business?” This was not exactly the the kind of ringing support I was expecting from a member of my “support system.”

But the more I thought about it the more I realized that it wasn’t just the things she said that bothered me. It was the fact that her general disposition was rooted in negativity. It seemed that she could find the downside to any situation. I’m generally an optimistic, fun-loving person, but when spending time with her I feel myself becoming increasingly negative in her presence.

This reminded me of that old quote: “You are the average of the five people you most associate with.” The older I get, the more I realize how true that idea is. The people you spend the most time with affect your mood, decision-making abilities, and attitude. For instance, if you have friends that run and exercise every morning, chances are you are going to eventually start running – or at least give it a shot. If the people you spend your time with are ambitious and always working towards their goals, you’ll be inspired to do the same – even if it’s just so you don’t feel left behind.


But the opposite is also true. A friend’s negative personality traits can rub off on you. If someone you’re close to is always procrastinating and putting things off, especially if there are no major consequences, it might be easy to get into a similar habit of thinking, “there’s no harm in doing it tomorrow.” Or there might be the friend that brings over junk food EVERY time you see them, and you find yourself unintentionally forgetting your nutrition goals.

As a mother, the principle of choosing good company is something I try to instill in my girls. We all know we can’t choose our children’s friends but we want them to have positive influences. As adults, we sometimes forget that we are just like our kids. We too are influenced by the company that we keep.

Of course, you can’t just cut out everyone in your life that has bad habits. If that were the way of the world, because of our own vices, we might find ourselves isolated on our own lonely island. But it is important to be mindful of how well your time is spent with others. Sometimes we have been friends with people for so long that in our comfort with them, we forget to make sure that the time is positive, edifying, and healthy. You should be proud of the people around you, who you are for them, and the value created by your connection.

While thinking about a friendship, if you find yourself not getting the most out of your relationship, consider a few new re-starting points:


Life Recipe:
Letting go of toxic people

  1. Envision what a healthier friendship would look like, and try to become the influencer. Don’t try to dominate the friendship, but take an active role in shaping the relationship to be more of what you need. At the very least, communicate what changes you need, in order for you to be healthy in the relationship.
  2. Try to limit time with the people you know aren’t healthy for you mentally and spiritually.
  3. Don’t let your friend’s bad habits become an excuse for you to indulge in your own bad habits. A friendship can be a great and safe place to practice being strong in your identity.
  4. Seek out people that inspire YOU. Even if it’s through online communities, it is important to have a circle of positive people in your life.

Dinner Recipe:
Skinny Lasagna

  • 6 garlic cloves (chopped, finely)
  • Small onion (chopped, finely)
  • 2 zucchinis (sliced thinly)
  • 2 yellow zucchinis (sliced thinly)
  • 16 ounces spinach (whole)
  • 10 mushrooms (sliced)
  • 16 ounces lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 cups skinny mozzarella
  • 2 eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large pan heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

  2. Add in 3 cloves of garlic chopped and half an onion.

  3. Fry until lightly brown.

  4. Next, add in ground turkey and cook well.

  5. Add in jar of marinara sauce, salt to taste and cumin and stir.

  6. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

  7. Take another pan and heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

  8. Add in 3 cloves of garlic chopped and half an onion.

  9. Fry until lightly brown.

  10. Add in zucchinis, yellow and green, spinach, mushrooms and simmer for 15 minutes.

  11. In a large bowl, add in ricotta cheese and eggs and mix well.

  12. Add in vegetable mixture and mix well.

  13. In a large glass pan layer 3 pasta noodles, covering the bottom of the pan.

  14. Next, add a layer of the veggie and ricotta mixture.

  15. Next, add one layer of mozzarella cheese.

  16. Add another layer of pasta.

  17. Finally add one last layer of meat sauce followed by one layer of mozzarella cheese.

  18. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees.