To Life, To Life!
By Carolyn Allen

Author’s note: As a follow-up to your questions about previous articles, the cherry blossoms in Kenwood are still spectacular and worth the drive, just 15 minutes from the Washington D.C. Temple .  Google ” Kenwood , Maryland ” for directions.  It’s just off the Beltway and River Road .

Also, the remarkable herbal remedy I mentioned last week will be at the Meridian Marketplace in the next week or so.  In the meantime LDS testimonials can be seen at and click on the link for Meridian , or just or CLICK HERE.  Friends are reporting relief for everything from weight loss woes, to fibromyalgia, to hayfever and stomach distress as it gently cleanses and energizes the entire system. If you need a laugh, see my cute 86-year old Mom, a retired worker at both the San Diego and Washington D.C. temples, sing about what it’s done for her at It’s a hoot!

This past week marked the first anniversary of the tragedy at Virginia Tech.  This is a local event for us, with graduates from our high school who were present that day.  One of the victims was the sister to my son’s good friend.  How could things like this possibly happen?

Even as that day was marked, the Pope arrived here in Washington , D.C.   The first thing on his agenda was to express his sorrow and shame for the sexual abuse scandals.  Once again, how can these things happen? 


Although those are incidents that merit international attention and concern, all of us have individual problems that create equal personal despair and prompt the exact same question – “How can these things happen?” Is the more abundant life the Savior said he had come to bring ever to be had? (See John 10:10)

Perhaps that’s why so many of us are overweight. Although genuine happiness, health, peace and joy may seem in scant supply, there is always an abundance of genuine problems – and food!  The pleasure that comes from eating seems to make the problems go away, at least for a while, so we eat, and eat, and eat.  In return, the only things that become abundant are the extra pounds and the cycle of self-defeating behaviors.

As infants and small children, being fed often made the world a better place for us  However, as adults, food can never protect or comfort us.  Something deep inside of us, however, remembers the comfort that food brought and we have a hard time accepting that as adults food can never solve a problem (other than genuine hunger). 

Food is not medicine.  It is not God.  Why?  Because:

  1. The hurt will still be there after the food has been eaten.
  2. Eating fills your stomach, not your heart or your life.
  3. After overeating, there are now three problems:  a) the one you ate to run from; b) your physical discomfort; and c) the guilt/frustration and disappointment with yourself for turning to food again.
  4. No matter how much you eat or for how long, the feelings and reality will always come back.
  5. Food and eating will never make illness, rejection, sadness, loneliness or fears of any kind go away.

What can we put in food’s place?  How about the promise of a crown!  I hope today’s message will be a heavenly beacon of perspective for facing life’s unexpected tragedies (as well as the often tedious and mundane stretches), with courage and without unnecessary food! 

Today’s Scripture: “Blessed is he  that endureth temptation; for when he  is tried, she shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12)

crown BigStock FotkoThis earthly crown – the Hungarian and Christian imperial crown of St. Stephen – pales in comparison with the heavenly crown that has been promised to those who love the Lord. Franc Podgorek. Image from

One of my favorite women uses the expression “A jewel for your crown in heaven!” to say “Thank you!” and “Good job!” to her children and friends.  Can’t you just picture busy angels assigned to vast crown rooms where they encrust golden crowns with our good deed gems, both large and small?

This scripture promises more than a heavenly crown for the eternities, for the word “life” means alive – which we are right now, today.  So the crown of life is earned and comes when we endure temptation – today!

Though food-related temptations may forever surround us, the bigger temptation is to forget who we are – royal children of God and heirs of Christ the King with crowns unnumbered for both now and our eternities.

Whether or not we feel worthy, there are crowns we’re meant to wear today from the Crown Giver who offers them in the hopes we’ll take at least one.

When temptations to overindulge (and forget who we are) come creeping in, here are some good reminders about life. 

Each  of the following is a little mantra/prayer we can quietly whisper to ourselves, and each spells out the word life – so that we can bring good things (like a healthy weight) – to life !

Too much food/stress?  Simplify and –


From your
Environment (by carrying your water bottle and having several low-cal freezer meals ready for stressful days)


Regretting a mistake or sadness? 


Educate! (The tragedy in Blacksburg puts every little bummer into perspective.  Get over it!)

Feeling unloved and depressed? Remember that

Found through
Eating (To have a friend, we must be a friend first, so go do something nice for someone else instead of eating!)

Needing a kick-start?  Get out a picture of a baby or someone you love, or stroke a pet as you


Impatient? Take a deep breath, release to the count of 10 as you roll your shoulders.  Repeat twice then

Listen quietly
Faith and


Reluctant to exercise?


Fitness with
Enthusaism!  (Try it for just 10 minutes and see what happens.)


Let’s go look in the mirror and see how beautiful we look wearing our crowns – one ever-present as children of God, and one in the near future as we are crowned with good health from our many royal choices. 

Sing it for us, Tevye, “To life, to life, Le Chaim!”

Today’s Empowerment: “When the desire to stray from my goal appears, I take a moment to remember my crowns, both present (as a daughter of God) and future (the crown of good health and  fitness).”

Today’s Recipe:   Roasted Vegetable Salad

If you haven’t roasted garlic before, you need to know that it is way different from raw garlic.  It’s very mild and a little nutty. 


Roasted Vegetable Salad
(Serves 4 @ 140 cal.)

1 bulb (entire head) of garlic
1 medium sweet green pepper
1 medium sweet red pepper
1 medium sweet yellow pepper
1 large yellow onion
3 Tbsp.

olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 medium ripe tomato
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley


  1. Core, seed and slice peppers into strips about 1 inch wide; slice onions, core and cut
    tomatoes into 1″ cubes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400. Separate the garlic into individual cloves and peel. Place in an ungreased 13x9x2 baking pan along with remaining ingredients except tomatoes.
  3. Place the uncovered pan in the oven and roast the veggies for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomato and continue to roast, uncovered, 15 minutes more.  Keep stirring every 5 minutes or so.
  5. Stir in the lime juice, put it in a pretty bowl, and garnish with parsley.

(1 g Dietary Fiber; 140 calories; 11 g Fat; 11 g Carb)


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