Blog | Rachel Begun, MS, RD | Page 2

Walnut Raisin Spice Cookies


I have made these cookies forever, but somehow forgot to share them with you.  So, I apologize for that.

Both kids and adults love them.  They taste great and are loaded with good nutrition–from heart-healthy fats in the walnuts to fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients from the walnuts and raisins to protein from the egg whites.  Plus, they are gluten-free, dairy-free and contain no refined grains, starches or sugars.  Their sweetness comes from the raisins and honey, and the vanilla extract and spices provide depth of flavor.

Because they are nutrient-dense, they are filling, too.  Just one or two does the trick!

Walnut Raisin Spice Cookies

Yield: approximately 10 cookies

2 cups walnut pieces
¼ cup coconut flakes
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
2 egg whites, whisked until frothy
1/8 cup plus 3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a cookie sheet.
  3. Grind the walnut pieces, coconut flakes, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger in a food processor until well combined and consistency is like a coarse, moist flour. Transfer the walnut mixture to a bowl.
  4. Add in the eggs, honey and vanilla extract to make a batter.  Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Mix in the raisins and stir until evenly distributed.
  6. Using a teaspoon, drop equal-sized rounds of batter onto cookie sheet.  Using your fingers, flatten and shape into a circle
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until edges start to brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Mornings Matter


Welcome to my meditation mat.

I share it with you, because meditation is at the center of my morning routine.

My morning routine matters, because it is essential to my success, both personal and business.  It’s what allows me to be centered, to be focused, to meet my daily goals, and to follow healthy habits all day long.

And your morning routine matters, too!  It is the time of day before you leave the house where (almost) everything is still under your control.

I urge you to spend your mornings wisely.  Use this special time to set a positive tone to your day.  Use it to do the things that matter to you–the things that aren’t likely to get done once you walk out the door and your time is not fully your own.

I know it’s tempting to get in as much sleep as you can, and then rush out the door. However, when you rush out the door you are in a manic state and your brain isn’t focused. The day hasn’t even started and it’s already somewhat out of control.

In other words…

Make Your Mornings Matter.


A typical sunrise from my front door in Boulder (lucky me!)

By no means am I saying you have to start a meditation practice.  Just do what it is that makes you feel good and in control of your day.  That might be a personal yoga practice, a run, preparing a healthy breakfast to fuel your day, or even just quiet time with a cup of coffee and the morning news.  Your morning routine is yours, so do whatever it is that sets your day off right so you are more centered and can accomplish your daily goals.

Trust me, it’s worth waking up a few minutes earlier to get your personal time in.  You’ll be amazed at all the other good things that follow.

And no, it’s not a selfish thing to do.  Doing something for yourself that makes you better is just as good for everyone around you.  As they say, a happy mom (or dad) is a happy family.

Join Me on the Journey.


Trailhead – Chautauqua Park, Boulder CO

The reason I share this with you is because when I moved from New York to Boulder, CO almost two years ago, my new life in a new place and at a time when I was traveling often left me without my daily morning routine.  Every time I thought I was getting back to it, I would be off on another business trip and off my morning routine.  While I absolutely love my new life in Colorado, I do believe my lack of morning routine has gotten me off focus and off center.

So, I am rededicating myself to my morning routine–my morning meditation and the routine that surrounds it.  There isn’t much research about how long it takes to create a daily habit, but a study from University College London shows that, on average, it takes about 66 days for a habit to become automatic, meaning little energy is required to perform that daily habit.

I am on day five of making meditation my daily habit.  My goal is to meditate every morning for 66 days straight, and beyond.

If you’d like to start a morning routine that matters, please join me for the ride.  I’ll be sharing my journey on my social media platforms by sharing the hashtag #morningmatters.

I’d be remiss in not thanking Morgan Dix of, because it was his podcast that gave me the structure and reasoning to go on my 66-day journey to making meditation my daily habit.  A keystone habit, as he and other experts call it.

If you would like to learn How to Turn Meditation Into a Keystone Habit, check out Morgan’s podcast.  It really is fantastic.  If you’re not interested in meditation, I’m guessing you can apply what he says to developing any keystone habit.

Let me know if you’ll be joining me by providing a comment below, sharing what your morning routine will be centered around.

Thanks for your support!

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