To start off on a serious note, I've been thinking a lot about how challenging it is to make choices based on feeling good. Even though the ultimate goal is to be happy, it sometimes seems like there are so many voices inside and outside myself that get in the way.
My greatest struggle with eating has always been getting too weighed down by the judgements of others. No matter what I'm eating, healthy or not, a lot or a little, I come up against others' opinions, and even scarier, my assumptions about what they're thinking as their gaze nonchalantly sweeps across my plate.
Somehow, my strongest convictions crumple with an off-handed, "That's all you're having!?" or a "You're eating again!?" I get so frustrated with myself - why do I even care what others think?! Why should I let their words hold so much power over me?
Finally, as I progress solidly into my 30s, I have learned to care a little less about what I fear others are thinking. I have finally had some success at shutting-up the monstrous voices in my head saying that there's something wrong with me because I am hungry when no one else is eating, or that I must have an eating disorder because I genuinely want the salad instead of the cheese burger.
Why did I even bring all of this up? Great question, because that brings us to the yummy part!
The other night, after having this sweet potato - avocado breakfast bowl multiple times throughout the day, I sat down to picturesque grilled- summer dinner with my fiance and my mother (visiting from out of town). Despite their best intentions not to comment, the looks on their faces as they saw the small portions on my plate said it all.
I was just not super hungry. I had been recipe testing all-day and really only wanted to taste the food. Besides that, my body has a stronger appetite earlier in the day. I wake up starving, eat like an NFL player all morning and come dinner time, I often do not need as much food to feel satisfied.
Despite knowing this about myself, and knowing how gross it feels to overeat when I am not hungry to begin with, I felt so much pressure to eat more. Everyone else is hungry and excited to eat, so what's wrong with me that I'm not?!? I was struck by how I spend so much of my day teaching women make food choices based on what will make them feel their best, and yet I find myself, once again, succumbing to the curse of comparisons.
I wish I could give you just one trick or one simple strategy that quiets those mean voices. Instead, I will share my honest experience; it takes practice and conviction. It takes coming back to your intention to choose what will make you feel good time and time again.
So that is what I did, I remembered my intention. I gave it my best shot by eating as much as felt good and then stopping when I was done. Nothing goes perfectly; I did feel a little too full afterwards and I noticed myself needing to justify my choices to my family. Regardless, I was able to tell the self-doubts and critical voices in my head to buzz-off and instead focus on what I really wanted for my health and my body. That felt good.
Sweet Potato - Avocado Bowl:
- 1/2 sweet potato (with skin for more fiber and potassium). In the picture, I used orange, purple & white sweet potato - all equally deliciously-sweet!
- 1/4 cup black beans - from can and rinsed
- 1 cup fresh, raw spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1/8 cup cubed avocado
- 1 egg, lightly fried
- 1 tsp olive oil (split into two 1/2 tsp portions)
Cashew-Lime "Cream" Sauce ("cream" made from cashews):
- 1 cup raw cashew pieces
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Juice from 3 small limes
- Start by preparing the veggies:
- Cook the sweet potato (roast for ~30-45 min in 420°F oven, boil, or poke holes in the skin and microwave for ~4-5 minutes on high)
- Lightly saute spinach in ~ 1/2 tsp olive oil for ~1-2 minutes over med-high heat.
- Rinse the beans
- Chop the tomatoes
- Cube the avocado
- In a saute pan heat the 1/2 tsp of olive oil and lightly fry the egg as well done as you like
- Layer the veggies in your bowl and place the egg on top.
- Throw all of the ingredients for the cilantro-lime sauce into a powerful blender or food processor and mix until creamy. (I have been using this Nutribullet and I LOVE It! Not as expensive as a VitaMix, but still powerful enough to liquify carrots and easier to clean than food processor - high fives!)
- Drizzle sauce on top of bowl and gobble up!
This breakfast bowl is seriously satisfying and super easy. If you're so inclined, it is also gluten-free, plant-based and paleo-approved.
Confession: I have used this cilantro-lime cream sauce on everything I've eaten in the past couple of days. It's AMAZING!!!
I hope you eat this bowl and that you feel good!
Love & Zest,