This is what’s real and currently inside my brain.
Lately, I’ve been discouraged by what I see in the mirror. Don’t cue the violins or pull up a therapy couch or anything. I’m just tired of my body and my face looks tired. I feel like I can’t eat cheese quite as freely as I could before this age and exercise seems to be more of a good idea than an actuality. I used to train for marathons. I never even really cared for cheese. Seasons have definitely changed. Perhaps even more discouraging was a comment made a Christmas party I recently attended: "Well, I do not want to stand next to you two," she said, pointing to the cute girls on my left and very clearly not referring to me, lol, "You guys are like "this big" (she made a very small space with her two pointer fingers) and going to make me look fat." They graciously declined the "compliment" while I jokingly said, "Stand next to me, I'm a safe place."
We all have that discouraging voice in our head that tells us we’re not pretty enough, we’re not good enough or we’re too fat.
Why is that we always feel too fat?
I’m totally guilty of this. In fact I puzzled over whether or not to launch sweetish.co at all because one of my stupid fears was, “but what if people think I’m too fat? I’m not skinny, so will people believe I’m healthy?"
I think we usually associate really healthy with skinny. Right? Don’t we? I don’t know why, but the more I live and learn about nutrition and health and loving ourselves, the more I’m convinced, there is no right body type. We’re all different and we’re all shaped differently…. and thank goodness for that. Thank goodness we all don’t look like perfectly sketched cartoon characters or airbrushed magazine ads. They aren’t real. I like real. Real is good. Now only if I could get you, me and the rest of womankind to believe it.
I’ve never, in all my life, ever ever ever ever ever considered myself skinny. I’ve never worn a bikini or felt comfortable in skimpy clothes. I’ve never had anyone come up to me and tell me they don't want to stand next to me in a picture because I'm too skinny. And you know what? I’m totally okay with that.
Because I’ve always tried really hard to take care of myself. Yes, there are good seasons and better seasons and seasons where I indulge in a little more chocolate, cream and cheese than I should (eh hem, like right now), but you know what? That’s what sweetish.co is all about. It’s about indulging and nourishing, and finding just as much joy in the bite of a leafy green as we do a chocolate cookie. Because when it really comes down to it, it is such a privilege to be able to worry about what we get to feed ourselves isn’t it? I try to remind myself of that often, especially when I feel blah and discouraged.
Ultimately, in the process of loving and balancing the wide spectrum of whole foods, it’s about loving yourself. Which I'm finding, is sometimes a little easier said than done.
While I have been guilty of looking in the mirror lately and thinking, you really should try to get some sleep, or you're looking a little chubs today, I try to put these thoughts away just as quickly as they came. Brushing them away with new words like, you know what? You are enough. Now eat some kale and go to bed. And remember, no one wants to hear you rant on about body image or what you’ve been eating lately, so you probably shouldn’t post about it.
But, just in case you needed that reminder, just in case you've battled the words, I'm too fat, I'm not pretty enough or good enough, take a deep breath and remember: you are enough.
And for the record, I’ll always want to hear about what you ate today or how you’re feeling okay? Deal? Deal. Good. Now treat yourself to some kale or a cookie and go to bed. ;)
Love to you my friends. xo
rainbow soup with kale pesto
(aka all vegetable soup with chicken broth)
serves: 8-12 , prep time: 40 minutes, not including the broth, overall cooking time: 35
This soup is a favorite. Rainbow because of all the veggies involved, and it's such a happy looking soup. It’s one I make over and over and over again and it converts those who claim they’re “not a soup person” (eh hem, I feel like this is most dudes) into a soup person. More than that though, this soup is full of so many nutrients, it’s insane. I like, don’t even want to list them all it’s so insane. And this soup is perfect for this time of year to balance out the rich goodness you’re probably eating, like peppermint ice cream and fudge (please tell me I’m not the only one). This soup helps me feel less sludgy and more skippy. While the soup is grand on its own, the kale pesto just takes it over the edge - It's insanely good, and can easily be doubled. And if you do double it, it makes the most surprisingly awesome and savory gift all nestled in a jar with a bow. This pesto is one of the best ways to eat that kale. Sometimes I find myself eating a spoonful right before bed....
note: Both the soup and kale pesto freeze beautifully. I know "people" say you can freeze pesto or chopped herbs in ice cube trays, but really? I just throw it in a baggie, label it, and call it good. It does help to freeze them in small portions. The kale keeps in the fridge for about a week and half and the soup for about a week. Freeze immediately after making (the soup or pesto), if you don't plan on eating it all within the week.
3 tablespoons of olive oil
6 leeks, chopped, fuzzy and tough, stalky outside parts removed
4 cloves of garlic, minced
6 zucchini, cut into little ½ inch pieces (about 2 ½ cups)
1 lb (give or take) colorful heirloom fingerling potatoes, cut into ½ inch slices or cubes, or both! *these are boiled separately
4 cups of cooked navy beans
2 - 15 oz cans of diced chopped tomatoes
6 cups homemade chicken broth (I really love Ina's recipe)
6 carrots, peeled + chopped (about 2 ½ cups)
2 teaspoons of salt (or a little more or a little less depending on how salty your broth is) freshly cracked back pepper to taste
Grab two pots, one medium sized and one large.
In the medium sized pot, add all of the chopped potatoes and fill with water. Add a generous amount of salt (2 tablespoons) and bring water to a boil. Boil potatoes until they are tender and fork soft, about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
In the meantime, while the potatoes are boiling, grab your large pot.
In this large pot, heat up the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and then add the chopped leeks. Saute for 5 - 8 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Immediately after the garlic, add all the chopped carrots and zucchini. Saute for 8- 10 minutes.
Rinse and drain beans.
Add beans to leek, garlic, carrot and zucchini mixture.
Add the cans of diced tomatoes, juices and all.
Add all of your cooked potatoes. Add chicken broth and let it simmer for 15 - 20 minutes to let the flavors merry. Taste and add salt accordingly.
kale walnut pesto:
½ cup raw walnuts
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup kale, de-stemmed and chopped
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled
¼ cup raw parmesan cheese or 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (use nutritional yeast if going dairy free)
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until blended and smooth. Add a little more olive oil if the consistency is a little too chunky. If you don't have a food processor, a high speed blender will work just fine, but you may have to move it around a bit to get it all mixed together properly.
why is this good for me?
the soup (just to name a few):
chicken broth: boosts our immune system, helps our digestive system and is a good source of calcium, magnesium, minerals and gelatin. Gelatin soothes our insides and helps aid our digestion and improve our bone health and density.
leeks: leeks are a super mild form of onion, so it's a good one for kids. leeks have been known to get our blood moving in our body, therefore helping us feel energized and ready for movement.
carrots: help with our liver, lungs, stomach and eyes. they also help regulate our immune system, stabilize our blood sugar and are important for our cell and tissue growth, especially in our eye balls. carrots are the best source of vitamin a, and this vitamin a is what helps with our cell growth and eye balls.
navy beans: attention all women who want to conceive; navy beans contain folic acid, and folic acid is one of the most important vitamins to ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. navy beans are also a good source of iron, a mineral in which most women are deficient and important for healthy egg development.
kale: strengthens our immune systems, protects the eyes, and is an exceptional source of vitamin a, c and a good source of calcium and iron. Because it can withstand such extreme temperatures, it's considered an endurance + strengthening vegetable. It's good for us to eat things that are hearty and can withstand a lot of outside ruckus, because when we fill our bodies with good stuff like this, we'll be able to withstand a lot of extremes too (eh hem, like outside stress).
walnuts: are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids which help regulate the hormones in the body, and for women who would like to conceive, walnuts actually improve the blood flow to the uterus. These omega-3 essential fatty acids are awesome for protecting the nerves in our brain. Walnuts are also a good source of vitamin e.
olive oil: help supports our liver and gallbladder function and it's high in vitamin e. it's good for our brain and helps prevent bad bacteria from growing in your stomach.