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The Inside is What Really Counts, Right?

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We grew up hearing “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and “What’s on the inside is what really counts,” but do we actually live by these sayings, or even believe them? Sometimes it’s hard to make our health a top priority when the world we live in is so materialistic and superficial. You get sucked into the fashion, beauty and physical aspect of things and don’t leave time to take care of what really matters. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with dressing nicely or wanting to look a certain way, but this should come second, AFTER we have taken care of our health and wellness. And when I say health I don’t just mean eating fruits and vegetables and getting some exercise, I mean maintaining a healthy body as well as mind and soul.

Before I continue let me tell you that I struggle with this personally, and I understand how difficult it can be, but just because something is hard to accomplish that doesn’t mean you should just neglect it. We need to push ourselves more, make ourselves believe how important we are and stop throwing it aside to do something more fun or easier. You see, we act like we should accept people for the way they look and love them despite their faults, yet we turn around and criticize ourselves. Or maybe it’s not mental abuse, but we eat food that poisons us or hang out with people who negatively influence us. If we truly believe that the inside counts more than the outside than maybe we should prove it by the way we live. Stop worrying about your crooked nose and start changing your poor eating habits. Stop spending time with those who bring out the worst in you and associate with people who lift you higher.

Yes, change sucks, it requires effort and it means you have to do things that aren’t always fun. But suffering for a short time to reap a long term benefit is worth it. We are only hurting ourselves when we continue to ignore our negative qualities instead of working towards improving them. So, why not approach today with a little different mindset than you usually do. Pick something in your life you would like to be different and do something about it. If you need help then ask someone for help, if you need to write it down then write it down, but just decide to do something. Make the effort for positive change in your life, you won’t regret it.

Have any tips or stories to share about change in your life? Let me know in the comment section below.

*picture above taken by me

Motivation Monday (Health)

Eating healthy can be difiicult and anything that can make it a little easier is a plus. I put together two lists if you are looking for food high in fiber or high in protein. These lists do not have everything on them, but should give you some examples and serve as a reference.

fiber rich food

protein rich food
*correction to the protein photo above: that should be 1/2 cup of Quinoa.

Think of each day as a day to make a change and another chance to better yourself. Don’t get discouraged if you screwed up yesterday, make it better TODAY. You only have one body and if you ruin it, you will be the one who will suffer. So take responsibility, make smart decisions and don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Make things happen, you have the power so use it!

A great quote that may help:

 “The number one reason why people quit is because they look how far they’ve got to go, instead of how far they’ve come.”

information sources: todaysdietitian.com, nutritiondata.self.com

Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup

sweet potato lentil soup

I love making soup because you get to throw everything in a pot and let the stove do the rest of the work. This soup tastes great and has some healthy ingredients too.

What You’ll Need

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium vidalia onion, finely chopped

4 small carrots (or 3 medium), chopped

2 Tbsp curry powder

1 tsp salt & pepper

2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger

3 large garlic cloves, minced

48 oz low sodium chicken broth

2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
(I used diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion– but plain would work too)

1 cup of brown lentils

How to Prepare

1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.

2. Add the onions and carrots. Saute until onions are tender, about 5 mins.

3. Add ginger, garlic, curry, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 mins.

4. Pour in chicken broth, sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes (with juice), and lentils. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil for 1 minute.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.

This makes about 8-10 servings.

recipe adapted from: cookingwithmykid.com

Greek Lima Beans

Greek Lima Beans

I don’t think lima beans have much of a flavor on their own, but this recipe gives them a nice taste. This recipe calls for mint leaves, but keep in mind there are two types of mint (peppermint and spearmint). From what I have read, traditionally you cook with spearmint, but I used a combination of both. Whatever you have on hand should be fine.

WHAT YOU NEED

10 oz frozen lima beans

1 cup water

3 Tbsp olive oil

3Tbsp parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp mint leaves, chopped
(approx. 15 leaves. I used mostly spearmint leaves and a few peppermint)

3 big cloves of garlic

zest from 1 lemon

1 oz feta cheese

salt & pepper

HOW TO PREPARE

1. Put oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute to soften garlic.

2. Add the lima beans, water, 1 tbsp mint, 2 tbsp parsley, and some salt. (the remaining herbs will be added at the end)

3. Bring to a simmer. Then cover and reduce heat.

4. Cook for approx. 17 minutes or until the beans are soft.

5. Remove from heat and add remaining herbs, lemon zest and pepper. Crumble feta cheese on top.

You can serve this dish with a variety of food. I had it with steak and red potatoes as shown below.

steak - lima beans - potatoessteak - lima beans - potatoes - dinner

recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

Cucumbers Topped with Tuna, Dried Mango & Cranberries

cucumbers-tuna-fruit

This is a healthy snack idea or could even be eaten for lunch.

If you want to make it like a little sandwich, you could even put an extra cucumber slice on top.

WHAT YOU NEED

Tuna fish (prepared how you like it, read below to see my preference)

1/2  Cucumber sliced (or however many slices you want to make)

Dried fruit of your choice

HOW TO PREPARE

  • Prepare tuna the way you normally would.

-I put a little bit of mayo, relish, and onions in mine.

  • Cut the cucumber into slices, spread a little tuna on each slice and top with dried fruit

(my favorite is cranberries)

If you don’t like the skin you could peel it, but remember the skin has a lot of nutrients!

If you want to know the benefits of cucumber read my post here.

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