Until about 6 months ago, we did not have a full length mirror in our home. Surprisingly, I didn't miss it as much as one would think. It was annoying putting an outfit together to go out sometimes but overall, I just didn't need it. But I picked one up finally thinking it wasn't ideal to try to stand on the bathtub to see into the bathroom mirror when checking out how pair of shoes looked with a dress before a wedding. Those who know me well, know this is risky business we are dealing with here.
There was something about the way I looked at myself in this mirror that I hadn't dealt with for so many years since we hadn't had one at all to even look in. And it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I realized what the issue was.
You know those photos, the Before and After photos. We see them all the time now over social media, in magazines, on billboards, you name it. Our diet culture is obsessed with them. Look what this diet has done for this person--and you see two entirely different people. The first, the before, shoulders slumped, belly pushed out, knees locked and overall, just not a happy looking person. Then you see the after, tummy tucked, chest broad and shoulders lifted, a look of happiness and confidence. A changed person. But in reality, the only thing in these two moments in time is the way the person's body looks, that's it.
So back to the mirror. When I get out of bed in the morning, I walk right past this mirror. Often in the beginning, I found myself looking at myself in the mirror, noticing, surveying what was staring back at me. And I noticed that the more I looked in the mirror, the more critical I became. And sometimes, I would wake up, wondering if what I would see today would be different--better so to say. But there I was, exactly the same. Other than a new form of bed head, I was the same person on the outside as I was the day before. But this practice was changing me--changing me on the inside.
And that is when I realized...
Every morning, as I stood in front of the mirror, I was looking at my body as though it was my "Before" photo. I was waking up and seeing all of the things that needed to be changed, all the things that I wasn't loving about my body. I was slumping my shoulders, standing without confidence, noticing even the most tiny of flaws--perceived flaws, mind you. And as it began to build, I came to the mirror each day, hoping to see my "After" photo--the new me, the better version of me, a changed and happier woman. But to no avail. Each day, I was the same on the outside. And for some reason, this was dimming my light and starting my day in the wrong state of mind overall.
So then, the wake up call.
I sat in bed one morning before making my way past the mirror and thought to myself. The girl I see in the mirror each and everyday is the same exact person. The body I have each day is not the Before photo--it is the body I have right now, the one I accept, and love and the home I live in. It is not my body that needs to change one bit, it is the way I look at it. And so that is exactly what I did.
That day, I slid out of bed, and there I was, ME. Staring right back at myself. But today would be different. Today, I smiled. I lifted my chin, my shoulders, (I may have even flexed a few times....), and I looked at myself not as my "Before" photo, not my "after"--I looked at my "Right Now." I danced a little and took some big breaths and just enjoyed my reflection, something I hadn't done in so long.
And I continued to do this, everyday. And this little shift has made a world of a difference. My walks past the mirror are no longer torture, but a celebration. I am learning day after day the power of loving myself and knowing that there is no before and there is no after--there is only right now, the skin I am in, in this very moment.
Even though it's 90° outside to start off this so called season of Fall, I am still starting to crave fall foods. So pumpkin and apples and sweet potatoes, here I come. I may do these foods throughout the year still but the craving comes now--and when they are in season.
I have plenty of old fall recipes that I love and am so excited to pull out this year. For one, my Sweet Potato Pie Crumble. It was a big hit last Thanksgiving and I can't wait to make it this year as well. And soup season is only about a week or so away for us once this heat wave goes away. My Maple Glazed Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup will be on repeat for sure along with all my favorite soups and chilis. (Check out the Pumpkin Quinoa Chili!!) Ok, now I am getting super hungry and super excited for chilly days ahead. At any rate, pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potato recipes are plentiful on the blog so eat your heart out!
So let's kick things off this season with a little sweet potato pie, shall we? (If you are heartbroken this isn't pumpkin pie, don't worry, you can make this with pumpkin as well, so bonus!) I have been OBSESSED with sweet potatoes for breakfast these days. I have been stuffing them with all sorts of goodies, more to come on that. And I wanted to try a little something that I could prep ahead of time as I do with my beloved overnight oats.
Thus came the parfait.
This Sweet Potato Pie Breakfast Parfait is layers of maple sweetened cinnamon sweet potatoes, your favorite yogurt and then your favorite granola or nuts and seeds. I have even switched things up since I have been making these but my go to is either plain Greek yogurt with a touch of maple or Siggi's Vanilla and then Whirly Bird Granola. They are local and I love to support small local businesses when I can--especially when they are tasty!
The toughest part of this recipe is waiting for the sweet potatoes to bake. Other than that, it's all about layering and then digging in. Feel free to have fun, get creative and make it your way! Add some bananas or diced apples, chopped pecans, etc. Enjoy!
- 1 medium sweet potato baked
- 1/3 c granola of choice
- 1/2 c Greek Yogurt or yogurt of choice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 tsp pure maple syrup
- Dash of sea salt
- Make sure sweet potato is cooled and then scoop out insides of sweet potato and place in small bowl.
- Add cinnamon, maple, vanilla, and sea salt. Using a fork or potato masher, mash and combine until smooth.
- In about a small jar or bowl, layer 1/2 the sweet potato mixture, 1/2 the yogurt and 1/2 the granola. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Eat immediately or cover and chill for later.
- Add any other fruit or nuts--or even some almond butter to the mix!