How are we all feeling after the long weekend? Relaxed and rejuvenated?
Ready for another 3 day weekend? *me too*
Yesterday I went on a 3 mile run because I woke up with a massive wine hangover and needed some oxygen pumped to my brain. What? Just being honest over here… the best way to cure a hangover is a little bit of exercise.
During my run, I remembered how I used to run outside all the time. How much I used to love putting in my headphones and running into the wind by the lake in the city. And of course, how empowered running made me feel. I’d dodge around the lake power walkers, jam out to my favorite playlists and sweat out anxiety. Being outside running is a high like no other, but it also takes me back to when I forced myself to run because I couldn’t do any other exercise or how when I used to only run because I wanted to burn the maximum amount of calories. Sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with running.
And that’s OKAY. That’s just me.
What I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older and further into my healthy journey is that no one should force you to exercise a certain way, or eat certain foods. Forcing yourself to do something will never make you love it, because you can’t force passion or liking a certain exercise.
Simply put: If it doesn’t give you happiness, let it go.
Try something else!
Same goes with food. I used to force myself to eat certain foods on a consistent basis because I thought it was necessary to get a certain amount of veggies in. Or I would make myself eat other ‘substitute foods’ instead. By substitute foods, I mean a yogurt brownie (remember those?) instead of a real brownie. Or cauliflower instead of rice. Now I don’t mind these foods at all and they are perfectly acceptable, I just never want to feel like I’m forcing myself to have one thing over the other because it seems ‘healthier’.
You see, what’s ‘healthier’ is all relative to your mindset. And often our minds are consumed with an overload of health information that confuses us, our relationships with ourselves, food and our bodies. What’s healthy is when you love yourself first and foremost. Because self love will always be greater than having a six pack.
Sometimes we just have to learn how to be. Be present. Be grateful. Be human. None of us are perfect.
The older I get, the more I am grateful to even have the luxury of putting food on my plate. I’ve also realized that you can make food choices that shouldn’t be forced on you. Eat a donut with a girlfriend. Enjoy a salad for lunch if you want to. Balance your choices. You’re always going to feel like you are teetering from one way to the other, and maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting to write much in this post, but the words just kept flowing. And now here we are, somewhere within a deep convo and a delicious plate of salad.
By the way, this is a salad I absolutely love. A salad I want to eat every day because it’s incredibly delicious, fresh and both sweet and savory — just the way I like it.
Roasted sweet potatoes with zesty arugula, almonds, cherries and a light honey yogurt turmeric dressing? It’s a salad I’ll come back to without feeling forced. It’s a salad that makes me feel good, you know? One that doesn’t take much effort either. Those are always the best kinds of salads.
I hope you get a chance to try it out, but most of all I hope you never have to force yourself to be a certain kind of healthy. Find self love first.
More healthy salad recipes to try:
xoxo. Have a happy week ahead. I love you guys.
Garlic Roasted Sweet Potato & Arugula Salad with Turmeric Honey Mustard Yogurt Dressing
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup nonfat greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- For the topping:
- 2-3 cups fresh arugula
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
Preheat 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add sweet potato wedges to the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Add minced garlic, salt and pepper and toss well to combine. Bake wedges for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until tender and golden.
While the potatoes are roasting, you can make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk together yogurt, dijon, honey and turmeric. Thin the dressing out with a few teaspoons of water so that you are able to drizzle it over the salad. Place in fridge until ready to use.
Once the sweet potato wedges are done baking, remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Add fresh arugula on top, along with cherries and almonds, then drizzle with dressing and serve immediately. Serves 2 and makes a wonderful lunch or appetizer. Also great when served cold!
If you want to reduce the sugar in the recipe, simply reduce the amount of dried cherries to 2 tablespoons or leave off completely.