Wait, are those brussels sprouts in that picture?
You read the words “self care” and probably thought I was going to suggest you grab a big bowl of ice cream, right?
I’m certainly no stranger to dishing out a bowl of Bluebell after a hard day, but lately I’m thinking about self care a little differently. I’m looking at how I can put good stuff in my body, so that my body works at its best…which makes me feel happy and want to go around spreading good vibes everywhere I go. I think of it as trickle down self care. I treat myself well so that I have the energy, joy, and stamina to treat others well.
So, how do we get more good stuff into our bodies? By eating more plants, that’s how. Even though we know we are supposed to eat our veggies, chances are you aren’t getting the recommended five servings every day. I know on most days I don’t unless I really try.
I have started tracking the days I eat five servings of fruits and vegetables in my bullet journal. If I eat my veggies I get to color in a little box in my habit tracker. It’s amazing the power that coloring in that box has over me. It totally changes my eating choices. If I’m making scrambled eggs for breakfast, I’ll throw in some leftover roasted broccoli from the night before just to get in a serving of vegetables right off the bat. Add a handful of blueberries as a side and I get to count that as a serving of fruit. Boom! I’ve had two out of five of my servings before I’ve even gotten dressed. #killingit
Left to my own devices, I will mindlessly choose to eat nothing but baked goods and proteins all day long. I mean, yum, right? But now that I’m tracking my fruits and veggies, I’m making sure to squeeze some plants into every meal.
So, here’s how you get massive amounts of plants in your body and have fun doing it.
SELF-CARE VEGGIE BOWL
Crank your oven up to 425 degrees.
You take a sheet pan, preferably it is really beat up and crusty from all the other times you have roasted veggies on it.
Then you chop up:
- a shallot or any onion you have on hand
- butternut squash (I cheated and bought an already-chopped up butternut squash because hacking my way through a rock-hard gourd and dealing with squash guts at lunchtime is a deal-breaker.)
- And brussels sprouts (which do have an “s” on the end of “brussel.” I googled it so that we can all just relax and keep reading.)
Next you grab your olive oil and you drizzle a few good glugs of oil all over the veggies, which at this point are on your cruddy old sheet pan as shown in picture below. Glug, glug, glug goes the olive oil all over the veggies. Add some salt and pepper, give it a little toss with your hands, and you are good to put it in the oven for 30 minutes or so. Every 10 minutes, give the veggies a little stir so that they get evenly caramelized. You can even talk to them while you are in there stirring, and say little encouraging words about how good they are looking. That’s what I like to do.
Meanwhile…on top of the oven…make your balsamic drizzle. Balsamic drizzle sounds super fancy and foodie-like, but it is very simple to make. All you do is take 1/4 of a cup of balsamic vinegar and put it in a small sauce pan, add a tablespoon of honey to the vinegar and bring to a boil. Simmer the mixture for about ten minutes so that it can reduce to a nice syrupy consistency.
If you like watching things boil like I do, check out my video below!
Feel free to share that video on all the social media.
Then, it’s just a hop, skip and a few parmesan shavings to turn your veggies and drizzle into a delicious feast for the senses. I combined my vegetables with Israeli couscous, toasted pumpkin seeds, Craisins, and parmesan shavings and then added a drizzle of the balsamic reduction. Then I ate it in front of my computer, which wasn’t very self-care-y of me, but this stuff doesn’t blog itself.
You could also combine your veggies with quinoa, farro, spelt, nothing, you make the rules here.
The Israeli couscous, craisin, pumpkin seed, parmesan shavings combo was delicious. And I feel super after eating it. Specifically, I feel satisfied, energized, just the right amount of full, and clear-headed. These are the signs that tell me what I’m eating is treating me right and giving my body what it needs to be happy. When I feel better after I eat something, I know it is good food for me. I mean, forget following a special diet that you read about in a book. Just pay attention to how food makes you feel. Eat the things that make you feel good! Easy. Your body knows what it needs.
So much of what I eat (pizza, cookies, hamburgers), is good as I’m tasting it, but then I feel terrible after I eat it. This bowl was delicious and made me feel like a million bucks.
So next time you are having a rough day or a good day, or just a normal day, treat yo’ self to good food. Give yourself a big old plant-based hug and give your body what it needs to thrive. Then let all that those good feelings spill over to the people around you. Because your bowl runneth over.