There are lots of times when I go to make dinner and I have a blank. Not a blank thought but a blank spot on my plate. Do you have those moments? I’ll make fish with a vegetable and ….. blank. I used to throw in a box of quick rice (you know, the really unhealthy kind with lots of sodium) and call it a day. But the more I analyze my habits and become aware of them, I question my actions. Is it really healthy to feed myself that big box of sodium? Yuck. I don’t want to feed myself that box or my family anymore. I am turning over a leaf – it may even surprise me and be a flower on the other side.
A very satisfying side meal for me is a bowl of potatoes. But not just any kind, sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have great nutritional properties such as:
- High in vitamin B – (helps prevent heart attacks)
- Good source of vitamin C – which helps keep bones strong as well as prevents colds AND helps us with stress. Do you have stress? Eat a sweet potato!
- Contains iron – also a stress reducer
- Good source of potassium - a very important electrolyte that helps your heart
They also taste great. Now why sweet potatoes and not white potatoes? Research shows that sweet potatoes have more fiber and a higher level of vitamin A and C. They also have a lower glycemic index which is prefered for people who have diabetes.
Here’s my second point. I use the word “healthy” a lot, however so does everyone else. It’s always thrown around such as, “Eat that, it’s good for you … it’s healthy.” Or “Did you try that dish? It’s really healthy.” What the heck does that mean? Oh, I got it – as long as we eat in moderation, I will be healthy. Let’s go further – what does that mean? Moderation? What is in moderation for you? Once every week? Perhaps once a month? Once every six months? There’s lots of confusion between these two words. There’s not a set definition for either.
I wanted to prepare this recipe in two different ways for you. You decide which one is healthier for you. It’s up to you and what your values are. The first recipe is how I prepared the sweet potatoes in the picture.
- 1-2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2-3 sweet potatoes: chopped to bite size pieces
Same as above, but add 1 -2 Tbs brown sugar, depending upon sweetness level
Sugar and I are having a battle lately. A war that I will win however many little battles in between. As I mentioned, I know I will win. So, I cut out the brown sugar and guess what, they taste just as good.
Let’s add some more to the recipe, what ingredients are healthy to you? Some add-ons can be: raisins, maple syrup, nuts, whip cream, butter etc. I’m just trying to make you think. Empower you with decisions that make you feel good with what you eat. What you decide is healthy for you. My version of healthy may be unacceptable to yours and that is okay. What is moderation to you? What is healthy to you? Be a researcher and educate yourself with information that you find acceptable and makes you feel good about you.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Step 2: In a bowl, combine potatoes, cinnamon and sugar, if using.
Step 3: Prepare a 11×17 pan with aluminum foil. Spread coated potatoes on top.
Step 4: Bake 15-20 minutes. Turn after 15 minutes. The more you bake them, the sweeter they become!
Notice the foods you eat. Read the labels. Make decisions that make you feel good. I always ask myself, “If I have this ___, will I feel good?” Does it make my body feel good? How am I going to feel after I make this decision? If you take a few seconds to think than reacting, you are giving yourself a gift. It’s up to you what that gift will be. Ever get coal for Christmas? That’s not always fun. Just kidding! Give yourself the gift of how you want to live your own life. You’re in control. You can conquer that blank spot on your plate.
Day 3 all ready! Wahoo! I could not wait to juice today but I had a very ho-hum kind of day. My patience seemed to run low and becoming frustrated and angry seemed to flow more easily. I hate that. Yesterday was such a great day, things just went wonderful and it wasn’t out of the ordinary, I noticed it was how I responded to it. My everyday struggles were still the same but I had a positive outlook and it showed all over.
Today, I was sluggish. So I looked to what I did, my habits, how did I eat, what were my thoughts. When I recognize my conscious thoughts, sometimes I am able to figure out what’s going on and redirect them but not today. Sluggish and moody all around until, get this, I had my juice! I actually juiced very late tonight because I couldn’t find time to do it with the kids and getting groceries for the big storm or dropping off money for a field trip or the nap they were supposed to take then the dinner I had to make or the bank run that NEEDED to happen. Tonight, late tonight, I was able to make it. I was surprised at how good it made me feel and lifted me into a better place almost immediately.
It’s also my favorite fruits and veggies. I can recall eating blueberries out of the container for a snack when I was little. My stepmom always had them on hand and I would “sneak” in and eat the whole container, which didn’t go over too well. As an adult, they are still my favorite!
Blueberries have the highest antioxidants of any fruit and they also do wonders for your belly by reducing belly fat. Did you know they help the urinary tract and preserve vision? Amazing!
Carrots can help lower the risk of cancer such as breast and lung cancers, improve vision and prevent health disease. They are fantastic for nourishing the skin too. Have you ever tried a natural lotion made of carrots? It’s fabulous!
We all know the saying, if you eat an apple a day, it keeps the doctor away! And they could be on to something. Not only do apples help whiten your teeth (thank you!), helps prevent against lots of cancers, decreases risk of diabetes, a healthy heart, prevent gallstones, beat diarrhea and constipation, avert hemorrhoids, boost your immune system and SO MUCH MORE! Please eat an apple everyday.
- 4 carrots: peeled and ends cut off
- 3 apples: quartered
- 4 oz of blueberries
Follow juicing manual instructions and please enjoy!