“You are what you eat”
We’ve heard it all before. It’s like that annoying little voice inside that says “look, just look at that extra layer of cheese on that pizza…is that really what you want sitting on your ass-cheeks?” …. “come on now, do you really need to go for that third donut?” ..
I can remember my years from eighteen to mid-twenties working as a server at Claim Jumper here in Carlsbad, CA, where-by the way, I not only met a group of the most amazing eternal friends/soul-sisters I still have today, but my soulmate, confidante, best friend, and husband David, whom I was destined to meet and marry and bring two gorgeous angels into the world with.
And if you’ve ever eaten at Claim Jumper, especially back then when the portions were massive, then you probably already know where I’m going with this…what is the deal? Nowhere in the world do people eat as much and as unhealthy as we do. Even though the fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King have sprouted up all over the globe, the average American is still overweight in comparison to their global counterparts.
The obesity epidemic in fact, is one of the country’s most serious health problems. Since the eighties, adult rates have doubled from 15 to 30 percent, while childhood obesity rates have nearly tripled— in effect, contributing to more than 30 different serious diseases which have placed a major strain on the health care system at large with more than a quarter of health care costs related to obesity. It’s baffling.
Now typically, I do my best to steer clear of any judgement especially since the good Lord knows I am just as much a part of the issue. As well as all my friends and family know, this girl right here can…EAT. I mean….really. Not nearly as much today as I did back in those serving days where I was constantly dubbed the “garbage disposal” always claiming to be “starving” (as if) but nonetheless I’ve grown way more health conscious over the years; for no other reason than wanting to treat my body as it deserves to be treated.
I joke around that I must have been quite the burly man in my last life, because the amount of food I can eat in comparison to even my husband (at sushi) is, in a word, ridiculous—which, makes healthy food choices all the more important for someone with this kind of appetite. Ha! And let’s just say that it has been quite clear that my girls have inherited this appetite ‘gene’ from me. Although I am not a total Nazi when it comes to fast food and the occasional sweet treats, I am more or less fairly strict organic and breastfeeding proponent when it comes to meals that I personally prepare for them giving me control over things like sodium, healthy fats, and sugars etc.
But acquiring their tastes towards things like fish, lamb, veggies, fruits, and healthy snacks etc.; teaching them to love and respect their bodies is only a lesson I can demonstrate, if they see that I too love and respect my own by the food choices I make. At almost every dinner I am serving up a salad and veggies and they are in LOVE with all the fruits: oranges, blueberries, cherries, mangoes, strawberries, grapes etc. Simply put, it just feels good to know that I am doing right by their little developing bodies.
And who says that eating healthy has to be bland and tasteless!? Just try these “candy-veggies” and then tell me you can’t “do” veggies!
Without further ado…the yummiest, sweetest roasted “candy” to accompany any main course—like, the tomato bisque, grilled cheese sandwiches, and Ceasar Salad I served up on a lunch date with my dear Talia-like it is!
Roasted Candy Veggies (recipe can be cut in ½)
- 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
- 2 medium eggplants
- 4 medium parsnips
- 2 medium Yellow Squash
- 2 medium Zucchini
- 1 ½ large sweet onions
- 2 cups sweet mixed peppers (in bag)
- Olive oil
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
Preheat oven to 375*-450* depending on your oven. You can even adjust the temperature half way through cooking as needed. Peel sweet potatoes and parsnips only. Chop and slice all veggies and onions and combine in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil until completely saturated and mix well with a spoon. Drizzle balsamic (roughly ½ -1 cup) depending on your taste for it and mix again. Pour over 1 to 1 and ½ c. of basil pesto (more or less) and mix. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Mix well one more time. Pour veggie mix on a baking pan. Cook for 45 min. to an hour, pulling out half way through to mix again. Once veggies are tender (namely the sweet potatoes and parsnips) enjoy!
Hot or cold, these roasted veggies make a yummy, sweet treat and side dish. If you ask me, the star players in this mix are the sweet potatoes and parsnips so if you cut back on any of the veggies, spare these two!
I have always been on the ‘frugal’ side when it comes to purchasing clothes, handbags, shoes etc. and no matter how financially ‘well off’ we may ever be in this lifetime, that is one thing that will not change. I absolutely hold no judgement over “designer” girls–heck, most of the people I know are! But it is just not something I have personally ever cared about. In fact, there are very few designers that I could even name off the top of my head. ha! But my thinking is this, as I’m sure many of you can relate:
“I can get all the same ‘designer’ looks and shoes at a fraction of the cost, so why wouldn’t I shop at Marshalls, TJ max, H& M, and Ross over anywhere else and put the money saved toward better use?”
“Hello Friday” ensemble of the day
Ross- Shirt, floral shorts, and Steve Madden Pumps
Forever 21-Turquosie necklace and gold bracelet
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