Two years ago, I did something that really scared me. They say to do one thing a day that does, right? This one probably counted as two scary things. Two years ago, I took a leap and put myself out there. On October 13, 2014, I published my first post here on Be Whole. Be You.
I remember sitting there writing it and all of the questions flying through my head of, who will read this? Will I have enough to say? Will I say too much? Too little? Will anyone even read this? But as I hit the publish button, hesitantly mind you, I felt a heaviness lift from my chest. I felt lighter, more free, and as though I could breathe with a bit more ease.
Over the past two years I have laughed, cried, experienced pure joy, had ups and downs, survived some of the toughest days of my life thus far and here I am. Still here. Still sharing. Not running out of things to say. Sharing my story and feeling the beautiful release of putting my own thoughts and worries down onto ‘paper’ and then setting it free–as well as some of my favorite creations!
I thank you. I thank you for reading. I thank you for your support, your concern, your stories that you have shared and all that you have done to allow me to continue to share, to continue to create and to continue to figure this whole thing called life out. And thank you for letting me be Me–my whole self.
And so to celebrate, I will leave you with just that; my very first post that started this entire journey! As always, Be whole, take care of every piece of you, outside and in, and most of all be YOU!
October 13, 2014
“Wow. I can’t believe I am here. Almost a year ago, I wrote down a goal of mine. My goal was to start a blog on health and wellness within the year. Guess what? Time passed and no blog. Some more time passed, and still, nothing. Recently, I realized that I was coming up on a year with nothing to show for my goal. So here I am.
So let’s get acquainted. As a little girl veggies were my thing. My sisters despised that I would actually choose vegetables or other healthy items while they were stuck at the dinner table until every last green bean was forced down. (Interesting side note: I coaxed my younger sister to eat her peas by putting sprinkles on them for her once. She ate every last bite!)
In my early teens I went through a very awkward phase and certainly fell out of love with myself and my body for quite some time. I didn’t have the healthiest relationship with my body or food. I went through phases where I thought I was eating healthy and yet I was choosing things like sweet n’ low or diet soft drinks because they were lower in calories. Little did I know or care that I was just feeding myself chemicals and junk that left my body exhausted and not fueled at all. I was also a fitness junkie and exercising often with little rest. I lacked balance. I lacked true nourishment. I wasn’t happy at all.
Long story short, along came yoga. In a very stressful time in my life, I found yoga. Since I was always the one on the go and on the run 24/7, I thought there was no way that anything could slow me down, but there it was, and it changed me. For the very first time in my life, my body became this “temple” that I had always heard the priest talk about at church. I was in tune with it. I was amazed by the things it could do and the way it changed as I practiced. I was noticing that I was criticizing and judging my body so much less than ever before. I was more aware and concerned about the things I was putting into my body and the affect these things had on my well being. Yoga made me whole, more than just my body.
This is where the shift really started in focusing on how I was taking care of myself. I started to rid my diet of chemicals, refined sugars and processed foods. I went on the hunt for clean eating recipes that I could feed my Kraft Mac n’ Cheese eating husband with approval. Since I enjoy creating things in the kitchen, I started trying a hand at my own concoctions that I could substitute for the old processed versions. Working to be balanced in the fitness area, I tried other forms of exercise such as Pilates, Spinning and other workouts to supplement my yoga. Even my skin and beauty regimen was impacted. I’ve tried my hand at a few homemade cleansers and toners with great results. All of this stems from a desire to take care of my whole self. I’m not on a hunt for a new diet or trying to lose weight. I am trying to nourish and take care of myself from the outside in.
And so, here I am.
The next phase of my journey starts here. I plan to share recipes, resources and more. I hope that I can inspire you to start living your life in a way that you can be your best self and that it is more than just what meets the eye. Be whole. and by all means, be YOU!”
Link to post: Click Here.
And so, the celebration of this 2 year anniversary only makes sense that my latest, most favorite recipe is the one I share.
This Pumpkin Pecan French Toast is the kind of recipe that I don’t ask for taste testers because I don’t want to share. Sorry, but once you taste this, you may feel the same way. I had actually never made any sort of baked french toast or french toast casserole as some would call it before and I can’t believe how much I have been missing in life! It’s part French Toast and part bread pudding in a way with the fluffy and yet somewhat gooey texture.
Adding the pumpkin into this was the perfect fall touch, but if you really are not a pumpkin fan, you can certainly omit it. Gluten free bread if you need that is fine as well. I used a wide pan sliced bread so the bread slices were pretty large. You may need to adjust if you are using bread in which the slices are smaller. Vegan? Egg allergy? Oh don’t you worry either! There is an egg free option as well! I couldn’t leave you guys out for this one!
So this weekend and for me most likely every weekend throughout fall, you can enjoy this breakfast that tastes a lot more like dessert but is also made of real, whole food ingredients and no refined sugar! Dig in and enjoy!
- 6 pieces bread wide pan slices
- 1 1/4 c milk of choice
- 3 eggs* for egg free, sub 1 1/2 T flax meal
- 2-3 T pure maple syrup
- 3 T pumpkin purée
- 1/3 c chopped pecans
- 2 tsp heaping cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dash of sea salt
- coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs lightly.
Add in milk, vanilla, maple, sea salt, and pumpkin and whisk to combine until smooth.**
Coat an 8x8 baking pan lightly with coconut oil.
Cut pieces of bread into 1 inch bite sized pieces and toss with pecans in pan.
Pour pumpkin mixture over the bread and pecans and gently stir bread to evenly coat every piece.
Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until a knife or toothpick near the center comes out clean.
In the last 10 minutes, you can sprinkle with extra pecans as well if desired.
Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
Drizzle with extra maple or maybe even add some freshly made whipped cream, regular or dairy free!
**If you are making this egg free, whisk the flax and milk together first and allow to chill for 15 minutes before moving forward.