It’s been roughly 4-5 months since I have been able to work out on a consistent basis. I have had a couple little pockets where for a few days or a week I have been able to do so, but that’s about it. Other than that, this girl is walking, and that’s it. And recently the walking has been pretty comical due to it being more of a waddle, but I ain’t mad. I ain’t mad one bit.
And you know what? Parts of my body have gotten a bit squishy, maybe even jiggly. Some parts have shrunk as my muscles have gotten a bit smaller. There have been changes in my body that to the onlooker are most likely undetectable, but certainly things I can feel. But for the first time in my life, this extra inch to pinch is not the cause of extreme panic and it is not stirring up any dire need to diet or cut back big time on what I am eating.
This is all kind of surreal to me, because I never imagined in my life that the day would come when I would be okay with a body that was not firm, tight and very low in fat of any kind. It was what I spent my teens and twenties aiming ruthlessly for and never stopping to take a breath or to rest. Not once. It was the holy grail and purpose of life. To have the perfect outside package–to be honest, I have no idea what that looked like because the closer I ever got to my ideal body, the less I felt perfect. The rules and standards always changed and the bar was always lifted. I was never going to be okay in my skin, no matter what, on that long exhausting path.
And yet here I sit today, knowing that my body is not the one I chased after for so long but it is the one I am able to sit in comfortably. Today. Right now.
So much around us and things we see every day bombard us with the concept that squishy body parts are unacceptable. Our society, the media, and so many other institutions force us to think that if our bodies are not a certain way, then we better not show up to the game–literally. Lady Gaga, a woman with a beautiful body, one she has struggled with and yet made peace with was mocked and ridiculed after the Super Bowl and picked apart based upon nothing other than her body. It’s not ok. And it doesn’t have to be this way.
You can say no. You can end it. It’s not easy, but you can be healthy, happy, nourished, and still have parts of you that are soft and round. And you can stand proud and comfortable and be ever so in love with that body. And you can do it starting right now.
Breakfast in bed, anyone?
Earlier in the week, I talked about the fact that Valentine’s Day isn’t big in our house and here I am a few days later with another recipe that seems appropriate for the day of love. Oh the irony. Well, Valentine’s Day or not, the Raspberry Almond French Toast Casserole is a reason to celebrate so waiting to share this one with you was just not happening.
Recently I have become super obsessed with my cast iron skillet. I have been using it for just about everything. It’s a challenge for me because I am not always the most prompt in cleaning the dishes, but the work is worth it.
While I find this recipe to be super amazing, I have to be honest it was not Anthony’s favorite. While I love the texture of the soft, soaked bread, he only liked the crispier top pieces. So I guess that actually makes a good partnership when digging in to this.
I consider French Toast Casseroles to be the lazy person’s version of a fancy breakfast. It looks almost luxurious, and yet the amount of effort that goes into it is so minimal. (My kind of recipe, ALWAYS). It tastes a bit like dessert, but it can still be made with whole grains, farm fresh eggs and other whole food ingredients. Also, for those who are vegan or do not eat eggs, there is an easy way to make this egg free!
I am a sucker for almond extract and that is what makes this recipe my favorite. Not just the wholesome almonds, the extract brings a whole new flavor.
So surprise the family, your Valentine or whoever you would like with this delicious breakfast treat! They will never guess it’s good for them as well!
- 6-8 slices whole grain or gluten free bread
- 1 c unsweetened almond milk whole milk or milk of choice
- 3 large eggs *for vegan, use 2 T ground flax
- 1 c raspberries fresh or frozen
- 1/3 c sliced almonds
- 1/4 c pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tsp cinnamon
- coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs lightly.**see below for egg free directions.
Add in milk, cinnamon, vanilla, almond extract, and maple and whisk to combine.
Add in 2/3 c raspberries and most of the almonds, leaving extra to sprinkle over top.
Cut slices of bread into bite sized pieces.
Fold in the bread and allow to soak up all of the liquid. If it seems there is too much leftover liquid, you may want to add another piece of bread.
Transfer mixture into a cast iron or oven safe skillet lightly seasoned with coconut oil.
Add the rest of the berries and almonds.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the top is browned and a toothpick in the center comes up dry.
I even left mine in a bit longer because I like the bottom extra browned!
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then slice to serve. Add a drizzle of maple or even add some real or coconut whipped cream. Mmmmm.
**For vegan version: combine flax, milk, vanilla, almond extract, maple, cinnamon in medium bowl and whisk well. Chill for 15 minutes before moving to step 4.