The end of last year was marked by a sweet, sweet moment: The love of my life asked me to marry him. And I said yes. I still tear up thinking about it. He’s my best friend. And we’ve been through everything together.
While agreeing to commit the rest of my life in marriage to him, I was just settling into a season of self-care. Only two weeks earlier had humbly acknowledged I wasn’t taking good care of myself: Really, was just getting by.
What good is life on a thread? We can regenerate, refresh, restore when we care for ourselves properly. When we let anything else take precedence over our spiritual, mental and physical health we agree to function as machines: Inhuman.
So the beginning of this year has been quite a whirlwind, but I’m holding on to that important lesson: You, and you alone are responsible for you.
When things seem busy and exciting and wonderful and hard and fun and chaotic… Overwhelming… It’s always because a series of choices you made allowed all of that to happen. Which means a series of choices you make can allow simplicity, peace, order, to reign in and around you.
Your well-being is the most important thing in your life because your life isn’t about you. Living a life of purpose, of generosity, caring and love is not also one of self-sacrifice to the point of martyrdom. Truly giving to others comes from a place of overflow, not begrudging release.
That means taking care of yourself has to come first. And if something else has to be sacrificed that is not only okay, but necessary. Wholeness means truly believing we are deserving of love: Practicing it by accepting responsibility for ourselves, happiness and joy included.
Somewhere, it seems, we lose sight of that.
It isn’t selfish to make sure you are happy, or rested or enjoying your life. It is your responsibility.
Every single one of us is loved, perfectly by the highest source-God- who knows how to love better than any person ever could. That love is the example not only for how we should reciprocate love for Him, but also for how we should love ourselves. It is from a place of wholeness: Healthy, self-acceptance and love that we can then love others purely, not from a place of broken dependency or expectation.
Take a moment and think: How well do you love you? Or do you distract yourself with entertainment, friends, information, or a range of other things from food to work to urgency?
In the quiet, you can hear.
Beyond the comfort of habits you can transition.
Outside of monotony, you can move.
Try fasting. Especially something you think you could never give up.
Try clearing your calendar. Especially canceling those things you think you’re obligated to do.
Try asking yourself every morning, what do I want to do for me today?
Try living for you instead of treating your joy like a luxury add-on to an expensive purchase.
Try asking God to show you why that’s so hard to do.
I love you. And I don’t even have to know who you are. You’re alive and that means God created you and are therefore worthy of love.
I hope you’ll try demonstrating that self- love with healthy eating. Below are some recipes to get you started fresh.
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup Recipe (Yields approximately 1 gallon)
- 30 fresh Roma tomatoes rinsed, halved with ends cut off
- 1 bunch fresh basil rinsed and chopped
- 2 fresh garlic bulbs peeled
- 1 red onion peeled and chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
Set oven to 400 degrees.
Pour 1 tbsp olive oil into baking dish and place all tomatoes in rows, sprinkling all garlic cloves and sea salt on top.
Roast until slightly browned (15-20 min).
In a large pot, heat 3 tbsp olive oil and add onion, cooking until lightly fried, then add roasted tomatoes, garlic and basil.
Cook to low boil until tomatoes are completely softened (20-30 min).
Pour finished stew into blender.* Blend on high until texture is uniformly fine. Empty blended soup into a large bowl or sturdy pitcher. Refill blender until all soup is done. (NOTE: To avoid breaking glass blender carafe, condition it by pouring one cup of the hot soup first, and allow to sit for 60 seconds before filling blender.) Enjoy hot or cold garnished with fresh basil sprig.
Vegan Chili Recipe
- 2 cups black beans
- 2 cups kidney beans
- 2 cups black eyed peas
- 1 red onion
- 1 garlic bulb
- Chili powder
- Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning
- Maple syrup
- Sea salt
- 1 small can tomato paste
Follow soaking instructions for beans to get rid of gas. Follow boiling instructions for beans, adding spices to taste when the water begins boiling. Pour the seasoned water and beans into a crock pot or set to low simmer on stove. Stir in tomato paste, garlic and onion and continue cooking until beans are soft when bitten, about 4 to 6 hours. Enjoy hot, garnished with thin sliced red onion.
Rotini Pasta with fresh pesto
- Fresh basil (1 cup chopped)
- Fresh cilantro (1 cup chopped)
- Fresh parsley (1 cup chopped)
- 1 Garlic bulb peeled
- Olive oil (1 cup)
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Pecans or pine nuts (1/2 cup
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- Brown rice rotini pasta (1 lb)
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
Follow instructions to boil water for pasta, adding 1 tbsp sea salt, garlic and onion powder. Cook just until softened. Immediately remove from stove and drain pasta to avoid over cooking. Set aside.
Place herbs, garlic, and nuts into blender and add ¼ cup of Olive oil: Blend. Continue adding olive oil until mixture is pasty. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In a shallow pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and add diced vegetables and seasoning. Sautee on medium heat until onions are slightly softened (3-4 minutes). Set aside.
In a casserole dish or large bowl, stir together pesto, pasta and vegetables until evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy hot or cold.
Definitely follow your juicer’s instructions for fruit and veggie prep. I begin by soaking all edibles in a bath of cold water with a 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
Veggie/Herb/Berry/ Fruit List:
- Fuji or gala apples (1lb)
- Blood or navel oranges (1lb)
- 6 Pears
- 1 Pineapple
- 1 Papaya
- 1 Canteloupe
- 5 Sweet Grapefruits
- Blueberries (2 small cartons )
- Raspberries (2 small cartons)
- Blackberries (2 small cartons)
- Tomatoes (1lb)
- 6 Cucumbers
- Mint (1 bunch)
- Basil (1 bunch)
- Fresh Ginger
- Fresh Garlic (1 bulb)
- Kale (1 cup)
- Purple cabbage (1 cup)
- Brocolli (1 cup)
- Celery (1 bunch)
- Carrot (1 bunch)
- Beets (1 bunch)
Again, follow your juicer’s instructions for prep and otherwise, juice to taste, sipping as you add ingredients. Reduce froth by pouring twice through the strainer. Save froth and add a taste of maple syrup to make amazing creamsicles.
Use Sparingly: Garlic, onion, ginger, greens
- Apple, raspberries, cucumber, mint
- Grapefruit, pear, mint, cucumber, blueberries
- Orange, canteloupe, papaya, pineapple, blackberries, ginger
- Tomato, kale, purple cabbage, celery, carrot, apple, ginger, garlic, red onion, cilantro
- Tomato, beets, apple, celery, carrot, ginger, kale