Looks can be deceiving

I’ll be the first to admit that we, as 21st century beings, are hit with a lot of mixed messages.

For example, we are told that it’s important to be comfortable in our own skin. But then the same sources (cough, magazines, cough) often turn around and offer tips about how to lose a ton of weight or look extra sexy. This implies that it’s not good enough to simply be healthy — There’s always another goal to achieve.

It’s as if we are supposed to think, “If I just keep losing weight/looking better then life will only get better!”

Well, I know from personal experience that is definitely not the case — I just want to help other people see this, too. That’s why I am especially grateful to be involved in a school group called H.O.M.E.B.A.S.E. This group, which is directed by a nutritionist and includes members of dining and recreation services, promotes both accepting your body and making your body healthy. This goes to prove that health and happiness are not mutually exclusive!

I’m particularly excited for some big events coming up later in February part of our annual “Celebrate Every Body Week.” This will include posting positive affirmations around campus (in a style similar to Operation Beautiful), hosting healthy food giveaways and presenting presentations with a guest speaker on body acceptance.

Until that point, I just want to keep trying to do what I can to promote body acceptance in my own ways!

One of my mantras in doing this is that looks can be deceiving. Not only does that apply to bodies, but sometimes it also applies to my meals. For instance, my breakfast this morning looked soupy and dull, but it was really full of texture and flavors!

Breakfast Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C brown rice, cooked (I used leftovers)
  • 1/2 C almond milk (or any milk)
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/8 t nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 T corn starch

Directions:

  • In a small sauce pan, while continuously stirring, bring the milk to a steady simmer.
  • Add the rice to the simmering milk. Mix in cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt. Continue stirring while mixture simmers for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in the corn starch. Continue simmering for 2-5 minutes, depending on how much liquid you want.
  • At the last minute, stir in maple syrup.
  • Remove from heat and serve in a bowl. I topped mine with a little dollop of sunflower seed butter.

Notes: If you want your pudding a little thicker, reduce the amount of milk. You could also add in some raisins or dried cranberries for a little more chew.

Seriously, I’d make the same thing tomorrow if I wasn’t out of milk. Sigh…

Shortly after having breakfast, I bundled up to head to campus for my H.O.M.E.B.A.S.E. meeting. After the meeting, I decided to kill two birds with one stone by going by the recreation center. There, I did a little interval training by pushing my pace for half a mile, then having a short recovery and repeating three more times. I finished off with some weight lifting and ab work.

Once I had gone back home and cleaned off, I went back out to pick up Dan so that we could drive to Kansas City and pick up his truck. That meant that I had to pack a lunch to-go.

Consumed: Burger salad with Romaine lettuce and two sweet potato tofu burger patties. Dressed with honey Dijon vinaigrette.

I’ve really been loving this batch of sweet potato tofu burgers. They held together better than any veggie burgers I remember, but they are full of great spices and textures — In fact, my leftover brown rice originally came from this recipe!

Anticipating I’d still be a little snacky (car rides always do that to me!), I packed a small bag of whole grain goldfish.

Totally hit my snack-craving spot!

Back home, I had to get down to some homework for afternoon. Let me tell you, excel spreadsheets can get a little hard to concentrate on after a while! That’s why I was extra glad to break for dinner.

Unlike my breakfast, dinner both tasted AND looked great!

Consumed: Citrusy Pecan and Chickpea Couscous served with some crunchy baby carrots.

Chewy whole-grain couscous? Sweet red bell peppers? Crunchy toasted pecans? Could this dish seriously BE any better? I am already looking forward to having leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Even with all the chewy, sweet and crunchy deliciousness, after a little bit of homework I had a hankering for some dessert to cap off the night. Without any leftover desserts on hand and not wanting make up a whole new batch, I was glad to remember something that had been hiding in the back of my pantry for a while: Mint brownie mix by No Pudge!

The thing I like most about the batter is that I can make single servings by simply combining 2 T of the mix with 1 T of applesauce and nuking for 45 seconds. I bulked it up with some mint chocolate chips I had from when I made homemade peppermint brownies.

Speaking with what may be a bias, I’d take my homemade brownies over this any day. But, in a pinch, it’s a great, easy way to get a chocolate fix!

Now I can sleep happy!

Questions: Do you believe that looks can be deceiving? What are your go-to easy dessert recipes when you just need something sweet?

 

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6 responses to “Looks can be deceiving

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