Smile Like The Sun

Good Day for a Good Day

Every morning that you wake up you have a clean slate. Although that sounds clique, it is 100% true. I am a firm believer that negative attitudes can make even the best of situations poor. We all have the power to make any day a great day but sometimes let our worries and stress interfere. It took a coffee date with my friend Anna to remember that, as she gently reminded me: I have the choice to overcome a “down” day. So today, rather than waking up and wondering what I am going to do with myself, I was proactive. I cleaned the kitchen and my bedroom, did some laundry, had a visit with Jess, went to the gym, wrote my blog, read my book and did some yoga. That may sound basic, however with my positive attitude today transitioned from a regular day to a great day.

Why am I telling you this? Because I think that given the cold, snowy weather, it is easy to feel a little down. It is easy to mope around the house, bashing your head against the wall out of sheer boredom. I am telling you this because while I have always carried that notion, I let the cold weather take my positivity that usually carries me from day to day.

This positivity also carries on to the Whole30. I have read online that many people are unsuccessful as they succumb to their cravings. Friends and family have told me that they would never be able to undergo such a drastic diet change, for fear of missing their comfort foods. I believe that positivity has gotten me through the past twenty one days. Had I gone into this closed minded, perhaps I would’ve been unsuccessful like those people online. I’m not saying that you are all pessimistic people for not doing this: I’m rather discussing the key component of attaining success in these thirty days.

Smoothie or Sweet Potato Bowl?

Seeing as I felt terrible for not taking a photo of my sweet potato bowl yesterday, I decided to recreate it for you. Today I made some alterations to the recipe, as my roommate last night was making a sweet potato casserole. Corrina is my second roommate who loves her pasta, greek yogurt, cereal and cheese. She also is not participating in the Whole30, and was able to put sugar in her casserole last night. I decided that perhaps I could use a similar baseline recipe to hers in creating my sweet potato bowl.

Sweet Potato Bowl Breakfast 

  • 1 medium sweet potato, baked
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4-1/2 c. coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 egg

Blend the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add more coconut milk for a thinner consistency. Bake in the oven at 400 for twenty minutes.

With the addition of the egg, I figured that this recipe held more protein and subsistence as opposed to simply pureeing sweet potato. I also chose to use coconut milk as opposed to almond milk for flavouring. With such a filling base, I chose to go light on the toppings (which the photo does not accurately depict), by sprinkling some hemp hearts, cocoa nibs, strawberries and coconut. Overall, this was my favourite variation of the sweet potato bowl that I have had.img_1851At the gym this afternoon I saw an add on the television about underrated nutrient dense foods, to which potatoes were listed. Not sweet potatoes, but regular potatoes. It claimed that they held twice as much potassium as bananas. Out of curiosity, I decided to research the good ol’ regular potato in comparison to a sweet potato. They’re family members after all, so why should one be more superior to the other?

Interestingly enough, the two potatoes are from different plant families: sweet being that of convolvulaceae and regular from solanaceae. (Not to worry, neither of those terms mean anything to me either- the point is that they are not from the same family). Sweet potatoes are more related to morning glories and herbs, while potatoes are related to tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. As they are not from the same family, it is expected for the two to have different nutrient properties. Or is it?

Regular potatoes often receive a poor reputation for being carbohydrate loaded, which contributes to a spike in overall glycemic index. While potatoes are in the 12th percentile range for glycemix load, sweet potatoes are in the 10th. What does that mean exactly? The two both fall in the middle to high range spots. While potatoes are slightly higher than sweet potatoes, the difference is not significant.

In terms of nutrients, I have provided a chart for you as both selection of potatoes are full of the “good stuff”. (The provided link illustrates many additional facts about both types of potatoes)  Image result for sweet potato vs. regular potato

I’m not sure about you, but this information has certainly alleviated some stigma around the regular potato that I had previously held.

Kickasserole

Something that I have wanted to try for quite some time has been a casserole. That may sound boring, as casseroles are staple meals. Potlucks, funerals, grandma’s house, you name it. I however have seldom prepared any casseroles. With cooking for one the past fives year, I have gone through phases. During first year university, I ate a piece of meat with two sides almost every night. Second and third year, I ate massive salads and started experimenting with alternatives to meat. In the past two years I have transitioned to more vegan based meals, as I believed I could save money on not buying meat. Rather than ground taco meat, I would used ground quinoa. As opposed to chicken on my salads, I would opt for sweet potato and chickpeas. So as you can see, casseroles were not one of my go-to meals.

On Pinterest, I found a site with 30 Whole30 Casseroles. Surprisingly enough, the majority of these casseroles looked rather appealing and I had difficulty narrowing down my options to which one I wanted to try. The one I ended up settling on is the Almost 5-Ingredient Pizza Spaqhetti Pie. img_1839.jpg

This recipe consists of eggs, spaghetti squash, Italian sausage, spaghetti or pizza sauce and toppings of your choice. With broccoli heads on sale, I went with broccoli, mushrooms, onions and zucchini: all ingredients that my roommate laughed at saying “Those don’t go on pizza!”. If you haven’t had broccoli on your pizza before, than you are missing out!!

img_1840

All in all, this recipe was quite easy to assemble. With combining sauteed vegetables, cooked sausage meat, cooked spaghetti squash and the liquid ingredients, the entire casserole was ready after one hour in the oven. img_1843.jpg

 

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