Self Care September

Practicing self care has never come easy.

Sure, I used to do yoga every day and restrict my diet to salads, but I never did it for myself. I dedicated myself to these things because I didn’t like the way my body looked in a swimsuit, or my legs didn’t have the definition I’ve always craved.

I grew up surrounded by powerful, stubborn, beautiful women. My mom and grandma have bright smiles, kind eyes, and they’ve passed down their ability to weather any storm. They also passed down their disdain for their bodies. Recently, I was at dinner with my 83-year-old grandma. We sat on her couch as she walked me through her food journal, counting calories to ensure she stays under the recommended daily allotment. She’s mainly doing it for health reasons, but she regularly refers to the time she was 120 pounds with a wistful longing in her voice.

You can find my stunningly gorgeous grandma on a postcard they sold in the 1940s and 50s — thick red hair and a Barbie sized waist. Because of this, beauty has always been something that we’ve valued. And, as the only child, my mom got all of the attention as she was growing up. While my grandma was a wonderful mother, her blunt and sometimes callous statements made it clear that looks were important. It’s funny what gets passed from generation to generation.

Needless to say, my sister and I berate our bodies regularly. We’ll send each other text messages about how gross we feel. About how much we hate the fact that we didn’t get our mom’s slender legs. Binging on popcorn, pizza, and beer and then regretting everything about it. We take turns telling each other that we’re beautiful and amazing and perfect. We are each other’s pep talk, each other’s reminder that out bodies are able and willing to walk us up mountains and two step in dark Texas bars. And yet we both have this deep seeded feeling that our bodies are too soft, too large, too imperfect.

All of this is to say I’m trying to be better about self care. Moving slowly through my day to be more mindful about what it is my body is asking for. I’m calling it Self Care September, as I like to organize and have goals and deadlines to answer to. This month is about being kind to myself in every way imaginable. I recently had an epiphany about the way I interact with the men in my life. I woke up one morning after a date with a handsome fella to this feeling of exhaustion.

For 4 years I have played the casual fling, side chick, and secret romance because it’s all I’ve told myself I can handle. My distrust in men continues to grow instead of shrink, and nothing they say or do surprises me anymore. My sister reminded me that I’m so much more than a convenient warm body, and that I should take a break from all things men. Instead of casting my net wide, I should reel it in and be with myself, completely.

Are you tired of my very raw and emotional rant on the internet? Cool, me too.

All of this rambling is to say that September is for me. It’s for hours spent throwing tomatoes at the wall with my nephew (babies are entertained by the most curious things) and getting lost in the woods with the hound. It’s for rediscovering my cookbooks and practicing yoga on my back patio. Hopefully, with a dedicated month of healing, it will become my routine.

Check back in on me in October. Until then, here’s to slow Sunday mornings with Sam Cooke records, fresh coffee, and a homemade breakfast.

Self Care Breakfast

There is something so perfect in waking up slow and spending time in the kitchen. During the work week, I have to get up at an ungodly hour and rush through the mornings to make the 6:20am train. When the weekends roll around, it’s my time. The hound sits at the corner of the kitchen, waiting for vegetable scraps. I always start weekend mornings with Leon Bridges and an entire Chemex to myself. It’s my idea of heaven. This morning it was a veggie scramble, banana pancakes, and a fresh nectarine.

Treat yourself.

Gluten free banana pancakes 

  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup GF flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

In a small box, stir together the bananas, oil, lemon juice, and honey. Beat in the eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Form a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix together until everything is thoroughly moistened. Don’t over stir or the consistency will be off. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes (this is a good time to prep the scramble veggies). After everything has settled, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat with a small amount of coconut oil. Once warm, pour ¼ cup batter onto the pan. Let the pancake cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles form. Flip and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes, until the pancake is golden brown on each side. Then enjoy! I had extra batter, which will keep until tomorrow. Pancakes two days in a row? Don’t mind if I do. I topped my pancakes with some butter, chopped walnuts, fresh nectarines, and a little bit of maple syrup. Delicious.

Veggie scramble

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/5 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 laciento kale leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the coconut oil in a cast iron over medium heat. Once warm, add peppers and mushrooms to the oil + minced garlic. Saute for 5-7 minutes until the red peppers soften. Add in kale and saute for another 2-3 minutes. While the veggies are cooking, whisk 2 eggs with some salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the eggs to the vegetables. Stir until everything is mixed and eggs are cooked. Turn down to low and eat when everything is ready.

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