How Sweet are Sweet Potatoes

Y’all I LOVE sweet potatoes. They are what I consider a staple food. I always have one in the pantry ready to make into a simple meal that packs the nutrients.

What’s so Sweet? Um these are awesome. They contain a pigment called beta-carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A. AKA that awesome vitamin that helps our eye sight! But sweet potatoes don’t just come in orange varieties! Have you ever heard of a purple sweet potato? I have, but haven’t been so lucky to try one yet! Purple sweet potatoes contain a large amount of the plant pigments anthocyanins. I learned a ton about these pigments and many others last semester in Science of Food. Both beta-carotene and anthocyanin are great antioxidants because they contain delocalized pi electrons. That means they easily donate electrons and help prevent the formation of free radicals in the body.

But I don’t eat things solely because they are good for me. There are plenty of nutrient packed foods that I just do not like, so I don’t force myself to eat them. But I have always loved sweet potatoes. I have not always been very creative with them. Seriously thank goodness for this girl who taught me that nut butters can go on top of sweet potatoes. Nut butters are packed with nutrients themselves, but they deserve a post of their own.  The lessons didn’t stop there. This next meal I am about to reveal is my absolute favorite, which is why I tend to have it as frequently as possible (Read: whenever I have an empty almond butter jar) and I always have it before major tests/exams. I thank sweet potatoes for my performance this year in all of my classes (well sweet potatoes and a good deal of studying before their consumption)

The Sweet Potato in a Jar!

100_1551

The Steps:

  1. Microwave a sweet potato for 5-9 minutes depending on the size
  2. Place half the sweet potato into the jar
    • I scoop it out of the skin and eat the skin on the side (that is where all of the fiber is so try to eat the skin!) but you could mash it up with the inside into the jar
  3. Sprinkle (or pour) cinnamon and any other spices on top
  4. Add half of your other chosen toppings
    • Sliced banana
    • Yogurt
    • Flaxseeds
    • Maple Syrup (a must in my jars!)
    • Honey/Agave
    • Anything else you think up!
  5. Repeat step 2 with the other half!
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4!
  7. Close the lid, carry your simple (almost no dish) meal to your place of dining, and enjoy!

How do you enjoy your sweet potatoes? Have you ever put them in a jar?

What are your favorite/staple foods?

Watta Weekend!

I haven’t had a weekend home in quite some time. Although to be honest it doesn’t feel like that long ago that I was home: it was summer, and I had nothing to do but volunteer at the hospital and spend time soaking in the sun. Thankfully the weather is cooler this time and serves as a reminder to me to get work done!

This doesn’t even begin to describe my work load over the next 4 weeks!

But since I go back Sunday and have epic plans next Saturday (AKA a hair appointment and meeting this awesome girl for the first time!) I wanted to spend as much time with my mom and dad as possible (they both work so I don’t have the week days with them except for turkey day and black Friday). So I refused to hole myself up in my room working the whole time. I did get some things done, but I gave myself breaks and I must say I really enjoyed myself because of it!

White Pizza with spinach and tomatoes and a butt load of carrots and celery… Surprisingly my stomach was just fine after all that fiber!

Saturday night was always pizza night in our house since before I can remember. I got home from dance with mom and pizza in hand. The pizza place has changed a few times over the years and so have the toppings, but the routine still feels the same. I love it.

History from the city I grew up in

Mom and I decided to take a little walk on Sunday afternoon at the Lock’s park in my town. This is where the first land battle in VA of the Revolutionary War played out. Kind of cool! We walked down to stand underneath the bypass, which was pretty cool because I drive on that thing daily. And it sort of sounded like a battle above me!

Mom then proceeded to take me to Target, where I bought things I needed and some things that I may or may not have needed but really wanted. My spendings: Two new travel mugs (I only like tea and coffee from travel mugs for some reason and my current one is super stained from my morning tea); Our wine for Thanksgiving dinner!; A new workout pullover; cute headband to keep my ears from freezing off during morning walks; Tights to keep me stylish and warm in my clothing of choice (Read: Skirts and dresses); More hand cream (my hands are cracking like mad!); and a nifty coffee gadget for my future coffee/keurig we are looking for on black Friday this year.

I also bought two tickets to see the Moscow Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker when it comes to Tech next week! Beyond excited! Now I just have to ask off from work! And I ordered an epic planner from Erin Condren. These planners are kind of expensive but so worth it from what I have seen. Since I am a very schedule oriented person this was well worth it. And will make a great stocking stuffer for Christmas!

Ham, spinach, and tomato w/ swiss laughing cow cheese and provolone mozzarella omelet and sauteed brussels sprouts, carrots, and orange bell pepper

This lunch made my afternoon. Enough said.

Mom and I also went to our town’s pitiful excuse for a farmer’s market on Saturday. While it was pitiful I did manage to pick up 3 sweet potatoes and spinach. I thought this particular potato was super cool! and when I cut it open it was so beautifully orange! Hello Vitamin A and Beta-carotene! Too bad my eyes already stink 😉

Favorite Sunday Night Sweet Potato

It is official this is my go to Sunday night meal. I don’t know what happens to me on Sundays, but the time gets away from me no matter what. All of a sudden I am sitting at my desk (or in the case of this night, on my mom’s bed) doing homework when I look at the clock and its past dinner time! So I go to the quick nuking of this glorious meal! This one has cinnamon laughing cow cream cheese, almond butter (of course), pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and pomegranate seeds! It was awesome.

If I am being honest, every time I decided to take a break I would look at my to-do list and a part of me would cringe at the fact that the break would take me away from it and potentially stop me from completing something on it. But I still left the list behind to go have a little fun. It was obviously worth it. I know I can’t do work all of the time, but finding the balance between work and play is pretty difficult for me. Definitely something I need to work on.

If anyone has any tricks to relaxation/taking yourself away from the never ending to-do list of projects, studying, and other misc. stuff I would greatly appreciate it!

I hope everyone had as great a weekend as me and is looking forward to this week and the special day set for us to show gratitude in our lives.

Streesy Sweet Potato

There is something comforting in knowing I have a “go to”

In recovery from my eating disorder I had many security blankets. Making food preparation important, measuring everything with a scale or a measuring cup, writing down everything I ate, blacking out calories on boxes, covering up mirrors… You get the picture.  But with time I was able to release a lot of these things and set them aside, either because I was just so sick of them or because I knew they had to go in order for my life to proceed. But something I have always gone back to in times of stress is my need for routine and my “go to” meals.

Routine keeps me sane sometimes. Take these next couple of weeks for example, I have a lot of exams coming up the week of Halloween (how is that for scary!) and the second week of November. That means late nights of studying and early mornings of bike riding in order to absorb all of the information. O and a large amount of flashcards! It also means I have no time to be stressing over food or pushing my eating disorder thoughts out every day. It means I need to go back to routine to keep that pesky anorexia out of my life for good so that it does not sneak up on me like it has done in the past. The more I am aware of the potential for triggers and invasion during times of high stress, the stronger and more independent of the illness I am able to be.

I have a “go to” meal. I get home late (8ish) most nights and I have yet to really start any work on days like Mondays and Tuesdays (or yesterday because we had our class ring premier!!!) because I work. Let me tell you there is nothing more frustrating than trying to help someone learn material and all they want is for you to do their homework for them. Add to that that you would ideally like to be working on learning your own material and studying for those couple of hours and you have a recipe for stress.

My Times of Stress Good Luck Exam Meal!

Microwaved Sweet Potato (from the farmer’s market last weekend!) with Trader Joe’s Raw Crunchy Almond Butter, Cinnamon, and Ricotta Cheese

Nothing extravagant, but then it wouldn’t be a very good easy go to meal would it? But it is packed with nutrients! I even added ricotta this time, which took it to a whole new level! Don’t be surprised if I tweet about adding maple syrup or honey to this combo in the near future because the idea is stirring in my head, and like I said I have a lot of exams in the near future.

By the way the reason this is “lucky” is because I am an extremely superstitious person. Last year before every Anatomy exam I have a bagel with nut butter and an apple. This year I have decided that a sweet potato dinner in necessary for the night before metabolic! Ideally a sweet potato in a far with either ricotta (because I am obsessed now!) or with Fage yogurt and flax. I tworked last exam (100 baby!) so I am sticking with this brain food 😉

I normally have my sweet potatoes with a delicious slightly still unripe banana. It is perfect for dipping into the side of almond butter (or other nut butter) I have set aside that was not used on the potato. But this week I had no time to even stop by the store that is literally 1 minute from my apartment to pick one up. So I chopped up a sweet yellow bell pepper, washed a couple grape tomatoes, and threw them in an ice cream bowl!

Yellow Bell Pepper with Grape Tomatoes… In an Ice Cream Bowl (which is the only reason I even took a picture)

Maybe kids would be more inclined to eat their veggies if they were in a pink ice cream bowl? Then again maybe I am just weird, but I swear the veggies tasted better from this bowl and I love these two veggies to begin with!

Do you have any go to meals?

How do you handle yourself in times of stress? Do you go back to routine and comfort?