At the end of 2013, I said I was going to start loving myself more. I wasn’t exactly sure how that looked, emotionally, spiritually or physically, but I knew I needed to do it for more than just myself.
And I’ll tell you it’s been harder than I thought.
I think it’s been hard because I’ve only had about 10 good nights of sleep in over 9 months (since Isaac was born). And that might be a gracious number. I’ve been so sleep deprived that it’s been wearing me down in all aspects of my life. But I’m committed to loving myself better even through the tiredness, so I’ve been trying hard to keep up with a few things.
First, I’ve been trying to pray for other people more. I decided that I needed to use my day time better at home so when I’m feeding Isaac alone or putting him down for a nap, I pray for many of you during that quiet time instead of checking email or social media on my phone. I encourage you to put down your phone or computer the next time you have 10 extra minutes and pray for a few people instead.
I’ve also been trying to exercise regularly. I’ve been going to a Monday night Zumba class a friend teaches with some friends and besides it making me sweat, it’s also a ton of fun dancing around a high school gym with a bunch of friends. (And other strangers too, but I just don’t look at them and pretend they aren’t there, hoping they do the same with me!) And I’m signing up to run another 5k in March so I’m excited about that.
The other thing I’ve been doing is trying to eat only when I’m hungry. I have a really bad habit of eating just to eat or eating way too much after the kids go to bed. And by eating only when I’m hungry, I think about WHAT I’m eating too. I’m trying to eat things that are healthier and will keep me fuller, longer. And I have to keep reminding myself that since I’m still breastfeeding I need to be really conscious of what I eat. And one thing I’m horrible at is eating protein. I don’t love meat and while I normally fix a pretty balanced dinner with fruits and veggies, I struggle with getting enough protein to get all of the essential amino acids my body needs to build and maintain muscles and help my body work properly.
But what I’ve realized is that I still need to eat food that SOUNDS good to me too or I’ll go on a binge. So I’ll eat a sliced banana with peanut butter (protein!) and 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips so that I don’t end up eating 14 handfuls of chocolate chips. The other thing I’ve learned to do is to use yogurt in recipes to make them healthier and increase the protein content as well. Yogurt contains high-quality protein that provides all the essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own, so I try to use it whenever I can as a substitute in recipes.
Like I’ve been searching for recipes several times a week finding recipe upon recipe using loads of sour cream and mayonnaise. I even bought marinated artichokes at Trader Joe’s last week. Even though I already had some in my cabinet. The exact same jar.
So today I decided I needed to make an easy, healthier artichoke dip that would hit the spot. All you need is three ingredients: artichokes, plain yogurt and cheese. SO easy. And SO much healthier than the recipes I had been finding online. And it has a TON of high-quality protein because of the yogurt and cheese.
- 12 oz. marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
- 3/4 cup cheese
- Preheat oven to 375*.
- Combine artichokes, yogurt and 1/2 cup cheese in a bowl.
- Spread into a chafing dish or pie plate.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top and bake until bubbling around the edges (about 5 min).
I used 1/4 cup Parmesan and 1/4 cup Cheddar and Monterrey Jack in the dip and another 1/4 cup Cheddar and Monterrey Jack on top. It was all I had and it was SO GOOD. But use the cheese you like best to make it your own.
I’m hoping to find more recipes that use yogurt (or that I can use yogurt as a sub) so that I can still enjoy some comfort food while taking better care of my body. Have a yogurt recipe to share with me?! I’d love to try it! Leave a link in the comments or email it to me at katieunscripted @ gmail.com.
Disclosure: As an Indiana Dairy Ambassador, I was sponsored for this post. Though, as always, all thoughts and opinions are completely mine.