a bowl curated for self-love.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” - Buddha
With Valentine's Day this past week, I wanted to share the festive smoothie bowl (+ playlist!) I made to celebrate the holiday.
I could have gotten real conventional, as per a holiday filled with rose petals, everything chocolate, and a color palette of the crimson, peony, and ivory variety. It could have easily looked a lot like: chocolate, chocolate, bright red strawberries. But instead... I opted for something a bit more unexpected.
In the name of unconventional, what I loved about Tuesday were the numerous emails sprinkling my inbox that were singing the praises for self-acceptance and self-love on a holiday that places its emphasis on grand gestures from one's significant other.
Say whaaat? I thought this was rad.
How lovely to use the holiday that celebrates love, to shed light on the root of why some people loathe the holiday all together?
Valentine's Day should be enjoyed regardless of relationship status, because no matter what we all have one relationship to celebrate.
Self-love; it all starts with you, baby.
Sure, sure. Justin Bieber sang a song advocating it, and you've probably heard it from one friend or another after you split from an ex... but how many of us actively consider cultivating self-love as a daily practice? Healthy relationships - romantic or non - start with giving ourselves love + acceptance.
Disclaimer: Tuesday brought with it a timely lesson in self-love and compassion. I was doing a great job of getting this post assembled, and somehow managed to delete most of my work when it was nearly ready to be published. So INSTEAD, it is coming to you live today. But never fear, as irritating as this accident was, I gave myself a great big hug and said, "Claudia - despite your silliness, I love ya." Self-compassion people. Also: technology is a powerful teacher..
I think our culture limits us from creating a daily practice around self-love and self-acceptance by priming us to believe two myths.
Cultivating self-love means I'm narcissistic and selfish.
"Whatever love I give to myself, takes away from the amount of love I'm able to give to others".
My self-criticism is the driving force behind my willpower to evolve, change and succeed.
"If I am satisfied with myself, I will not have the same motivation to succeed that I do now."
This sound familiar to anyone? *Raises hand nice and high*
The good news is, we're gonna bust both right now.
In the age of celebrity, narcissism is a real concern, and something the Millennial generation is often accused of being. The solution here is to distinguish between, what is obsession with self? and what is building a relationship with myself?
The more self-love we're able to cultivate, the more expansive our reservoir of love is to share with others. In this scenario, the more self-love we have doesn't increase our interest in ourselves, but rather gives us the freedom to give it away to others. Without enough self-acceptance, the love we do give away to partners, family, or friends is often ridden with the desire for reciprocity: you expect something in return - self-assurance or self-validation.
I, most often, tend to find myself entwined in this fallacy.. Which is both easy and incredibly dangerous in today's work-addicted culture.
“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”
– Kristen Neff
Society praises us for exerting effort, and shames us for laziness. The danger comes when laziness and leisure become synonymous. At one point in my life, these two were tantamount.. If we aren't intentional to distinguish what is procrastination or slacking, and what choices are made to rejuvenate ourselves, American culture will convince you that your leisure is lack of application.
Additionally, negative self-talk is hugely associated with myth #2. The voice of our ego - or our self-criticism - might be a good motivator at the outset, but its effects wear off and keep you from ever feeling fulfilled. Our ego's negative words get us to show up to the goal we're working towards... but once it escorts you there, leaves you empty without the confidence to follow through and succeed.
So how do we begin to shift these mental patterns?
I think self-care, is one of the strongest physical actions we can take to begin expanding our sense of worthiness.
The more we do something, the stronger the memory becomes in our bodies. Sometimes, when it's hard to shift our thoughts to more positive-thinking, taking time to treat yourself kindly, gently, and with care can help deliberately change the patterning of limiting beliefs we hold. Each time you consciously take time for yourself, it helps transform your subconscious. More and more, you establish: I'm worthy of this.
One of my favorite acts of self-care is cooking. I find it so nourishing to put time, energy, and intention into a meal, and then get to consume that thoughtful energy.
SO LIGHT A CANDLE. GRAB YOUR BLENDER, ROSE QUARTZ, AND PRESS PLAY ON MY LOVE-THEMED SPOTIFY PLAYLIST. THEN GET TO MAKING THIS SMOOTHIE WHENEVER YOU NEED A GENTLE REMINDER OF HOW MUCH YOU MATTER AND THE POSITIVE EFFECT YOU CAN HAVE ON OTHERS THE MORE YOU LOVE YOURSELF.
The sneaky ingredient in this smoothie - as the name suggests - is cauliflower! I was first turned onto the idea of using cauliflower in my smoothies as a way to thicken up the texture and get in more vegetables at breakfast by Jeannette Ogden of Shut the Kale Up. If you guys don't follow her on IG you are definitely missing out. She believes in eating REAL food, and doesn't take this wellness stuff too seriously - which is seriously refreshing.
Also, I chose deep, rich red cherries for this bowl to represent the color of love ❤️ and topped the bowl with a few fun ingredients you guys might not have in your pantry yet!
First, coconut chips, because they kind of look like bright white rose petals, no?
Second I chose cocao nibs - because they're 'nature's chocolate.' Cocao nibs are from pure cocao beans and are not processed like the similarly spelled 'cocoa.' They contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and pack a wonderful crunch to an otherwise, liquid dish.
I also added two dried berries on top: mulberries + goji berries. Mulberries are new to my pantry, as well. They're a sacred food and folk remedy for nourishing feminine energy, blood, digestion, and spirit. The goji berry, which you may be more familiar with is famous as a superfood for it's amazing nutritional profile. It is a vegan source of complete protein (gimme a hell ya!), meaning it contains all eight essential amino acids we need to consume through diet (18 total amino acids) and packs an antioxidant punch, which gives the berry it's anti-aging reputation.
CAULI-FALLING FOR YOU SMOOTHIE BOWL
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower florets
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 scoop Vega Sport Vanilla Plant Protein
- 1 tbsp natural, organic peanut butter
- 1 tbsp pure dark-amber maple syrup
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- a sprinkle of ground cloves
- ice to taste/thickness
- add all ingredients to your blender
- blend + enjoy immediately!
Love your selves + share your concoctions with me! #enchantedbysunlight
Do you have any self-love practices currently? I'd love to hear. Comment below!