Sweet Potatoes, Three Ways

by Holly on October 11, 2011

in dinner,gluten-free,life,seriousness

Sooooo…I am the worst decision maker. Like ever.

And if you really want to mess with my Everythingtarian head, give me options. Lots of options. Because there is nothing I am more horrible with than options.

I’d like to think that my struggle with options began when I was a young child, but I’d totally be lying to you. In my naive youth, I liked handstand contests…watching WWF wrestling (it was a middle school phase)…reading Babysitters’ Club books…playing video games (remember how I didn’t have friends until high school?)…beef stroganoff…and figure skating. Nothing else really mattered. The thought of watching Dawson’s Creek didn’t appeal to me. The Boxcar Children were never my thang. Beef stroganoff was my favorite meal, so why would I want anything else? And yes, at one time I had myself convinced I was going to be the next Michelle Kwan.

Then, I went away to college.

Wait a second…I have hundreds of majors to choose from?

And hundreds of extracurriculars to join?

A plethora of so-so cafeteria food to choose from three times a day for an entire year?

And I have to find a way to fill all 12+ hours of my college days?

At first, I loved having so many things to choose from. Acting class or geology class? Acting, hands down. Intramurals or international student volunteers? ISV 4 life, yo. The gym or a Laguna Beach marathon on MTV? Pass the remote control with a side of Talan Torreiro, thankyouverymuch. In short, I was happily content with this new form of independence.

But over time, I became slowly paralyzed by the mounting number of options. There were so many decisions to make about important and not-so-important things. By being forced to pick just one, I felt as though somehow I was limiting myself and missing out on something perfect for me.

The question that was always on my mind remained: What if I pick the wrong thing?

What if I was supposed to be an International Studies major not a Journalism major?

What if my destiny IS to be on Broadway but I squandered my best years studying things I don’t even remember in college?

What if I should have taught in China or Eastern Europe instead of teaching in Thailand?

What if I shouldn’t have dumped that one guy for being the world’s worst kisser and kept his good guy self around (and obviously taught him not to slobber all over my face)?

What if…what if…what if…what if.

Lately, I’ve begun thinking about my next step in life, which has resulted in me (1) teaching English in Spain, (2) joining FoodCorps and spreading my knowledge about the importance of eating vegetables, (3) traveling the world for a year, (4) working for a NGO in a developing African country, (5) becoming a full-time writer and (6) moving to London, seducing a cute rugby player and living happily ever after making little babies with adorable British accents.

The what ifs do not and will not ever end.

In a world of endless possibilities, I am instead going to put all my faith in the tiny little Jiminy ‘Everythingtarian’ Cricket voice implanted in the back of my curly-haired head that knows exactly where I should go next and learn to trust my instinctual gut feelings.

Because if you listen really closely to yourself, you usually don’t have to choose just one option.

Sometimes, you can have it all.


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 11, 2011 at 8:29 pm

and sometimes I want to eat dinner over at your house.

Kelly October 11, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Thank you for the timely post. Just what I needed

Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 11, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Oh my God.
Peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, & sweet potatoes.
I might need some medical attention right here because I think I stopped breathing.

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List October 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Join FoodCorps…decision made!

dana @ my little celebration October 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm

So clever and so well written. And oh yes, so lovely. Thanks for the sweet potato inspiration. I was just starring at my one wee sweet potato wondering what I should do with it. Now I know. PB BANANA BABAAYYYY.

P.S. Thank GOD you were a journalism major. The world needs more writers like you.

Madeline - Greens and Jeans October 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Everything is more delicious on a sweet potato. I’m still working on convincing Colin that this is true. Oh, and you seem to have left off (7) move to Philadelphia and be my next door neighbor?

sofia October 11, 2011 at 9:03 pm

foodcorps seems awesome (fact: after college i applied for healthcorps. they’re cool too. have ya heard about ’em?). i too played a lot of video games as a child. i have a good friend from college who went the africa route, followed by grad school in nyc AND london. and i really like sweet potatoes. lots of options aaaand connections. booyah.

pushups with polish October 11, 2011 at 9:04 pm

literally have come across this post while eating sweet potatoes lol

Pure2raw twins October 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm

oh yes you can have it all..YUM!

Katie October 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Gah, I was so excited to see where all of these food options were going…sweet potatoes! I didn’t guess correctly. I don’t know what I was thinking…soup? With sunflower seed butter and banana? I’ve heard of weirder things.

Erica October 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm

I cant wait to read about your next adventure!! And love the multiple topping choices. Baked beans…so good!

Peas October 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Well said! Too many choices – do as many as you can! What a lovely bunch of sweet potatoes!

Mackenzie @ Whatever, Gatsby October 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm

um. CURRENTLY LICKING MY COMPUTER SCREEN. not sure if it’s over the sweet potatoes, or your mention of talan. prooooobably both.

you are brills. i adore ya. just thought you deserved a reminder.

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table October 11, 2011 at 10:48 pm

I feel you! My problem is that I want to try EVERYTHING. Sometime this gets me in trouble… ;)

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 11, 2011 at 11:24 pm

They all look great but really the sweet version with banana and nut butter, be still my heart. Looks sensational :)

grace b October 12, 2011 at 12:26 am

These look amazing. And this post was awesome! You have some seriously fab choices on your plate…

Tine October 12, 2011 at 1:15 am

Great ideas! I really love the third one!

Kathryn October 12, 2011 at 3:27 am

I’m a big believer in fate/trusting your gut instinct/whatever you want to call it. In most cases, there aren’t any wrong decisions, just different decisions. NB this does not apply to hair cuts.

Alissa - Not Just Apples October 12, 2011 at 3:52 am

what a beautiful post! i’m currently reading a book about having this sort of indecisive personality – because i most definitely have one too! – it’s quite reassuring to know there are other people who like to do lots of things at once…

Claire @ Un Bello Aperitivo October 12, 2011 at 4:05 am

Why is making decisions so hard? Honestly, I spent 7 minutes in the store this weekend looking for the cheapest, largest bottle of still water, when it should have taken 20 seconds, haha.

The kale salad version looks delicious. If I could have it all, I’d eat sweet potatoes everyday. But then I’d probably turn orange. Awkward.

Amy B @ Second City Randomness October 12, 2011 at 6:07 am

I’m so glad you sad Michelle Kwan and not Tara Lipinski. She bugged me.

I wish you luck in deciding your next step. But, if I may, I think curly-headed lil’ everythingtarians with british accents would be FABULOUS. That is all.

Hillary October 12, 2011 at 6:19 am

I am crippled by decision making. I’m talking I need to do “eenie meenie miney mo” at restaurants to choose what I’m having for dinner. Every time. Without fail. So glad I’m not alone in this. (And yes, I completely agree: it all comes down to “What if I make the wrong choice?” Obviously, when it comes to dinner, this isn’t a huge deal, but big life decisions give me legit panic attacks. Healthy, no?)

This being said, sweet potatoes + bananas + cinnamon + PB = one of my favorite combos of all time. Haven’t tried the others, but now I just have to. Gah. Which one do I eat first?! ; )

Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health October 12, 2011 at 7:33 am

Having options can be both awesome and annoying! But I’d be happy with any of your food choices :)…and the choice of going to England and seducing a rugby player hehe

Whit October 12, 2011 at 8:03 am

Why is it so confusing being in your mid twenties? I thought I would have life all figured out. And I’m not talking about sweet potatoes. Although I legit adore those things.

Clair October 12, 2011 at 8:16 am

This is beautiful…keep us updated! I think the London choice sounds best. =)

Oh, and here’s a quote from my fifth-grade diary:

Dear Diary,

Hulk Hogan is my hero.

Carolyn @HealthKitten.com October 12, 2011 at 10:27 am

I’ve had an unhealthy (but healthy!) obsession with kale lately. I think I need to make those potatoes with kale and goat cheese SOON!!

brandi October 12, 2011 at 10:36 am

i love this – the recipes, the message, everything.

Elizabeth October 12, 2011 at 11:57 am

Oh girl, I can relate! I changed my major 4 times in college, but not before I put off school for a semester to move to New Zealand. And I’ve thought about disappearing overseas for a year as well to travel the world. :D

Diana @ frontyardfoodie October 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I’m totally indecisive too….I feel like America, the land of endless opportunities, did this to us. Endless doesn’t mean better. haha

Cassandra @ She Don't Eat No Meat October 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

AHH! I too am having all these crazy future thoughts running through my head including joining the FoodCorps or having beautiful biracial children with a British hottie.

Great, curly-haired minds think alike. :)

Nicole @ PancakesandPilates October 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Options are definitely difficult, but I try to keep in mind they are a blessing and not a curse. I was really nervous to pick a major and a grad school as well. I’m still not sure I made all the right choices, but the great thing is that you can change your mind – or, you can choose a bunch like you said!

I could eat a plain sweet potato every day, but this has inspired me to get creative. PB banana is a brilliant combo :)

Sarah@The Flying ONION October 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I love this post. And it’s so timely, considering the fact that I’ve been job hunting and feeling like I’m a little minnow in a very big, very scary, very large ocean. What if I choose the wrong path? The wrong direction? What if I’m not supposed to be in this spot at all?

So many possibilities. So many what-ifs.

But then. Like you said. Sometimes you’ve just got to trust your gut. And sometimes you can have it all. And I’ll have you know that I’m recreating this very awesome variety of options tonight for dinner. Very excited.

Thanks for yet another brilliant post! :D

Tyler October 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm

love this! i’ve had sweet potatoes with almond butter and beans before (on separate occasions, not together…although that could be interesting!), but i never would have come up with the kale + goat cheese + dried cherries and nuts combo. brilliant! must try soon :)

i went through the whole “maybe i should teach abroad or do americorps or peacecorps or move to a ski resort and just waitress and ski all the time…etc” indecisiveness right after i graduated college. i had never heard of foodcorps before, but that sounds awesome! i never actually ended up doing anything crazy…i just worked terrible jobs for a year while living with my parents and then decided to go to grad school!

Lauren http://theclimbingchef.blogspot.com/ October 13, 2011 at 12:41 am

I feel the same way my dear. I was not like that, indecisive, I knew what I wanted and went for it. Move to San Francisco? Done. Major in Art History, emphasis on Asian Temple complexes? Done. Graduate from college? Done and done. But wait… then what? My plan kind of stopped there. Maybe because I never figured I’d ever finish college :)

Now, our economy sucks and I have no idea what I want to do… except, someday have a “grown up” job. In my head, being a cook doesn’t classify as at “grown up” job… not sure why. Maybe because I don’t have to brush my hair before boing to work… just make sure my head scarf is on :)

For now, my what if’s are: 1) should I go to grad school? 2) teach in another country? 3) move… again? 4) go to culinary school? 5) start my own gluten free food truck (YES!)? 6) make up my mind about men and finally just settle down? AGH! Too many what if’s… for now, I’ll just keep cooking… that always makes me happy too!

Allison @ http://www.thehonestdietitian.com October 13, 2011 at 7:10 am

I think you should consider becoming a Registered Dietitian! A few of my dietetic interns have culinary degrees and are doing incredible things in the community, such as teaching people how to cook vegetables, modifying school nutrition menus, etc. It’s a very fulfilling job. Let me know if you ever want any more info! Allison http://www.thehonestdietitian.com

Jen@foodfamilyfitness October 13, 2011 at 8:46 am

…and sometimes I just want to hang out with you and forget about my responsibilities!!! I don’t even like sweet potatoes, but these look really good!!!

elise October 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

forgive me for adding further confusion, but i have another option…move to CA!!

Kristen October 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm

This, my friend, is a fantastic post!

Luv What You Do October 13, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Love sweet potatoes!
I would never think to be nut butter and nana on one…great idea!

Matt @ The Athlete's Plate October 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Can I come over for dinner?

lynn @ the actor's diet October 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm

i’m horrible with options too. that’s why i love acting on camera – you can do a scene 100 different ways!

Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport October 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm

There are no bad decisions as long as you are moving forward and listening to yourself! So excited for whatever road you take! But can I get a woot woot for Spain!? :)

Brittany October 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I can relate to this post SO much. I am the worst decision maker on the face of the planet and am always scared to choose the wrong thing. I need to learn with trusting my gut instinct, but it’s so hard. I still haven’t picked a major and I’m a junior in college. ha. Great post, loved it.

Meister @ The Nervous Cook October 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Wait… woah, what?? Sweet potatoes with nut butter and banana?!? You seriously managed to put three of my all-time favorite foods together in one perfect (if kind of crazy?) recipe. I NEED THIS NOW.

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