Take pride.

by Holly on February 20, 2012

in dinner,gluten-free,happiness,rambling,recipes,vegetarian

Take pride. It’s Monday morning. Pride is needed.

Take pride in the things you do…and who you are…the ideas you ponder…the ideas you make a reality…skills you bring to our world…your strengths…your weaknesses…the fact that you can eat an entire gallon of ice cream in one sitting…or that you are going to wear leggings to work today but refuse to feel the least bit self-conscious of that hail damage (read: cellulite) showing through your skin tight pants because your sweater isn’t long enough.

Because perhaps most importantly, it’s essential to take pride in how you look.

Yes, you read that right. I said take pride in how you look!

You’re probably thinking I am a shallow bee-yotch right now, but seriously, go curl your hair, pick out a cute outfit and zip up those high-heeled boots…then tell me I’m wrong. Gentlemen, you too! If Mama Everythingtarian and Stacy London have taught me anything in this life, it’s look good, feel good. And it’s true. So very true.

This is coming from someone who has a penchant for being lazy and not doing her hair or putting on make-up and getting ready & out the door in 15 minutes. And you know what? While I love the extra hour of sleep in the morning, it leaves me feeling meh all day. Like I just don’t care.

Spill on me. Shove me in the hallway. Give me a swirly in the work bathroom stall.


However, on days that I take the extra time to moisturize (always moisturize!), hand twirl my curly locks in place, paint on an easy 5-minute face and pair a cute striped dress with a woven belt & brown boots, I seem to stand a bit taller. Walk with a bit more confidence. Swagger. And have that feeling of…I am woman, hear me roar and take over the world!

Just last week on one of those rare days that I did, in fact, spend time getting ready, I may have actually looked at my happy, put-together self in the mirror and sung out loud for the courtesy of my neighbors, “I am woman, hear me roar and take over the world!”

Either that or this song. I can’t remember which.

And after that, I just felt good. Good about myself. Good about my day. Good about giving that homeless man $1 on my way to work. Good about the sunshine beaming on my face. Good about life. The goodness reverberated through my day…and it was a good day!

May I suggest taking pride, spending an extra hour on yourself today and making a pot of this Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili? Don’t forget the cornbread! Forgetting the cornbread would be like putting make-up on your left eye but not the right. Completely unacceptable.

This chili looks good AND feels good.

In my stomach, that is.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili with Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

2 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1 medium to large onion, diced
2 medium to large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes
3 (15-oz) can black beans
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
juice of 1 lime
1 – 2 packets (about 1/4 cup) organic mild chili seasoning, to taste*
1 t salt
plain Greek yogurt, cheddar cheese + cilantro, for garnish

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread
2 T ground flaxseed
6 T water
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
4 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 (7-oz) can sliced jalapenos
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Over medium, heat olive oil + garlic until fragrant.  Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Add sweet potatoes and stir, letting cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, quinoa, water, lime and seasonings.  Reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for at least 30 minutes (or until sweet potatoes are cooked through). Stir occasionally.  The longer it simmers, the more time the flavors will have to meld, resulting in a tastier chili.

For the cornbread, soak flaxseed in water and let sit for 1-2 minutes until gelatinized.

Sift flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda and salt together. Gently fold in milk, oil and flax egg until combined. Fold in jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Pour batter into a greased 9×9-inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are light golden brown and cornbread is cooked through.

Serve chili with cornbread garnishes of your choice.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

*if you cannot find organic chili seasoning, here are a couple recipes:

Chili Seasoning Mix

Chili Seasoning Mix II

How to make Chili Seasoning from Scratch


Danielle February 20, 2012 at 8:23 am

I most definitely feel better on days when I take the time to put myself together and take pride in my appearance. I find I’m more productive, too. Being prettified and well-fed are two very important details :) and with that, this meal looks fantastic.

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 20, 2012 at 8:53 am

You are so right. I didn’t get out of my PJs yesterday and never really felt like I woke up. Today I will remove myself from my Snuggie and shower.

Maybe I’ll eat some sweet potatoes too ’cause this recipe sounds ah-mazing.

Susan February 20, 2012 at 9:05 am

Can I take pride tomorrow? I have a pimple today.

All kidding aside, great post. I don’t wear leggings or yoga pants to my classes or work just because I feel more confident by taking that extra effort to make myself look presentable (and by leggings I mean wearing them as actual pants, not under a sweater or anything!). This goes for the daily mascara as well.

Happy Monday Holly!

Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland February 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

I was just thinking that some chili would be good right about now. I have a box of Trader Joe’s cornbread mix that I’ve been wanting to make. You can’t have cornbread without chili!!

Bronwyn February 20, 2012 at 9:31 am

That chilli has three of my favourite ingredients ever. Sweet potato + quinoa? I’m sold!

mammaeverythingtarian February 20, 2012 at 9:32 am

Well said…….baby steps:)

emily (a nutritionist eats) February 20, 2012 at 9:34 am

I am so with you on just feeling better when I take the time to get myself ready for the day! I’m impressed with both chili AND cornbread…I think I must be lazy!

Cole Jones February 20, 2012 at 9:45 am

Nice work, Holly. This will be on the menu soon.

Maureen February 20, 2012 at 10:36 am

Great post! I had a day like this Saturday. Rather then venture out in my yoga pants, sweatshirt and hair in a ponytail, I took an extra 20 minutes to do my hair, throw on some makeup and put together a nice outfit. My confidence level SOARED that day! :)

kathleen February 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

I hear you. I never really appreciated a bit of mascara and shaving my legs but now that I have a toddler, those things do WONDERS for my mood and outlook on life.

kelly February 20, 2012 at 11:08 am

I always feel better when I put myself together – I like to rhyme too (yes I did good to check spelling)

“We must face tomorrow, whatever it may hold, with determination, fun and joy.
~Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

kelly February 20, 2012 at 11:08 am

I meant “google” but “good” almost works – sorta LOL

Hillary February 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

Sometimes I REALLY need to remind myself of this—because going out in my yoga pants and sweatshirt without makeup is just so much easier. And I’m lazy! But when I get ready for work in the morning, I do remind myself that looking good generally = feeling good. I might not always listen to myself, but when I do, I’m glad I did!

Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes February 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

I would have NEVER thought that was vegan had I seen these pictures anywhere else. It looks phenomenal!! And love this post!!

Amy (CookingScraps) February 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Agreed, I have a trusty go-to headband that always helps spruce things up a bit!

natalie (the sweets life) February 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm

another rocking post from Holly–both the recipe and the message! keep it up girl!

Kathryn February 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Such an important message, I must learn to listen to it! Great looking chill it too.

dana @ my little celebration February 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

yums mcgee this sounds amazing! Definitely giving it a whirl. I was actually pondering a sweet potato black bean soup myself so I may have to give mine AND yours a try. Nice job lady!

Lauren February 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Oh my oh my! I must have both of these in my life. :)

Katrina Petrovich February 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm

After examining my “going to class” attire (I’m a college student in Portland, OR) I realized that wet hair, sweat pants, and wrinkled race t-shirts probably don’t create an impressive ensemble. I decided to institute “Make and Effort Monday,” “Cute is worth it Wednesday,” and “Fresh n’ Fly Friday.” Three days a week I make myself look damn fine, and after that, anything is a bonus.

Gia February 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Just out of curiosity what do you do for a living? Or I should say where do you work?

Liz @ iheartvegetables February 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Its so true! I have so much more confidence, I’m more willing to speak my mind, to try new things, and to meet new people when I’ve taken a little pride in how I look that day!

This chili looks AMAZING!

Sarah February 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I’m a newly stay-at-home mom. It’s SO easy just to forgo a shower, a change of clothes, make up, drying the hair. Sometimes I HAVE to, but I do find that making the effort makes me feel SO much better- even on the days I’m especially sleep-deprived. Now, fitting in doing all that, working out, and taking care of a newborn is another story- but I’m trying to, because I feel like I need to!

Erica D February 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I had no idea that was an actual song! Noted.

Madeline - Greens and Jeans February 21, 2012 at 6:57 am

I SO agree with you. It’s really easy in my job to just throw on jeans and a sweater and call it a day, but I feel so much better if I take 5 extra minutes to gussy myself up a little.

sofia February 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm

dude. i love this post. i never used to think that how i looked really mattered – i had the attitude of ‘f you, world, my appearance shouldn’t matter’ – but in the process of doing so i was kinda sabotaging myself. if only i had realized that my lackadaisical appearance was so closely linked to my attitude earlier on… but anyway, as much as I hate makeup, i do make an effort to make my clothing look decent (ie not wrinkly) and a good attitude intact. both important things. yep.

oh, and i think the world would receive me even better if i shared this cornbread with everyone. mmmm.

Nichole February 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I made this chili last night and it was amazing. I added in mushrooms and broccoli & celery and made it spicy but it worked out great in the crock pot overnight! Now I am eating it for lunch :)

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather February 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I definitely need more of those days when I give myself more than 5 minutes for my hair AND make up… Although usually make up is done in the car, whoops!

I love everything about this post Holly. Your woman roar to the awesome recipe! Corn bread is my Fav :)

Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] February 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

definitely making this chili. love the addition of quinoa!

Joy February 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I made this (well the chili not the cornbread because I had a beer bread in the bread machine recipe that was happening today if it killed me) and everybody loved it!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud as when everybody was like this is amazing omg you made it? Holy shit! So thanks for making me a hero today!

Jessica February 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm

YUMM. This meal has “Jeany” (aka my mama) written all over it! Sista loves her cornbread.
But I totally agree! Look good feel good. Those days my nails are freshly painted, I’m sporting a new ‘fit and/or my hair looks cute…I’m a happy girl! And I think that’s perfectly okay. :)

By the way, “Give me a swirly in the work bathroom stall”….I’m dying. You are hilarious and I hope you’ve never had to experience something that traumatic (or dirty)! Bahaha

Lauren @ The Climbing Chef February 23, 2012 at 11:00 am

This looks amazing and SUPER easy! I have a bag of quinoa that I need to use up and I think this may just be what it goes into…. well, not all of it :)
My mom always told me that you should dress up when you feel your worse because maybe your outside will trick your inside into feeling better. She’s a smart lady, and so are you. I always make the excuse that because I’m a cook, and am in a kitchen all day, it’s fine if I don’t put make up on or (ahem) brush my hair for the 3rd day in a row. I’ll try to get myself together before heading off to work/school :)

Susan February 25, 2012 at 7:56 am

I absolutely agree that taking pride in how we look can work wonders! There’s actually a cancer organization called “Look Good, Feel Better.” They hold workshops teaching patients how to put on makeup and do the whole wig thing during treatment with the idea that if you can look in the mirror and think you look fabulous (instead of like a sick person) that it can enormously boost your spirits. I went to one of the workshops and totally agree. That’s why I take the time to wear a wig every day and change out of yoga pants whenever I leave the house. It’s not about being shallow, it’s about taking care of ourselves and taking pride in who we are :)

Bonnie February 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Good thoughts (and whoa – delicious-looking meal!)…I agree! I really do feel better when I take more time for myself – it’s like respecting yourself enough to try a little, you know? As a personal trainer who wears gym clothes all the time, I need to remind myself of this and stand tall in my capris and workout tank…mascara required for the early morning clients. It is, after all, my job – I should look at least a little more awake. ;)

Ann February 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm

So I had a variation of this chili for lunch (no cornbread though). So seriously yummy. It made me so happy. But seriously, skip the chili seasoning and go for your own blend. Smidge of cumin, chili powder, I think I had some coriander was going on, cayenne pepper…. I always find the flavor to be better than just “chili seasoning.” Next batch is getting chipotle in adobo sauce thrown in, because I think it’s become a mandatory thing for chili for me.

Keep on being awesome. :) My baby step to taking pride is not living in flip-flops. So glad Toms is making adorable and comfy ballet flats now. Makes it so much easier.

Sarah March 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Hey Holly! I made your chili last night – delish!! I’m wondering if you think it would freeze well, because I live alone and can only eat so much chili every day (!). I probably should have halved the recipe, but I didn’t think about that until afterwards… Love your blog so much. I always look forward to reading your posts!

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