Saturday, February 2, 2013

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad + Food for Thought

Food for Thought:

Something I've been thinking about lately is body image. We (especially women) tend to overlook our physical assets in favor of wishing we could somehow overcome our "faults." Why is that? Does it have to do with the way society judges us? Or is it a more deep-rooted issue stemming from self-consciousness?

As you probably know by now, I work at a very well-known coffee shop, where I see thousands of people come through every week. I always find it very interesting, and even fun, to notice all the different sizes, shapes, and personalities of each individual. So many people are much more similar than they realize, and yet each one is their own unique self! How cool.

What got me thinking about body image, though, was overhearing some of the conversations between customers recently. Our store is near a pretty large gym, so we get a lot of customers who have either just finished their workouts or are getting ready to head over there. The other day, there were two women who came in separately that were dressed in workout clothes. Apparently they knew each other but hadn't seen each other in a while, because they started talking about how long it'd been since they saw one another and so forth. At one point, one woman said to the other, "I can't believe how skinny you look! I wish I looked as skinny as you do."

They proceeded to stay on the "skinny" subject for a good 5 or 10 minutes, but I just thought it was very interesting that they were complimenting each other by putting themselves down. By wishing they had a flatter stomach or more muscular arms, for example, one person was telling the other that they admired their body. Hearing their conversation made me wonder: do we really have to insult our own bodies in order to appreciate someone else's?

I don't think we do.

I know it's much easier said than done, but can't we start changing the way we think about physical appearance? If we begin to spread the concept of really loving ourselves the way we are, in a healthy state, I think we can alter the way we judge or don't judge others. Who says we have to want someone else's legs in order to appreciate them?

I like my own collarbone; but can't I like yours too?

What do you think? Can we change body image for the masses? By letting "society" dictate our opinions, aren't we denying that we are society?

As you ponder these ideas today, I also have a delectable salad I'd like you to chew on. Don't judge it just because it's got Brussels Sprouts in it; give it a try!

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
{vegan, gluten-free}
Makes 1 serving, or more as needed

  • a few leaves of Romaine lettuce, torn in pieces
  • kale leaves, torn in pieces
  • 5-8 baby Portabello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped 
  • 4-6 medium Brussels Sprouts, shaved and diced
  • 5 green olives
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
1. Combine the veggies in a bowl and toss.
2. Sprinkle the olive oil on top. Feel free to use more or less, depending on your taste. Top with sprinkled black pepper.

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