Marly Monday: Self-Love, Food, and Meal Planning

So, I’m starting a new series. I feel like I’ve started a number of these over the years, so hopefully I’ll stick with this one. There’s a lot of pressure these days to make food recipe posts only about the recipe itself. I get that. But I have things to share with you besides just food, so my hope is this regular series will be a way to get into some of that.

Let’s begin by talking about Self Love. I posted this photo recently on Instagram.

A photo of Marly looking down and laughing.

Here’s what I wrote on Instagram.

There’s a lot of tears behind this photo. A. Lot. Of. Tears.

The tears of self acceptance. Or lack thereof.

Am I there yet? 🤷‍♀️ I’m not sure. Check back with me in, oh, 10 years.

But I am working on it. Stay with me though, because this is part of my process. And I can use your support! 👊🏻

I’ve experienced a lifetime of body hating, and that’s a lot to overcome. And when I say a lifetime, I mean it!

I recall when I was a child, the adults around me would talk about my body…as if I weren’t even there. That’s because all my siblings were naturally skinny. Most of my cousins were skinny too. And then there was me. The pudgy one.

My mom told me to hold my stomach in. My jeans were labeled, “husky”.

My teacher wrote me a note and called me “pleasantly plump.”

An influential adult told me I would struggle with my weight my whole life.

Who says that to a teenager?

I’ve gone through periods in my life where I thought I had it all figured out. The weight that is.

Then I became a food blogger. What was I thinking??

It’s like I was drawn to the very thing that was my weakness. My kryptonite. I’m surrounded by delicious food 24/7!

However, I’ve been going through a process to heal this. I’ve been reading a book called Emergence by Derek Rydall. What I’m learning is that I’ve been angry at my body for not being perfect. My arms are too fleshy. My hair is too limp. My feet are to wide. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

But, what I’m learning through the Emergence book (and others…I can’t just read one book at a time), is to love myself exactly as I am.

It doesn’t mean I can’t make changes. I’m a modern woman: I color my hair. I get facials!

That’s the whole point. The reason I’ve hated my body is because I’ve been trying to fit into someone else’s definition of beauty. Now I’m creating my own definition of beauty for myself…and embracing it!

I love that Adee took this photo and we were laughing, having fun.

See that smile on my face? It’s there because I felt free and happy. Confident. Ahh, see? THAT is real beauty!

One last thing: A side effect of loving oneself is that kryptonite loses its power. More on that soon, but I’m happy to co-exist with delicious food and not eat every last bite! 😛

Badlands of South Dakota

On our way to our annual trip to Bismarck (where Shawn’s parents live), we took a side-trip through the South Dakota Badlands. I convinced Shawn to stay in a tent for the night because we knew we wouldn’t be there long.

The thing was, Shawn wanted to get up early to shoot the sunrise. So, we stayed at a KOA campsite and roughed it for the night. And I mean rough! Our air mattress had a slow leak so we were basically sleeping on a bed of rocks by the middle of the night. The good news is we were up and at ’em by about 4:45 am.

We were rewarded with this stunning view.

Shawn taking photos of a landscape of the Badlands of South Dakota at dawn.

Shawn took some amazing photos and I can’t to see them when he’s done editing them!

Of course, Coco was enamored of the scenery as well.

A dog stands on a hill looking at the badlands landscape.

We were worried how we would do on the trip this year. In year’s past we’ve had Jack with us so they both rode together in the back of the SUV. But we had to put Jack down in June. It was a sad time here, for sure. He was a great dog and we were happy to be apart of his life to the ripe old age of 14. I feel comforted to know we gave him a good life.

So Coco sat up closer with us this year and although he was a little whiny at the beginning, it didn’t take him long to settle in for the long drive.

Two Bighorn Rams at the South Dakota Badlands.

I wonder what he thought of these Bighorn Sheep we saw on our way out of the park. He sure was staring at them. A woman nearby told us she had been waiting to see Bighorn Sheep her whole life. We definitely felt lucky to see them.

Traveling in Style

I bought these awesome Tiosebon Mesh Walking Shoes for the trip. I loved them! They were perfect for travel days because they’re easy to put on and easy to take off. They were super comfortable too! I received lots of compliments about them too!

This Week in Food

Let’s talk about some recent recipes on Namely Marly. Did you happen to see this dairy-free cheesecake?

A slice of dairy free cheesecake with berry drizzle over the top and more berry topping in a bowl behind it.

I know. That photograph looks amazing! Let me tell you something: the cheesecake is pretty amazing too. I’ve been using the same cheesecake recipe for years and adapting it. For example, there’s my Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. I figured it was time to mix things up a little.

A vegan chicken salad sandwich sits in the foreground with ingredients behind it.

We also recently reshot the photos for this Vegan Chicken Salad recipe. Yes, in case you’re curious, it’s very tasty! I like making recipes like this one on the weekend and then having them available for quick lunches during the week.

5 Popular Posts on the Site This Week

  1. Sweet Corn Salsa (I make this recipe on repeat these days!)
  2. Vegan Peanut Butter Balls (who knew these would be so popular even in the summer!)
  3. Best Vegan Sandwiches Roundup (I’m a big fan of the sandwich too!)
  4. Vegan Jambalaya (This is an amazing recipe and I ❤️ it!)
  5. Elderberry Pie (A big surprise here, but I mean, elderberries are in season…I miss my neighbor with the elderberry bushes!)

This Week’s Meal Prepping Guide

  • Sunday: Believe it or not, I made a big batch of Vegan Minestrone this week. It’s an unlikely choice for the summer, but I like having soup on-hand so it’s been working for us. Sunday is my “funday” so no social media and no news media. I also like to indulge a little so I made my Chocolate Wacky Cake.
  • Monday: Shawn made his Crispy Black Bean, Potatoes, and Rice Burritos. It’s a regular around here, simply because it’s easy to make burritos on the fly.
  • Tuesday: I ended up with a lot of tofu in the house so we’ll be making some Vegan Egg Salad to have on hand. As you can tell, sandwiches are big for us this time of year.
  • Wednesday: I’m completely addicted to these Vegan Black Bean Burgers so we’re having these on repeat. I should say I’m having these on repeat because Shawn doesn’t seem as enthralled with veggie burgers as I am. I can have these every day. Also, to make a light gluten-free bun, I started buying street taco corn tortillas. They’re perfect to hold your veggie burgers and only like 60 calories for two!
  • Thursday: We’ll be making Chinese using Gardein’s Mandarin Crispy Chicken with steamed broccoli and served over rice. If you don’t have any Gardein handy, you could use my Vegan Crispy Orange Tofu.
  • Friday: Friday is pizza night around here. We bought a “pizza kit” from Costco that has four crusts and pizza sauce packets. I add some tomato paste to those and then top it with my Vegan Pepperoni. It’s SO good! 🍕Also, because I like to be mostly gluten-free, I make my pizza on a gluten-free tortilla.
  • Saturday: I don’t have a plan for Saturday this week, which more than likely means we’ll be eating leftovers. Oftentimes Shawn will steam some broccoli (he is SO good at it), and we’ll eat that with some pasta. We do have some basil in my  herb garden so maybe we’ll make some Walnut Pesto.

Also, I’ve been quite obsessed with Hemp Seeds these days. I buy them at Costco and they do happen to be on sale this week. That said, you can buy hemp seeds on Amazon too. The interesting thing is, I feel a little more energetic. And it makes me wonder if the Hemp Seeds are having an impact.

So, what are you eating this week?

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3 Responses to Marly Monday: Self-Love, Food, and Meal Planning

  1. I donated 10 self help books last week. Some of them hadn’t even been started. I get in a panic because I don’t think I will like what I am going to read. Usually the introduction turns me off. I will order Emergence and start it with positive attitude. I need help and am glad you are “confessing” to your challenges. It inspires others, including me.

    • I know how you feel, Audrey. I can be the same way too. And I’ll be honest, there were parts about the Emergence book I didn’t like. I encourage you to keep reading this one because it does get better as it goes along. One big takeaway from this book that I learned is that if there’s something lacking in my life, it means it’s something I need to be giving away. For example, if I don’t feel like I’m receiving enough friendship, I need to be giving friendship. Ah, that is just so counterintuitive, and yet it works! I will be curious to hear your thoughts after you’ve read it.


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