Give Yourself Some Love, Perfection Doesn’t Exist + Whole Food Plant Based Dijon Lentil Salad


Luanne was combing through our blog earlier this week when she suddenly announced that our website is completely responsive so I shouldn’t worry about that.

Oh thank god.

Stressing out about having a responsive website was definitely on my list of culprits keeping me awake at night:

  • Death.
  • Running our own online business and making it successful.
  • Responsive website.

BAM. Insomnia.

After the responsive comment, she came across this gem of a picture from an old blog post from 2012. Now, if I were posting a #shittyfoodpic in our private Facebook group, this picture would be perfectly acceptable. But having it on my blog was just like accidentally farting loudly in public – embarrassing.

And it wasn’t just the picture that blew, the whole post was a boring shit storm.

It wasn’t until early in 2014 that my blog was even worth reading. The recipes were just okay, the pictures looked like I took them after drinking two bottles of wine (which…nevermind), and my writing was cliché.

I had Luanne delete some of the particularly bad and irrelevant posts, and decided to leave a few of them up. I decided to leave a few up because there was a time when I wasn’t embarrassed by them. I have respect for those old blog posts because they remind me of how far I’ve come.

Years ago, when I hit publish on those posts, I didn’t think a thing about it because I had done the best that I could at that particular time. The only reason my posts are better now is because my best has gotten better over time.

And the only reason my best has gotten better is because I made the decision to up my game and improve my skills.

And there it is, the soul of today’s fuckery, hidden in bad food photography.

When people get fed up enough with their behavior or how they’re doing something and seek out change, a funny thing tends to happen. They start beating themselves up on a semi-regular basis for not reaching their goals or their idea of perfection fast enough.

This is bullshit for several reasons. The first is because perfection doesn’t exist. The second is because even if perfection did exist, we still wouldn’t be happy when we arrived at it. And third, our definition of perfect changes from moment to moment, so it’s just as well that it doesn’t exist.

Here’s the thing. As we live our life, we can’t help but get better at things, especially things that we do over and over again. But often times, we’re too close to the things that we’re trying to improve to even notice that little by little, improvement has been made.

It’s kind of like the difference between me seeing my niece and nephew every 6 months and their mom seeing them everyday. Every time I see them, they look like giants compared to the last time I saw them, and my sister is like, “oh yeah, I guess they have grown. Can you pass the cherries?” She sees them everyday, so their growth spurts aren’t as obvious or mind blowing to her.

The same thing happens in our own lives. When we’re so focused on what’s in front of us or how far we still have to go, it doesn’t even dawn on us to stop and recognize how far we’ve come and the progress that has already been made. We just keep bitching about how lame we are because we haven’t yet accomplished X, Y, or Z.

And this can apply to anything. Relationships, losing weight, being more independent, eating better, exercising more, business, being more patient, a meditation practice – whatever area of life that’s getting a makeover, Maury Povich style.

Information without taking action is like a website that isn’t responsive – not very effective (especially on mobile devices, I’m told).

So here’s what I want you to do.

The next time you’re in funk town and being crappy to yourself for not reaching your goals fast enough or for not being perfect, stop right there, take a pause, and acknowledge how far you’ve come. Chances are, you need to give yourself a little gratitude and appreciation before moving on.

Reflecting on your progress to bring appreciation into the present moment is the fuel that you need to keep kicking ass on your goals. Even if the improvement is slight, acknowledge it and give yourself some love. Those slight improvements build on each other and will carry you right on through to the finish line.

And if you need reminding, refer here.

Today’s recipe is super fast and will surely be a new fave.

Whole Food Plant Based Fennel Lentil Dijon Salad

Author: Molly Patrick


  • 2 ½ cups cooked lentils 400g
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice 1 orange, depending how juicy it is
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic grated or minced
  • ¼ cup fresh mint 6g, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fennel 50g, thinly sliced
  • Toasted pistachios
  • Avocado sliced or cubed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • For 2 1/2 cups of cooked lentils, you will need to cook 1 cup of dried lentils (195g). Here’s the perfect method for cooking lentils so they aren’t mushy or under done.
  • Rinse and drain the dried lentils and place them in a small pot with 2 cups of water (475ml).
  • Bring the lentils to a boil and then immediately turn the heat way down until they reach just a simmer.
  • Leave them simmering without a lid for 30-37 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft, but not falling apart. It might take longer depending on your elevation.
  • Once you have your cooked lentils:
  • Place the cooked lentils in a large mixing bowl, and add the orange juice, coconut aminos, dijon mustard, lemon zest, garlic, mint and fennel, and mix until everything is incorporated.
  • Top with chopped pistachios and avocado slices or cubes when serving.
  • Post a picture of your creation on Instagram and tag @cleanfooddirtygirl.











lentil_salad_bowl_messy_vertlentil_salad_biteFennel lentil dijon salad

Have a happy week. May it be filled with giving yourself mad props.

Get a weekly dose of inspiration to eat more plants and celebrate imperfection

Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Missy Melton on October 9, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Are Bragg’s aminos and coconut aminos in the same ballpark?

    • Molly Patrick on October 9, 2015 at 11:33 am

      Hey Missy –
      You would think they would be similar given the common “amino” thread, but actually they taste different. Coconut aminos have a sweet note and Braggs aminos have more of a savory umami flavor.
      I have both in my kitchen and generally do not use them interchangeably.

  2. cars nationwide on November 6, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this information. Today bloggers publish
    only about gossips and net and this is actually irritating.
    A good blog with exciting content, this is what I need.
    Thank you for keeping this web-site, I will be visiting it.
    Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on November 6, 2018 at 11:09 am

      Hi Sybil, Glad you found us! Thanks for stopping by. Indeed, we have a fantastic newsletter that you can sign up for here. ~Karen

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