Half Empty or Half Full?

Happy Friday, blog friends! :mrgreen: I am so glad that the work week is just about over. Mal and I have a really fun weekend planned! 😎

This morning’s breakfast was a new creation: Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie!

Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie

Makes 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 tbsp hemp (or whey) protein
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • Dash of nutmeg
Directions: Combine all ingredients in blender (or VitaMix) until smooth.

This smoothie tastes just like sweet potato pie (delicious!) and is packed with nutrients. It’s a sweet smoothie, but not so sweet (or thick) that you feel like you are sipping on a liquefied piece of sweet potato pie. It’s just right in my opinion!

This smoothie is also a very filling. I had planned to eat an Oatmeal Raisin Bar with breakfast, but I ended up packing it up for later. My stomach is totally content for now.

Defensive Pessimism

If you’re an avid reader of Carrots ‘N’ Cake, you’d probably assume that I am a rather positive person. So, I’m sure you’d be surprised to know that I am actually a major pessimist. In fact, Mal often bugs encourages me to be more positive.

The other day, I read an article in O Magazine (March 2009) called “Revenge of the Pessimists.” (FYI: It’s on Oprah’s site with a different title.) The article explained a form of pessimism called “defensive pessimism,” which I found very interesting and describes me well. Here are some of the article’s main points:

  • “Defensive pessimists prepare for a situation by setting low expectations for themselves, then follow up with a very detailed assessment of everything that may go wrong.”
  • “Defensive pessimism is a strategy used in specific situations to manage anxiety, fear, and worry.”
  • “What’s intriguing about defensive pessimists is that they tend to be very successful people, and so their low opinion of the outcome isn’t realistic; they use it to motivate themselves to perform better.”
  • “Research shows that if you pressure defensive pessimists into being optimistic, or try to manipulate their mood, their performance deteriorates.” 

In a sense, this article verbalized and validated my pessimistic outlook. Even from the time I was a little girl, I always expected the worst, and thus, prepared myself for the worst case senario. Today, I still think about the full range of possible bad outcomes, so I can figure out how to handle them, which, as you can probably guess, gives me a sense of control. Basically, defensive pessimism is a tool that prepares me for just about anything, including failure. So, if I do fail, I’m ready for it. Mentally considering all of the possibilities makes a bad outcome less catastrophic for me.

Does this sound familiar to you? Feel free to take a quiz to see if you are a defensive pessimist, too: Defensive Pessimism Questionaire

Question of the Day

Are you an optimist or pessimist? Or perhaps a defensive pessimist?


76 Comments

  1. I don’t know that I’ve ever considered if I’m a pessimist or optimist, but I took the quiz, and it says that I use both strategies equally or inconsistantly. I often find that’s the way with alot of quizzes, because I just don’t feel like I would do the same thing in every situation.

  2. Wow…. I am definitely a defensive pessimist. I have never heard it labeled that way before but it really pinpoints what it is! It sometimes is tiring thinking out all the ways something might not go well, etc., etc.

    Great blog!

  3. Haha, your mention of defensive pessimism makes me chuckle a little. My mother is the classic defensive pessimist, and I have repeatedly labeled her as such. Now, anytime she utters something indicative of her status as a defensive pessimist, all I have to say is “DP, Ma, DP.”
    I never would have thought to put sweet potato in a smoothie! But hey, pumpkin is delicious in smoothie form, why not its potato cousin?

  4. Wow that smoothie is pure GENIOUS. I make a pumpkin pie smoothie, and I am so excited to make this. Especially because I have 2 cans of sweet potatoes to use up!

  5. That smoothie sounds delicious! I think I am a defensive pessimist. It seems to define my outlook on any and all situations. I always said I am realist/dreamer. I guess that is kind of the same thing!

  6. I find it much better (safer) to expect the worst in every situation, because whenever I imagine things going perfect, it never does. Never. Ever.
    Plus, when I show appreciation for the way something turned out, or for what someone did, it is genuine and shows all over my expression.

  7. Just tried the smoothie but substituted pumpkin for sweet potato because it’s what I had on hand. It was excellent!! I’m so excited to have a healthy fall smoothie recipe! Thanks!

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