Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I went to the gym this morning. I know it isn't a big deal but I really debated about running outside because the weather is P-E-R-F-E-C-T for running outside but my allergies have been starting to bother me and I am trying to keep them under control so I opted for the gym.

I am in love with these shoes! Which keeps me motivated because they are so awesome to wear!

I am glad I did because I was inspired there today by the shall we call them "older" crowd plugging away at walking, running, and lifting weights. I thought to myself I really want that to be me when I get there. I want to be able to run around that track at 70 or hop on the treadmill or elliptical like the lady next to me and go to town, or better yet spend time with Miles in our old age exercising together like so many of them are doing. Yes, it was inspiring today! Just another reason, I thought to myself ,to work hard at taking care of our bodies so that will be me one day! It was my portion of goodness for the day for sure! But now I am hoping to inspire you a little too! Not to run, although that would be great, but to add some more green to your life in the form of salad! I know you didn't see that coming did you? But if your salads looked like this would you be willing to read on?

Yum! I just might make that pistachio chicken salad with avocado dressing soon for dinner. So I know most people aren't into eating salad everyday and believe me I didn't used to be either but it has become my healthy convenience food. It is one of the best ways to get lots of veggies into your diet and because the dressings, toppings, and different kinds of lettuce are endless, it is always different! Some days it is a Mexican salad, or an Italian pizza kind of salad, and lots of days it's Greek because that is my favorite. Sometimes I eat it with meat and other days I don't. It is my go to food, kind of the way a sandwich is for most Americans. I eat a big salad probably 4 or 5 days a week for lunch. I load it with veggies so that I know I will not only get enough servings for the day but also because it keeps me surprisingly full until dinner! All that fiber is helpful in filling your stomach with nutritious bulk not to mention that it keeps you pretty regular. Even my husband, a hungry exercising, man loves to have salad for lunch! In fact on the days that I work he is usually the one making salads for both of us. He has come a long way from his chicken nugget story! It is also a great way to get enough green food into your diet which is really lacking for most of us. So here are some rules and ideas about salad.

Rule #1 - You must wash it! There are nasty bugs living in there. Here is the proof! It helps to spin it as well in a salad spinner.

Okay so they show up better on my computer but gross!

I got this salad spinner at Target several years ago. It has really helped me resist the urge to save time and not wash my lettuce. I cut the lettuce up, fill this with water and swish the lettuce around then drain and spin the lettuce several times and bag it so it is all ready when I need it.

Rule #2 - If you aren't going to wash it you must buy it tripled washed in the boxes NOT THE BAGS! Stop buying that bagged lettuce. It is never good and  it is usually wilting already in the bag which can cause an upset tummy. Waste of money! Plus there is way more in these boxes and it doesn't cost a whole lot more than a bag.

I love this one from Wal-Mart. Plus it is organic which is important when it comes to lettuce. They use lots of pesticide on lettuce. Since I eat so much of it I like to buy organic whenever I can.

Rule #3 - You must get GOOD dressings that are low-calorie and low-fat to help you keep up this good salad habit. These are a couple of my favorites.

This is the best Caser! I would choose this light version even if I wasn't that careful about my diet!

I also LOVE these two! You can find them in the health food section at CashWise for you locals but the rest of you might have a little trouble finding them. My sister did when she went home to Spokane. Check health food sections since it is organic.

I also love Newman's Own Sun-Dried Tomato and Balsamic Vinaigrette and our very favorite dressings are two that I make right here in my little old kitchen. I will give you those recipes too. One is for a mustard vinaigrette and the other is a Greek dressing which I posted before.

Greek Dressing
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix  or whisk all ingredients together. Pour over salad. Keeps in fridge for several days.

Mustard Vinaigrette
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup olive oil
(I don't think I really use a cup of olive oil. I am too cheap to use a whole cup)

Rule #4 - You must be CREATIVE so you do not get tired of eating your delicious greens!

This is my favorite salad. Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, chicken sausage, and lots of feta!

But....some of our other favorites you could try are a Mexican salad with some leftover steak cut in strips, tomato, roasted red pepper, a little grilled corn, and reduced fat pepper jack with a little chili powder and cumin or some cayenne added to light ranch.Or go Italian with a little bit of turkey pepperoni, pepperoncini's, mozzarella, tomato, and sun-dried tomato dressing. Or have a wonderful garden fresh salad with radishes, carrots, pea pods, cucumber, tomato and any dressing you like.You can always go for a good old fashioned Caesar salad too! Of course Greek would be another great choice with some kalamata olives, feta, tomato, and cucumber. ENDLESS possibilities so change it up often!

I was on the phone with my friend Sarah today talking about food and I was reminded that my tastes have really adjusted and changed over time and I forget that for a lot of you getting started they haven't. My taste buds are fixed and no longer addicted to bad foods. My body actually craves salad as strange as that may sound! So maybe you won't eat it as much as I do but if I could get you to replace lunch a couple days a week with salad I would be happy and so would your body! You might be surprised at how full you can be just eating a big salad and we rarely have bread with it! So make me proud and get creative and green!

P.S. I didn't eat salad for lunch today. I had leftover tex-mex squash. I am eating salad tonight though with hummus and the best pita Miles just brought home from St. Cloud! I am looking forward to it. It will be a fast and I won't really have to cook!

1 comment:

MaDonna Maurer said...

That is great that you are seeing the older generations at the gym. I see them out at our park running, playing tennis, badminton, dancing, and whatever else kind of exercise that is going on there. Has been very inspiring to me as well. =)