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Holiday Nutrition Tips

The Holiday Season has officially started with the conclusion of Halloween. The leaves are changing, the Christmas decorations are starting to appear, and the invitations to Holiday gatherings are being received. Even though this is such a joyous time of year for most, it can also be quite challenging for your health habits and waistline, so check out some easy to implement tips I shared with Circle Seven Five at a Nutrition + Yoga event recently on how to stay trim and slim over the Holidays.

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80/20 Rule: Allow yourself to enjoy indulging every now and then. Life would be so unfulfilling without doing so! When you eat in a balanced, healthy way 80% of the time, you don’t have to feel guilty when you do indulge the other 20%. Savor that piece of pie, mac & cheese, or extra glass of wine & then get right back on track!

Preparation is KEY: When you know you are going into a situation that could possibly lead to bad nutritional choices, do some preparation beforehand. If it’s at a restaurant, skim the menu & pick out a dish that you know will be the healthiest option & make a pact with yourself to order it. If you are going to a party, offer to bring a healthy dish that you know you will eat. My go-to is always a big salad! You can also eat a healthy snack beforehand so you won’t be starving when you are tempted with all those holiday dishes!

Be Assertive: Just because someone offers you a drink or dessert, don’t feel obligated to take it. I know you don’t want to seem rude, but your own health goals are important, so I give you the permission to be high maintenance!

Get Creative with Healthy Recipes: I recently hosted a Halloween party & loved the challenge of creating appetizers that were not only yummy, but healthy. My guests loved them & couldn’t believe how good the healthier versions tasted! Pinterest & many bloggers out there have so many healthy alternatives to our favorite holiday comfort foods, so do some research or check out my blog for some of my favorite dishes!

Be Present: We are often doing 80 different things at once when we are eating a meal. Try to slow down & really be mindful & aware of what you are putting into your body each & every time you eat. This is especially true when we are at holiday gatherings & tempted with those calorie-laden dishes!

Fill Your Plate with Veggies: Veggies are a great source of fiber, which provide that feeling of fullness or satiation. I like to think of veggies as my main dish, with everything else being a side dish.

Be The Last in Line: When going through a Holiday Buffet, the first few people get to see the dishes in their perfect, appetizing state. If you go last, the food loses some of that beauty & appeal, so some of those dishes might not seem quite as appetizing.

Don’t Wear Spandex: Let’s be honest – when you wear a sexy, form-fitted outfit, you don’t want a full-bellied pooch after eating too much at the buffet table! It’s one, sure-fire way to avoid over-indulging!

Use a Smaller Plate: A salad plate or even a large napkin is the perfect way to keep your portion sizes smaller.

Moderation, Moderation, Moderation: The holiday pounds don’t come on because you had a couple of bites of dessert, they come on when you overindulge. When you do decide to eat something that you know is not the best for you, think moderation! It takes about 500 extra calories per day (or 3500 per week) to gain one pound, so consider that when making choices!

Be Careful of Beverages: Alcohol can inhibit our decision-making skills (in more ways than one!) & make us feel hungrier. Plus those holiday-inspired cocktails can have hidden calories, so go easy on the egg nog! (Which has around 340+ calories per cup)

Stay Hydrated: Often times our minds think we are hungrier than we are because we are dehydrated. Make sure to drink an ample amount of cold, filtered water throughout the day as it can boost your metabolism by up to 30%! Add in some fresh-squeezed lemon – it slows digestion!

Bring Mints, Gum, or Your Toothbrush: Whenever I know I am full or shouldn’t eat anymore, I pop in a piece of gum or go brush my teeth to help prevent me from revisiting the buffet.

Be a Helpful Guest: Offer to help do dishes or serve drinks at a holiday party, that way you aren’t as easily distracted by a second trip to the buffet.

Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself: Sometimes when we veer off track, we give up! We say “Screw it! I’ve already had two cookies, what’s four more!” Don’t allow yourself to get into that mindset. We aren’t perfect – but when we do mess up, we have to accept it & start over. If you happen to overindulge, allow your next day to be lighter & cleaner & just remind yourself how great you feel & look when you do eat right!

No Crash Diets: If you’ve had a few days of poor food choices, don’t think a crash diet will counteract your decisions. When you starve your body of the food & nutrients it needs to function, it will start to slow down your metabolism & hold onto whatever it has (including fat!), so it’s best to maintain your normal, clean-eating & exercise regimen as soon as you can to get back on track.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Bottom line – if it’s not in your house you’re not going to eat it! I know it’s hard when friends give cookies, chocolate, or candy as gifts, but it’s better to enjoy a few bites & then share it with co-workers or neighbors. Share the love!

Plan Time for Exercise: No matter how busy you get, stay committed to your exercise regimen! It will not only help you maintain your weight, but it will help alleviate the added stress that can happen over the holidays. If you overindulged the day before, try to add in an extra 30 minutes of work the next day to compensate.

Stay Well Rested: Studies have shown that a bad night’s sleep = cravings for bad foods! Our bodies are trying to supplement the lack of sleep with added energy in the form of calorie-rich foods.

Take a Probiotic & Digestive Enzymes: Take a Probiotic before going to bed to help with digestion, elimination, gut health, & immunity! A Plant-based Digestive Enzyme is also a great supplement to take whenever you eat a heavy meal or foods you don’t normally eat.

Take the Focus off Food: I know the Holidays are a time to celebrate friends & family, but try to find different ways to enjoy time together that doesn’t center on meal time. Make wreaths, go on a tour of decorated homes, do a Holiday 5k, decorate the Christmas tree or make homemade ornaments, sing Christmas Carols, go to a holiday movie, literally the list is endless – just think outside the box.

Healthy Halloween-Inspired Treats

My husband & I are so excited to finally have trick-or-treaters this year! We’ve also decided to have a few friends over for some Halloween-inspired appetizers, so thankfully Pinterest prevailed! Check out some HEALTHY Halloween treats that will leave your guests grossed out, but reaching for seconds. 🙂 For additional ideas, check out my Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/kaleighl/halloween-party/

Homemade Guacamole “Throw-Up”

  • 4 Ripe Avocados
  • 1/4 Cup diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped Red Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno or Serrano, seeds removed & finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh Cilantro
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • Sea Salt & Pepper to Taste

Mix all of the ingredients but the Avocados, Sea Salt & Pepper. Mash the Avocados & fold in additional ingredients. Finish with Sea Salt & Pepper to taste!

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Date Stuffed “Cockroaches”

  • Pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1 log of Goat Cheese
  • Marcona Almonds
  • Rosemary Sprigs
  • Plastic Cockroaches

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the dates length-wise to insert a dollop of goat cheese, one almond, and several rosemary sprigs. Re-seal the dates as best as you can.
  3. Bake for about 8-10 minutes just to soften the cheese & dates. Garnish with plastic cockroaches! Yum!

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Raw Cookie Dough Cake Pops

Cookie Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cooked, Rinsed and Drained Chickpeas (Canned is fine)
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil (Room Temperature)
  • 1/4 Cup Natural Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/3 Cup Mini Vegan Chocolate Chips or Dark Chocolate Chips
  • About 2 Cups Vegan White Chocolate Chips
  • Additional 1/8 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips or Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Place all Cookie Dough Ingredients excluding the chocolate chips into your food processor and blend until completely smooth stopping to scrape down the sides.
  2. Mix chocolate chips into your batter using a spatula.
  3. Place ingredients in a glass baking dish or loaf pan and place in the freezer for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from freezer and using a melon baller or spoon roll into 1 inch cookie dough balls and place on a plate.
  5. Place in the freezer for 2 hours.
  6. Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave or double boiler.
  7. Remove cookie dough balls from the freezer and dip each ball or coat evenly with melted white chocolate. Place in the freezer for another 30 minutes.
  8. Melt additional chocolate chips & decorate the cake balls like a skeleton or ghost (see below)
  9. Enjoy immediately or place in a sealed tight container in the freezer

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Yummy & Healthy Dark Chocolate Almond Butter & Lentil Blondies

Even though I thoroughly enjoy eating healthy, I also LOVE a sweet treat! My go-to is basically anything with DARK CHOCOLATE & ALMOND BUTTER in it, so I thought I would research a healthy alternative to a classic BLONDIE recipe. I found one on Pinterest that I tweaked a bit & must say it was quite satisfying!

Check out the healthier BLONDIE recipe below & be prepared to be amazed at how good these sweet treats are 🙂

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DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND BUTTER BLONDIES: Adapted from the Ambitious Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup Red Lentils
  • 1/2 cup All-Natural Almond Butter (I used Crunchy. Make sure the only ingredient is ALMONDS!)
  • 1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Oat Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic or Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (at least 70% or darker), plus a handful for sprinkling on top

Instructions:

In a small saucepan, combine lentils and 1 cup of water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until lentils are soft. Transfer lentils to a food processor, add a few tablespoons of water, then process until lentils are a smooth puree; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9×9 inch baking pan with coconut oil spray.

Whisk oat flour, baking soda & salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl or electric mixer, mix together almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth. Add in lentil puree and mix until well combined.

Fold in oat mixture then gently fold in 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool & inhale! 😉

Benefits of some of the above ingredients!

  • Lentils: Are packed with protein, fiber, minerals & vitamins which helps lower blood cholesterol, reduces risk of heart disease, increases gut health, & stabilizes blood sugar.
  • Almond Butter: Almonds are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, iron, & healthy fats.
  • Oat Flour: Is a better option than unbleached white flour because it is gluten-free, has protein, fiber, minerals, B Vitamins, iron, vitamin E, & calcium. Oats are known to aid in heart health, lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes by balancing blood sugars & lowering cholesterol.
  • Pure Maple Syrup: Is loaded with the powerful antioxidants, Polyphenols, that helps reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases. Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that releases into the blood stream slower than processed sugars, so the blood sugar is balanced. It also reduces bloat, is high in zinc, iron, calcium, potassium & manganese,
  • Dark Chocolate: Can help lower your blood pressure by improving blood flow, helps reduce risk of stroke, helps control blood sugar, is full of antioxidants, vitamins, & minerals. Dark chocolate is also known to release endorphins in the brain to make you happier

Yoga At The Workplace

Prior to launching my career in Health & Wellness in 2008, I worked in Entertainment PR for about 4 1/2 years. I sat at a desk each & everyday, sometimes for up to 15 hours! I was stressed, tight, stiff, anxious, & eating crappy foods which definitely affected my mood & my quality of work. Luckily I found yoga, but there were a lot of days when I couldn’t make it to a class on time. What I wouldn’t have done to have had a yoga instructor teach at my office on a regular basis! That’s why I LOVE having the opportunity to bring YOGA into the workplace. I’ve done it with several different companies & the results have been so gratifying. I’ve had the opportunity to work with individuals who would have NEVER attempted or even been exposed to yoga if it hadn’t have been offered by their employer. To see how important that short yoga class became each week to so many individuals made me realize that everyone stuck in an office needs to be stretching, breathing, unplugging, strengthening, and moving multiple times throughout their work day in order to feel & perform at an optimal level. So even though I only see my corporate clients once or twice a week for a full class, I make sure they know what stretches will feel best when they’ve been sitting too long or feel stiff or lethargic. Below are a few of my favorites!

If you are interested in having YOGA or a NUTRITION workshop at your workplace email me for details…you won’t regret it: info@kaleighwalker.com.

STANDING FORWARD FOLD: This is a very calming posture & is great for stretching the whole back side of your body – especially the hamstrings & low back. Option to interlace your fingers behind your low back & lift them overhead for a shoulder/chest stretch. Also, I sometimes like to interlace my fingers behind my neck & gently pull my head down for a cervical spine stretch. I suggest holding this stretch for 30-60 seconds…maybe even longer if you are extra stressed! 😉

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SEATED TWIST: You can do this stretch without even getting up from your chair. I do it all the time when I’m at my computer or in my car. It’s a great way to stretch your spine, wring out your organs, & stimulate the digestive system. Remember on your inhales lengthen the torso up, exhales twist deeper. Hold for about 4-6 breaths on each side.

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STANDING OR SEATED SIDE STRETCH: It’s important to stay lengthened through the sides of your waist to help with your posture. I notice this stretch always makes me feel more energized & allows me to breathe deeper! Hold the side stretch for about 30 seconds on each side & make sure to take long, deep breaths.

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STANDING OR SEATED FIGURE FOUR: When we sit for extended periods of time, our hips become VERY tight. This particular stretch opens up the outer hip, particularly the piriformis muscle. If you are seated, fold over your leg until you feel the deepest stretch. Hold for 1-2 minutes on each side. If you are standing, hold onto your chair or edge of your desk & sit back as low as you can holding for 30-60 seconds. (The standing variation is a little more strength oriented, so it’s not held for quite as long.)

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L-SHAPE STRETCH: My husband LOVES this stretch because it really opens up the spine all the way down the backs of the legs. The intensity of the stretch obviously depends on your flexibility, but everyone can benefit! Also, if a standing forward fold is a bit too intense for you, this one might be more comfortable. Hold for 1-2 minutes.

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HIP FLEXOR STRETCH: This is one of my FAVORITE stretches because I am really tight in my hip flexors & psoas muscles. If you sit a lot, run, spin/bike, you’re a dancer, or stuck in traffic often, you most likely are too! There are a few options on how deep you want to go in this particular pose, mostly depending on your work clothes & work environment. 🙂 Hold the stretch for about 1-2 minutes on each side.

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A Greens Juice a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!

I started incorporating a Greens Juice into my day several years ago after reading Kimberly Synder’s “Beauty Detox Solution.” And let me tell you, it was one of the best “health-related” decisions I’ve ever made! Raw vegetables & fruits have the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and nutrients our bodies need to look, feel, and function at an optimal level. However, it would take pounds of greens & fruit to get the same amount of benefits in just one 16 oz. fresh juice, so that’s why it’s so important to add it into your daily routine!

I choose to drink my Greens Juice as my breakfast in the morning because I have an empty stomach so I can absorb the most nutrients & it’s easier to digest, plus the juice can be utilized as “quick energy” for my morning workouts. Some of my clients or friends ask “Well what about the all the sugar in juices?” I remind them that fruit contains natural sugars that our bodies digest differently than processed sugars, so if you aren’t overindulging in fruits all day long and you are getting enough exercise, you will have nothing to worry about! You can also choose a juice that only has greens or only has one kind of fruit as well.

Some of the benefits I’ve experienced from having my daily Greens Juice include: clearer, more vibrant skin; more energy; weight loss (I’ve been at the best weight of my life over the past couple of years – I’m 32!); regularity, boost in my immune system (I might get a cold once a year if that!); less aches & pains; boost in my metabolism; stronger, thicker hair; and I just overall FEEL BETTER! Remember when choosing your Greens Juice, it’s best to get a freshly squeezed or pressed, organic brand. Skip anything that can last more than a couple of days, because it’s usually pasteurized, has additives and loses all the positive health benefits that fresh juices have. That being said, here are my FAVORITE Dallas-based Juices that you need to try ASAP 🙂

CENTRAL MARKET: (Kale, Pineapple, Apple, Ginger) www.centralmarket.com

VIM+VIGOR: NO. 9 (Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Lemon, Ginger) www.vimvigorjuice.com

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BOOM JUICE: GREEN MONSTER (Kale, Pineapple, Ginger) wp.boomjuice.com

green-monster1-300x300THE JUICE BAR: SKINNY GREENS (Cucumber, Green Apple, Kale, Spinach, Lemon, Ginger, Cayenne) www.thejuicebardallas.com

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THE GEM: GREEN GLOW (Kale, Cucumber, Lemon, Ginger, Apple) www.insidethegem.com

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My Favorite Veggie Sides

I am actually a person who loves eating my veggies! However, sometimes I do get bored with raw or steamed vegetables – as I’m sure you do too. So I’ve found some easy, creative recipes that I make all the time that will keep you from getting too bored with this important & sometimes bland food group. So check out the recipes below & ENJOY!

Broccoli with Garlic & Red Pepper Flakes

  • 1 bag of broccoli florets (or 1 head cut into florets)
  • 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Celtic Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 large clove of garlic (minced)
  • Freshly-squeezed lemon juice to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees (I like to use my toaster oven because it’s quicker to heat up!) Toss the broccoli florets with the olive oil, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, celtic sea salt & black pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes or until desired tenderness. Squeeze desired amount of lemon juice over the top & enjoy!

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Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin & Paprika

  • 1 bag of Cauliflower florets (or 1 head cut into florets)
  • 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (I like to use my toaster oven because it’s quicker to heat up!) Toss Cauliflower florets, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, cumin & salt together. Mix well. Bake for 20 minutes or until desired tenderness. Serve & enjoy!

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Roasted Carrots with Thyme

  • 12 Carrots (stems/ends cut & cut in half length-wise)
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Thyme
  • 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Celtic Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (I like to use my toaster oven because it’s quicker to heat up!) Drizzle the Olive Oil on the carrots to coat. Season the carrots with Thyme, Salt & Black Pepper. Bake 35-40 minutes or until desired tenderness. Serve & enjoy!

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Health & Nutritional Coaching

As I complete the halfway point through my Institute of Integrative Nutrition schooling, I thought it would be the perfect time to discuss what a Health/Nutrition Coach is! First off, I always tell my clients that no matter how many hours a day you are exercising, if you are not eating right, not sleeping 7-8 hours/night, stressed or unhappy, all of your hard work is for nothing. Our body is a machine, and if you don’t take care of every single part, it can breakdown or not perform at its optimal level! That’s where Health/Nutritional Coaching comes in!

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When I work with clients, I make sure to not only discuss their workouts, but to examine every aspect of their daily lives. We start with Nutrition…and remember, there is no one PERFECT diet out there. Each individual body is different. Some foods that I love and crave might cause an upset stomach in someone else. But what I do know is that when you eat REAL foods (i.e. Fruits, Veggies, Whole Grains, Nuts/Seeds, Lean Proteins) your body will thank you. So I work towards helping my clients understand what is healthy and what is not so that they can develop a life-long nutritional program (not a quick fix) that will lead them to feeling and looking their best. What’s important to remember is that small steps lead to big changes over time. It’s taken me a good 10 years to really feel like I have a firm grasp on what works best for my body, and I’m still learning everyday. We all have those moments in which we make poor nutritional choices, but the goal is to have more good choices than bad!

Health Coaching goes hand in hand with Nutritional Coaching. Usually when we make our nutritional choices, it’s directly related to how we are feeling! If we are stressed, tired or sad, we sometimes reach for that big piece of chocolate cake. If we just did an amazing, sweaty yoga class, we are centered, balanced, and in tune with our body’s needs, so we are more likely to grab a greens juice! I work to find out what my clients might need more of or less of in their daily lives in order to create a more balanced diet as well as more presence, more happiness, and more fulfillment. That might mean re-evaluating relationships, a career, time management, workout regimens, or sleep schedules, to name a few.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, check out the program breakdown below:

Kaleigh Walker Health/Nutritional Coaching Program:

  • FOUR 45-minute meetings every month (they can be over the phone, in person, or via Facetime)
  • An email after each session highlighting client goals/to-do’s for that particular week, recipe ideas & additional reading suggestions based on our discussions
  • Unlimited email/text correspondence with any questions/concerns
  • Sample one week diet plan based on my client’s likes/dislikes/needs (including supplement suggestions)
  • Sample one week workout plan based on my client’s likes/dislikes/needs
  • Contact: info@kaleighwalker.com to sign-up today!

Yoga Sculpt Playlist!

TGIF! My Yoga Sculpters killed it this week! I would like to think my playlist helped a little bit! 😉

Check out some of the motivational songs that helped my students get through their tough workout below:

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  • The Hanging Tree (Rebel Remix) – James Newton Howard
  • We Will Shine (feat. Dominic Balli) – MC Yogi
  • Time of Our Lives – Pitbull & Ne-Yo
  • Beg For It (feat. MO) – Iggy Azalea
  • Truffle Butter (feat. Drake & Lil Wayne) – Nicki Minaj (MY FAV!)
  • On To The Next One (feat. Swizz Beatz) – Jay Z
  • Open Wide (feat. Big Sean) – Calvin Harris (Students FAV!)
  • Overdrive – Calvin Harris & Ummet Ozcan
  • Let’s Go! (Extended Mix) – DJ Rebel
  • Cobra (Official Energy Anthem 2012) – Hardwell
  • Boyfriend/Girlfriend (feat. Keyshia Cole) – C-Side
  • Elastic Heart – Sia
  • Make It Rain – Ed Sheeran
  • Baba Hanuman – Heather & Benjy Wertheimer

Simple, Quick, & Affordable Salad

My husband & I recently found this AMAZING pre-packaged greens salad called “Cruciferous Crunch Collection” at Trader Joe’s for $1.99. It has Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Green Cabbage & Red Cabbage already chopped up and ready to consume! We added a few additional ingredients (feel free to add in more!) and a quick, homemade lemon vinaigrette for one TASTY salad! I highly recommend trying this inexpensive dish for yourself – you will feel like it’s straight from a high-end restaurant.

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SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • Trader Joe’s “Cruciferous Crunch Collection” Salad Mix
  • 1 Persian Cucumber, Sliced
  • 1 Avocado, Cubed
  • 4 Tablespoons of Lightly Toasted Pine Nuts OR Chopped Raw Almonds
  • Shaved Pecorino to Taste

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup High Quality, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • The Juice of 1/2 Large Lemon
  • 1 Large Clove of Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 Small Shallot, Chopped
  • 1 Heaping Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper & Sea Salt to Taste

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New Year, New Salad Recipe!

As we start off the New Year, most all of us have a resolution or two that focuses on health. I always tell my clients that one of the best ways to be healthier is to cook at home versus eating out, that way you can control what you put into your meals and get rid of all the hidden calories! I’m so incredibly lucky that my husband loves to cook and is really good at it as I am not! But he’s shown me that there are so many easy recipes you can whip up in less than 20 minutes, that are flavorful and good for you. One of my favorite dinners is just a big salad with lots of veggies. So to spice things up, he created an AMAZING Roasted Cherry Tomato and Herb Salad Dressing that I’m obsessed with. Checkout the recipe below!

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Salad Dressing Ingredients:

1 Small Box of Good Quality, Organic Cherry Tomatoes (the more flavorful, the better!)
3 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
The Juice of 1/4-1/2 Lemon
1 Teaspoon Freshly Chopped Tarragon
1 Teaspoon Freshly Chopped Mint
1 Teaspoon Freshly Chopped Dill
Celtic Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the cherry tomatoes, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 garlic cloves, and a dash of Sea Salt & Black Pepper. Roast for around 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes have started to wilt and split open. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the tomatoes to add to the salad. With the remaining liquid, add in the juice of 1/4-1/2 Lemon (depending on your taste), 2 teaspoons of Dijon Mustard, Tarragon, Mint, & Dill, as well as the remaining 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar. Whisk all of the ingredients together. Feel free to add in additional Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste.

Salad Ingredients: I’m leaving the amount up to you depending on how big or small you would like to make the salad! Also feel free to add or subtract any of the veggies!

Lettuce – We prefer the Spring Mix variety
Fennel, Bell Peppers, Red Onion, Asparagus
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Celtic Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper to taste
Cucumber, Avocado, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes from above Recipe
Feta
Freshly chopped Tarragon, Mint, & Dill to taste

We coat the Fennel, Bell Peppers, Red Onion, & Asparagus in a little bit of Olive Oil, Sea Salt, & Black Pepper and grill on Medium High Heat until cooked. (Maybe around 10 minutes or so!) Let the veggies cool and dice them. Also dice the Cucumber, Avocado, & Carrots. Mix all of the veggies (including the cherry tomatoes) and spring mix in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle as much Feta and fresh herbs (Tarragon, Mint, & Dill) as you would like on the salad. Toss with the yummy dressing and ENJOY!

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