Salad of the Week

The metabolic benefits of grief seem to have worn off. No, I know nothing scientific about metabolism or grief. What I do know is that many of the divorcing folks I’ve known lose a ton of weight without even trying. Why? In my case, the sadness was so profound there was no food that would comfort me.

That was actually a gift. It made me aware of eating habits. I didn’t snack late at night. I didn’t go to Baskin Robbins for World Class Chocolate ice cream. I didn’t keep potato chips in the house. Are you noticing the past tense? It’s past as much of the grief has past. I find myself back to my old unhealthy eating habits. I love butter, sugar, fat. Put them together into cookies or muffins, melt it over popcorn, make it into empty calories and I am likely to eat it up.

But I don’t want to. I liked losing pants sizes. I liked having a trimmer waist, not feeling guilty after I ate, not being in a constant carb or sugar craving cycle. So, I’m trying to learn to view fruit as a treat. Not strawberry ice cream, but strawberries. I’m having to ease myself in. When we were in Chicago earlier this year, my friend found a recipe for maybe the most delicious scones ever. They’re made with strawberries and blueberries and sour cream, butter, milk, sugar. But the berries are fresh and they remind me I like berries. I could eat them without baking them into something.

So, I’m putting berries and other fruit into salads. If I have a taste of sweet with my meal, I’m not as likely to want dessert afterward. In case you are fighting similar sugar and carb cravings, or you just like a good salad recipe, I’m going to share salad recipes that feel particularly delicious and even a bit decadent.

My favorite salad this week:

  • Mixed field greens or red and green romaine with spinach
  • Asparagus roasted in frying pan with just a little olive oil–put on salad still warm
  • Strawberries
  • Candied or salted pecans
  • Goat cheese (I prefer tangy and on the firm side to offset the sweetness of the strawberries and pecans)
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

Did I mention I’m easing my way out of the sugar thing? I’m sure the salad trumps a milkshake on health benefits any day. And unlike a big meal of pasta or some other carb-craving-cycle catalyst, this salad actually means I eat a healthy meal and don’t want or feel like I need dessert afterward.

8 comments to Salad of the Week

  • lindsay

    Check out “eat clean” cookbooks by Tosca Reno. Lots of healthy recipes in there without extras carbs and sugars. I’m a sugar-addict myself, and have mucho-experienc-o in this dept. Your salad sounds incredible!!!!!

  • Michelle

    Is this the salad you made us for dinner the other night? It is so yummy that I’ve repeated it for lunch like a billion times.

  • I have similar eating habits. I love sugar and chocolate! I did very well on the South Beach eating plan for a while and I am currently completely off the wagon. So I hear you! Yay on the yummy salads! The South Beach eating plans has some very interesting and yummy, but still healthy, meals and desserts. Feel free to email me if you are interested in some ideas! Good luck to you, mama! The two things that keep me trying to get this eating right is that I want to be healthy and that I want to model healthy eating habits for my almost 4-year-old daughter so that she does not end up going through what I go through every day.

    • I tried South Beach too. It helped me understand low and high glycemic foods. I figured out that the vegetables and fruits I liked the best (carrots, potatoes, mangoes, pineapple, etc.) had the highest glycemic index–so even when I thought I was making healthy choices, I was still choosing sugar in a way. My problem came with phase 2 and 3 of the diet. Once any carbs were back in, I was in a constant fight not to eat more of them. Also, I’m a vegetarian and had what felt like such limited choices that I got sick of the food I could eat. You’ve reminded me how much I loved some of those recipes though. I’m pulling the cookbook back out. I have the same two reasons for eating right–wanting to be healthy and wanting to model it for my son. All of my favorite comfort foods are the things I ate as a kid. What if I’d been fed raw (low glycemic) veggies and fruit instead of Ruffles and Hostess cupcakes? I don’t know, but I’m hoping my son will.

  • Kelley

    I’m the same way with fat, especially right now because I’m breastfeeding. I found a recipe for “Magical Breakfast Cream”, though, which totally scratches that dessert itch for me!

    It is:
    4-6 T yogurt (I use Fage 2%)
    2 T walnuts, ground
    2 T cereal (I use hemp plus granola), ground
    1 t flax oil
    2 T orange or lemon juice
    2 t honey

    Mix it all together, figure out your favorite variables. Really, really yummy – and no guilt afterwards! I eat it for breakfast every day and haven’t gotten tired of it, but could totally see it as a dessert, too :) .

    • Kelley, this sounds delicious. I’m going to try it with pecans, since walnuts make my tongue break into bumps like a cat and itch (craziest allergic reaction I’ve ever had). Thanks for the recipe!

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