Trading cake for kale salad with roasted walnut dressing

Monday, January 30, 2012

We have been doing a lot of celebrating at our house. From the holidays straight into some family festivities, including an anniversary and a birthday. Much cake has been consumed. Like a lot of cake. I cannot resist cake. Can. Not.

At times like this I start to get a little antsy in the back of my mind. I start making lists titled "Back on Track" and "Goals for Next Week" just to gain some semblance of control and to steer us back to our healthy routine. The lists themselves get me nowhere, really, but the brainstorming process of this does bring focus to what I need to do to get it together.

Back on Track List
To me, living a healthy and balanced life is rooted in being well fed. By fed, though, I don't just mean with food. I've broken this list down into three areas that I feel I need to focus on to get back to where I need to be: eat, move, and breathe. 

1. Eat
Stop eating cake. Instead, focus on getting lots of protein, omega 3s (flax, hemp, and chia seeds), and nutrient-rich foods. Have a green juice or smoothie and a big salad every day. Prep and bag fruits and veggies for homemade juices. Plan all dinners for the week and stock up on healthy snacks. Try new recipes with inspiration from Pinterest. Drink more water and less coffee.

Fruits and veggies to be juiced this week.
Recent and planned dinners at our house:
  • Roasted delicata squash and kale salad (with Rancho Gordo beans and a grain of some kind on the side).
  • Brown rice bowl with stir fried veggies and tofu (recipe coming soon- this is a great one!).
  • Veggie burgers (try these) and sweet potato oven fries.
  • Whole wheat spaghetti with garlic, lemon, parsley, shallots, and greens.
  • Open-face veggie sandwiches (inspired by Pinterest) and Gardein "buffalo wings".
  • Kale salad with apples, walnuts, and a light walnut oil dressing (recipe below).
2. Move
Plan my workouts for the week so I know where I need to shuffle things to fit them in. Make sure to include as much yoga as possible. Soak up my favorite things about each activity- like the sunrise during my morning runs.

3. Breathe
Keep my journal close for emptying my brain when I need to. Get some sun. Find warmth and comfort with yoga, a massage, a hot bath, etc. Consult my "Bag of Tricks" to stay in balance.

kale salad-2.jpg

Kale Salad with Roasted Walnut Dressing
Serves 3-4
  • 1 bunch of kale (curly or lacinato), washed and chopped with large stalks removed
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts, chopped (Toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Please watch them closely, they burn quickly!)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2-3 tablespoons rice or apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons roasted walnut oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine vinegar, walnut oil, honey (or agave), and salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Combine kale, apples, walnuts, and raisins in a bowl. Pour dressing over the top, mix well, and serve.
Tip: If you prefer extra tender kale, massage the dressing into the kale with your hands for a couple of minutes before adding the walnuts, apples, and raisins.

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