Shortly after I finished up my series on goal setting/motivation last month, a friend rolled into town from the cold and gray north ready to vacation Florida Gulf Coast-style. I took the opportunity to repost an older post, Strong Backs/Flexible Spines, last Monday while I attended to other important duties as a Tampa Bay area tour guide. It’s a good gig.
After a week of fun with my pal, with all the extra food, drink, and general relaxation that vacation demands, I am certainly feeling the need to get some serious clean eating habits back into my lifestyle.
Serious clean eating begins with a base of plant foods. Bright, colorful plants foods that add all the magnificent vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other things our bodies naturally crave to maintain good health.
We live in a 240 sq. ft. RV and consume a lot of produce. In order to get it all to fit in my tiny fridge in my tiny home, it must be prepped on grocery day.
Prepping on grocery day is a great habit to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle, and one I will carry with me when (?) we become stationary at some point in the future. It’s just nice to have the prep work done and ready on those days it feels hard to eat healthy due to time constraints or even plain laziness. And it really helps save on waste.
Although pre-prepped bagged greens are certainly an option, they are pricey, and not so fresh sometimes.
I prefer to buy mine fresh, and then chop and bag them at home. No special type of greens are needed, they are all healthful. Even the lowly iceburg head lettuce can be dressed up and made more nutritious by all the colorful add ins. I buy whatever looks good and is on sale. This week’s selection was romaine lettuce hearts. Get yourself a salad spinner to keep those greens dry after washing.
Green is pretty, but not enough color for me. We eat with our eyes first. I like to shred some red cabbage and carrots to add brightness. This will create your basic salad mix. And can all be bagged together. A full large bag makes about 6 large salads.
Next chop up your extra veggies; cukes, tomatoes and, radishes are rounding our salad veggies this week. Store the chopped veggies in separate containers.
(Excuse the hideous decorative wallpaper. Apparently it is a requirement in a RV of any sort. No one knows why…kinda looks like lettuce)
From here you could enjoy the salad as is for a side dish, or as I like to do, simply make a meal out of it by adding some protein. Leftover chicken, fish, pork, beef, eggs, cottage cheese are all good protein options.
Do beware once you get beyond the veggies and protein the calories can add up quickly. Use very small amounts of any extra toppings. I also like to add some blue cheese (it has a very strong flavor so you don’t need much), a few seeds or nuts, raisins or craisins, and croutons for added crunch.
I have nothing against pre-bottled dressings. Whatever will get people to eat their veggies is fine by me. I use and enjoy them when time-crunched (or feeling lazy). But if I have time I whip up a quick vinaigrette. Really, it only takes a couple minutes, and tastes so fresh. The one I used today is a lemon vinaigrette which is great bright taste for salads and doubles as a dandy marinade for fish or chicken. The recipe will be listed below.
Of course, every good meal deserves a good drink to go along with it. I am feeling cocktailed out at the moment after my week of tour-guiding, so I opted to make mocktails instead. I call this one a Pom Spritzer. Recipe also below.
With a few advance preparations it becomes somewhat easier to eat healthfully and reach the recommended 7-10 servings of produce per day.
- 1/4 c white wine vinegar
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Combine in a container with a lid and shake. Makes about a cup of dressing and keeps for a week.
- Fill glass 1/2 way with ice
- 4 oz pomegranate juice
- Top with sparkling water
- Garnish with a lime
- a big head of romaine, or a 3 pack of romaine hearts chopped, rinsed, and spun
- 1/3 red cabbage shredded
- 2-3 carrots shredded
mix into a large size baggie
- whatever you have lying around, left over, or are craving. Anything goes.
No calorie counts gang. I gave that up a few years back. Too time consuming and militant for me. A definite DE-motivator.
All of the recipes (minus the croutons) happen to be gluten-free, although I am not. I tried it for a year or so, but found it cumbersome, the results were minimal for me, but many others have found it works for them.
This girl’s motto:
eat healthy most of the time, and then thoroughly enjoy your pizza.