Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's a Winter Wonderland... So I made Mexican Chopped Salad!

 So I've been living healthy a whole 5 days now, who wants to place bets on when I'll give up? I'll put $20 on 10 days. Any takers?

 Am I alone in this? What is your "wall", so to speak? Hopefully longer than mine. For some reason I always give up around 10 days, and then completely by 14. Why? Is it a predetermined number that I consciously and subconsciously always just give up?

 This problem actually transcends being healthy. It actually trickles over into projects, chores, school, and every other thing that has to do with a schedule that is up to me to keep. It's actually a wonder I am still writing this blog!

 I have a theory that it  has to do with how "big" I make things.

 For example, I want to lose... Let's call it...... 7 to 8 stones. That is a pretty daunting number, (even with the conversion to what is much easier on the eyes). So when I get going it's great. I psych myself up of how great I feel, I talk to everyone about it, I get a new master plan, I go to the extreme.

 Considering I don't even eat breakfast and rarely go a night without eating something after 8pm it's safe for me to say extreme is: eating a very healthy breakfast every day, very healthy lunch, and pay much more attention with portions and fats while making and eating dinner (dinner has never been difficult for me to keep healthy because it's the only meal of the day I make for everyone).  I drink lots of water and rarely drink anything other than it, I get plans of yoga, walks 3 times a week minimum, get P90X, say I'm going to stop drinking and other things.....

 Then something happens... It's hard to put my finger on exactly what. It could be a slip up, a bad meal, a bad snack, not following through with a work out I had planned, a unintentionally negative comment from someone or just my own underlying negative thoughts of what I am capable of.... and it's gone... For at least another 3 to 6 months when I can't take it anymore.. again..

 Does this sound remotely familiar to anyone else or is it just me?

 Well, here I am trying this again. I feel good. I feel more awake every morning. I don't feel like crashing at 2pm every day. I feel positive. I feel a little scared.

 I don't want to give up again. I don't want to be any heavier. I don't want to start having health problems. I don't want to be a bad example for my daughter. I want to stop stopping things. I want to follow through with one thing. Couldn't it just be this thing? This would be a great thing. I'm talking as if I am asking someone else. Like I don't have the control. I guess I have never really felt like I do have the control.

 One thing I have learned.. I think... Is to stop fantasizing. About a certain size, or look or life I will have with that look and size. That's dangerous. Because it takes time. For me it will take a lot of time. So I have to let go of all that because when it doesn't happen in a week, a month, a year it can be depressing. I don't even have a scale. It doesn't matter. A scale is pointless in what I am going for, it will only hurt me.

 I am trying to focus on the energy and attitude eating and living better is bringing me. That's the reward at this stage.... and maybe through it all.

 So I got this recipe from a Kraft magazine last summer. It called for Italian dressing and I thought that  made no sense with a 'Mexican Chopped Salad'. So seeing as I love Cilantro more than life itself and it is in Mexican cooking I decided to make a dressing out of it.

 I tried to copy a dip from one of my favourite spots to eat, Oishii and Chanosos. Its a dip for avocado egg rolls. The dip is so good, I could find a way to use it on everything. My version is not perfected but does do well as a dressing for this salad.

 Mexican Chopped Salad

1 19oz can of black beans rinsed
1 orange pepper chopped
1 yellow pepper chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes halved
1/2 red onion diced
2 avocados

My Dressing

Juice of 2 limes
1 tbs olive oil
1 Tbs honey
1 large Garlic clove
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbs crushed pistachios
salt & pepper to taste

For the salad, add first 5 ingredients in storage container. Mix together to combine.

For dressing, combine all ingredients in food processor (I used a magic bullet just because of the smaller amount of dressing). Pulse until completely emulsified. Mine was a uniform green colour. Add honey, olive oil, pistachios, and honey to your taste specifications. As I said this dressing is a work in progress.

Add 3 tablespoons of dressing to salad and combine.

For each serving of salad cut up half an avocado on top of each serving and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons of dressing over each serving.

Tip: To get the most out of your limes, cut in half and bite. I saw it on Rachel Ray a few years ago and have been doing it ever since. Its a little weird, I know. But if you rinse your mouth and lips right away it's fine.



  1. Your salad Looks awesome..Last time I went completely healthy was 7 years ago for whole 6 months...and result well I lost joke! But with extreme exercise twice a day and portion size meals!

  2. Thanks Sandra! 82 LBS in 6 months, wow! What does "extreme exercise' consist of?

  3. Great recipe! I love the idea of being healthy, it's just the actual DOING it is the hard part. I'm just lame. Your dressing sounds super-amazing!

  4. I need something healthy after all the goodies over the holiday. This should fit the bill.

  5. Agreed Amy, agreed! and thank you.

    and Veronica, that's so awesome! Thank you. This is what helped me. I had it for lunch and as a side for a couple days to get me back on track. :)

  6. Hey Ashley...
    Found you in a round about way, but think it is fortuitous. Living healthy isn't a 'diet' it's a change for LIFE. A decision that you make to live your best life possible. It has nearly nothing to do with willpower. Of course you have slips into old habits occasionally and of course I still have a glass or two of wine, or a few handfuls of potato chips - but those are things that I think of as extras or 'treats' (although I HATE that word). I've lost 70 pounds(over a year and a bit) and have went from a couch potato to running 4 half marathons in the past year. I still have more weight to lose, but have changed my eating 'habits' completely and have never felt better.
    Just thought I'd chime in :) ...and Oishi is one of my favourite restaurants ever - after Smoke and Spice, that is ;)
    Fly...aka Becky

  7. Hi Becky!

    I just read this comment today! I'm so sorry. I have no idea why I didn't see it earlier. I was just going through older blogs and comments and came across your thoughtful comment.

    Thank you so much.

    Go you! That is incredible, 70lbs?! awesome. 4 half marathons? Insane. This is territory I am not into .... Yet...

    I have been gradually been getting better with the food choices and recently really started focusing on ideas from vegetarian and vegan living.

    Maybe check out my newer posts and tell me what you think! :)

    Thanks again.

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